Summer Guide 2015

The Grateful Dead's Final Shows

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Jupiter AscendingBob Weir & Trey Anastasio

While the The Grateful Dead grew to become closely associated with the the Summer of Love and the Haight Ashbury hippie movement, they were very much a product of the Peninsula and South Bay.

Early iterations of the band first began gathering to jam at Dana Morgan's Music Store in Palo Alto, where original bandleader Jerry Garcia worked as a guitar teacher—and the group played its first show as The Grateful Dead at one of Ken Kesey's famed "Acid Test" parties in San Jose. The band also performed regularly at Stanford University's Frost Pavilion.

Before they adopted the name they'd keep for the following 50 years, the group was called The Warlocks. According to multiple accounts, The Warlock's first paying gig was at Magoo's Pizza Parlor in Menlo Park.

Prior to the formation of The Warlocks, Garcia and other members of The Dead—including Ron "Pigpen" McKernan—played together in a group called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. The bluesy, Americana, freak-folk outfit played at coffee shops, like Top of the Tangent in Palo Alto and the Peninsula YMCA in Redwood City. And Shoreline Amphitheater was home base for the Dead, hosting 39 concerts during its first 10 years.

It is fitting, then, that The Dead should choose Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara for the Bay Area stop of their upcoming "Fare Thee Well" tour—June 27 and 28. At the show, surviving core members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, will be joined by Trey Anastasio of Phish, Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby.

With the exception of three concerts at Chicago's Soldier Field—July 3-5—the Levi's Stadium performance is the last chance anyone will have to see these psych and jam-band pioneers play as one. So, watch the speed, Casey Jones. Definitely don't want to miss this.

Sure, the 150,000 or so tickets sold out via lottery at a slightly less-rapid clip than the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, but seats can still be secured via StubHub and other resale sites. A five-show streamed webcast of the farewell shows can be reserved as well.

Grateful Dead | Food Festivals | Movies | SubZERO Festival | Stage | Art | Music