Post Classifieds

The End of What Was

A Dead Era

By Scott Multner, Activist Staff
On December 4, 2015

For me the love of the Grateful Dead started early. At the ripe age of two I began to feel the music. Feeling the New Minglewood Blues in a car seat in the parking lot of a Kroger is where it all began. From this early age, my love of music has taken me to incredible places, some I would have never imagined myself being in.

But since this musical journey has started in 2011 I feel as though I have seen the end of an era. An era that at one point and time defined American culture. This is my account of my experiences in that era.

Live dead started out for me as previously mentioned in 2011. Two of the founding members of the dead, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, were in Columbus. Their aim, to take the Dead’s music experience further, and so they did.

That first show in Columbus gave me a glimpse at the circus, not only that it gave me a feeling like I had just stumbled into something that I would never fall out of. The description of the scene as a circus may be an understatement; the bizarre things I’ve seen on Dead lot add up to much more than a bearded lady.

Photo Courtesy of Bradferd Watkins & Step 13

But it would be a travesty to only mention the scene from that first show and leave out the music. The music that night was some of the best I’ve seen to this day; euphoric recall may have something to do with it but it was one of the most emotionally involved sets I’ve seen a band produce. After this first show in Columbus I’d go on to see the members of the Dead play ten times in five states across the Midwest and east coast in the next four years.

With each show I felt as though the performances got stronger and the concert experience almost seemed to go to unimaginable heights; nevertheless, like everything else that is magical I couldn’t help but feel it all had to come to an end.

After the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary shows in Chicago I was in shock; never had I feel a show like I felt that one. Still to this day Chicago marks my favorite show I’ve seen. But to me it also marked the climax and inevitably after the climax comes falling action. And that is exactly how I would choose to describe the Haight-Ashbury gang's latest project Dead & Co.

The group always has to fill in the place of the lead since Jerry’s death. This time the job fell on renowned musician John Mayer. In no way am I here to bash Mayer’s performances or abilities but it didn’t live up to the hopes and aspirations I had for the show. The performance was alright but not once did I get that feeling of being at the circus.

To me this show only marked the inescapable reality that even this realm of music will eventually come to an end, but the feelings the Dead inspire in their loyal following will live on.

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