Fare the Well Chicago you thought you knew, hello Grateful Dead everywhere! You haven’t seen the Field Museum until you’ve been serenaded by live bootlegs blasting out the entrance doors while you make your way to the ticket counter. Waiting in a line full of tie dyed anticipation and the occasional confused tourist, at least one mission was clear – see Jerry’s guitar. And that we did. We also met Peter Shapiro, the man behind the curtain, who produced and planned the mega event that became the Fare the Well Tour.
I think Ryan may have been more star struck by him than if he had met the band. Ryan’s music scene idol, and doppelganger, was checking out the museum exhibit and greeting fans with his film crew. Throughout the museum, jazz bands performed interpretations of Grateful Dead tunes among the various exhibits.
Fans found their envelopes on display at the museum. Traditionally, you decorated envelopes for your mail order and you always got your order. The Fare the Well tour mail order demand was so overwhelming, estimates say one in ten people received their order. Later, ticket master sales sold out quickly and black market sales cost thousands. Such hype, such silliness, such fun.
And, of course, we saw Jerry’s guitar. This may be my favorite shot we took all weekend.
So what made these shows so epic? Fare the Well brought together two epic jam band touring cultures… the Grateful Dead and Phish… in the venue where Jerry played his last show, and so many shows, at Soldier Field in Chicago. Grateful Dead magic pervaded the city from the moment we arrived. The closer we got to city center, the more the magic took us and everyone in. Either all the normal people left Chicago, or they joined the fun.
I even ran into one of my very besties from high school outside our hotel.
In the end, we didn’t even take our cameras into the shows. It was our first weekend away from our kids and we were determined to let loose.
Ryan took this blurry shot with our not so smart phone just to document the beautiful stage and how close we got. We could see sweat dripping off Trey’s brow as he and the guys played the most magical West L.A. Fadeaway I will ever see.
So very grateful to have been there and for all the magical moments.