Over the weekend, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead kicked off their reunion “Fare Thee Well” concerts in Santa Clara, California. These concerts are billed as the last time that Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir will perform under the name of the Grateful Dead. The final three highly-anticipated shows begin on July 3 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Rhino Records has just announced that these final shows will all be recorded and available in a variety of formats on November 20.
The original line-up of the Grateful Dead gave what would be their final performance on July 9, 1995 at Soldier Field. No one knew at the time of course that it would be the final show with the legendary Jerry Garcia. In fact, many Deadheads do not even consider it to have been a great concert. Garcia’s drug troubles had led to problems onstage for most of that last tour, and after his passing that August, the remaining members of the band formally disbanded. However, the surviving members have reunited in various incarnations and configurations over the last 20 years under different names, including at one point, The Dead.
The final reunion shows also serve as the highlights of the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary celebration. Rhino has already released a 2-CD greatest hits compilation earlier this year and has announced a massive box set chronicling live performances. The newly-announced recordings of the reunion concerts focus mostly on last show of stand, July 5, although the full three shows will be available through Dead.net. We’ve got the press release below and Amazon links if you want to own the last show that will be billed to the Grateful Dead!
LOS ANGELES – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Grateful Dead, the “core four” original members – Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir – will reunite at Chicago’s Soldier Field for one of the most anticipated concert events in recent history. FARE THEE WELL: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF GRATEFUL DEAD will occur over three nights on July 3, 4, and 5, 2015, marking the original members’ last-ever performance together. The band will be joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The group will perform two sets of music each night, nearly 20 years to the day of the last ever Grateful Dead concert with Jerry Garcia, which took place at the same historic venue.
Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead will be available November 20 from Rhino/Grateful Dead in a variety of audio and video formats, outlined below. Dead.net, the official Grateful Dead website, is the only place fans can get complete audio and video for all three shows. The two dead.net exclusive versions, one 12-CD/7-Blu-ray and the other 12-CD/7-DVD, will each be limited to 20,000 individually numbered copies on their first run. The dead.net versions will also feature an exclusive bonus disc featuring a behind-the-scenes look captured by Justin Kreutzmann. Included on the disc will be footage from the Grateful Dead ticketing office documenting the 350,000 plus tickets requests received for the shows, vignettes from the parking lot scene at Soldier Field and backstage material from the shows themselves.
You can pre-order selected titles below; we will update all editions as soon as Amazon U.S. and U.K. links are active!
FARE THEE WELL – Dead.net Exclusive Complete Versions
• 12-CD/7-Blu-ray Complete Version – Full audio and high-definition video from all three
shows on CD and Blu-ray plus exclusive bonus disc of behind-the-scenes footage. Individually
numbered, limited edition of 20,000.
• 12-CD/7-DVD Complete Version – Full audio and video from all three shows on CD and
DVD plus exclusive bonus disc of behind-the-scenes footage. Individually numbered, limited
edition of 20,000.
FARE THEE WELL – Retail Versions
• 4-CD/2-Blu-ray Version – Full audio and high-definition video from final show (July 5) on CD and Blu-ray. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
• 4-CD/2-DVD Version – Full audio and video from final show (July 5) on CD and DVD. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
• 2-Blu-ray Version – Full high-definition video from final show (July 5) on Blu-ray. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
• 2-DVD Version – Full video from final show (July 5) on DVD. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
• 2-CD “Best Of” Version – Audio highlights from all three shows. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
• Digital Download – Audio and video from the final show (July 5) will be available as well as audio from the “Best Of” version.