Source: Grateful Dead "Considering" Additional Dates Ahead of Final Chicago Shows
The legendary band may do warm-up gigs in the Bay Area before their 50th anniversary Fare Thee Well celebration at Solider Field over Fourth of July weekend.
A source familiar with The Grateful Dead confirms to Billboard that the band has been at least "considering" a gig in Santa Clara, Calif., the weekend before the Fare Thee Well concerts in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend that are being billed as the final Dead shows.
A report on the fan blog HypeMusicFestivals.com first put out the "rumor" that The Dead would soon be announcing two more shows the weekend before Fare Thee Well in Chicago, which would be June 27-28.
Billboard's own sources lends credence to that report, adding that the venue could be 68,500 capacity Levi's Stadium (San Francisco's AT&T Park has also apparently been discussed), and the producers would likely be the same as for Fare Thee Well: Peter Shapiro in association with Madison House. Attempts to contact Shapiro were not immediately successful. The Fare Thee Well shows, featuring the original Dead members with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, are sold out at 210,000, with ticket requests in the millions.
A West Coast Dead play, while it may take some of the bloom off the rose for Deadheads enjoying the status of being one of the fortunate Soldier Field ticketholders, would make sense. It appears certain members of The Dead were always interested in playing more shows than just the Chicago dates, which would come 25 years after the late Jerry Garcia played his final show with the band in that same Soldier Field venue. Santa Clara would provide the Bay Area connection that some Dead fans clearly feel is necessary for closure on the band, given it's the turf that actually spawned The Dead. The June dates would still allow Chicago to have its "final show" status. Demand is definitely not an issue. And, while Santa Clara is more than 2,000 miles from Chicago, traveling is what Deadheads do.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com