"Bittersweet" is how Rolling Stone describes it: The four surviving members of the original Grateful Dead are getting together to play three shows in Chicago this summer, but there's a catch: "These will be the last shows with the four of us together," Bob Weir tells Billboard. Weir himself is 67, Phil Lesh is 74, Mickey Hart is 71, and Bill Kreutzmann is 68. The Dead will play July 3-5 at Soldier Field, site of the last performance with Jerry Garcia before his death in 1995. The four originals, marking 50 years as a band, will be joined by Trey Anastasio of Phish, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti of Ratdog.
Anastasio reflects to Billboard: "I've realized that it's no coincidence that they named their best album ever American Beauty," he says. "They really embodied the American concept of freedom, rolling around the country with a ginormous gang of people and the mindset that 'you can come if you want, you can leave if you want. We don't know what's going to happen. All we know is we're not looking back.' What could be more American?" (The mystery of a Deadhead who went missing in 1995 may be solved.)