The Dead Pass On

Over the years, I took many people to their first Grateful Dead concert. Without exception, they were all blown away. It wasn’t just the music. It was also the spirit in the air, how people treated each other, the pop-up village in the parking lot with folks selling arts and crafts, the vibrant sense of community. Watching their final two shows streamed live into the Century 9 movie theater was a bittersweet experience. Though there was no substitute for Jerry’s evocative voice, the band was tight and Trey’s guitar was tight. On the final night, they performed their more political songs, such as “Samson and Delilah,” “Ashes to Ashes,” and “Touch of Grey,” which I appreciated. When Bob sang about how big money can “buy the whole damn government,” he shouted it at the top of his lungs. And through it all, spiritual affirmations stood out. Someday I’d like to go online and review lyrics that I missed, for their substance and beauty are stellar. My only regret is that they did not do a Bob Dylan song, as they did every concert I attended for as far back as I can remember. I think if Jerry were still here, they would have. Saying good-bye, Bob urged everyone to carry the energy manifest that night at the concert into their lives, Phil declared “God bless the Terrapin Nation,” and the last words from the stage were from Micky Hart: “Be kind.”