Dead & Company to Play MSG on Halloween Night | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / May 26.
  • Dead & Company to Play MSG on Halloween Night

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    deadwof5The Grateful Dead aren’t done after all.

    After supposedly playing their final three shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field over the July 4th weekend — which followed two June shows in Santa Clara, Calif., — members of the legendary group will re-form and play Halloween Night at Madison Square Garden.


    As previously reported by Billboard, three of the Dead’s “core four” players — guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — plan to continue the party, with John Mayer on guitar. Their first performance as Dead & Company is set for Halloween night (Oct. 31) at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the Grateful Dead had played more than 50 times since its formation in 1965.

    Joining the group on bass is Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers and Aquarium Rescue Unit and Ratdog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, who played all five Fare Thee Well shows alongside Bruce Hornsby. Dead bassist Phil Lesh will sit out this incarnation, but continue with his own side outfit, Phil and Friends.

    “Those songs weren’t done with us,” Weir tells Billboard of a decision that came with little deliberation. “It was a matter of who wanted to get back out on the road and keep doing it.” Mayer’s enthusiasm, he adds, “was the cherry on the sundae that made this project look like a good idea.”

    Back in May, Weir told me at the Garden that he and the group would play MSG again.

    “We’ll be back,” Weir said when The Dead was inducted into the MSG Walk of Fame.

    Asked if they would return as The Dead, Weir said, “We’ll see, we’ll see what’s shakin.'”

    He added: “This place is going to keep calling us back forever.”

    Between 1979-94, the Grateful Dead played 52 sold-out shows at the Garden — ranking them third all-time in Garden performances behind only Elton John and Billy Joel. In both 1988 and 1991, the band had sold-out runs of nine concerts.

    Legendary New York radio DJ Jim Kerr, who introduced The Dead in May, said if Garcia hadn’t passed away in 1995, the band would have long passed Elton and Billy in number of Garden performances.

    “I personally would love to play here,” Kreutzmann told me. “If it was with Bobby and Mickey, the three of us would play for sure, and Phil [Lesh].”


    Photo: Scott Harris/

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.