SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The songs still ran long. To the uninitiated, the communal rituals of the faithful fans probably looked strange. Was it trippy? Well, this was a Grateful Dead show, after all, the first in a handful over the next week that are said to be the last.
The four surviving members of the Dead, joined by a trio of well-versed companions, launched their "Fare Thee Well" mini-tour on Saturday night in Northern California, where the legendary jam band got its start 50 years ago and almost two decades after the death of beloved lead guitarist Jerry Garcia.
During a performance that featured a little more than 3 ½ hours of music, the group's so-called "core four" — rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and percussionists Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — unreeled a set list featuring both crowd-pleasers and more obscure pieces from their early catalog.