John Mayer is not Jerry Garcia.
Oteil Burbridge is not Phil Lesh.
That's OK. They play the music right.
Saturday, the 18th, was the first time I ever entered Wrigley Field when I wasn't attending a baseball game. I went with some good Chicago music people to Dead & Company's second Wrigley show. (The first, I likely would not have made unless I had flown in rather than done Amtrak, which is a far more pleasant form of getting to Chicago.)
And entering the park, I had a rush of memory, because as it turned out, I was just a month short of it having been 50 years since I'd first seen a Grateful Dead show. (Auditorium Theater, October 1971.)
A strong "Althea" kicked it off, followed by the classic "Uncle John's Band" and a whole lot more. Everyone was in full voice, and the crowd joined in and sang along for just about everything.
The sing-along crowd was also pleasantly mellow, and it was a perfect night for a live outdoor show.
I still marvel at the 50 years - yes, I"m getting old(er), but that wasn't why.
The show felt, in many ways, like it was a bookend to my Grateful Dead fandom. A good number of shows, lots of LPs, CDs, and MP3s, and a whole lot of memories.
What a long, strange trip it's been, indeed.