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Dead and Co and Covid (NYC show, August 20, 2021)

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 21, 2021 18:51

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How is the Dead and Co dealing with the pandemic conditions?

I have attended several hundred concerts in my lifetime so far. The band I've seen the most is the Grateful Dead and versions thereof. I've seen them more than 30 times. The summer of 2021 is not your typical summer with Covid conditions. Last year, Dead and Company had cancelled its tours. This year they have begun their summer tour with strict gatekeeping. 

My daughters and I knew in advance that we'd need to show proof of our vaccinations prior to entering Citi Field in Queens, NY. In fact, we were pleased to learn this. Recently we attended the Guns N Roses concert at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and there were few precautions there; we wore masks while in most parts of the stadium. More than two hours before the concert, we arrived by subway train, and lined up to have our vaccine credentials verified. While waiting we were able to hear the band's sound check! They played "Good Lovin'" and "China Doll." It was an added treat!

Concert goers who showed vaccine proof or proof of a negative Covid test then received a temporary paper bracelet to show that they were processed. We didn't see anyone protesting this, although online we'd seen evidence of hostility toward this health protocol. 

My daughters and I also wore masks while we entered the stadium and found our seats. While in our seats, we didn't wear masks, but did so in the bathrooms. Not everyone did but we played it safe. When I went to see my old pal Erik during the show intermission, I wore my mask as I walked to his section.

Naysayers dislike this version of the Grateful Dead because guitarist Jerry Garcia passed away and Phil Lesh retired. But with two original members and one way-longtime member, and three additional musicians who are amazing, I have truly enjoyed their shows. At times during the concert I would glance over at my daughters and see the broad smiles on their faces; at ages 20 and 18, they didn't see the "original" Grateful Dead but they still cherish these shows. (I've been going to their shows since 1987 when I saw a Dylan and the Dead show.)

Among the highlights for me were their renditions of "China Doll" (rather jazzy), a powerful "I Know You Rider" (one of my fave Dead tunes) and a rather delicate, intimate "Stella Blue," which ordinarily is not one of my go-to Dead songs. The Drums section was really strong. The opening "Let the Good Times Roll" was rollicking. I was especially pleased by the beautiful piano work by "newcomer" Jeff Chimenti 

So many of us love attending concerts, but we need to be health-savvy. Covid protocols help make this possible.

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 21, 2021 18:51

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Source: NYT

His work announced concerts by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and more — to those who could read them.

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