Sunday, August 2, 2015

Jerry Garcia's 73rd Birthday Bash at Johnny D's!

Pop quiz- Whose 73rd birthday was yesterday?! Ok, given the title of this post, that's fairly obvious- Mr. Jerry Garcia, the Lead Guitarist and Vocalist of the Grateful Dead. Here you can see your loyal blogger with Jerry at Terrapin Station:):

For the second year in a row, I went to celebrate with Playing Dead, Boston's premier Grateful Dead Cover band at Johnny D's in Davis Square, Somerville, MA. The band was supposed to actually play at the soon to be open Thunder Road in Union Square; however the venue did not open in time. Therefore, it decided to piggy back on Run for the Rose's gig at Johnny D's. For a second year in a row, Playing Dead did not disappoint; I'm not sure where it will be, as Johnny D's previously announced its closing in early 2016, but I will likely celebrate Jerry's birthday with the band again next year!

Run with Roses (Photo Credit: Johnny D's Facebook Page) 
Run for the Roses played from 9:20 PM until about 10:30 PM. Its set was made up entirely of Jerry Garcia Band songs. The highlights were "After Midnight" (originally a JJ Cale song) and "That's What Love Will Make You Do" (originally a Little Milton song). Earlier in the day I listened to the Allman Brothers' cover of the song with Susan Tedeschi and Danny Louis (of Gov't Mule) in March 2013!

Playing Dead (Photo Credit: Johnny D's Facebook Page) 

After a twenty minute set break, Playing Dead kicked things off  and got everyone up dancing immediately with Shakedown Street. Their closer was "One More Saturday Night", mimicking the opener and closer of the July 4th Fare Thee Well show in Chicago. The band reminded me of my first CSN show with a cover of "Uncle John's Band". During that CSN show at Jones Beach Theater in August 2009, Graham Nash exclaimed, "I don't know why in the world we are going to play this, but we are going to have some fun!" Later in the night, Lead Guitarist Vic DeRobertis pulled off some shredding during Viola Lee Blues!

Overall, it was a great Jerry Garcia celebration. I look forward to continuing my Dead50 summer at the Peach Festival in two weeks with the likes of Bob Weir with Billy and the Kids, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Bob Weir, Joe Russo's Almost Dead and Dark Star Orchestra (2 sets!). It's going to be a whole lot of Shakedown Street!

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