Disclaimer: I may be only a pseudo Dead fan, but I am a licensed Health Care professional.
This weekend on the near mortuary of Citi field there was a resurgence of the Living Dead.
It was a flawless night weather wise. Tailgating began earlier than expected.
If you haven’t attended the recent offshoot of a Grateful Dead show, be advised that negotiating the crowd is as challenging as the music.
These days, the average PSA of the fans is higher than the PSI of the car tires that brought them there. Some may have prostate cancer but most have BPH, benign enlargement of the prostate. While someone blared Estimated Prophet from a boom box, I waited on line half an hour for access to the magical portal of a Port-o-john.
Alongside, the smoke was dispensary thick. The Dead fans still party like they’re in high school or college but their minds and bodies don’t necessarily appreciate that.
I assume many would fail a stress test. Case in point, I walked up a series of ramps to the upper deck and no one was willing to accompany me (perhaps because I was sans vaporizer).
It is probable that within this aging population, with its hard-core smokers and out of shape, overweight drinkers there’s a fairly high risk of vascular disease.
The guy next to me became unresponsive during the second set. His wife screamed out that he was having a stroke. Luckily he was breathing and had a pulse. I diagnosed a garden variety vasovagal episode exacerbated by heat, dehydration, alcohol and deep bass lines, and assisted him in his recovery until the proper authorities marched him out to Eyes of The World (probably not such a great idea, but stadiums have their own protocols).
Mickey Hart led the outstanding percussion section, though during his electronic sound solo, he kind of reminded me of the maintenance guy in our old Catskill Mountain bungalow colony, slapping at the springs under our bed-frame.
By default, Bob Weir is now the front man, an elder statesman in his bushy gray beard, paying homage to Jerry Garcia, Moses and the Unabomber. Between short pauses staring out into space like Charlton Heston with absence seizures, he belted out great Weir classics. He still has it. He’s aged like a great cabernet. When he sang of sharing “the women,” and “the wine,” I griped that none was shared with me. Indeed there were plenty of young women in skirts spiraling around the edge of the floor a la Haight Asbury 1968, though instead of LSD they were undoubtedly overdosing on their parents’ nachas or perhaps Molly, who might have been their grandmother back then, renting the same mattress from Mickey Hart after checking out of Kutsher’s and the Nevele.
This being said, Jack Straw was outstanding, as good as any Dead I’ve heard in a while; the powerful melodic bass lines of Oteil Burbridge, enhancing the pond-rippling Garcia-blessed solo from John Mayer, who really knows how to move and sing—and rock. Thanks to this mixture of young and old there’s a newly fortified legend of an already iconic band. Hopefully the fans will stay healthy enough to enjoy it.