It's a good time to be a deadhead. Yes, Jerry is still gone but the music of the Grateful Dead is far from forgotten. The band's remaining members are putting in serious work, playing in various combinations, and a seemingly endless stream of tribute bands, themed events and movie screenings mean you'll have quite a few chances to wear your tie-dye in a judgement free zone this summer. Here are the NYC-area highlights.
Dead & Company
Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir are still out there truckin’, with Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and ax slinger John Mayer rounding out the circus. With sprawling, two-set gigs, this is as close as you’ll get in 2018 to the Dead shows of yore. Citi Field, Flushing (mets.com). Fri 15, Sat 16 at 7pm; $45–$150. Buy tickets.
Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band
Helmed by original Dead bassist Lesh with a lineup that includes son Grahame Lesh, this group is less of an all-out spectacle than Dead & Co., but its gigs have an intimate feel and hit all the right pleasure centers. SummerStage at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park (summerstage.org). Sept 5 at 6pm; $60–$100. • The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY (thecapitoltheatre.com). Sept 6 at 8pm; $60–$190. Buy tickets.
Touring tribute acts
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Led by drummer Russo (who’s done time with Dead spin-off Further), this all-star assemblage of jam-scene regulars delivers a high-energy take on the band’s exploratory catalog. BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! at the Prospect Park Bandshell, Park Slope (bricartsmedia.org/cb). July 19 at 7pm; $45. Buy tickets.
Dark Star Orchestra
The ultimate group of Dead obsessives, this band has been covering past Grateful Dead performances song-for-song since 1997. Recent shows have delved into related acts (like the Jerry Garcia Band) and even incorporated former members, such as vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux. Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk (coneyislandlive.com). Aug 10 at 7:30pm; $20–$50. • Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park, NJ (stoneponyonline.com). Aug 11 at 6pm; $30–$40. Buy tickets.
Even more stuff
Part of a new breed of Dead fanatics, this Brooklyn outfit anchors monthly gatherings at Union Pool’s cozy back room. Union Pool, Williamsburg (union-pool.com). June 24 at 8pm; $10–$12.
Grateful Dead Night
The Brooklyn Cyclones don special dancing-bear–adorned jerseys for this game, which will be opened by cover band Dead Meat. MCU Park, Coney Island (brooklyncyclones.com). July 14 at 6pm; $12–$15.
Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies
At this eighth-annual event, Deadheads gather at movie theaters around the county to watch a live gig on the big screen. Several NYC spots will get in on the act to air the band’s final show at Philly’s John F. Kennedy Stadium on July 7, 1989. Various theaters (fathomevents.com). Aug 1 at 7pm; various prices.
Even even more stuff
Those shows are just the tip of the iceberg. To get an idea of the true scope of Dead universe, consider there's also a cast of affiliated musicians coming through NYC this summer. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who played with the Dead in the '90s and will join Dead & Company later this summer at Lockn' Fest, brings his quartet to Prospect Park for a free show. Fare Thee Well guitarist (and Phish member) Trey Anastasio plays with his trio at Central Park. Branford and Trey won't be playing Dead songs but, hey, everyone needs a break. Then, there are monthly DJed Dead night at Threes Brewing and Clem's—and plenty more tribute acts, from LA-based Grateful Shred (playing two nights at Brooklyn Bowl) to Dead On Live and Splintered Sunlight (doing yet another minor-league baseball Dead night). Brooklyn Bowl even has a Music of The Grateful Dead for Kids show set for Father's Day.