Bay Area Grateful Dead fans won’t have to travel to Chicago for the band’s final concerts.
The beloved Northern California band announced a pair of shows Friday closer to home, staging two farewell concerts on June 27 and 28 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
In January, surviving members Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, who lives in Occidental, announced they would mark the band’s 50th anniversary by performing three Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago in July. However, in a letter to Deadheads posted in April, the band members said they first had to say goodbye to the Bay Area.
“Since we made the decision to go back to Chicago to say our final goodbye, it has become clear to us that we first need to return to our beginnings, where we first said hello — to each other and to all of you,” they said in the open letter on dead50.net.
The band, which aired frustration over ticket scalpers, said tickets for the two Santa Clara shows would be sold in a lottery-style system through its website.
“These shows were always intended as an expression of our gratitude, to both the music and the fans, so it’s important that we get things as right as we can,” the band said.
As with the Chicago shows, the band will be joined by Phish’s Trey Anastasio, pianist Bruce Hornsby and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
The concert will be held just a dozen miles away from the former Palo Alto music store where Weir met the band’s legendary guitarist, Jerry Garcia, in 1963. Two years later, they formed the Grateful Dead, becoming one of the iconic bands of the 1960s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
The five concerts in Santa Clara and Chicago will be their final performances, the band said Friday.
“We will not be adding any more Fare Thee Well shows. The three Chicago shows will still be our final stand. We decided to add these two Santa Clara shows to enable more of our fans to celebrate with us one more time. But this is it.”
You can reach Staff Writer Eloísa Ruano González at 521-5458 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @eloisanews.