Our favorite performances from 2017

Best live shows of 2017 - The xx, Miguel, Moderat & Coldplay

2017, where the hell did you go? It just felt like the other day that we were ringing in a new year, and yet, here we are again as we plow straight ahead into 2018.

But before we officially put a bow on 2017, it’s time for us to revisit the past 12 months at Showbams. This year, we had the opportunity to capture many amazing moments in live music, and while we couldn’t pay homage to every single performance we witnessed, we made a conscious effort to include a wide range of talent spread across the industry.

Whittling down our list, though, was not that easy. Those who didn’t make the cut but still deserve to be mentioned here include the following artists, DJs and bands (in alphabetical order) whom we either covered at their own show and/or at a music festival this year:

21 Savage, The Accidentals, Action Bronson, Alice Cooper, Alina Baraz, alt-J, Amber Mark, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Animal Collective, Atlas Genius, The Avalanches, The Band Perry, Beach Slang, Belle and Sebastian, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Bleachers, Blonde Redhead, Bob Moses, Car Seat Headrest, Cate Le Bon, Cigarettes After Sex, Circles Around the Sun, City of Caterpillar, The Coathangers, Claude VonStroke, Chris Robinson, Con Brio, Conor Oberst, Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Crystal Castles, The Crystal Method, Daniel Caesar, Dawes, Dead Meadow, Deafheaven, Deep Purple, Diet Cig, DIIV, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. Dog, Dr. Octagon, Duke Dumont, Eagles of Death Metal, Electric Guest, Emancipator, Emily King, Empire of the Sun, Foxygen, Future Islands, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Gatecreeper, Girl Talk, Gone Is Gone, Grizzly Bear, Gucci Mane, Hamilton Leithauser, Hazel English, Hinds, The Hip Replacements, Hiss Golden Messenger, How to Dress Well, Iggy Pop, Isaiah Rashad, Jack Johnson, Jagwar Ma, Jamestown Revival, Jamie Isaac, Jay 305, Jen Cloher, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, Jessie Ware, Jim James, JR JR, Julie Byrne, Julien Baker, Justice, Karen Elson, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, KAYTRANADA, Kelis, K. Flay, Khalid, Khruangbin, Kilo Kish, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Kurt Vile, La Femme, LANY, Lauv, L.A. Witch, Lettuce, Lil Yachty, Little Dragon, Lo Moon, Lorde, Lord Huron, Miike Snow, Milky Chance, Minus the Bear, Mister Heavenly, MØ, Mondo Cozmo, Neon Indian, Nicki Bluhm, Norah Jones, North Mississippi Allstars, NVO, Oh Sees, OK Go, Once and Future Band, Pallbearer, The Palms, Passion Pit, Peaches, Perfume Genius, Petit Biscuit, Phoebe Bridgers, Playboi Carti, Pond, Porcelain Raft, PRAYERS, The Radio Dept., Real Estate, The Revivalists, Royal Blood, Sampha, ScHoolboy Q, Sheer Mag, serpentwithfeet, Silversun Pickups, Sleep, Sleigh Bells, SOFI TUKKER, Solange, Spiritualized, Styles P, Sunflower Beam, Talib Kweli, Tank and The Bangas, Tash Sultana, Tei Shi, Temples, Tennis, Tennyson, Thou, Thundercat, TOBACCO, Touché Amoré, Tool, Tove Lo, Travis Scott, Twin Peaks, Ty Segall, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vagabon, Vance Joy, Vic Mensa, Warpaint, Weezer, White Fence, Woods, YG, Young the Giant.

Now, it’s time for The Bam Team to present our favorite performances from 2017.

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2017

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2017:


Best of 2017 - Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels

Date: February 1st
Location: Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles

Yet, in just four years, Run the Jewels have already reached hip-hop’s mountaintop with their politically charged lyrics and hard-hitting beats. Just take last Wednesday’s sold-out show in LA for example. With the duo’s third studio album still only a few weeks old, 5,000 or so fans poured into the spacious Shrine Expo Hall to watch El-P and Killer Mike fuck shit up (for lack of a better term). And that’s exactly what they did after opening sets from The Gaslamp Killer, Nick Hook, Gangasta Boo and CUZ. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - BADBADNOTGOOD

BADBADNOTGOOD

Date: February 23rd
Location: The Fillmore – San Francisco

As one of the bands to take the coveted headlining spot for NoisePop25, BADBADNOTGOOD seemed as — perhaps more — excited as all of the fans who made it to their sold-out show at The Fillmore. Combining consummate instrumentation with classic MC-style showmanship led by drummer Alexander Sowinski, the Canadian jazz-rock quartet has mastered the art of keeping the audience guessing where they’re going. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by James Pawlish


Best of 2017 - Spoon

Spoon

Date: March 7th
Location: Apogee Studio – Santa Monica, CA

In total, Spoon performed five songs from the new record, including “First Caress” to open a brief encore that left us eager for more. But as the five-piece rocked “Rainy Taxi” from 2014’s They Want My Soul to close, I couldn’t help but think to myself that this is one band I never should have slept on. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Larry Hirshowitz


Best of 2017 - Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós

Date: April 8th
Location: Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA

Now a trio, Sigur Rós have been delivering goosebumps for over two decades — and it’s a delight to hear Jónsi’s voice-as-an-instrument this clear, this powerful and as confident as ever. It would be a wonderful treat to check in on this outfit every 5-10 years going forward and realize they are still going strong. -Mike Frash, photo by James Nagel


Best of 2017 - DREAMCAR

DREAMCAR

Date: April 9th
Location: Great American Music Hall – San Francisco

Fresh off a stop at Berkeley’s Hearst Greek Theatre the night before, Adams showcased some older favorites and a slew of new tunes from his 16th and latest studio album Prisoner, which came out in February. SoCal fans were treated to some extended full-band jamming, a couple of solo acoustic performances and Adams’ usual witty banter over the course of the evening.
-Jared Stossel, photo by Jared Stossel


Best of 2017 - A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle

Date: April 13th
Location: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco

In the world of rock supergroups, there are few that have sprung up in the last few decades that can hold a candle to A Perfect Circle. From the onset, APC have been a powerhouse on the senses, combining members from bands such as Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, Failure, Primus and more over the years. Their body of work has been met with high praise across the board, and they have been able to solidify themselves as one of the most unique and tenured groupings out there, as opposed to bands like Zwan and Velvet Revolver. -Andrew Pohl, photo by Mike Rosati


Best of 2017 - Radiohead

Radiohead

Date: April 14th
Location: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA

Yes, the sound problems (all three instances) put a real damper on what was easily one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend. This was the third time Goldenvoice called on Radiohead to headline Coachella, and for one of rock’s most important bands over the last 30 years, it certainly wasn’t a charm as the saying goes. In that moment, it was pretty hard not to feel bad for Thom Yorke, who could only make light of the situation by cracking a joke even if it wasn’t supposed to be one — or so he claimed. But Radiohead more than made up for it with a masterful setlist that opened with A Moon Shaped Pool cuts “Daydreaming”, “Desert Island Disk” and “Ful Stop” before circling back to older hits such as “Everything in Its Right Place”, “There There”, “Idioteque” and even “Creep”. -Josh Herwitt, photo courtesy of Coachella


Best of 2017 - Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

Date: April 16th
Location: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA

All hail, King Kendrick! Or should we say “Kung Fu Kenny?” The Compton rapper reached hip-hop’s mountaintop more than two years ago with his Grammy-winning masterpiece To Pimp a Butterfly, but headlining Coachella was still on his to-do list. In fact, it was only the second time he had ever been booked to perform at Coachella after being listed on the last line of the 2012 poster. Closing out the fest is no short order for any artist, let alone one who dropped his new album less than 48 hours before taking the stage, but K-Dot lived up to the billing with a show that provoked as much thought as it entertained. -Josh Herwitt, photo courtesy of Coachella


Best of 2017 - The xx

The xx

Date: April 17th
Location: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco

Playfully alluding to their material’s emotional sentiment, Romy Madley Croft (vocals, guitar) and Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) managed to entrance all of us with their tension-filled gazes and syncopated dance moves. Prolonging vocal arrangements, especially during their accelerated live interpretation of “Infinity”, were also stunning to witness. About halfway through the set, Jamie Smith (beats, MPC, production), aka Jamie xx, took the lead and transformed the room into a giant disco party thanks to an onslaught of consecutive dance hits before finishing with “Loud Places” from his 2015 solo LP In Colour. -Molly Kish, photo by Norm de Veyra


Best of 2017 - Moderat

Moderat

Date: April 20th
Location: Mayan Theater – Los Angeles

Moderat subsequently circled back to III, performing “Intruder” before exiting the stage to a rousing applause. Yet, when the house lights didn’t come on right away, the suspense began to build once again. Less than a minute later, the three-piece reemerged, giving the audience more than its money’s worth. Two-encore shows are usually reserved for high-profile groups with extensive catalogs like Radiohead, but Moderat have never played by any rules. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

Date: May 9th
Location: The Theatre at Ace Hotel – Los Angeles

The Lips, of course, made sure to play that song, and even though it was without Watts, it still proved to be an unforgettable moment due to the fact that Coyne rode a life-size unicorn from one end of the stage to the other as he belted out lines like “Yeah, there should be unicorns / The ones with the purple eyes / It should be loud as fuck / Hope the swans don’t die” to open the tune while wearing a big smile across his face. If that’s not psychedelic to you, then I don’t know what is. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Date: June 3rd
Location: Greek Theatre – Los Angeles

Fresh off a stop at Berkeley’s Hearst Greek Theatre the night before, Adams showcased some older favorites and a slew of new tunes from his 16th and latest studio album Prisoner, which came out in February. SoCal fans were treated to some extended full-band jamming, a couple of solo acoustic performances and Adams’ usual witty banter over the course of the evening.
-Stephanie Port, photo by Stephanie Port


Best of 2017 - Jay Som

Jay Som

Date: June 17th
Location: Potrero del Sol Park – San Francisco

Melina Duterte’s band goes by the name Jay Som and hails from Oakland. Do yourself a favor and remember this name: Jay Som. The Polyvinyl-signed songstress bathed the crowd at the Potrero Stage in her dreamy vocals and inanely catchy tunes that appeal to a wide-range of music fan; her songs could feel just as viable in the 90’s college rock area as they do today. Highlights from the set included a vibe-soaked rendition of “Baybee” as well as “The Bus Song”, arguably the artist’s first real “hit.” -Kevin Quandt, photo by Emmeline Munson


Best of 2017- AIR

AIR

Date: June 23rd
Location: The Masonic – San Francisco

AIR’s live performances focus on capturing the crisp, detailed production style that the duo has honed over two decades. It’s a vibrant, textured sound. Centered around acoustic guitar, synthesizers and the breathy timbre of the duo’s immaculate harmonized vocals, the use of live drums helped round out the contrast between both the artificial and acoustic sounds in songs like “Cherry Blossom Girl”. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Steve Carlson


Best of 2017 - PLANETARIUM

PLANETARIUM

Date: July 21st
Location: Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland

PLANETARIUM’s music, which channels Stevens’ reflections on astronomy, science and even the intricacies of human consciousness, is a fusion of styles from all four band members that evokes feelings of unity. The group’s performance was accompanied by otherworldly visuals that filled the backdrop as it traversed the Solar System with quite a few emotionally charged songs inspired by the planets and other celestial bodies like “Neptune” and “Jupiter”. -Norm de Veyra, photo by Norm de Veyra


Best of 2017 - The Drums

The Drums

Date: July 21st
Location: The Fillmore – San Francisco

By the time The Drums took the stage, the intimate venue was packed to the brim with fans. The Brooklyn outfit made as much of an impression as it did when frontman Jonathan Pierce and company exploded onto the scene in 2009 with their initial EP Summertime! From then on, it became glaringly obvious with their eccentric band members and seemingly effortless style that they possessed an energetic presence. And at their SF show, it didn’t take long for the capacity crowd to fall into a groove as the venue’s whole atmosphere lit up. -Jacqueline Moore, photo by Jacqueline Moore


Best of 2017 - Miguel

Miguel

Date: July 23rd
Location: Annenberg Space for Photography – Los Angeles

Once the sun set and Miguel stepped onstage, the audience was transported somewhere else entirely. Born and raised in LA, the 31-year-old’s silky-smooth voice floated through the cool evening breeze over the twinkle lights in the trees, giving the impression of an island retreat rather than a concert in the park. -Rochelle Shipman, photo by Rochelle Shipman


Best of 2017 - The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs

Date: August 5th
Location: Apogee Studio – Santa Monica, CA

Granduciel’s raspy voice, as well as his driving (no pun intended) guitar rhythms and reverb-laden riffs, are largely what separates The War on Drugs from the rest in a crowded indie-rock scene, but the sum of the band’s parts — Charlie Hall (drums), David Hartley (bass), Anthony LaMarca (guitar, keyboards), Robbie Bennett (keyboards) and finally Jon Natchez (saxophone, keyboards) — also creates a sound that while familiar, still feels uniquely different. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Larry Hirshowitz


Best of 2017 - Gorillaz

Gorillaz

Date: August 11th
Location: Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Golden Gate Park – San Francisco

Easily one of the most anticipated acts of the weekend, Gorillaz’s Humanz tour made its West Coast debut on Day 1 at OSL. After a six-year hiatus, expectations ran extremely high for this headlining performance. On previous tours, the band’s members had played second fiddle to the cartoon projections of their alter egos onstage, but everyone was visible this time around. Several collaborators from Gorillaz’s previous albums, including Kali Uchis, Yukimi Nagano and Del the Funky Homosapien, came out to join them, and the Damon Albarn-led group still pulled some even bigger surprises with cameos appearances from De la Soul and Pusha T. -Molly Kish, photo by James Pawlish


Best of 2017 - Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant

Date: August 12th
Location: Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Golden Gate Park – San Francisco

While the cancellation of Queens of the Stone Age was a blow a week prior to the event, the replacement that was lined up more than delivered a blistering set of rock ‘n’ roll. Cage the Elephant are now being widely considered festival-headliner material, and frontman Matt Shultz is making a strong claim for that accolade as he continues to elevate his stage act to near-Mick Jagger levels of pomp and energy. “Come a Little Closer” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” received hearty sing-alongs from a decidedly youthful crowd as Cage have become a favorite of Generation Z. -Kevin Quandt, photo by Marc Fong


Best of 2017 - J.I.D

J.I.D

Date: September 9th
Location: Day N Night Fest, Angel Stadium – Anaheim, CA

While the headliners thrilled as expected, it was at the side “Day” and “Night” stages where the festival’s biggest highlights were generated. J.I.D, the rising Atlanta rapper who is signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville imprint, absolutely thrilled during his set. Dazzling with his rapid-fire and agile flow, J.I.D showed off his ability to command a crowd with songs such as “General” and “EdEddnEddy” before jumping into the crowd for the tempo-changing hit “Never” that left the crowd chanting for “one more song!” -Joseph Gray & Rochelle Shipman, photo by Rochelle Shipman


Best of 2017 - SZA

SZA

Date: September 9th
Location: Day N Night Fest, Angel Stadium – Anaheim, CA

Saturday, meanwhile, featured the vintage gospel spirit and warm vibes that have elevated Chicago emcee Chance the Rapper to superstardom. Earlier in the day, SZA, this summer’s breakout star, delivered her first festival performance since the release of her well-received debut album Ctrl. Swaying, spinning and singing her raw emotions and shortcomings while coming of age, the Top Dawg Entertainment songstress didn’t disappoint. -Joseph Gray & Rochelle Shipman, photo by Rochelle Shipman


Best of 2017 - Bonobo

Bonobo (Live)

Date: September 27th
Location: Greek Theatre – Los Angeles

The real reason things felt different this time around, though, was the music. Extending and reimagining his tracks for easily one of the largest crowds he has ever performed in front of, Bonobo followed an uplifting opening set from Canadian electronic duo Bob Moses with an array of soothing sounds that paired beautifully with his lighting setup and entrancing stage production in the same way Scott Hansen (aka Tycho) creates an awe-inspiring audio-visual experience during his live-band performances. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - Coldplay

Coldplay

Date: October 4th
Location: Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA

Coldplay took the stage shortly before 9 p.m. as a video montage of fans who introduced them as “the biggest band in the world” played onstage. While I’m pretty sure there are a few other artists or groups from their side of the pond (ehem, U2) who might take issue with that claim, they certainly did nothing during their electric, almost two-hour performance to dissuade that sort of thinking. Chris Martin and company, in fact, wasted no time getting down to business, flooding the stadium with confetti and firing off pyrotechnics at a steady clip while opening with “A Head Full of Dreams” and subsequently all throughout the night. -Steve Carlson, photo by Steve Carlson


Best of 2017 - Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene

Date: October 26th
Location: Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland

Here’s the thing about BSS — after 15 years, the web of musicians that makes up the collective have created their own individual projects, from Metric to Stars to Feist to Do Make Say Think to Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. And while many of the band’s members who have gone on to find success in their own solo careers didn’t happen to join the group on this particular tour, the sense of professionalism built into the BSS live experience remains prevalent. Every person who stepped onstage demonstrated consummate abilities in their own realms, never missing a beat or a note. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Norm de Veyra

Best of 2017 - Jim James

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Coldplay live up to their “biggest band in the world” claim in front of 60,000 strong at Levi’s Stadium

ColdplayBy Steve Carlson //

Coldplay with Tove Lo, Alina Baraz //
Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA
October 4th, 2017 //

British rockers Coldplay brought their massive “A Head Full of Dreams” tour to Levi’s Stadium just a little over a year after their first visit, and it proved to be quite the spectacle.

Kicking off the night for the few fans who made it inside the stadium before sundown was LA-based rising star Alina Baraz, whose soulful, downtempo R&B vibes didn’t bring much energy to the lineup and felt overwhelmed by the massive stage. Nevertheless, her performance did hint at her immense talent. Be sure to catch her when she plays a smaller space in the future.

Next up was Swedish pop provocateur and Bay Area favorite Tove Lo. The Djursholm native showed considerably more energy out of the gate, confidently running out onto the stage and launching into spirited renditions of “True Disaster” from her 2016 LP Lady Wood and its title track. Unlike Baraz, Tove Lo seemed to enjoy herself (in more ways than one) and fed off the crowd’s growing energy.

Tove Lo


Tove Lo

The inclusion of the “Disco Tits” singer — with her confident sexuality, explicit lyrics and well-known tendency to expose herself onstage — might have seemed like an usual pairing with the unoffensive, family-friendly arena rock Coldplay are known for, but judging by the enthusiastic reactions from the significantly larger crowd, most were happy to go along for the ride.

Coldplay took the stage shortly before 9 p.m. as a video montage of fans who introduced them as “the biggest band in the world” played onstage. While I’m pretty sure there are a few other artists or groups from their side of the pond (ehem, U2) who might take issue with that claim, they certainly did nothing during their electric, almost two-hour performance to dissuade that sort of thinking. Chris Martin and company, in fact, wasted no time getting down to business, flooding the stadium with confetti and firing off pyrotechnics at a steady clip while opening with “A Head Full of Dreams” and subsequently all throughout the night.

By now, Coldplay’s show has been around the block a few times (this show being one of the last of their year-and-a-half long tour) and their shtick is well-known — the aforementioned confetti and pyro, light-up audience wristbands that sync with the music and Martin’s hyper-endearing goofiness cranked up to 11 — but more than a few concertgoers seemed genuinely concerned when the band abruptly cut off the intro to “Charlie Brown” to hold what looked like a “band meeting” by Will Champion’s drum kit.

Coldplay

Though Coldplay has been doing this every night as of late (they tell everyone it’s to discuss how they can get the audience to put their phones down and jump around more), it occurred just close enough to the well-publicized and somewhat controversial 10 p.m. curfew set by the City of Santa Clara that some seemed to think the band’s sound had been cut off. However, it wasn’t, and the band continued to mesmerize for another 45 minutes, well past curfew, to the delight of the more than 60,000 faithful.

That’s not bad for a band, which during their 2002 appearance at the Greek Theatre Berkeley suggested that one day we might stumble upon them playing a small room in Las Vegas and remark, “Oh, there’s that little Coldplay band!”

The biggest band in the world? Maybe, or maybe not. But there’s no doubt that Coldplay know how to play the part convincingly and won’t be slumming it in any Vegas bars any time soon.

Setlist:
A Head Full of Dreams (extended intro with Charlie Chaplin speech)
Yellow
Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
The Scientist
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (with “Oceans” excerpt in intro)
Paradise (with Tiësto Remix outro)
Always in My Head
Magic
Everglow (dedicated to Tom Petty and victims of recent disasters)
Clocks (with “Army of One” excerpt in intro)
Midnight (partial)
Charlie Brown (restarted with Chris asking the crowd to turn off their phones for this song)
Hymn for the Weekend
Fix You (with “Midnight” excerpt in intro)
Viva la Vida
Adventure of a Lifetime
In My Place (acoustic, with a snippet of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”)
Don’t Panic (acoustic; Will on lead vocals)
O (with fan from audience called Rece on piano)
Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay cover)
A Sky Full of Stars
Up&Up (extended outro)

20 predictions for Grateful Dead’s ‘Fare Thee Well’

Grateful Dead 50 - "Fare Thee Well"By Andy Magnes //

With “Fare Thee Well” upon us and everyone dancin’ in the streets, it’s time to make some predictions for this one final run to be grateful for.

We’re not saying all of these are going to happen, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed!


Prediction #20: There will be no Phish or Bruce Hornsby songs.

This is a Dead affair. Although the devout “Phans” might hear a tease or two, if Trey played a Phish song, I’m pretty sure first generation Deadheads would have a heart attack. Having said that …

Prediction #19: We will hear a Beatles cover.

From one core four to the next.

Prediction #18: For better or worse, the whole run will be one huge singalong.

Time to start warming up those pipes!

Prediction #17: Having said that, there will be a few jams that go DEEP.

We’re predicting “Eyes of the World” goes long.

Grateful Dead 50 - "Fare Thee Well" - Santa Clara

Prediction #16: Santa Clara will be a Sunshine Daydream.

The driest state in the country looks like it’s going to pay off this weekend.

Prediction #15: Soldier Field could be a “Box of Rain”.

The forecast isn’t looking great, but we’ve seen stranger things happen.

Prediction #14: Jeff Chimenti will be the unsung hero of “FTW”.

Out of everyone on stage, he’s the guy in his prime who is the most familiar with the Dead catalog right now.

Prediction #13: Deadheads will feel much better about Trey after Santa Clara.

Trey’s reverence for everything the Dead stood for and his soaring leads will win over many old hearts.

Jay Cutler - cigarette

Prediction #12: “Fare Thee Well” will be the happiest moment at Soldier Field in 2015.

Sorry Jay Cutler, but look on the bright side — this at least gives you an opportunity to smoke cigs on the field.

Prediction #11: Trey will use at least three different guitars.

This is not going to be a Languedoc-heavy affair. After Jerry’s guitar mysteriously disappeared from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, expect some legendary axes to accompany some legendary music.

Prediction #10: Bobby will sit in on at least one late-night show. Trey will not.

These days, Big Red goes to bed while the rest of us rage!

Trey Anastasio - daisy dukes


Courtesy of Phish.net

Prediction #9: To symbolize the passing of the torch, Bobby will bequeath his daisy dukes to Trey.

Our sources tell us this is the main reason they didn’t choose Warren.

Prediction #8: This isn’t the last we’ll see of Trey and Bruce on stage together.

Bruce’s style is a perfect match for Trey’s guitar — like an even more bluesier Page — and after their chemistry shines, we can only hope to see more of this pairing.

Rahm Emmanuel

Prediction #7: Antelope Greg and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will get into a fistfight.

With his turf threatened by the influx of the scene, Raging Rahm will have no choice but to throw down.

[Fun fact: Rahm’s got a Jerry hand!]

Prediction #6: Chicago will open with “Box of Rain”.

It was the last song Jerry played live, in that very stadium, and the core four will no doubt tribute the late, great guitarist.

Prediction #5: “And We Bid You Good Night” will close the Chicago run … and the era.

Not the boldest prediction, but the thought of the whole crowd singing “Good Night” with the core four one more time already gives us the chills.

The Merry Panksters - bus

Prediction #4: There will be at least three Furthur buses on the lot in Chicago.

Probably more. If you have a Furthur bus, you’re coming to the Windy City. Having a geo-centric location will at least pay off in this way.

Prediction #3: Obama in attendance?

The Dead campaigned for him in 2008, it’s in his hometown and he’s officially entering the “IDGAF” portion of his presidency. O-bong hits for Obama!

Prediction #2: Mike Gordon will be raging the Chicago pit … with an enormous cactus rage stick.

You’ll be able to see his scarf for miles.

Prediction #1: Three generations of Deadheads will be in attendance.

It’s more of an observation than a prediction, but wow, what an incredible 50-year ride!


Even though this represents the end of an era, the tradition and spirit of the Grateful Dead is as fresh as ever. Whether you’re seeing Phil Lesh and Friends or Bob Weir & RatDog or you’re taking a new spin on the Dead’s songbook with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead or The Motet’s “Funk Is Dead” tribute, one thing’s for certain: even after the last note rings at Soldier Field, the music will never stop!

Grateful Dead 50 - "Fare Thee Well" - Soldier Field

RUMOR: Why not Phil Lesh or Trey Anastasio for additional Fare Thee Well Bay Area shows?

GratefulDead-ADMAT-1024x1024By Steven Wandrey //

After the most hyped shows of our lifetimes sold out instantaneously, a million people (literally) were crestfallen and left without tickets. Scalpers’ prices currently range from insulting to outrageous for the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago over Fourth of July weekend.

After overseeing a sell out of epic proportions, the Dead 50 camp surely has dollar signs in their eyes. And why shouldn’t they? If they could stand to pocket millions more dollars by playing four to six more shows, they should.

Now that the rumored date additions at Levi’s Stadium and New York City are seemingly close to fruition, the rumored performers for the Santa Clara shows in late June at Levi’s stadium are: Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Jeff Chimenti, Steve Kimock, John Mayer and Mike Gordon.

While John Mayer pulls some mainstream weight, it’s truly a testament to how strong the Chicago demand was that promoters believe this alleged lineup will safely sell out Levi’s for tickets over $100 face value.

Most importantly, why the possible omission of Phil Lesh and Trey Anastasio? It seems like a slam dunk that Lesh would be a part of his homecoming shows, a short drive from his own venue Terrapin Crossroads.

So what changed? The only obvious change is the swapping of Anastasio for Kimock. Does Lesh have a personal problem with Kimock, who has performed with Phil & Friends in the past? Why would Lesh possibly sit this one out? We’ll update as this one continues to develop.

Watch this performance of “Loser” with Bruce Hornsby and band along with Steve Kimock and Phil Lesh from 1998.