Compassion, peace and a celebratory atmosphere have loyally followed the Grateful Dead for five decades, yet the reformed group's November 13, 2015 concert began on a somber note.
After taking the stage with his Dead & Company bandmates, grabbing his guitar and briefly warming his fingers, Bob Weir started the show with a eulogy: “So to begin, we have some bad news from Paris. And really I think the best thing we can do, all of us are doing, is remember, celebrate the lives of the 60 or so Parisian concertgoers who died today at the hands of religious extremists, who if they had their way, would outlaw music in all the world." He implored Deadheads to celebrate the lives of those who lost their lives in the Paris attacks "and the joy that they found in music.”
For the hours leading up to the Dead & Company tour stop at Columbus, Ohio’s Nationwide Arena, social media feeds and news reports were filled with the news unfolding across the globe; and with tragedy occurring at a concert, I could not help feel grief, slight paranoia and empathy.
Following Weir’s dedication, he and the band (John Mayer on guitar and ...
I was fortunate to spend this past weekend in Chicago, where Eric Clapton held his third Crossroads Guitar Festival on Saturday. The shows benefit Clapton’s Crossroads Centre, a rehab facility in Antigua, and they are a virtual who’s who of great guitar players. This year’s festival, at Toyota Park, featured performances by everyone from B.B. King and Buddy Guy, to Ron Wood, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter, to such relative newcomers as John Mayer, Johnny Lang and Citizen Cope.
Terry Stewart, the Rock Hall’s President and CEO, was also there, and we were able to spend time with some of our inductees, as well as with Larry Yellen, a filmmaker who works on our annual induction videos, and other folks from the music business.
The show always features one-of-a-kind performances, and some of my favorites this year included Robert Cray’s set with Jimmie Vaughan and Hubert Sumlin, ZZ Top’s take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Buddy Guy’s performances with Ron Wood and Johnny Lang. John Mayer once again displayed his virtuosity on the guitar, backed by Pino Palladino on bass and Steve Jordan on drums, and Derek Truck ...