Grateful Dead: What a long, strange 50-year trip - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Grateful Dead: What a long, strange 50-year trip

The Grateful Dead’s long, strange 50-year trip came to an end on Sunday before a sea of more than 70,000 at Soldier Field in Chicago, where the band’s four surviving members guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were complemented by Phish frontman and guitarist Trey Anastasio, with keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti during their final three shows in the Windy City.

Here’s the night in pictures when America’s greatest jam band played in its final note of a storied career.

Looking for a miracle: Hundreds of fans arrived in Chicago hoping they would be able to buy tickets at the venue. They could, but for steep prices, as tickets behind the stage cost about $300, with floor seats pushing well into the four figures.

Looking for a miracle: Hundreds of fans arrived in Chicago hoping they would be able to buy tickets at the venue. They could, but for steep prices, as tickets behind the stage cost about $300, with floor seats pushing well into the four figures.

From socks to baby clothes and from bags to shirts, everything was on sale outside the stadium. And of course, it was tie-dyed.

From socks to baby clothes and from bags to shirts, everything was on sale outside the stadium. And of course, it was tie-dyed.

Jewelry anyone?

Jewelry anyone?

Two fans hoped to find a miracle on Sunday in the form of tickets to the Grateful Dead's final show.

Two fans hoped to find a miracle on Sunday in the form of tickets to the Grateful Dead’s final show.

Soldier Field hosted the Grateful Dead's final three shows, 20 years after the band's legendary guitarist, Jerry Garcia, died after playing a show in the venue.

Soldier Field hosted the Grateful Dead’s final three shows, 20 years after the band’s legendary guitarist, Jerry Garcia, died after playing a show in the venue.

More than 70,000 fans packed Soldier Field for each of the  Grateful Dead's final three shows this past weekend.

More than 70,000 fans packed Soldier Field for each of the Grateful Dead’s final three shows this past weekend.

You don't see this everyday flying above Soldier Field.

You don’t see this everyday flying above Soldier Field.

The legendary Bob Weir.

The legendary Bob Weir.

Trey Anastasio took a break from Phish to play with the Grateful Dead for its final shows.

Trey Anastasio took a break from Phish to play with the Grateful Dead for its final shows.

Fireworks lit up the sky in between the two sets on Sunday.

Fireworks lit up the sky in between the two sets on Sunday.

Fans were treated to fireworks during a 45-minute break between sets on Sunday.

Fans were treated to fireworks during a 45-minute break between sets on Sunday.

The legendary Phil Lesh.

The legendary Phil Lesh.

The legendary Mickey Hart.

The legendary Mickey Hart.

Drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.

Drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.

Drummer Mickey Hart was at his best during his trademark solo Bill Kreutzmann during the second set on Sunday.

Drummer Mickey Hart was at his best during his trademark solo Bill Kreutzmann during the second set on Sunday.

The Grateful Dead's performance lit up the crowd.

The Grateful Dead’s performance lit up the crowd.

After 50 years, the Grateful Dead ended its final concert the only way it could: with a group hug.

After 50 years, the Grateful Dead ended its final concert the only way it could: with a group hug.


About the author

Jon Gallo

Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 19 years of experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game. Contact the author.
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