Grateful Dead Celebrate July 4th With Empire State Building Light Show - Rolling Stone
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Grateful Dead Celebrate July 4th With Empire State Building Light Show

Unique LED display synchronized to encore performance of “U.S. Blues”

The Grateful Dead celebrated Independence Day Saturday night with a synchronized light show atop the Empire State Building in New York City that was broadcast live to the sold-out crowd at Chicago’s Soldier Field during the band’s encore performance of “U.S. Blues.”

The LED tower lights glowed red, white and blue — colors fit for both the Stars and Stripes and the famous Steal Your Face skull — while an assortment of Grateful Dead imagery appeared on the mast of the Empire State Building. The display was coordinated and created by the band and Empire State Building lighting designer, Marc Brickman.

For those who missed the light show, a video is available over on the Grateful Dead’s website. An encore performance of the lighting display will appear again on the Empire State Building July 5th at 9 p.m. EST, and fans will be able to listen along to the studio version of “U.S. Blues” (off 1974’s From the Mars Hotel) on iHeartRadio’s Q104.3.

The Grateful Dead will finish out their much-touted, three-night Fare Thee Well stand at Soldier Field July 5th. The performances mark both the Dead’s 50th anniversary and 20th anniversary of the death of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. For the Soldier Field shows, Phish’s Trey Anastasio took up the challenge of filling in for Garcia.

For those unable to score tickets to the Fare Thee Well shows, they have been broadcast live on pay-per-view and in select theaters, and have also been airing on SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead station. The concerts are also being recorded and will see release in a variety of formats — from a two-CD “best of” set, to a comprehensive box set with four-CDs and a double-disc DVD or Blu Ray — on November 20th as Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead.

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