The Grateful Dead will kick off their string of Fare Thee Well concerts with Trey Anastasio in late June, but the Phish guitarist offered up a preview at what was in store for those five shows when he performed a pair of the band’s classics alongside Dead bassist Phil Lesh. Billboard reports that Anastasio showcased his talents on “Bertha” and “Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad” Friday night at Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads restaurant and performance space in San Rafael, California.
Lesh’s son Grahame also joined Anastasio and Lesh for the two-song performance. According to Billboard, the Phish guitarist has ratcheted up Fare Thee Well rehearsals at the Terrapin Crossroads venue in anticipation for the gigs, which begin June 27th and 28th at Santa Clara, California’s Levi’s Stadium before heading off to Chicago for three shows July 4th weekend at Soldier Field. In addition to Anastasio, pianist Bruce Hornsby and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti will also join the Dead’s Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir at the Fare Thee Well Shows.
Anastasio told Rolling Stone in February that he was hard at work listening, studying and mastering the Grateful Dead’s music while also putting his own spin into the guitar parts, “since I don’t want to go out there and just copy Jerry [Garcia],” Anastasio said. He began his rehearsals by creating a list of “60 Songs It Would Be Sad Not To Hear One Last Time” to focus on. “Bertha” was among the Dead classics on Anastasio’s list.
“I don’t think anybody can be Jerry’s voice. My thought is, I love Jerry’s voice, and I love these songs. I’m happy to joyously sing whatever comes my way. But my take on it is that everybody sings – the audience too. They’ll sing. We’ll sing. Everybody knows the words,” Anastasio said. “People have such lifelong relationships to these songs. When I say I’m providing a service — it’s to the songs, the memories, the community.”
For those who can’t attend the concerts, the Fare Thee Well shows will also be offered through pay-per-view and online streaming.