We hope you're ready for a big summer in the land of the Dead.
Nearly 60 years since its inception, the Grateful Dead is very much alive in the public consciousness, thanks to the unfathomable impact of the band's music.
This summer, all four of the band's surviving core members are back on the road in a number of configurations;the stellar work of late singer and guitarist Jerry Garcia shines on a new archival release; and tribute bands across New Jersey keep the music playing for the faithful.
We've gathered all the details for you. Now there's nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.
Phil Lesh and Friends play the Stone Pony Summer Stage
It’s time to wave that flag.
Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh is back on the road, and he’ll play Asbury Park for the first time in nearly five years when he headlines the Stone Pony Summer Stage on Monday, July 4.
Phil Lesh and Friends, in this case, features Griffin and Taylor Goldsmith, Trevor Menear and Lee Pardini of classic rock revivalists Dawes, as well as Lesh’s son Grahame and singer Nicki Bluhm.
Tickets, $75 in advance or $80 at the gate, are available via the Stone Pony box office, 913 Ocean Ave. in Asbury Park, or Ticketmaster.
For more information, visit stoneponyonline.com/summer-stage.
Dead and Company playing Philadelphia,New York City
Dead and Company, the Grateful Dead legacy act that has been bringing the band’s catalog back on the road since 2015, returns to our neck of the woods in July.
Featuring Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti, the band’s 20-date summer tour kicks off Saturday,June 11, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Look back atDead and Company's 2021 tour: The 13 best performances from a long, strange trip
The band crosses the country before returning to Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on Sunday, July 10, then wrapping up with a two-night stand at Citi Field in New York City on Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16.
Tickets, $51.50 to $171.50 for Philadelphia,$51.50 to $201.50 for New York City, are now available via Ticketmaster.
For tickets, a full tour itinerary and more information, visit deadandcompany.com.
Mickey Hart brings Planet Drum to the Capitol Theatre
Following the Dead and Company dates, Hart reunites with tabla player Zakir Hussain as they bring their Planet Drum ensemble back on the road.
Hart and Hussain are joined in Planet Drum by musicians including Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo, and together they play the Capitol Theatre, 149 Westchester Ave. in Port Chester, New York, on Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6.
For tickets, $49.50 to $99.50, visit thecapitoltheatre.com.
'GarciaLive' offers previously uncirculated sonic delights
For nearly a decade, singer and guitarist Jerry Garcia’s musical journeys beyond the land of the Grateful Dead have been chronicled in the “GarciaLive” series of archival releases. The latest entry in that series is a doozy, one for fans to spend the entire summer swimming in.
Releasing via Round Records on Friday, June 10, “GarciaLive Volume 18: November 2nd, 1974 Keystone Berkeley” finds Garcia and keyboard player Merl Saunders visiting potent musical space across a previously uncirculated two-set affair that has to be heard to be believed.
Donny Hathaway’s “Valdez in the Country” provides plenty of kindling for a grand, jazz-infused jam that particularly gives saxophone player and flautist Martin Fierro – who would go on to join Garcia and Saunders in Legion of Mary – plenty of room to shine across its 17-plus minutes.
The Jimmy Cliff reggae chestnut “The Harder They Come,” a song that Garcia would perform hundreds of times across decades, gets a rough-and-tumble treatment, at once inquisitive and soulful;Sauders’ “Wondering Why” is both rawand grand, an unhurried epic that gives this top-flight combination plenty of room to explore over nearly 22 minutes.
“GarciaLive Volume 18” is currently available, along with tie-in merchandise, via Garcia Family Provisions at jerrygarcia.com.
Cosmic Jerry Band
Asbury Park-based sensation the Cosmic Jerry Band will help kick off summer at the Jersey Shore with a pair of Memorial Day weekend throw-downs: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 27, at the Wonder Bar, Fifth and Ocean Avenues, Asbury Park;and 2 p.m. Monday, May 30, at Salty’s Beach Bar, Lake Como.
It’s the start of an incredibly busy summer for the combo, which hasa pair of Central Jersey residencies in the coming weeks.There’s Cosmic Thursdays at Cooper’s Riverview, 50 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, with shows at 7 p.m. June 2, July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11, and Tie-Dye Tuesdays at Donovan’s Reef, 1171 Ocean Ave., Sea Bright, on May 31, July 5, Aug. 9 and Sept. 13.
For tickets and more information, visit facebook.com/cosmicjerryband.
Listen up:Grateful Dead cover bands began in NJ more than 50 years ago.
This Old Engine
This Old Engine will be holding things down in North Jersey, with summer engagements for the Morris County outfitincluding 4 p.m. Saturday, May 28, in the field at Bernie’s Hillside Lounge, 125 Hillside Road in Chester, followed byWednesday, June 8, at the Homestead, 10 Dehart St., Morristown, and Friday, Aug. 19, at Lone Eagle Brewing, 44 Stangl Road, Flemington.
They also play Friday, Aug. 5, at the Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall, 133 South Tennessee Ave., in Atlantic City.
Check out facebook.com/ThisOldEngine for more information.
Rainbow Full of Sound
Keyboard player Waynard Scheller and his Rainbow Full of Sound are back on the road, paying tribute to the Dead’s legendary 1972 tour of Western Europe.
They’re bringing the 50th anniversary celebration to the Biergarten at the German Society of Trenton, 21 Uncle Pete’s Road, at 7 p.m. Friday, May 27, andSaturday, June 25, at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, 43 South Broadway.
For tickets and more information, visit waynardmusic.com.
The Englishtown Project
It was 45 years ago that the Dead made history in Central Jersey, with a Sept. 3, 1977, performance at the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park that drew a reported 107,000 people —one of the highest-attended non-festival concerts ever.
Guitarist Michael Falzarano, formerly of Hot Tuna and New Riders of the Purple Sage, celebrates the legacy of that day with The Englishtown Project, a tribute act drawing on the 70-some songs performed that day by the Dead and supporting acts New Riders and the Marshall Tucker Band.
The Englishtown Project plays Lone Eagle Brewing, 44 Stangl Road, Flemington, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, followed by Exit Zero at Ferry Park in Cape May on Wednesday, Aug. 3, and the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park on Friday, Sept. 2.
Visit englishtownproject.comfor tickets and more information.
The legacy of New Riders of the Purple Sage — a band co-founded by Garcia which once featured both Lesh and Hart —is being carried on by New Riders bassist Ronnie Penque via the powerhouse tribute ensemble Panama Dead.
The band plays at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Stanhope House, 45 Main St. in Stanhope, followed by Sunday, Aug. 28, at Woodbridge High School on Samuel Lupo Place in Woodbridge. For tickets and more information, visit panamadead.com.
Dead Reckoning will be busy all summer long.They play as an acoustic duo at Water Dog AC inside Bally’s, 1900 Pacific Ave. in Atlantic City, at6 p.m. Friday, May 27, then on Friday, June 17;Saturday, June 25;Friday, July 8;and Saturday, July 30.
The full band plays atthe Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall in Atlantic City at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 28, followed by Saturday, June 18;Saturday, July 9;Sunday, July 17 (Weir-Wolves configuration); and Saturday, Aug. 6 (acoustic and electric). For tickets, information and their full itinerary, visitnjdeadreckoning.wixsite.com.
And the music never stops...
Brown-Eyed Women, reportedly the world’s only all-female Dead tribute, returns to the Jersey Shore to play the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 2, $20 in advance and $25 at the door, wonderbarasburypark.com.
Dead On Live, guitarist Marc Muller’s precision-engineered ode to the Dead repertoire, plays Roy’s Hall, 30 Main St. in Blairstown 8 p.m. Friday, June 17, $27 to $32, royshall.org.
Lovelight with Jersey Shore jam icon Mark Diomede will be at the Wonder Bar at 8 p.m. Friday, June 17, $12 in advance and $15 at the door, wonderbarasburypark.com.
National touring sensation Dark Star Orchestra hits the beach in Seaside Heights at Blaine Avenue at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25, $40 to $75, seasideheightslive.com.
Central Jersey and Philadelphia-area favoritesSplintered Sunlight returns to ShoreTown Ballpark, 2 Stadium Way in Lakewood, to perform at the Jersey Shore BlueClaws’ Grateful Dead night on Saturday, Aug. 20. They play in the stadium’s Sand Bar starting at 6:15 p.m. and into the 7:05 p.m. minor league baseball game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. For tickets, $16, and more information, visit milb.com/jersey-shore/tickets/summer-concert-series.