Bill Walton Had The Time Of His Life At This Weekend’s Grateful Dead Shows

by 3 years ago
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Last night the Grateful Dead kicked-off their five-night run of Fare Thee Well 50th anniversary concerts at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. It’s a bittersweet moment for Deadheads — the run is allegedly going to be the last time the so-called “Core Four” of Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart plays together. But the storied American rock band is going out with a bang, recruiting Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti to sit in for all shows. Between the two shows at Levi’s Stadium and three shows this weekend at Solider Field, it’s easily one of the most highly-anticipated summer concert events in years.

Musically, this weekend was magic. Despite Deadhead fears when the shows were announced, Anastasio blended in perfectly, letting loose in a jam on “Viola Lee Blues” at the end of first set of the first show. The Dead then went full-on psychedelic with a “Dark Star” in the second set, setting the stage for a spellbinding “St. Stephen.” “The Other One” -> “Morning Dew” was about as blissful as it gets. The second show kept the highlights coming: The Hell In A Bucket, Mississippi Half-Step, Eyes of the World, Death Have No Mercy, and Sugar Magnolia were as memorable and magical as it gets. For the both Fare Thee Well setlists so far, click here.

And who was there, front and center? Bill Walton, everyone’s favorite Deadhead NBA Hall of Famer/ESPN college commentator. A head with hundreds of shows under his belt, Walton has been hyped about the this run since the announcement earlier this year, working Dead references in ESPN Pac-12 broadcasts all winter. And, as expected, he had two of the best days of his life on the field of Levi’s Stadium:

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