Last Sunday I attended the Rhythm Devils show at Red Butte Garden Amphitheater.
The band, featuring Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, played some reworked Grateful Dead tunes with guitarists Keller Williams and Davy Knowles.
It was a perfect summer concert.
As I left the venue, I walked through the parking lot and saw some old-time Deadheads who had set up shop, hawking homemade tie-dyes and scarves. We talked a bit about their craft (which was beautiful by the way). And we talked about the music.
While it is wonderful the Grateful Dead offshoot bands keep the music alive and give Deadheads a place to enjoy the music, there is something missing — the laid-back vocal delivery of the late Jerry Garcia, the man who fronted the Dead from 1965 until his death in 1995.
Still, this show came at the right time for me.
It seems things in the world have taken a turn for the worse. With the country’s economy, environmental issues and the general division between human beings and their political views, there is a lot of hostility erupting throughout our lives.
When I donned my “Skull & Roses” tie-dye and walked barefoot into the venue, I could tell I was entering a sort of sanctuary.
Everyone I met was smiling. People were enjoying the music. They were enjoying the warm summer sun. They were enjoying each others’ company, and they were enjoying life.
I watched elderly Deadheads dancing. I saw kids, not older than 2, sporting tie-dyes and dancing with their parents and grandparents. And I met some amazing people who just happened to stop by the show on their journey through life.
It was a night of celebration and fun. And I forgot the troubles of life for 2 and half hours.
When the show ended, I was, as the old Grateful Dead song says, “Sitting on Top of the World.”
As I drove back to the office to write my review, I couldn’t stop smiling. And even today I’m cranking up my Grateful Dead CDs. I’m on the cusp of kicking off the double-live “Europe ’72,” which starts off with “Cumberland Blues.”