I was probably a little naïve to think I could get a falafel on the street before Tuesday’s performance by former Grateful Dead singer/guitarist Bob Weir and his band RatDog at DeVos Performance Hall.
Sure, the sidewalk alongside the venue had a few assorted folks selling tie-dye t-shirts and fancy glass pot pipes, but it was a far cry from the enormous bazaar vibe from Dead shows I frequented in the 1980s and ’90s, during the apogee of my own Deadheadism. In that parking lot scene, you could buy a sandwich, or play hacky sack, or trade a rain poncho for some Guatemalan pants, or whatever.
On the way into DeVos Hall, an audience member was overheard saying — almost prayerfully — “May Jerry live in our presence.”
The Jerry in question, of course, is departed Grateful Dead figurehead Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995. While such mawkish sentiments should inspire eye-rolling, they also point to the undeniable truth of the situation.