Bob Weir, RatDog channel Grateful Dead vibe in uneven DeVos Hall show

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.

Read more at MLive.

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About brianjbowe

Brian J. Bowe is a veteran journalist, author, and educator whose work examines the interplay of journalism and culture in multiple settings. Bowe earned his Ph.D. in Michigan State University’s Media and Information Studies program, where he was named the 2013 Outstanding Ph.D. student. His research interests include media framing, the media’s agenda setting function, and news coverage of Muslims. His research has appeared in top-tier journals such as Public Understanding of Science, International Communication Gazette and American Behavioral Scientist. In 2010, he co-produced the award-winning short documentary The Death of an Imam. He also co-authored and served as assistant coordinator of the Social Science Research Council-funded project Migrations of Islam: Muslim-American Culture in the 21st Century. Bowe has written extensively about music. He is the author of Judas Priest: Metal Gods, The Ramones: American Punk Rock Band and The Clash: Punk Rock Band. All three books are part of Enslow Publishers’ Rebels of Rock series of young adult biographies. He is the co-editor of CREEM: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine (Harper/Collins), and has written liner notes for releases by Iggy & the Stooges, the MC5 and Was (Not Was). He served as editor of the online resurrection of CREEM Magazine and has published in regional and national publications such as Harp, Blurt, MLive and the Metro Times.
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