The Fare Thee Well shows brought together Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead in 2015. While three out of the Core Four have currently assembled as Dead & Company, a group currently in the midst of another summer tour, the four former Grateful Dead members previously toured together over the years following Jerry Garcia‘s death. One such touring iteration featuring Weir, Lesh, Kreutzman, and Hart was The Dead, whose 2003 configuration also tapped Jimmy Herring, Rob Barraco, Jeff Chimenti, and Joan Osborne to round out the group’s stellar lineup. Following The Dead’s one-off February show at The Warfield in San Francisco that year, the ensemble launched a major tour that summer.
After hitting Bonnaroo in its second year ever, the band worked their way up the East coast, eventually landing at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center later in the month in June. On this day 19 years ago, June 20, 2003, The Dead’s headlining performance featured opening act Steve Winwood to get things going. Winwood not only opened but later joined in for a little fun on the classic Traffic tune “Dear Mr. Fantasy”. However, that was not the only special collaboration that went on that night. One of the bigger surprises of the show came after a rockin’ “Drums/Space” segment when the band was joined by Phish bassist Mike Gordon for a bass-fueled jam session. The magic between Mike Gordon and Phil Lesh was unstoppable following the jam and was carried all the way through a supreme rendition of “Eyes Of The World”.
Thanks to the work of Ken Doughty and Matt Cole, we have full audio to share from this performance. Tune in and listen to the magic of The Dead (along with some very special friends) below.