Perhaps one of the more visually striking scenes from last night’s Grateful Dead “Fare Thee Well” concert was the beautiful rainbow that illuminated the sky overhead. However, according to a report from Billboard, the rainbow may have actually been a man-made production effect.
The Billboard article states, “The set ended with a 17-minute “Viola Lee Blues” that segued into a deep jam accentuated by a glorious rainbow encircling the venue in the sky. Said one longtime head: ‘This is the band that jams with God.’ Alas, it was not Mother Nature that stepped in. Rather, the production sprang for the effect, at a cost of $50,000, according to an insider.“
However, the fans seem to believe otherwise. One attendee said, “It looked real. There were clouds and rain and sunshine… I’m pretty sure those three things tend to create rainbows.” Others were discussing the rainbow on Reddit, with one commenter saying “It didn’t just turn on. It was gradual and surrounded by dark rain clouds in the sky. It rained on the crowd after they set ended. If we can literally make it rain I can think of a couple uses for the cloud/rain generator in CA.”
Fans were also pointing to this Gizmodo article, which showcases a rainbow generating technology that could have conceivably been used to create the effect. It’s hard to believe that the Grateful Dead would “prank the Pranksters,” but it is possible.
Regardless, the music was the real highlight of the first “Fare Thee Well” reunion show. With one show down and four to go, fans are certainly eager to hear what this ensemble will bring to the table tonight in Santa Clara, CA.
Update: Grateful Dead lighting director, Paul Hoffman, describes how they accomplished this feat! Pretty cool…
Update #2: Paul trolled us all.
[Photo via Billboard]