Review by Janet Kwiatkowski
Photograph by William Harriman
At a recent 4/20 showing of the “2nd Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies,” it made no difference to the packed audience that it was a movie and not a live concert. Actually, the July, 1989 Alpine Valley, Wisconsin concert film was brilliant and inspired dancing in the aisles, standing ovations and sing-a-longs. A few people even lit up in the large, family-oriented multiplex. When the last song was abruptly cut short – not sure if the archival footage ran out, or the projectionist just had enough – without missing a beat, the audience just continued on singing the “Mighty Quinn” until the end. With such devotion, not much has changed in over twenty years, and it was a similar scene at the Bob Weir solo acoustic show at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield last Sunday.
These days, Weir is at the center of a hive of activity – from the recent launch of his innovative TRI Studios to the never-ending Furthur tour with Grateful Dead bandmate Phil Lesh, as well as recent collaborations with the National, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Kimock, Chris Robinson and Jackie Greene, just to name a few – but the industrious Weir managed to squeeze in six solo acoustic dates, rescheduled from last summer’s cancelled tour.