Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary: All Our Coverage
No cash, no problem: Not only did many vendors on Shakedown Street accept credit cards for their wares -- selling everything from T-shirts to jewelry, stickers to posters -- but so did all the concessions inside the stadium and pedicab drivers servicing the area, making a meet-up in a faraway lot possible and offering a much-needed break for aching feet at the end of the night. Bonus: with a Square account, a receipt is automatically sent to your email.
Finding your car -- or your crew -- is a breeze: Stressing over where you parked is a thing of the past with Google Maps’ pin drop function. It saves your location and can direct you by foot so no need to try and commit to memory some easily mistakable landmarks like “that row of port-o-potties” or “those two trees.” Same goes for meeting up with friends whom you can text with your exact location via latitude and longitude coordinates.
Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well: Trey Anastasio For the Win on Night Two in Santa Clara
Your phone as memento maker and keeper: Sharing the experience of a Dead show with friends who couldn’t be there once required waiting until you got home and could place a call or meet up in person. No longer. Thanks to Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and a slew of at-your-fingertips options (provided Wi-Fi or a strong enough signal is available, more on that in a second…), the communal experience is just that, but it’s bigger than ever and binds those millions of fans at the same time.
What’s that song? Shazam it. Our experiment in live song identification failed at the Santa Clara shows due to a weak signal -- no doubt cell towers were overloaded by 50,000 users in a concentrated area (although did the promoters mind that attention was on the stage rather than the phone? Probably not.) -- but had the Shazam app been able to connect to its server, would “Truckin’” have come up? We’ll try again at Soldier Field in Chicago and report back…
Take the music with you: No need to swap a tape to procure a mix board recording of Fare Thee Well, Dead.net is selling a 12-CD, 7-DVD set of all three Chicago shows along with a shorter “best of” version and multiple digital download options.
Never make a wrong turn again -- or, take the scenic route: Whether driving your own car, renting or simply navigating for a friend, GPS has made road trips -- like the ones taking place right now all over the country as heads find their way to Chicago -- easier than ever before. At the same time, if you felt like taking the long way or a scenic route, it will redirect automatically, all the while providing the all-important estimated arrival time.
Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well: 5 Hours of Intermission Music Written
for 50th Anniversary Shows
Pot is decriminalized, heads hardly flinch: Now that 20 states have decriminalized marijuana (California and Illinois among them), nothing really changes for Dead devotees as they go through their daily lives, but at the concert, there’s some comfort in knowing it’s unlikely you’d be arrested for lighting a joint. What is different? The vape wave as heads increasingly elect to put away the lighter and go for THC in its purest, vaporized form.
Uber it home. After partaking in the above, better not to drive. Enter: Uber with pick-up service for the blurry eyed and the added ease of a moving dot to show the location of your ride.
Perhaps the best advance that technology affords: the very existence of the web, where set lists, solos and, yes, rainbows can be debated long after the lights come up.