Vince Welnick, keyboardist from the Grateful Dead and founding member of The Tubes will be performing with current and former members of The Dark Star Orchestra, Melvin Seals & JGB, Cornmeal, Jack Straw and Terrapin Flyer at Chicago's new and finest music venue the Kinetic Playground. The band performs Grateful Dead classics with it's own twists and also Vince Welnick originals with precision and enthusiasm.
Vince Welnick earned his notoriety through years of constant touring. Playing in The Dead from 1990 to 1995, Welnick performed at some of the nation's finest-and-largest venues, at a time when the Grateful Dead was the largest grossing touring rock act in the world. Vince co-wrote with longtime Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter two songs in the Grateful Dead's catalog "Samba in the Rain" and "Way To Go Home." A Beatles fan at heart, Welnick also influenced the selection of such songs as "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "Rain," and "Tomorrow Never Knows" into The Dead's performances. Since the passing of Jerry Garcia, Welnick has continued to work with other members of the Grateful Dead in Bob Weir's Ratdog and the Mickey Hart Band.
Recently, he began performing with Vince Welnick & Friends. This Chicago based group features well-established musicians from the jamband circuit. The band features Mike Hazdra bassist for the Dark Star Orchestra from 1998 - 2002. Performing over 500 shows with the DSO, Mike's thunderous sound and likeness to Grateful Dead bassist, Phil Lesh has propelled him to one of the favorite bassists in the jamband community. The band also features guitar virtuoso Erik Smith who is the former guitarist of Melvin Seals & JGB and the bluegrass band Cornmeal. Smith evokes the style of Jerry Garcia, yet manages to balance that with his own original sound. Rhythm guitarist/vocalist Doug Hagman founder of Chicago's Terrapin Flyer has performed several tours with Melvin Seals and Vince Welnick and has a voice with much likeness to Jerry Garcia. On drums Jim Farmer drummer for the Chicago band Jack Straw holds the rhythms together with a solid beat.
Together as a band, Vince Welnick & Friends produces a high energy, vital sound that will surely please. The tour is certain to evoke the memory and nostaligic pleasure of a Grateful Dead experience while also taking a step forward into original and fresh performance.