Chicago’s Soldier Field holds a significant place in the history of the Grateful Dead. In July 2015, the iconic football stadium hosted the Fare Thee Well – Celebrating 50 Years Of Grateful Dead concerts featuring Grateful Dead members – Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir – with Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, that were billed as the final time the remaining “core four” would perform together. Soldier Field was also home, on this date in 1995, to the final Grateful Dead concert, weeks before founding guitarist Jerry Garcia’s untimely death at age 53.
The July 9, 1995 concert was the second of two consecutive nights in Chicago at the spot they first played in 1991. It’s true the two-night stand had its flaws on stage and the band was not exactly in top form, but the performances also brought an end to a legendary 30 year career of one of the most influential rock bands in history. Below is video footage of the first song of the July 9 encore, which ended up being the last song Jerry sang lead on with the Dead, a moving rendition of “Black Muddy River,” watch:
Audio of the band discussing the encore from the band’s in-ear monitors surfaced a few years ago. The below audio-only clip includes some chatter before “Black Muddy River,” including bassist Phil Lesh stating “the second one’s gonna be ‘Box Of Rain.’” Listen to the rare recording of both songs that made up the finale here via TimeZonerTV:
Additional July 9, 1995 in-ear monitor discussion can be heard in the clip presented below featuring drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. The percussionists chat about the pre-drums setlist the band would soon play while also joking about the song titles, listen:
Finally, a soundboard stream of the entire July 9, 1995 concert at Solider Field is available below as well.
Setlist (via JerryGarcia.com)
Set One: Touch Of Grey, Little Red Rooster, Lazy River Road, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Childhood’s End, Cumberland Blues, The Promised Land
Set Two: Shakedown Street, Samson & Delilah, So Many Roads, Samba In The Rain, Corinna > Drums > Space > Unbroken Chain > Sugar Magnolia
Encore: Black Muddy River > Box Of Rain
[Originally Published: July 9, 2016]