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Bosnian Rainbows, First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, 2013
Arcade Fire, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, 2014
Lyle Preslar
Jeff Nelson
Ian MacKaye
Brian Baker
The Flaming Lips
Future Islands
Foo Fighters
Bill Graham – 1979
Michael Franti & Spearhead – 2013
Grateful Dead – 2015
Sammy Hagar – 2002
Neil Young and Eddie Vedder – 2010
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History of Rock and Roll
Grateful Dead – 2015

This year marked the 50th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead. To celebrate that milestone, there were 5 concerts put together by east coast concert promoter Peter Shapiro. When the 3 Chicago dates were announced the internet in Grateful Deadland exploded. When 2 more shows were added in Ca., it hit new peaks of excitement and anxiety on every level imaginable. Weeks before the first announcement, I was asked to be the official photographer for these soon to be historic concerts. I started my journey with the Grateful Dead as a 15 year old kid in 1977 attending the legendary Dead concert at Englishtown, NJ with 100,000 other people. That was the beginning of a life long adventure for me seeing, and photographing this band! My first coffee table photography book was on the Grateful Dead. My 11th photography book released December 1, 2015 is about these final 5 concerts celebrating 50 years of “the band beyond description”. This photo was taken on the final night in Chicago BEFORE the concert started. Coran Capshaw, who manages Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby, said, ‘The shot to get is one with the band facing you on the drum riser and the crowd behind them. I'll make sure Trey and Bruce are on board, but the rest of it is on you to figure out.” I approached all the different managers and pointed out that the only way this could work is in daylight. I suggested that they go out on stage and greet the audience, more of a hello and thank you before the start of the show. Right before the show was to start, I was running around on stage from band member to band member reminding them to do this -- and they did it! It was one of the most intense photographs I ever took. It was also mind blowing to me because I started out as a kid following the Grateful Dead 37 years earlier, and was now the guy on the drum riser taking the photo that defined their 5 final concerts celebrating their 50 year career together!

TAGS: Chicago, Illinois, Jay Blakesberg, The Grateful Dead, United States

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San Francisco, California, United States of America
Member since 2015
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Photo Information
© Jay Blakesberg.
All rights reserved.
Image Source: digital
Date Taken: 11.2013
Total Views: 884
Filed Under: Folk Rock
Camera Information
Date Uploaded: Nov. 13, 2015, 4:21 p.m.
Camera Make:
Camera Model: NIKON D810
Focal Length: 14mm
Shutter Speed: 1/160
Aperture: f4.5
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PHOTO LOCATION Chicago, Illinois, United States of America