The Big Red was awash in tie-dye May 8 as Dead & Company came to Barton Hall for a jubilant benefit show that had multiple generations of Cornellians and Deadheads dancing, singing along and celebrating the return of members of the Grateful Dead to the site of one of their most historic shows.
The sold-out concert – brought to campus by Alumni Affairs and Development and preceding the band’s final tour– was a fundraiser for Cornell’s 2030 Project, which seeks to develop and accelerate real-world solutions to climate change, and MusiCares, a nonprofit that supports the health and welfare of music industry professionals.
The audience ranged from students to alumni to diehard Deadheads from out of state hoping to catch their favorite band one more time in an intimate setting.
Playing two sets across four and a half hours, with a brief intermission, the band peppered the setlist with callbacks to their mythic performance held in the same space exactly 46 years ago. Once again, they opened with “Minglewood Blues,” later segued seamlessly from “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire on the Mountain” (a coupling known as “Scarlet/Fire” to hardcore fans) and ramped up to the same rousing, penultimate number, “Morning Dew.”
The audience ranged from students who grew up hearing the Dead’s music through their parents, to alumni who ventured back to campus to relive the magic of the original show, to diehard Deadheads from out of state hoping to catch their favorite band one more time in an intimate setting.