Raising The Dead was really excited to play The Beats Go On on September 6. The event was the result of some creative thinking by the team who produces the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival every year in Royal Oak. With the restrictions on crowd size and safety considerations of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Beats Go On was a way to help Detroit area musicians perform and raise money for themselves and other musicians in the area who have been hit hard by the inability to perform live music.
Raising The Dead was selected for a drive-in performance, and paired with the Santana tribute band The Santana Project. Each group got 30 minutes to perform, with sanitization and appropriate social distancing separating the shows. 50 tickets, each admitting one car with two people were sold, and the RTD-TSP show sold out.
We took the stage at 4:30 and had a tight, 30-minute set of Grateful Dead favorites planned. It's no small thing to whittle down what we do to just 30 minutes, but our performance seems to have turned some heads nonetheless. We started with Sugar Magnolia, pivoted into the Dead's biggest commercial hit Touch of Grey, and then started the American Beauty track Casey Jones. We all howled with laughter when, during the third chorus of Casey ("Driving that train, high on cocaine"), a train barreled down the tracks immediately adjacent the performance site. The timing was perfect! After that notion crossed our minds, we pivoted into a Jammy Truckin'. Since we couldn't play a whole show, we thought we'd give the Deadheads in the crowd a taste of what might have come next, so we teased The Other One, I Need A Miracle, He's Gone, and Dark Star before returning to end Sugar Mag with Sunshine Daydream. It was the first time we'd played the complete Daydream tag, with Laurie (who made her auspicious debut with RTD) singing Donna's parts with confidence. We ended on a high, Dave introduced the band, and we were at 30 minutes, on the nose.
Then, a funny thing happened - the event producer, Jonathan Witz, hopped on stage and asked us not to leave - a surprise when playing such a tightly timed show. He asked if we'd encore Truckin' while Channel 4 took footage for the evening news. Of course, there's only one answer when the producer wants an encore, so we hung out for a while. Unfortunately, the Channel 4 crew didn't end up recording us after all, but it's a moment we'll never forget. Our friend Warren Nelson captured the event and broadcast it to Facebook Live, and that feed is included here. Watch for the pro-shot footage from Arts Beats and Eats coming soon!
We hope to be a part of the Arts Beats and Eats shows in the future, and really enjoyed seeing all the fans that came out to support us. We'd like to ask you to support The Beats Go On as they work to raise $500,000 in order to match Oakland County's grant. Money donated will go towards supporting professional musicians in the Detroit area. Thank you for your support!
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Raising The Dead
Is a band committed to recreating the live experience of a Grateful Dead show. We hope you'll kindly join us.