More than 20,000 music fans descended on Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT, last weekend for the 15th annual Gathering of the Vibes, a music and arts festival that unites acts across all genres -- folk, bluegrass, rock, jam, reggae, jazz, and more -- with one common goal: to celebrate the Grateful Dead and the band's late leader, Jerry Garcia.
The fest -- which began in 1996 as a memorial service for Garcia -- boasted a diverse and deep bill this year, including many artists linked to the Dead: Furthur, featuring original Dead bassist Phil Lesh and guitarist Bob Weir, headlined, while Dead percussionists Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart performed with their recently-revived ensemble Rhythm Devils. The well known Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra performed a song-by-song recreation of an October 17, 1982, Dead show in New Mexico.
The bill featured an array of like-minded, though stylistically different, performing acts, including jam bands Galactic and Umphrey's McGee, rap and reggae duo Nas & Damian Marley, funk-rockers Primus, singer-songwriter Jackie Greene, and pedal steel great Robert Randolph & the Family Band.
If you pay attention to the sort of media that reasonably expects its audience to scroll through a list of 300 albums, you already know the fetching story of Shamir Bailey. A 20-year-old, male-pronoun-approving, gender-fluid African-American who grew up in Vegas and played country music until enough bizzers told him they didn’t know how to… More »