The legendary band may have bid a farewell last July but their cofounder has never been busier – and he doesn’t even need the money.
Later in the evening Weir will take center stage and treat the audience to a solo rendition of a few Grateful Dead classics as well as a cover of the Beatles’ Dear Prudence – before being joined by Canadian musician Dan Kanter who is more accustomed to sharing a stage with Justin Bieber.
Recalling the last time all surviving members of the Grateful Dead performed together – during the Fare Thee Well tour’s final stop at Chicago’s Soldier Field on 5 July – still brings a smile to Weir’s face – though it can be difficult to see through his mane of white hair.
‘It was an adventure.
It was fun.
If we had had a little more rehearsal we might – ‘
Suddenly Weir is interrupted by a staffer who enters the room carrying platefuls of the braised beef and chicken stir-fry being served to gala attendees in the adjacent room – all of whom donated between CAD$1,000 and $4,160.
‘I don’t want any of that shit’ he says – before returning to the conversation at hand.
When asked whether a summer concert series alongside Hart and Kreutzmann undercuts the finality of the previous summer’s tour Weir lets out a hearty chuckle.
‘Of course it does’ he says.
‘I’m nowhere near done with that heritage and legacy and this is a new way of approaching it’.