To thank the Grateful Dead for 50 mind-bending years, we were calling on all deadheads to sing Not Fade Away RIGHT BEFORE THE SECOND SET each night of the Fare The Well shows.
Imagine the scene. They’ve been on break for a while now. Everyone is back from the beer vendors and rest rooms. We’re all getting antsy, and finally we spot movement! The crew is getting ready for the band — one final stage check. Sound crew returning to their posts. IT IS TIME!
But the first song of the second set isn’t being sung by the band. It’s being sung by us — to the band. Tentatively at first, but gaining steam fast, you hear the chant “KNOW OUR LOVE WILL NOT FADE AWAY!” Clap-Clap-Clap … Clap-Clap. Over and over. Getting louder and louder. The crowd in the lot, alerted by the noise, and also by the power of social media, joins in. And now it’s really getting loud! Everyone at PPV/Streaming parties around the world sings too, and streams their version over the net. Maybe the promoters catch wind of this and even splash some of the streamed fan video on the big screen. Louder and louder “KNOW OUR LOVE WILL NOT FADE AWAY!” CLAP-CLAP-CLAP … CLAP CLAP. Loudest ever. Largest ever. Each night, more people join in. By July 5, we all know the drill and it’s just super-crazy-silly HUGE!
And there is no doubt – this message comes from us. Because it’s the start of the 2nd set — the band hasn’t even had a chance to play the song yet.
This didn’t actually happen. We tried our hardest. We had 20,000 flyers in circulations. We had signs and banners in the venue. We gave it our all. But it turns out that organizing 70,000 distracted hippies makes herding cats look like a day at the beach.
But what DID happen, is that the band played Not Fade Away at the end of the second set during the last show. The chant they got out of the crowd was the loudest and strongest anyone can remember. Then they played Touch of Grey. Then we chanted AGAIN. Then they played Attics of My Life. And when they were done, we clapped in unison CLAP-CLAP-CLAP CLAP-CLAP. The band was done, but the energy was there. All 70,000 fans stating quite clearly that our love will not fade away. As all things must, the show finally ended and the fans were asked politely to leave. And on our way out, we chanted some more. When we go to the tunnel in Grant Park, we created a tunnel of eternal love. That sounds really corny, but you have to see it for yourself. You really should check out the footage if you haven’t already. Rumor has it that you can still hear echos of the drums and the chants in that tunnel to this day.