The Dead’s final farewell took place in July 2015 at Soldier Field in Chicago, with tears, fireworks and the communal group hug that accompanied Attics Of My Life. It’s available in variously huge formats, as well as this two-CD cull.
Starting with Phil Lesh’s Box Of Rain, what could have been a sob-fest actually hits the heights on occasion. Bertha and Cumberland Blues are the pick of the bunch, with Bob Weir rolling back the decades one last time. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann’s drum segue is retooled with all manner of peculiar noises, and the transition into Not Fade Away, complete with audience participation, is moving.
Guests like Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby fill in for Jerry Garcia – they’re big boots to fill, and they don’t quite manage to. Once upon a time the Dead sang The Music Never Stopped. Now it has.