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Grateful Dead Launch Weekly Livestream Concert Series Shakedown Stream

The archival project kicks off this Friday with Truckin' Up to Buffalo

grateful dead shakedown stream youtube concert series
Grateful Dead circa 1978, photo via DeadVids on Vimeo
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    Passing time in quarantine just got a bit easier for Deadheads: The Grateful Dead have announced Shakedown Stream, a new weekly livestream series consisting of full concert screenings.

    According to a press release, the series was “conceived as a platform for Dead Heads of all ages to virtually congregate during the challenging days the world currently faces and connect in a familiar way, via a Grateful Dead show.”

    The series officially kicks off this Friday, April 10th, at 8 p.m. EDT on the band’s YouTube channel. The first installment highlights Grateful Dead’s July 4th, 1989 show at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. That evening saw the iconic jam band swing through a 21-song set that included classics like “Bertha” and “Morning Dew”, as well a series of Bob Dylan covers. Video footage and audio from the concert was originally released in 2005 as a double album and DVD under the title Truckin’ Up to Buffalo.

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    Prior to each concert screening, Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux and historian Gary Lambert will hold a live pre-show during which they’ll answer fan-submitted questions. In a statement, Lemieux talked about the series, as well as the decision to lead with the New York gig,

    “We’ve decided to start the streaming video series with the Buffalo ’89 show for a couple of primary reasons. Its excellence is indisputable and is something that we think pretty much everyone will enjoy in the absence of actually being able to see live concerts; and, as a tribute to the many rabid, loyal Dead Heads from the hard-hit tri-state area, which has been affected more than anywhere else in the country. To all of the Dead Heads in New York State and beyond, this one’s for you.”

    The Shakedown Stream series will continue the following Friday, April 17th, with The Grateful Dead Movie. Originally released in 1977, the Jerry Garcia-directed feature captured the group’s five-night concert stint in San Francisco in 1974. Although these initial entries in Shakedown Stream might already be familiar to the dedicated Deadhead, a statement notes that the series will also include never-before-seen footage pulled from the band’s deep archives.

    There’s also a goodwill aspect to the series. Throughout the livestreams, viewers will have the chance to donate to MusiCares’ recently created COVID-19 relief fund.

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    The Grateful Dead’s YouTube channel can be found here. Fans can submit their questions to Lemieux and Lambert by heading here.

    A new Grateful Dead live album called Ready or Not dropped late last year. Bob Weir and the Wolf Bros were forced to postpone their upcoming tour dates due to the pandemic, but as of now, it looks as though Dead & Company will carry on with their live shows scheduled for the summer.

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