It’s almost cosmic, that magic connection a fan feels for “their band.”
The first-ever Grateful Dead documentary to have participation from all living members recently had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and the heavy buzz around “Long Strange Trip” is giving longtime Dead Heads, myself included, another milestone to carry forward the band’s counterculture legacy.
In the holding tent outside the Yarrow Hotel Theatre, which was turning extra ticket hopefuls away due to max capacity, I caught myself looking the line up and down exchanging nods with studio execs and industry vets who revealed their die-hard Dead Head roots rocking their favorite old concert T’s and stereotypical stoner college gear (shout out to UVM, one of my alma maters). There were even a few folks vaporizing … in Utah.
Unlike any other Sundance screening I’ve attended over the past six years, the crowd felt familiar. Like family. And that comfortable vibe stuck with me throughout the epic four-hour screening that immersed the audience in the psychedelic world of Jerry Garcia and company. I have yet to shake the energy of that night, which is still lingering in my heart.
Banner Image: L-R: Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, Amir Bar-Lev and Bill Kreutzmann attend the premiere of "Long Strange Trip" at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon; photo provided by DKC Public Relations)