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The Grateful Dead: Meadowlands, New Jersey

Richard Gehr, Village Voice, The, 21 April 1987

‘S FUNNY. Today the Grateful Dead can’t capture the attention of the so-called alternative audience, just as they couldn’t the so-called straight audience in the late ‘60s. Yet anyone with ears and a brain knows their music’s radder, riskier, rootsier, and ruder than you-name-it’s; plus, they swing. Double-plus, the Dead do something no other musicians of their stature or influence dare: they suggest the possiblity of utopia in everyday life. Operating in a big way far outside the margins of mainstream video (or even indie) culture, the Dead indirectly nurture humanity, goodness, joy, truth, and solidarity among their devoted audience in a much less corny manner than you’d suspect. Preconceptions aside, the Dead do no less through their music than espouse the quaint notion that art can save your life.

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