The Grateful Dead were back at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester for one night only on Saturday night. Okay, so the band didn’t actually perform and were not in attendance on this particular evening, but nearly a thousand Dead Heads — fans of the band — attended “A Dose of The Dead”: 2/24/1971 at the Capitol Theater; a classic era performance of the band, recorded at the venue and played at full theater volume with a blazing light show for stunning effect.
The legacy of the Grateful Dead will live for years to come, as fans in attendance ranged in age from those in there early twenties — kids young enough to have never actually seen the Grateful Dead perform — to long time Dead Heads in their sixties and seventies, old enough to maybe had been in attendance and reliving the original performance once again.
A faux introduction of the band from Sirius/XM's "Tales from the Golden Road" co-host, Gary Lambert, brought a huge cheer from the assembled Heads, most especially when Jerry Garcia was introduced last, and the set began with a rousing “Casey Jones” that sounded stunningly crisp and clean on the theater’s line arrays and subs. Indeed, closing one’s eyes allowed a fan to become lost in time, listening to a young band in its youthful prime.
Other highlights from the ‘71 performance included a stellar rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee, ” after which, Bob Weir, guitarist and vocalist, chided a fan for calling in a bomb threat at the theater before the show. An early recording of “Bertha” got Heads shaking their hips, and an epic, closing twenty minute jam through “Turn On Your Love Light.”
The Capitol Theater was an East Coast home for the San Francisco band, as they played the theater 18 times in 1970-71 alone. Judging by the size of Saturday night's crowd in 2013, there remains a crowd hungry for the music of the Grateful Dead, and its legacy is secure for generations to come.