Nearly 40 years after the Grateful Dead made its lone appearance in Missoula, two of the band’s surviving members will bring their latest musical incarnation, Furthur, to the Adams Center on Sept. 27.
In a Monday update at Futhur.net which was later verified by staff at the Adams Center, the band – which features former Grateful Dead core members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh – announced the concert date, with presale tickets available immediately to fan-club members by mail and online at furthur.frontgatetickets.com.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, June 10, at 10 a.m. via Griztix outlets including Griztix.com, the Adams Center Box Office, and by phone at 888-MONTANA. Tickets are $49 via the presale, and $47.50 plus fees to the general public. Floor seating is general admission; all other seats are reserved.
Named after the bus that author Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters drove across America in 1964, Furthur formed in 2008 after the breakup of the Dead, as the band was known after the 1995 death of founding Grateful Dead front-man Jerry Garcia. Along with Weir and Lesh, the new band features guitarist John Kadlecik of the Grateful Dead tribute-band Dark Star Orchestra, Jeff Chimenti of RatDog on keyboards, Joe Russo of the Benevento/Russo Duo on drums, and backup vocalists Sunshine Becker and Jeff Pehrson.
According to online fan sites, the new band has filled its shows with a mix of familiar Grateful Dead tunes and covers by the likes of Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and even the Clash. Furthur has headlined shows at major venues including the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, and the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Like the Grateful Dead and the Dead, Furthur has drawn a devoted following of “Deadheads” who travel from show to show, often vending food or other goods outside concert venues.
Mary Muse, director of the Adams Center, said that the concert will thus likely bring unusual – though not unprecedented – challenges to her staff.
“This isn’t the first band we’ve booked that comes with that baggage, so we have experience handling it,” she said. “We monitor the activity in the parking lot, ask (people) if they have permits, and we have to close them down if not.
“At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge the culture that goes with it,” she said. “So my sense of good management is giving people the opportunity to experience the full gamut of the concert and its culture, provided they do so within what’s legal.”
That said, Muse figures the concert won’t only draw out-of-state license plates to her parking lot.
“I suspect we have our own population right here in Missoula that will enjoy the show as well as anyone,” she said.
The concert marks the first local appearance by Furthur, although band members have occasionally performed here in other acts dating back to a May 14, 1974, concert by the Grateful Dead. The Dark Star Orchestra appeared in Missoula in 2000 and again in 2005. Weir’s post-Grateful Dead band, Ratdog, appeared in Missoula in 1998 and again in 2009.
Weir also made local news when, in 1990, he joined pop star John Oates and mountain biking icon Gary Fischer for a 150-mile bicycle tour of the Swan Valley. The tour was organized to protest timber-cutting practices in the area.