Chicago’s Soldier Field holds a significant place in the history of the Grateful Dead. In July 2015, the iconic football stadium hosted the Fare Thee Well – Celebrating 50 Years Of Grateful Dead concerts featuring Grateful Dead members – Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir – with Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, that were billed as the final time the remaining “core four” would perform together. Soldier Field was also home, on this date in 1995, to the final Grateful Dead concert, weeks before founding guitarist Jerry Garcia’s untimely death at age 53.
The July 9, 1995 concert was the second of two consecutive nights in Chicago at the spot they first played in 1991. It’s true the two-night stand had its flaws on stage and the band was not exactly in top form, but the performances also brought an end to a legendary 30 year career of one of the most influential rock bands in history. Below is video footage of the first song of the July 9 encore, which ended up being the last song Jerry sang lead on with the Dead, a moving rendition of “Black Muddy River,” watch: