Bob Weir & RatDog to celebrate the Dead at Memorial Auditorium

BURLINGTON What better way to celebrate the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead than with an original member of the Grateful Dead? Guitarist Bob Weir, one of the Grateful Deads founders, will be at Memorial Auditorium with his vigorous rock band RatDog on Nov. 2. Weir (who turned 60 on Oct. 16) founded RatDog in 1995 following co-Dead-founder Jerry Garcias death and after three decades of playing with the Dead. The Nov. 2 concert could aptly be called the Night of the Living Dead. While the name of the Mexican holiday may evoke images of a grisly George A. Romero horror film, Day of the Dead celebrations are joyful and life-affirming, the way Grateful Dead concerts were. A remnant of an ancient ritual that the Spanish Christian Conquistadors sought to eradicate from the New World, the Day of the Dead (D_de los Muertos) lives on, mainly in Mexico and Mexican immigrant communities in the U.S. Preparations usually begin on Oct. 31, and the festivities continue through Nov. 1 (All Saints Day) and 2 (All Souls Day). The deceased are honored with colorful altars surrounded by flowers, food, drink, photos, burning incense, and lighted candles. Music is an integral part of the revelry. Mexican writer Octavio Paz observed that the Mexican does not fear death. Rather, he chases after it, mocks it, courts it, hugs it, sleeps with it; it is his favorite plaything and his most lasting love. He (or she) is, one might say, grateful for it. RatDogs music covers the majority of the Grateful Dead songbook, including Garcia classics like Standing on the Moon, St. Stephen, Terrapin Station, Touch of Gray, and Pigpens Lovelight. In addition, RatDog gnaws into Weirs complete solo repertoire from blues like Good Morning Little Schoolgirl through the psychedelic stylings of his Dead classics like Playing in the Band, The Other One, and Throwing Stones, They also bite into Weirs Dead rockers like Cassidy, and Sugar Magnolia. YouTube.com has many Weir(d) videos, including a RatDog presentation of Jack Straw (no, not Jack OLantern) on Conan OBriens Late Night television show earlier this year. Bob Weir & RatDog will be at Memorial Auditorium on Nov.2 at 8 p.m. Tickets ($35, open seating) are available at the Flynn Box Office, 153 Main St, Burlington, 802-863-5966, www.flynntix.org . It is dead certain that the concert will be a lively one.

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