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Published: 2015/07/07

Guests Play Dead with Alex Bleeker & The Freaks in Chicago

A long list of guests joined Alex Bleeker & The Freaks for their post-Fare Thee Well show on Friday night. The group, who took the stage at City Winery Chicago following the first night of the Soldier Field run, worked their way through a variety of Grateful Dead classics with musicians from both the indie rock and jamband worlds.

Jenny Lewis and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo wreath first to join the fray when they came out for an early “Sugaree.” Next up was Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, who sat in for a “New Speedway Boogie” that segued into “The Wheel.” Kaplan then stuck around, while Lewis returned on vocals, for a “Shakedown Street” before Kaplan, Ranaldo and Will Epstein helped out on “Dark Star.” Ranaldo also stayed on stage for the “Bertha” that followed.

Lewis, Lee Bagget and Little Wings’ Kyle Field were the next guests on “It Must Have Been The Roses,” while Baggett and Field contributed their chops to “Mexicali Blues.” Epstein and DARKSIDE’s Dave Harrington then took the stage for a “St. Stephen” that was sandwiched around “Birdsong,” and Field returning to the stage for “Eyes of the World” after that. Ryley Walker and Real Estate’s Matt Kallman were the last guests to make an appearance when they joined in on a “Scarlet Begonias” that moved into “Not Fade Away.” Finally, all of the night’s guests helped with a “Not Fade Away” reprise to close the show.

As previously reported, the core four surviving members of the Grateful Dead teamed up with Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti for a five Fare The Well shows. Our recap of the final show, which took place on Sunday night, can be found here.

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