The Next Life of the Grateful Dead

Why a new generation of heads—musicians, visual artists, and other seekers—are turning to the sounds and styles of the world’s most freewheeling band.

As tall bearded men try to covertly puff from hidden devices, a band rings the opening notes of its second set of the night. A singer steps up to the mic and is almost overpowered by the crowd singing along with every word. I start dancing, joining in the communal joy before the song starts to dissolve. Eventually, as we all know it will, the music gives.