On this day in 1995, the Grateful Dead played the second and final night of their tour closing at Chicago’s Soldiers Field with an opening performance by The bandThe show marked the completion of a long and winding spring/summer tour, a tour that featured lead guitarist Jerry Garcia To many he seemed like a shadow of his former self.

Once again he was plagued by addiction, this time in front of huge stadiums packed with enthusiastic fans. Garcia struggled with equipment problems all night long and was eventually forced to replace his “Rosebud” guitar with the older “Tiger.” According to Bob Weir in his Netflix documentary The otherhe and Garcia shared a few short but sweet words as they walked off stage: “Always a hoot,” Garcia said, “Always a hoot.” Exactly one month later, on August 9, 1995, Jerry Garcia passed away, his heart finally giving out after years of hard living and declining health. July 9, 1995 at Soldier Field was the Grateful Dead’s final show.

While far from their best shows, 7/9/95 still packs an emotional punch because of its significance as Jerry’s final performance. You can feel the weight of the show’s cosmic significance throughout, particularly in songs like the encore closer “Box of Rain” – which the band delivered in a way that wouldn’t fade away on the solemn “Black Muddy River” that preceded it. And of course there was the gorgeous yet bittersweet mid-set “So Many Roads,” with Garcia’s soul-stirring vocals ensuring that there wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium by the time the song was over, despite some musical struggles. You can watch a full video of “So Many Roads” from the final Grateful Dead show at Soldier Field on 7/9/95 below, via YouTube user taste4phree:

Grateful Dead – “So Many Roads” – 7/9/95

(Video: taste4phree)

Relive the emotional second set in the remastered YouTube clip below, along with Jonathan Aizen’s full show audio:

Grateful Dead – Soldier Field – 7/9/95 – Set Two Video

RIP Jerry. We miss you.

Setlist: Grateful Dead | Soldier Field | Chicago, IL | 7/9/95

Set one: Touch of Grey, Little Red Rooster, Lazy River, Masterpiece*, Childhood’s End, Cumberland Blues, Promised Land

Set two: Shakedown Street, Samson & Delilah, So Many Roads, Samba in the Rain, Corrina -> Drums -> Space -> Unbroken Chain, Sugar Magnolia

Encore: Black Muddy River, Box of Rain

* Weir on acoustic
*(The Band opened)*

(Originally published on 7/9/17)