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Deadheads for Obama

The Deadheads for Obama concert poster

Deadheads for Obama is the name given to the February 4, 2008 reunion concert of three former members of the Grateful Dead at The Warfield in San Francisco. The show, performed one day before the Super Tuesday primary elections, was an act of support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, and featured former Dead members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, and Mickey Hart, as well as John Molo, Jackie Greene, Steve Molitz, Mark Karan and Barry Sless.

The show marked the first time Lesh, Weir and Hart had shared the stage since 2004, and was simulcast on the iClips Network.

Deadheads for Obama is also a 350 member grassroots organization founded in February 2007 through Barack Obama's website; one year before the concert of the same namesake. This group collectively raised more than $150,000 for the Obama campaign.


  • Setlist 1
  • Change Rocks 2
  • Presidential inauguration ball 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
    • Notes 5.1
    • Further reading 5.2
  • External links 6


After a videotaped introduction by Barack Obama, the band played "Playing in the Band" into "Brown-Eyed Women", and continued the first set with other Grateful Dead staples "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo", "New Minglewood Blues", and a cover of "Come Together" by the Beatles.

A short speech by Phil Lesh was followed by a four-song acoustic second set, featuring more classic Dead songs like "Friend of the Devil" and "Deal". Then the band plugged in again to play an extended third set, including New Orleans classic "Iko Iko" (in honor of Mardi Gras), and ending with a reprise of the opener, "Playing in the Band", and an encore of "U.S. Blues".[1]

The complete setlist was:

  • First set: "Playing in the Band", "Brown-Eyed Women", "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo", "New Minglewood Blues", "Come Together"
  • Second set (acoustic): "Deep Elem Blues", "Friend of the Devil", "Deal", "Ripple"
  • Third set: "China Cat Sunflower", "The Wheel", "The Other One", "Sugaree", "Eyes of the World", "Throwing Stones", "Iko Iko", "Playing in the Band" reprise
  • Encore: "U.S. Blues"

Change Rocks

Hart, Lesh, and Weir reunited again in support of the Obama presidential campaign, this time joined by Bill Kreutzmann, on October 13, 2008, in the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University, playing a concert called "Change Rocks". Warren Haynes provided guitar and vocal support for the reunion, and Jeff Chimenti played keyboards. The performance was preceded by a set of music by members of the Allman Brothers Band.[2][3]

The set list was: "Truckin'", "U.S. Blues", "Help on the Way", "Slipknot!", "Franklin's Tower", "Playing in the Band", "Dark Star", "St. Stephen", "Unbroken Chain", "The Other One", "Throwing Stones", and "Playing in the Band" reprise, with an encore of "Touch of Grey" and "Not Fade Away"[4]

Presidential inauguration ball

On January 20, 2009, the Dead played at one of the 10 official balls for the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.[5][6] Their sets were immediately followed by an appearance by President Barack Obama and the First Lady; Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden appeared during a setbreak.

See also



  1. ^ Lambert, Gary. "Bob, Phil, Mickey and Friends Rock for Barack at the Warfield",
  2. ^ , October 14, 2008Rolling Stone"The Dead Reunite for Obama at Scorching Penn State Benefit Gig",
  3. ^ "Surviving Members of Grateful Dead Rock for Obama", Associated Press, October 14, 2008
  4. ^ "Change Rocks: The Setlist" on
  5. ^ , January 15, 2008Rolling Stone"Barack Obama Selects the Dead for Inaugural Ball",
  6. ^ , January 21, 2009RelixGreenhuas, Mike. "The Dead Reunite at Mid-Atlantic Inagural Ball",

Further reading

  • Tanner, Adam. "Grateful Dead, Deadheads reunite for Obama", Reuters, February 5, 2008
  • , February 2, 2008Washington PostFranke-Ruta, Garance. "Calif. Contest Leads to Battle of the Bands",
  • , February 2, 2008The NationMelber, Ari. "Deadheads for Obama",
  • Selvin, Joel. , February 5, 2008San Francisco Chronicle"Grateful Dead Bury Hatchet, Reunite for Obama",
  • , February 5, 2008Rolling StoneSelvin, Joel. "Grateful Dead Reunite for Barack Obama Benefit Show",
  • , February 7, 2008Marin Independent JournalLiberatore, Paul. "How Grateful Dead Came Together Again for Obama Fundraiser",
  • , February 5, 2008RelixSimon, Richard B. "Lesh Unites with Weir and Hart for Deadheads for Obama",
  • , February 5, 2008New Musical Express"Grateful Dead Reunite to Support Obama",
  • Smith, Dakota. "Grateful Dead Reunite for Obama", NewsQuake, February 5, 2008
  • "Deadheads for Obama",, February 4, 2008
  • Deadheads for Obama on iClips

External links

  • Deadheads for Obama – download at
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