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“The Dead” is Alive and Well in Buffalo NY

Workingmans-Dead-Buffalo-NY-2I’ll tell you what, I am a Doors man. I like “The Dead”, but I never got too into them.

On a whim Last Friday, I walked into Buffalo Iron Works looking for my buddy. The local Grateful Dead cover band Workingman’s Dead was playing and man, the venue WAS ON FIRE! The entire place was moving… not even moving, the entire place was flowing. It looked like waves were running through the happy patrons.

I stood back, bought a beer and watched.The musicians were into it man. Eyes closed, smiling, looking at each other and laughing, feeling every note. That is musicianship, and it radiates. There were people singing, swaying, smiling. Friends stood arm in arm, individuals danced uninhibited with flailing limbs. Everyone was on the same page. It was exactly what any performer wants out of a crowd. It felt like a family.

Workingmans-Dead-Buffalo-NY-1I once asked about the cult-like following of The Dead. It was explained to me like this. “The sound is more of a journey than anything else, and once you get it, you are in. You are in for life.”

Well, one month before the revived “Dead and Company” come to downtown Buffalo, I feel like I’m starting to get it. The music is on point and has a casualness that welcomes. The guitar solos are crystalized. Up and down we go, through time, smiling and flailing.

The venue is fantastic, I have been there a couple times but never when it has shown its true colors – where the sound was perfect and the dance floor was full. It was made for this kind of party. I walked out to the open patio where I was still a part of the crowd and found my buddy.

I lived out in California with this guy when we were younger and he has since moved home. This dude, is a “Deadhead”. Bouncing about, he looked at me and smiled. “These guys get it man.”

“Get what?”

He smiles.


Written by Evan Thompson

Evan Thompson

Evan Thompson moved from Melbourne, Australia to Buffalo, New York when he was 13 years old. After consistently relocating to different countries around the world, his family fell in love with the charm of the City of Buffalo and the people who call it home.

After high school, Evan attended Indiana University and studied politics. Upon returning to Buffalo he became an Adult Education Instructor for BOCES before teaching ESL to refugees in the Buffalo Public Schools. Evan then taught and volunteered abroad living in South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

He currently works in adventure tourism and plays music in local bands.

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