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The Grateful Dead were known for many things, one of which was the number of free concerts they played.

The Dead always loved to play and the fans have always loved them for that.

The Dead as a band is gone, but they still live in the thousands of tapes that were made of their live performances .

That spirit of wanting to play and to share those performances with the audiences is still alive and well.

On Wednesday night Bob Weir opens his TRI Studios to his fans via the internet.

Each performance is unique, not unlike those Dead shows of the past.

Every show is like a bead on a string, it shares certain elements with the past and then it branches into new territory.

The list of new guest players and singers stretches back into the history of the Dead and extends forward into the future on modern music.

You don't know who will play, what instrument, and what the set list will be like every week.

Everyone is a player in the Heart of Gold Band.

My favorite part is watching all the on stage communication between players and crew.

"You take the solo. No you...", "What key are we in?" and Bob's signature exclamation "Damn it AJ!" as Bob calls his roadie AJ in to straighten out some technical problem mid-show.

There is an "All Roads led to the Coach" segment, Bob his long time Grateful Dead roadie Steve Parrish and this week's guests set the instruments aside for a moment and congregate on the studio couch.

They might take a few questions from the online audience via twitter, explore their collective memories about old Grateful dead shows or just chat.

It's Johnny Carson meets the Acid Tests but now it's fifty years later and since they were all really there they can't remember half of the details.

There may be a non-musical segment called "What's Bugging Barlow".

John Barlow, a Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, was the lyricist for the Dead and has since been a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Barlow has things to say and if you are smart you pay attention. You might even learn something.

Sounds great right?

The whole show isn't available on demand as yet but there is usually a song or two available from last week's show the following Tuesday.

The video gallery section of the TRI website has dozens of past performances available for your enjoyment.

You don't need to travel or camp over night, you don't need a ticket and a grilled cheese sandwich is optional.

Check out the cutting edge of live music delivery on the internet.

Every Wednesday night at Weir Here at TRI Studios

** On the nights Weir is out on tour there are guest hosts.
Tonight it's bass player Dave Schools of Widespread Panic


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