By Jano Tantongco
Get ready for the ultimate deadhead lineup at Grateful Fest on July 29 at The Paramount that will send you out of this world with psychedelic solos, trippy tunes and mellow vibes all around.
Rich Rivkin, producer of the show, is also the brains behind events like Long Island Sound and Art Festival in Northport, scheduled for Aug. 20, as well as the Woodstock Revival, which took place last month in Old Bethpage.
Rivkin said the festival is a chance for the “tie dye community” to get together to dance and bask in a sense of reunion with fellow music lovers.
“It’s not just about the music, but it’s also about the sense of belonging to a community that’s very welcoming and open-armed,” Rivkin said. “People are singing the songs in unison, everyone knows when the changes come.”
Opening the festival will be Driftwood Kin, who will actually be playing in tribute to Phish, which has many overlapping fans with those of the Grateful Dead. Duncan Lindsay wields the axe while singing, Alex Hogg rocks the bass and provides vocals and Lee Shonik grooves out on drums.
“Their ability to jam at very high energy levels is unusual for a trio,” Rivkin said.
Next up will be Reflections, a Grateful Dead tribute hailing from New Jersey that’s inspired not only by the band, but also by Jerry Garcia’s overall career. Including members like Bob Guerra on guitar, Josh Kates on drums and John Cassano on bass, they’re sure to be a hit among deadheads.
Rivkin said they have “the sound of a band that has been playing together for many years,” along with “fantastic vocals” and “tight harmonies.”
The headliner for the night will be Reckoning, which have been playing for 20 years. They feature Charlie Mirro on guitar, guitar synth and Vocals; Bob Laino on guitar and vocals; Rich Hutchinson playing keyboard and vocals; Jeff Goldstein strumming the bass; and William “Buzz” Abelson jamming on the drums.
Praising their tight guitar work, keyboard solos and energy, Rivkin believes they’re the best they’ve ever been.
“They are elevating their sound to new levels in the history of that band,” Rivkin said.
Tickets range from $25-$35 and can be purchased at the box office or at Paramountny.com. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show.