Jerry Garcia would have been 70 years old last August. In honor of that milestone event, fellow Grateful Dead band mate, Bob Weir, threw a star-studded birthday bash at his TRI Studios in San Rafael, CA. The concert was filmed, and makes up the Blu-ray, Move Me Brightly. Directed by Justin Kreutzmann (son of Grateful Dead drummer, Bill), the film mixes live performances with memories from friends, family and band mates about what Garcia meant to them.
Luke Wilson, a fan himself, serves as interviewer for the proceedings. On his way to Weir's studio, he is greeted by Sammy Hagar, who jokingly gives Wilson a hard time about whether he is in the right place or not. It is a testament to Garcia's legacy that not only predictable fans, such as Mike Gordon from Phish, are interviewed (and perform, in Gordon's case), but also people who are very different stylistically, such as Hagar, John Doe from X or Perry Farrell and Stephen Perkins from Jane's Addiction. In fact, it is a major source of pride for Perkins that Garcia mentioned Jane's Addiction as a 90s band he liked.
The documentary features interviews with Garcia's brother, Tiff, who recalls the incident where he accidentally chopped off part of one of his brother's fingers as well as Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, who left the Merry Pranksters, moved to San Francisco and immediately fell in love with Garcia. Daughter Annabelle Garcia recalls her father being a workaholic, practicing guitar at every possible moment at home while Trixie Garcia expressed her frustration of sometimes having to share her father with the Deadheads.
Then, of course, there is the music. Jonathan Wilson and Donna Jean Godchaux share vocals on a soulful, laid back "Mission In The Rain," while Gordon delivers a strong bass line on the funk-infused "Shakedown Street." Gordon also shares vocals with Weir on the spiritual country of "He's Gone." The group goes into one of its trademark extended jams on "Terrapin Station" while the dreamy, psychedelic "Days Between" has a heartfelt vocal from Weir. Throughout the performance, the joy of not only the former Dead members, but also the guest stars is evident. They love to play and especially love to play this material.
The video is presented in 1080i High Definition Widescreen 16:9 (1.78:1) and looks great. Audio options include DTS HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo. The Blu-ray includes bonus performances of six additional songs including "Dupree's Diamond Blues" and "Ship Of Fools."
Garcia has been gone for over 18 years now, but his legacy has only grown during that time. The love shown from a group of diverse artists helps to make Move Me Brightly a wonderful treat for Deadheads and a nice 70th birthday present for Garcia.