WATCH: Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) Sits-In with Dead & Company on Grateful Dead Classics @ Alpine Valley


The Grateful Dead have a storied history of welcoming guests to the stage as a big surprise to the fans, and tonight’s Dead and Company show in Wisconsin at Alpine Valley featured a local guest that definitely surprised some folks, myself included. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver was the special guest.

“Who is Justin Vernon?”

Suddenly a lot of Deadheads tweeted that once the Bon Iver mastermind strolled out on stage after Bob Weir introduced him to the audience as a special treat. Vernon sat in with the band for the enders of the first set, with the prolific songwriter taking lead on “Black Muddy River”, then the Dead classic “Friend of the Devil”.

The set finished with “Bird Song” which has been particularly jazzy of late, and the added tones coming from Vernon’s rig were definitely adding some great textures.

Check out the setlist from that show here.

Meanwhile, Twitter was not feeling this sit-in whatsoever.

Over at Reddit, it was much of the same.

The people streaming the show were bummed, too.

Frankly, I loved it.

We’ll update the post with videos and audios when it gets posted. Until then, just bask in the awesomeness that is the likely fact that anyone that sits-in with the Grateful Dead and takes mic time away from Bobby or John Mayer is going to bum out a few folks. Can’t win ’em all.

READ MORE: Consequence of Sound,, JamBase, Pitchfork