There probably aren’t too many sports or music fans outside of Michigan who have heard of the minor league hockey team known as the Kalamazoo Wings. The AA hockey organization aren’t what some sports fans would consider a powerhouse team, but don’t tell that to their Grateful Dead fans, as the Wings will be honoring the iconic jam band this weekend as part of their “Grateful Dead Night” this coming Saturday.
According to the team’s website, the Wings are the first ever professional minor league hockey organization who will plan on honoring the Grateful Dead, who broke up back in 1995 following the death of Jerry Garcia. In addition to presumably playing plenty of the Dead’s music over the arena’s PA system throughout the game, the team will also hope to bring the same “good vibes of a Dead show,” thanks to the special “Dead Head jerseys” that the players will wear on the ice. Photos of the special uniforms can be seen below, and feature plenty of colorful tie-dye patterns in addition to the band’s signature marching bear and steelie skull logos. A select number of the jerseys will also be auctioned off to Deadheads in attendance shortly after the game on Saturday.
It should also be assumed that the often violent confrontations between players on the ice will be subdued for this weekend’s game, as any Deadhead will tell you that the good vibes of a Dead show does not include any fighting. Such vicious actions would surely get any fan or player a lifetime ban from any future Dead "Shakedown Street" tailgates, man. Fingers are crossed that the team also plays a 20-minute “Dark Star” between each period intermission.
For fans outside of Michigan who won’t be able to make it to Dead Night, there’s always the upcoming Dead & Company, Dark Star Orchestra and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead North American tours. All three of the popular Grateful Dead tribute bands will be playing plenty of shows around the country this winter, spring and summer, with tickets on sale now!