Deaf News: ‘Deafheads’ cheer on Grateful Dead at reunion concert

Posted on July 14, 2015

Ultimate Classic Rock website has reported on a group of Deaf fans who cheered on the Grateful Dead at their recent reunion concert in Chicago.

The group of rock fans have been following the band since the 1980s, and at the recent concert, were able to enjoy the music with sign interpretation as well as lipreading the band using a video screen.


Located about 60 yards from the stage at the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field was a dedicated section for the band’s deaf and hard-of-hearing fans. A new report describes what the nights inside the “Deaf Zone” were like.

According to The Wall Street Journal, three interpreters took turns translating songs’ lyrics into sign language from a podium, reading the words off a tablet, while a 55-inch video screen allowed fans to read the musicians’ lips. One of the interpreters, Molly Wilson, said that the job involved more than fluency in American Sign Language.

“Everybody approaches the task differently,” she said. “First you have to study the skeleton of the song, where it’s going and what it’s trying to say. You have to unpack the meaning, and yet you can’t give it an exact translation, because there are some parts of the songs that aren’t really meant to be directly translated. You have to give enough of the idea, then step out of the way.”


Read the full article here:

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