The first week of June was a good one: Dead & Company have risen for another summer tour.
The supergroup consisting of three original Grateful Dead members (Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann), along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti, kicked off the tour at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA for two sold-out nights. From there, they would go on to have two more sold out shows at the Hollywood Bowl.
My night at the Shoreline was an unforgettable one. Fans arrived hours in advance to get the best on the lawn, while others waiting in mile-long lines just to get in. The chaos wasn't a bad thing, the night was energetic with love and nostalgia for the great Grateful Dead.
I was told before the show that everyone who goes to a Dead show will be greeted by concert-goers, strangers turned friends who are there to have a good time. This could not have been any more truer. As I took my seat, I was met by a nice man named Bob who sat beside me. There, we shared a joint and he told me he's gone to over 120 Grateful Dead shows starting back in the seventies. It was the second night of the Shoreline run for Dead & Company, and after the performance concluded, he made sure to tell me this was the best night to have gone (Bob, having gone to the show the night before). Bob was right, it was a good one.
The night consisted of absolute hits. Starting with "Bertha," this was just one of the many iconic tracks from the two set night. A personal favorite was "They Love Each Other;" a highlight for me was looking around and seeing and feeling all the love felt that night.
The second night also consisted of some amazing tracks. Starting with "China Cat Sunflower" straight into "I Know You Rider" was a classic cherry on top to a beautiful night. But the show didn't stop there. "Deal," "Morning Dew," and an encore of "Uncle John's Band" tied the night together.
When I went to the Hollywood Bowl for Dead and Company's first night, I was able to see and hear a little bit of the soundcheck. I got an insider's perspective of the songs that were going to be played later in the night and was pleased to say we weren't going to be disappointed.
The night was definitely more "heady," starting slow with "Cold Rain and Snow." Later into the night, we got a collection of hits from "Mississippi 1/2 Step Uptown Todoloo" to "High Time," and then my all-time favorite, "Jack Straw." The second set was just as heavy with "Sugaree," "Slipknot," and "Franklin's Tower." The encore concluded the night with a well-deserved "Terrapin."
The Dead and Company experience was one I truly will never forget. Good vibes and good music made for a good time.