Watch Sturgill Simpson, Rick Mitarotonda And Dead & Company Members Blaze ‘Golden Road’ At Dead Ahead Finale

Margo Price also helped Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, Oteil Burbridge, Don Was and guests close out the action in Mexico.

By Scott Bernstein Jan 16, 2024 7:49 am PST

The inaugural Dead Ahead destination event in Riviera Cancún, Mexico celebrating the music of the Grateful Dead made good on its promise of exciting collaborations at every turn. Last night the main stage action closed with two sets from the house band consisting of Dead & Company minus John Mayer along with bassist Don Was and special guests Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Goose guitarist Rick Mitarotonda.

Once again, Don Was and Oteil Burbridge traded off bass duties throughout the night with the former on electric bass for the bulk of the first set and the latter holding down the bottom end for last night’s second set. Simpson, Mitarotonda, guitarist Bob Weir, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and drummers Mickey Hart and Jay Lane formed the core band with Margo Price adding vocals at various points of the evening.

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Bobby Weir led the ensemble featuring Was on electric bass through GD favorite “Shakedown Street” to kick off the action. Oteil Burbridge then swapped in for a rare take on “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion),” a song from the first Grateful Dead studio album that was never played by Dead & Company. Weir and Hart last performed the tune way back in 2015 at the penultimate Fare Thee Well celebration at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Rick Mitarotonda and Oteil Burbridge co-helmed last night’s “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion).” Check out fan-shot footage of the performance below:


00:00:00
Vitamin J (See 2 videos)
Bob Weir (See 217 videos) , Jeff Chimenti (See 89 videos) , Jay Lane (See 21 videos) , Oteil Burbridge (See 59 videos) , Sturgill Simpson (See 54 videos) and Rick Mitarotonda (See 33 videos)

Sturgill Simpson had his first opportunity leading last night’s band on the ensuing version of “Mama Tried.” Don Was tapped in for Burbridge on the Merle Haggard cover and remained on bass for the rest of the opening frame. Next up were takes on “Me & My Uncle” and “Bertha” sung by Mitarotonda and Weir split by Bobby fronting the Hunter/Garcia ballad “Loser.” Margo Price made her presence felt in a big way on the final three songs of Monday’s first set. First, Margo and Sturgill shared vocal duties on Kris Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee.” Then, Price and Weir belted out “Bird Song” before the opening stanza came to a close with a rousing rendition of The Band’s “The Weight.” Bob Weir, Margo Price, Rick Mitarotonda and Sturgill Simpson each had a turn singing a verse.

The final set from the Dead Ahead band began with frequently paired GD numbers “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire On The Mountain.” Spanning nearly 25 minutes, last night’s “Scarlet”/”Fire” saw Weir and Price team up to sing the former and Burbridge star on the latter. Bobby then powered the group through well-jammed versions of “Estimated Prophet” and “Eyes Of The World.” Rick Mitarotonda helped sing “Eyes” and joined Weir, Price and Simpson in fronting the subsequent “Franklin’s Tower” ahead of the evening’s “Drums” and “Space” excursions.

“Space” rolled into “The Wheel” upon Mickey Hart and Jay Lane’s return to the Beach Stage at Moon Palace. Weir, Chimenti, Burbridge, Lane, Hart, Simpson and Mitarotonda linked “The Other One” and “Morning Dew” to conclude last night’s second set. All the members of the ensemble then closed out the main stage action at the first-ever Dead Ahead by delivering a powerful take on “Attics Of My Life,” another song Weir and Hart hadn’t performed since Fare Thee Well in 2015.

View more fan-shot video from last night’s show below:


00:00:00
GRUNZY CHANNEL (See 22 videos)
Bob Weir (See 217 videos) , Jeff Chimenti (See 89 videos) , Jay Lane (See 21 videos) , Don Was (See 8 videos) , Sturgill Simpson (See 54 videos) , Margo Price (See 122 videos) and Rick Mitarotonda (See 33 videos)
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00:00:00
GRUNZY CHANNEL (See 22 videos)
Bob Weir (See 217 videos) , Jeff Chimenti (See 89 videos) , Jay Lane (See 21 videos) , Don Was (See 8 videos) , Sturgill Simpson (See 54 videos) , Margo Price (See 122 videos) and Rick Mitarotonda (See 33 videos)

Audience Recording (Taped by Eric Lugassy)

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Setlist

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