Dead & Company Plant 1st ‘Maggie’s Farm’ Since 2016 At Las Vegas Sphere

The band’s second-ever cover of the Bob Dylan classic came one day after Dylan’s 83rd birthday.

By Scott Bernstein May 26, 2024 10:24 am PDT

Dead & Company returned to Sphere on Saturday for the fifth concert of their 24-show residency in Las Vegas. The sextet worked a pair of Sphere debuts into the setlist last night including their second-ever performance of Bob Dylan‘s “Maggie’s Farm” and first in nearly eight years.

Dead & Company — Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir and drummer Mickey Hart, alongside guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and drummer Jay Lane — went with “Bertha” to open the show. As usual, the night began with scaffolding imagery surrounding the band.

The scaffolding opened up and lift off was achieved just before Dead & Co. launched into a Weir-sung “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo.” Fans went wild as images of the Grateful Dead’s 1960s house in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood were displayed along with other footage of San Francisco led into a trip to outer space.

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Next up was the first “Dancing In The Street” of the Sphere residency. The band went with the ’70s discofied arrangement featuring Weir on lead vocals. Another surprise followed as the ensuing “Good Lovin'” was accompanied by visuals of Egypt and the Giza pyramid complex where the Grateful Dead played in September of 1978.

Dead & Company went on to offer the aforementioned “Maggie’s Farm” one day after Bob Dylan’s 83rd birthday. The Weir-helmed “Maggie’s Farm” was only performed once prior by Dead & Company way back on July 13, 2016 — a span of 198 shows — marking the biggest bust out in the group’s nine-year history. “Deal” sealed the set accompanied by pictures of memorabilia from the Grateful Dead history including posters, backstage passes and ticket stubs.

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“Shakedown Street” got the call to kick off last night’s second set. Rainbow-infused Stealies were shown as D&C jammed on the title track to the Grateful Dead’s 1978 album for nearly 15 minutes. The beloved pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider” came next. The improvisational highlight of the night followed with an adventurous “Eyes Of The World” featuring a stellar Burbridge bass solo and otherworldly Mayer/Chimenti interplay.

Lane, Burbridge and Hart remained on stage after “Eyes” for the evening’s “Drums” excursion. Then, Mickey Hart strummed The Beam to pave the way for the return of the instrumentalists and “Space” with wild imagery displayed throughout the “Drums”/”Space” sequence. Once the full ensemble was in place, D&C went the “Black Peter” route. Weir sung the Hunter/Garcia ballad.

An usually-placed “Brown-Eyed Women” flowed out of “Black Peter.” The first set staple gave way to a “Hell In A Bucket” featuring the motorcycle-riding skeleton from the 1977 The Grateful Dead Movie running roughshod over the screens at the technologically-advanced venue. “Throwing Stones” saw action next ahead of the old news broadcast of the Grateful Dead shown before the final song of each night. Dead & Company said farewell with a “Casey Jones” closer. The second weekend of the band’s Sphere residency concludes on Sunday night.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

Sphere [See upcoming shows]

18,600

4 shows
5/16/2024, 5/17/2024, 5/18/2024, 5/24/2024

The Music

6 songs

9 songs

15 songs
11 originals / 4 covers / 0 misc

1973

16.93 [Gap chart]

None

Maggie's Farm, Dancing In The Street

Maggie’s Farm LTP 07/13/2016 (198 Show Gap)

Eyes Of The World 18:01

Maggie’s Farm 8:09

Aoxomoxoa - 1, Workingman's Dead - 2, Wake of the Flood - 2, Terrapin Station - 1, Shakedown Street - 3, In The Dark - 2

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Audience Recording (Taped by Rainbowtoez)


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