Dead & Company Meets With & Honors Stoneman Douglas Students In Sunrise
On Monday night, Dead & Company played the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida for the second of three makeup shows that were postponed from late last year due to John Mayer’s emergency appendectomy. The hockey arena in Sunrise is 20 minutes directly south of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and teachers were killed and 14 others hospitalized less than two weeks prior in a mass shooting. Dead & Company took time to meet with survivors of one of the world’s deadliest school massacres and later honored the students and community by sporting #MSDStrong t-shirts.
The band not only met with a group of survivors and their families, they also donated to a fund set up to help the school transition back to normality in the days, weeks and months ahead. “What an incredibly special night with some of the bravest young people I have ever met. These young heroes wear T-shirts, not capes. Thank you to all the students at MSD High School. It was so amazing to see you smiling and dancing. Your courage is inspiring,” said D&C bassist Oteil Burbridge of the experience.
When the six-piece emerged for the “Shakedown Street” opener guitarist Bob Weir and Oteil Burbridge were sporting maroon #MSDStrong t-shirts. As the concert went on additional band members put the t-shirts on so that by the “Touch Of Grey” encore all six musicians were wearing the t-shirts. Dead & Company followed “Shakedown” with a powerful “Cassidy” and gorgeous “Comes A Time” sung by Burbridge. Mayer stepped up front for “They Love Each Other” ahead of a tender “Bird Song.” The sextet jammed “Bird Song” into “New Speedway Boogie” complete with its refrain of “One way or another, this darkness got to give” and then finished “Bird Song.” The first set concluded with a “Deal” that featured a smoking solo from John Mayer.
Dead & Company seemed to be pulling at the heartstrings with each song choice after such an emotional few weeks in South Florida. The group opened the second set with a cover of “The Weight” by The Band and then showed there’s “Help On The Way.” While “Help” was followed by “Slipknot!,” the band went for “Eyes Of The World” instead of the usual “Franklin’s Tower.” Both keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and bassist Oteil Burbridge’s solos stood out during the lengthy “Eyes” that led into a just as adventurous run at “Dark Star.”
After a surprisingly bluesy end to “Dark Star,” the instrumentalists left the stage to The Rhythm Devils of Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. The pair mixed tribal beats with wild vocal samples for the majority of the evening’s “Drums” sequence. Hart then made his way over to The Beam to strum some droning tones. Then, Weir, Chimenti, Mayer and Burbridge returned to the stage for a “Space” focused on a bluesy chord progression led by Oteil. “Days Between” emerged out of space with Weir in fine voice on the Jerry Ballad. Bobby also sounded passionate and strong as he belted out “Throwing Stones.”
Dead & Company returned to the stage for the encore sporting “#MSDStrong” t-shirts. If each song had extra meaning on Monday, the lyric refrain of “we will get by” hit home perhaps more than any other. Tonight, D&C concludes the brief run in Orlando. A live webcast is available via nugs.tv.
Listen to an audience recording thanks to Dan Nolan:
Dead & Company at BB&T Center
- Shakedown Street
- Comes a Time
- They Love Each Other
- Bird Song
- New Speedway Boogie
- The Weight
- Help on the Way
- Eyes of the World
- Dark Star
- Days Between
- Throwing Stones
- Touch of Grey
- Grateful Dead