Dead & Company Rings In 2020 In San Francisco

By Andy Kahn Jan 2, 2020 8:32 am PST

Dead & Company celebrated New Year’s Eve 2019 with a three-set show at San Francisco’s recently-opened Chase Center. The evening featured guest percussionist Zakir Hussain, as well as a countdown to midnight that included dancers, an indoor airplane, Father Time, Baby New Year and more.

Dead & Company began their third set minutes before midnight with drummer Mickey Hart emerging to take the stage alone. Hart utilized The Beam to provide sound effects while Jerry Garcia’s daughter Trixie Garcia and her half-sister, Ken Kesey’s daughter Sunshine Kesey, flew above the audience in a bi-plane dropping rose petals as they toured the arena. A recording of “The Charleston” began to play as several dancers dressed in 1920s flapper dresses danced at the lip of the stage. Hart’s band mates then joined him along with Bill Walton dressed as Father Time and Wavy Gravy dressed as Baby New Year with latter two providing the countdown to 2020.

According to Lisah Horner Studios:

The Phoenix Biplane was created for Dead and Company New Years Eve 2020 by Sean House of 32Ten Studios, Marin County, California. Biplane graphics by Lisah Horner. The Giant Flying Joint that was created for Dead and Company NYE 2016 was repurposed in order to make the biplane.

Dead & Company’s first song of 2020 was “Sugar Magnolia.” The hour-long third set continued with “Uncle John’s Band” moving into “Scarlet Begonias.” A “Spanish Jam” bridged “Scarlet” with “Fire On The Mountain,” which was led by bassist Oteil Burbridge. They capped the set with the “Sugar Magnolia” coda “Sunshine Daydream.” The encore consisted of the encouraging classic “Touch Of Grey.”

Prior to the New Year’s Eve antics, Dead & Co.’s first set began with a nod to the festivities with guitarist Bob Weir leading a cover of “In The Midnight Hour.” Guitarist John Mayer and Weir traded singing lead as they worked through “Big Railroad Blues,” “Iko Iko” and “Mr. Charlie.” Weir then led “Loser” and “Tennessee Jed,” giving Mayer “Sugaree” before closing out the set with “New Minglewood Blues.”

The second set on New Year’s saw Hussain again joining his longtime collaborator Hart during the night’s “Drums” sequence. Fellow Rhythm Devils, drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Burbridge, were also part of the percussive mid-set showcase. Classic pairings of “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower” and “Estimated Prophet” > “Eyes Of The World” preceded “Drums.” Dead & Co. broke out of “Space” with Miles Davis’ “Milestones” and then transitioned into “Standing On The Moon.” Set two ended with the staple singalong “Not Fade Away.” Watch video highlights, plus the band’s New Year’s Eve appearance on CNN with Anderson Cooper and Deadhead Andy Cohen, below:

New Year’s Countdown Via Lisah Horner Studios

In The Midnight Hour / Big Railroad Blues Via

nugsnet (See 562 videos)
Dead & Company (See 142 videos)

Help On The > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower Via

nugsnet (See 562 videos)
Dead & Company (See 142 videos)

CNN Interview

Setlist (via

Set One: Midnight Hour (BW), Big Railroad Blues (JM), Iko Iko (BW), Mr. Charlie (JM), Loser (BW), Tennessee Jed (BW), Sugaree (JM), New Speedway Boogie (BW)

Set Two: Help On The Way (JM) > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower (JM) > Estimated Prophet (BW) > Eyes Of The World (BW) > Drums* > Space > Milestones > Standing On The Moon (BW) > Not Fade Away (All)

Set Three: New Year’s Countdown > Sugar Magnolia (BW) > Uncle John’s Band (All) > Scarlet Begonias (BW) > Spanish Jam > Fire On The Mountain (OB) > Sunshine Daydream (BW)

Encore: Touch Of Grey (BW, JM)

* with Zakir Hussain

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