On Saturday night Dead & Company finished up the California swing of their current run with a gig at Dodger Stadium in the Elysian Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The sextet once again dug in on the Grateful Dead songbook delivering a bust out along with letting Bob Weir show off his stand-up comedy chops during the opening set.
Dead & Company got things going at the iconic longtime home of the Dodgers with “Playing In The Band” which saw action for the first time not only as a show-opener but also in the opening frame this summer. Unlike previous versions on this tour, which stretched out into deep exploratory territory, the band offered a beautiful sun-baked take that slowly unfolded last night. John Mayer stepped up to sing lead on “Bertha” as the band continued to dig in on the groovy, laid-back sounds of The Golden State. The band slowly wound their way into “Jack Straw” as Mayer and Weir swapped verses as it slowly chugged along picking up steam until it reached its crescendo for the final verse.
D&C stayed with the train theme as they served up “Big Railroad Blues” for the first time since last summer. Weir stapped on an acoustic guitar next for the traditional folk song “Peggy-O.” The Americana material continued with the wordy “Ramble On Rose.” The band took a pause to address some technical difficulties next which gave Weir the opportunity to share his infamous “Duck Joke.” Mayer also chimed in saying was going to “use the opportunity to play a bit of my song ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland'” before transitioning into “Cumberland Blues” with “Deal” punctuating the end of the opening stanza.
The six-piece got their second set of the night rolling with the summertime anthem “Sugar Magnolia.” The SoCal vibe continued with the traditional pairing of “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire On Mountain” which gave bassist Oteil Burbridge his first chance of the night to show off his vocals. Another standout version of “Althea” followed as it segued into a blissful “Eyes Of The World.” The Wake Of The Flood track eventually gave way to the “Drums”/”Space” portion of the night. The psychedelic exploration wound its way into a tender “Stella Blue” with “Sunshine Daydream” putting a cap on the set. The band returned to the stage delivering “Brokedown Palace” and Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” for their encore in Los Angeles.
Dead & Company returns to the stage on Wednesday at the Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A webcast is available via nugs.tv.
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