Dead & Company Drop ‘Dark Star’ On Las Vegas Sphere

The band’s concert on Friday kicked off the second weekend of their 24-show residency.

By Andy Kahn May 25, 2024 12:15 pm PDT

On Friday night, Dead & Company launched the second weekend of their 24-date residency at the Las Vegas Sphere. The first night of this three-show run featured the highly anticipated arrival of “Dark Star” in the second set.

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 – took the Sphere stage with scaffolding imagery that’s greeted fans at the start of each show. Weir led his cohorts through an opening “I Need A Miracle,” marking its first time opening a D&C show.

Bobby kept the band going into “The Music Never Stopped” as the scaffolding opened to bring the audience to the Grateful Dead’s 1960s house at 710 Ashbury in San Francisco ahead of the enthralling blast off to outer space.

Next came the Mayer-led “They Love Each Other,” the loping arrangement paired with swirling tie-dye and Dancing Bears. A rare first-set take on “The Weight” got Burbridge and Chimenti into the lead vocal mix as the verses were passed around the stage. Skull & Roses imagery flanked the band while they performed The Band classic.

The rainforest transformation occurred during the subsequent “Cassidy” and Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” got the Bobby “Ace” Weir cowboy Western film motif treatment. Set one came to a close with Mayer leading a charge through “Althea” while the dome was wallpapered with Grateful Dead posters, ticket stubs, backstage passes and other ephemera.

Sponsored By

Isolated lyrics from Grateful Dead songs were again shown on the Sphere throughout the set break. Dead & Co. went to a staple second set opener for Friday’s restart, blasting off with “Playing In The Band.” Towering virtual stage curtains parted to unveil a massive Steal Your Face that projected the band in place of its typical thunderbolt.

Of all the songs in Dead & Company’s repertoire, the Grateful Dead standout “Dark Star” is perhaps the most fitting for pairing within the Sphere. The sprawling, jazzy, psychedelic jam vehicle and otherworldly lyrics match perfectly with the extra-planetary feeling the Sphere often suggests. “Dark Star” was accompanied by a stunning visual landscape that looked like a Salvador Dalí painting come to life.

The band took “Dark Star” deep into improvisational realms before segueing into “St. Stephen,” which along with “Althea” were the only repeats from the first weekend at the Sphere. The liquid light show effect consumed the dome during “St. Stephen,” which eventually transitioned into “Let It Grow.” The virtual Wall Of Sound assembled behind the band while they played “Let It Grow,” collapsing into itself and evolving into a rainbow highway in outer space.

Hart took lead of the prevailing “Drums” excursion as the dome projected a circle of spiraling drums and kaleidoscopic effects. Hart transitioned to The Beam, building a bridge of drone to the free-form “Space.”

The haunting “Days Between” developed out of “Space.” The band was shown above the stage in black and white video and a real-time projection of the moon was shown “live from a crazy camera right outside” the venue while Weir belted out “Days Between.”

The metallic, Stealie-adorned virtual disco ball came out as the band moved into Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and continued spinning around the Sphere for the frequently tacked-on “Hey Jude” tag.

The animated skeleton Uncle Sam danced and hopped on his motorcycle as Dead & Co. road through a lively “Sugar Magnolia” and then brought things back down audibly and visually with “Brokedown Palace” accompanying the journey through space and back to 710 Ashbury.

Dead Forever’s call back to a 1960s Grateful Dead news broadcast played over the PA before “Touch Of Grey” brought the evening to an end as a virtual scrapbook, infused with video of the band members performing on stage projected around the band.

The Skinny

Sponsored By

The Setlist

The Venue

Sphere [See upcoming shows]

18,600

3 shows
5/16/2024, 5/17/2024, 5/18/2024

The Music

7 songs

10 songs

17 songs
13 originals / 4 covers

1977

6.7 [Gap chart]

None

All but Althea, St. Stephen

I Need A Miracle LTP 06/24/2023 (14 Show Gap)

Aoxomoxoa - 1, American Beauty - 2, Wake of the Flood - 1, Blues for Allah - 1, Shakedown Street - 1, Go To Heaven - 1, In The Dark - 1, Built to Last - 1

Want more Dead & Co stats?
Visit JamBase’s The Skinny Hub
More Skinny
Advertisement

Videos


00:00:00
Lola and Cassidy Adventures
Dead & Company (See 355 videos)

00:00:00
Lola and Cassidy Adventures
Dead & Company (See 355 videos)

00:00:00
MarcGlenRock
Dead & Company (See 355 videos)

00:00:00
Matt O’Donnell
Dead & Company (See 355 videos)

00:00:00
The11
Dead & Company (See 355 videos)

00:00:00
Lola and Cassidy Adventures
Dead & Company (See 355 videos)

00:00:00
~ Rock N Roll Videos ~
Dead & Company (See 355 videos)

Audio (Taped by Rainbowtoez)


CashorTrade, is the leader of the face value ticket movement. Tickets are listed at face value or below right now for the Sphere run. By choosing CashorTrade you are supporting real fans not brokers trying to unload inventory. Head over to CashorTrade and make an offer. Who knows, you might even stumble upon a miracle. Going to see Dead & Company at Sphere or any other concerts in Vegas? Book your stay at the newly-renovated Rio Las Vegas using this link and receive 40% off your accommodations!

Loading tour dates

Advertisement

Dead & Company Sphere Coverage

  • Dead & Company Sail Into The Sunset Of Inaugural Sphere Residency Weekend

    Dead & Company Sail Into The Sunset Of Inaugural Sphere Residency Weekend 

  • Dead & Company Deal A Winner On Night 2 At Las Vegas Sphere With Assist From Karl Perazzo

    Dead & Company Deal A Winner On Night 2 At Las Vegas Sphere With Assist From Karl Perazzo 

  • Dead & Company Turn Back Time At Dazzling Las Vegas Sphere Debut

    Dead & Company Turn Back Time At Dazzling Las Vegas Sphere Debut 

JamBase Collections