Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA welcomed Deadheads of all ages for Night One of two of Dead & Company on Monday, June 13th. Original members of the Grateful Dead Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann are joined by Allman Brothers’ bassist Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Chimenti keyboardist (of Fare Thee Well and RatDog) and last, but certainly not least, pop star John Mayer to make up the current rundown of what is known as Dead & Company.
The show kicked off at a quarter after 7pm, with set one of two!
Set one opened up with John Mayer leading on guitar for the song “St Stephen”. Thanks to it being summertime, the sun was still shining, making for a warm California evening and a beautiful beginning to the night. Other songs during set one were “The Eleven”, “Shakedown Street”, “Big Railroad Blues”, “Friend of The Devil”, “Crazy Fingers” and, last, “Don’t Ease Me In”. My favorite moments from set one was during “Big Railroad Blues” — a super upbeat classic blues song, which was sung by John Mayer — and then, of course, fan-favorite, “Friend of The Devil”. Both of these songs really got the crowd moving and singing; the feeling was electric throughout the crowd.
Set two began right as the sun was fully setting and kicked off with “Deal”, another rocking blues-inspired song sung by Mayer. The sun had fully set at this point and with that came the psychedelic light show and visuals, adding to the atmosphere. By this time, the show was also packed: everywhere you looked in the crowd, there are smiling happy faces dancing and wearing tie-dye. It should also go without saying the smell of marijuana was in the air. “Dark Star” was the next song played, followed by “El Paso”, which had the crowd singing along loudly to Bob Weir during the chorus.
Next up was a VERY special treat for Deadheads, as the band played a Dead & Company first with the song “Sing Me Back Home” — never before played by this current lineup! The song was last performed by Bob Weir in March 2013, with predecessors Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart performing it back in ’73 and ’71, respectively! Needless to say, this was a very special moment for fans of The Grateful Dead. Other songs played during set two was the fan-favorite, “Uncle John’s Band”, followed by “Drums”, “Space”, Cumberland Blues”, “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “Sugar Magnolia”.
For a final encore, the band rewarded those lucky Deadheads who stuck around with the hit smash, “Ripple” — a beautiful way to close the night.
Throughout the show, the band ran like a well-oiled machine, with Mickey and Bill on drums. John and Bob traded off singing and guitar solo duties, even having some great moments singing harmonies together. Jeff Chimenti had some great solos on keys, while bassist Oteil Burbridge never stopped smiling. All in all, it was an all-around great experience and I wish I could’ve returned for night two to see what the next set had in store for dead-icated Shoreline attendees. See what I did there?? Don’t miss Dead & Company if their tour rolls through a city near you! You never know what surprises the band will have in store, since they never play the same set twice!
Photography by Katey Schoenberger