Grateful Dead fans, otherwise known as Deadheads, and John Mayer fans alike, gathered from all over the tristate area last night as Dead & Company headlined a completely sold out show at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion. The entire venue was a sea of tie dye and covered in a haze of smoke as the crowd was taken back to the psychedelic time of the 1970s – when the Grateful Dead (the Dead) were in their prime.
Dead & Company did everything last night just as they did back then – in Grateful Dead style. There was no opener, as always, but kept the crowd captivated with two spectacular sets by all 6 members. As the band walked out on stage and was greeted by a roar of applause and cheering, the band members picked up their instruments and went right into playing “Feel Like a Stranger,” a song off the Dead’s 1980 release, Go To Heaven, immediately turning BB&T Pavilion into a time machine and blasting thousands of people back in time.
Jamming out on stage as a band is one thing the Dead have always loved to do during their shows, and last night they did just that during almost every song. Guitar solos allowed for audience members to pick up their own personal air guitar and jam along with the band.
The Grateful Dead have been around since the 1960s and have played thousands of shows to millions of people. However, with the ever-rotating lineup of the band, along with the death of original lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia in August of 1995, the band wasn’t really The Grateful Dead anymore. However, they still had the same spirit. With this, Dead & Company was born – a 6 person band, with 3 original members of the Grateful Dead being Bob Weir, guitarist, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, both drums. The other three members being Oteil Burbridge, bass player, known for his time playing with The Allman Brothers Band during their resurgence from the 90s until 2014, Jeff Chimenti, keyboard player, known for his time playing with Weir’s band, RatDog, and John Mayer, the American guitar prodigy.
Although Dead & Company isn’t quite the Grateful Dead, the new members have been able to emulate the band’s style and music from so many years ago. Especially Mayer, who has effortlessly taken over Garcia’s post as lead guitarist.
Dead & Co. closed out their first set last night with another Dead classic, “Casey Jones,” before taking a 45-minute intermission. It was dark outside when the band returned to the stage for their second set, and the stellar light setup was able to illuminate the dancing and singing audience members.
Four songs into the band’s second set of the night, Hart and Kreutzmann went into one hell of a tag team drum solo that had the entire venue playing their air drums before the band went into playing “The Wheel”.
Dead & Co. tried to close out their second set with “Sugar Magnolia,” but returned for a Mayer and Weir guitar extravaganza encore, and played their final song of the night, “Brokedown Palace”.
Check out more photos and the full setlists below!
Feel Like a Stranger
Brown Eyed Women
Ramble On Rose
They Love Each Other
Big Boss Man
Help On The Way
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