Usually, when the Los Angeles Dodgers are on the road during the MLB season, Dodger Stadium and its surrounding parking lots lay dormant—some might say, even dead. But on the second Saturday night in June, Chavez Ravine once again came alive with the sights, sounds and smells of the Grateful Dead, courtesy of Dead & Company.

Nearly four years removed from their last hangout in Blue Heaven—and mere miles from their 2021 tour-concluding Halloween shows at the Hollywood Bowl—the traveling treasure trove of Bob Weir, John Mayer, Bill KreutzmannMickey Hart, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti kicked off their 2022 summer tour with a sensational show that spanned nearly four hours and was as much an ode to the Dead as it was an homage to the band’s contemporaries.

This iteration of the Dead opened proceedings at sunset with a cover of the Sam Cooke classic “Let The Good Times Roll” and closed out the show deep into dusk with a rendition of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”. In between, the band made some history with its version of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” into the coda of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”. Both were firsts for Dead & Company, though they came less than a year after Billy & The Kids trotted them out at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, with a little help from Billy Strings. Moreover, the aforementioned Steve Winwood/Paul McCartney combo marked the first time that Dead & Company had performed songs previously sung by Brent Mydland, whose tenure as the Grateful Dead’s longest-running keyboardist came to a tragic end in 1990 by way of an accidental drug overdose.

Those debuts aside, Dead & Company seemed to take plenty of liberties in dropping Easter eggs about the time and place in which they returned to the road. There was a snippet of “My Favorite Things” sprinkled into “Feel Like a Stranger,” and not one, but two nods to L.A.’s Chinatown neighborhood nearby with “China Doll” during the first set and “China Cat Sunflower” early in the second.

Of course, the band had to pay respects to the surrounding sea of Dodger Blue that came out for the weekend with “Stella Blue” into “One More Saturday Night.”

As much fun as this Dead & Company tour opener would’ve been at just about any venue, Dodger Stadium did its part to lend its own legendary pedigree to an equally legendary musical act. Fan favorites like “Playing in the Band”, “Brown Eyed Woman,” “Casey Jones,” “Althea,” “I Know You Rider” and “Fire on the Mountain” brought distinctly pastoral vibes to this quintessential collision of American popular culture.

Even “Drums” and “Space” took on decidedly more ethereal vibes below L.A.’s summer evening sky, though that might’ve had as much to do with Bill’s triumphant return from a health scare that ended last year’s tour a night early for him.

While most of the seats in the stands remained either tarped over or empty entirely, the field level was full of fanatical fun. Deadheads traipsed en masse across the same hallowed ground that’s been home to so many Hall of Famers, as the icons on stage offered up their soundtrack of “Jack Straw” and “Scarlet Begonias.”


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Granted, Dead & Company are hardly strangers to shows in stadiums and arenas known better for sports than music. Last year’s return from COVID alone featured stops at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park and New York’s Citi Field as well as back-to-back performances at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

The band will make all of those same swings this summer, along with stints at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Wherever they go, Dead & Company will surely do more than ably fill an open night in a sports venue’s schedule. From Shakedown Street in the parking lot to the run of show within, this version of the Dead and the legions of fans who follow along can play ball however they please.

Scroll down to check out a the setlist, a selection of videos,  and a gallery of photos from the show below courtesy of Matthew Rea. Dead & Company tour continues on Monday and Tuesday at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. For a complete list of upcoming Dead & Company 2022 tour dates, head here.

Dead & Company – “Dear Mr. Fantasy” (Traffic) > “Hey Jude Reprise” (The Beatles) – 6/11/22

[Video: billzlose]

Dead & Company – “Let The Good Times Roll” (Sam Cooke), “Playin’ In The Band” [Pro-Shot] – 6/11/22

Dead & Company – “Althea” [Pro-Shot] – 6/11/22

Setlist: Dead & Company | Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles, CA | 6/11/22

Set One: Let The Good Times Roll (Sam Cooke), Playing In The Band > Feel Like A Stranger, China Doll, Brown Eyed Women, Jack Straw, Casey Jones

Set Two: Althea, Scarlet Begonias > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > Fire On The Mountain > Drums/Space > Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic) > Hey Jude Reprise (The Beatles) > Stella Blue, One More Saturday Night

Encore: Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)