Dead & Company brought their final tour to Saratoga, NY for one more Saturday night at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) last night. Currently at the top of their improvisational game, the band delivered another stellar show jam-packed with Grateful Dead staples, but a seemingly oversold lawn prevented many fans from fully enjoying the performance, with some complaining that they left at the end of the show without ever seeing the stage.

The lack of clear sight lines from the SPAC lawn has been an ongoing joke for years, but last night’s show was far worse than normal. Long lines entering the venue caused many fans to miss the beginning of the show. Photos posted to Reddit show large crowds still awaiting entry 40 minutes after the start of the first set, and once inside, those with GA lawn tickets struggled to find space with a view a of the stage. Another Reddit post shows thousands of fans facing away from the stage to watch the show on one of the venue’s LED screens.

Inconvenient as it may have been for fans, the unusually large crowd size was a testament not just to Dead & Company’s popularity, but to the cultural significance of the band’s final tour—perhaps the last series of stadium-sized Dead shows the world will ever see.

Issues of overcrowding notwithstanding, last night’s show was another solid showing from Bob Weir, John Mayer, Mickey Hart, Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Chimenti, and Jay Lane. They once again opened the show with Sam Cooke‘s “Good Times”, followed by a pairing of “Scarlet Begonias” > “Deal”. Weir and Mayer then traded lead vocals duties on “Black-Throated Wind” and “Dire Wolf” respectively before “Bird Song” took flight for a nearly 19-minute exploration, eventually settling back down and transitioning to “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” to end the set.

Dead & Company – “Good Times” (Sam Cooke), “Scarlet Begonias” – 6/17/23

An uptempo “’73 style” “They Love Each Other” opened the second set, followed by the epic “Terrapin Station” and the downtrodden “He’s Gone”. Dead & Co then split “The Other One” in two, playing just the first verse before launching into a celestial “Drums” > “Space” and then returning to the second verse once the full band was back on stage together. A solemn “Days Between” offered a moment of quiet contemplation before the band brought it home with Bobby “Blue” Bland‘s “Turn On Your Love Light”.

Dead & Company – “They Love Each Other” – 6/17/23

The encore, though predictable, ended the night on a high note as the band brought “One More Saturday Night” at SPAC to a close.

Dead & Company return to SPAC tonight, and you know what they say about Sunday shows. For a full list of upcoming tour dates and ticketing details, visit the band’s website.

Dead & Company – Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY – 6/17/23

[Audio: EJL95]

Setlist: Dead & Company | Saratoga Performing Arts Center | Saratoga Springs, NY | 6/17/23

Set 1: Good Times (Sam Cooke), Scarlet Begonias > Deal (Jerry Garcia), Black-Throated Wind (Bob Weir), Dire Wolf, Bird Song (Jerry Garcia) > Going Down the Road Feeling Bad (Traditional)

Set 2: They Love Each Other (Jerry Garcia) > Terrapin Station, He’s Gone > The Other One (verse 1) > Drums > Space > ‘The Other One (verse 2) > Days Between, Turn On Your Love Light (Bobby “Blue” Bland)

Encore: One More Saturday Night (Bob Weir)