Dead & Company said goodbye to yet another great American ballpark on Sunday, leaving Fenway Park with the first “Comes A Time” since 2021. The Grateful Dead offshoot also completed the “Other One” it began the night before, however the “Dark Star” from Fenway night one remains unfinished as the band travels to Noblesville, IN for a Tuesday show.

By this point in Dead & Company’s summer tour, the band’s playbook has mostly revealed itself. While, of course, each show is unique in its playing, song choice patterns are fairly solidified, and if there’s one setlist decision fans can set their watch to it’s “Samson and Delilah” on a Sunday. The Biblical tune opened Sunday’s show and set the tone for a first set that leaned heavily on the traditional American songbook, which was a great influence on the Dead, and of which the band has since become a part.

Following “Samson” came the traditional “Cold Rain and Snow”. Even as the group moved into the originals “Jack Straw” and “Althea”, these ballads of mythical characters kept the tone rooted in American folklore.

Dead & Company – “Samson And Delilah” (Traditional), “Cold Rain And Snow” (Traditional) [Pro-Shot] – 6/25/23

The predictability of mid-tour Dead & Company shows notwithstanding, the band is still capable of surprises. The unexpected element of Sunday’s show came midway through the first set by way of bassist Oteil Burbridge‘s heavenly vocals on the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter ballad “Comes A Time”. The track off Garcia’s 1976 solo album Reflections hadn’t appeared since 9/10/21, with Sunday marking its 14th overall performance since debuting on 6/24/17 at Citi Field.

Returning to the tried-and-true song selection, guitarist John Mayer let the blues ooze from his guitar on “Mr. Charlie” before Dead & Company used “He’s Gone” as a springboard into the most significant improvisation of the evening thus far. Not dwelling in the deep end too long, the band circled back to the traditional theme that began the set to end it with “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad”.

Dead & Company took the stage for set two with a pep in their step, opening with an uptempo “They Love Each Other” reminiscent of the song’s 1973 arrangement. The following “Playing In The Band” served as the on-ramp for the improvisational crux of the evening, setting up passage through “Help On The Way” into “Slipknot!” and a surprising “Fire On The Mountain” (turns out you can teach an old Dead new tricks).

Dead & Company – “They Love Each Other”, “Playing In The Band” [Pro-Shot] – 6/25/23

The Grateful Dead legacy is one built on tradition, and “Drums” honors not only the Dead’s traditions but also centuries of rhythmic heritage. As Bob Weir, Mayer, and Jeff Chimenti rejoined drummers Mickey Hart and Jay Lane along with Burbridge for the descent from “Space”, the band had some unfinished business to take care of, knocking out the second verses of “Playing In The Band” from earlier in set two and “The Other One” from night one. The exciting conclusion of “Dark Star” remains out there somewhere in the cosmos.

While not the ending of “Dark Star”, the second set wound down with Bobby crooning the interstellar “Standing On The Moon” before Dead & Co delivered the walk-off “Not Fade Away”. Taking the diamond at Fenway one more time, Dead & Company performed just the second “The Weight” of the year before closing out the show with “Ripple”.

Check out fan-shot videos from K T and full audio by Eric Lugassy from Dead & Company at Fenway on Sunday. The Final Tour continues Tuesday at Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN. For tickets and a full list of tour dates visit the band’s website.

Dead & Company – “Althea” – 6/25/23

Dead & Company – “Comes A Time” – 6/25/23

Dead & Company – “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Fire On The Mountain” – 6/25/23

Dead & Company – “The Other One” – 6/25/23

View Videos

Dead & Company – Fenway Park – Boston, MA – 6/25/23 – Full Audio

Setlist: Dead & Company | Fenway Park | Boston, MA | 6/25/23

Set One: Samson and Delilah (Traditional), Cold Rain and Snow (Traditional), Jack Straw, Althea, Comes a Time [1], Mr. Charlie, He’s Gone > Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad (Traditional)

Set Two: They Love Each Other, Playing in the Band > Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Fire on the Mountain > Drums > Space > Playing In The Band > The Other One [2] > Standing on the Moon, Not Fade Away (The Crickets)

Encore: The Weight (The Band), Ripple

[1] LTP 9/10/21

[2] Verse 2, completed from 6/24/23