Dead & Company wrapped up an eventful 2021 tour this weekend with a three-night Halloween weekend run at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA.
The most prevalent storyline to come out of the Grateful Dead spinoff act’s fall tour has been drummer Bill Kreutzmann‘s ongoing, non-COVID health issues. Bill’s illness kept him on the bench for a Colorado run in late October which included two shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and two shows at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. Jay Lane filled in behind the kit alongside Mickey Hart for those performances.
Kreutzmann later returned to the Dead & Company lineup for one-off shows in Arizona and Southern California and performed with the band for its first two nights at Hollywood Bowl.
Bill was back in action on Saturday night for the second of two Dead & Company shows at Hollywood Bowl, which featured memorable renditions of “Shakedown Street”, “Bird Song”, “Jack Straw”, “Sugaree”, “China Cat Sunflower”/”I Know You Rider”, and more. At the start of 10/30’s “Drums” segment, however, Bill Kreutzmann left the stage and was conspicuously absent throughout the Mickey Hart- and Oteil Burbridge-led percussion interlude.
Dead & Company – “Jack Straw” [Pro-Shot] – 10/30/21
When the full band returned after “Space”, Kreutzmann remained offstage and Jay Lane appeared once again behind his drum kit, where he stayed for the remainder of the show, including “Throwing Stones”, “Days Between”, “One More Saturday Night”, and a “Not Fade Away” closer followed by a “U.S. Blues” encore.
Ahead of Sunday’s All Hallows Eve performance/tour closer, Kreutzmann announced that he would once again sit the show out as he continued to rest and recover. As the drummer noted in a social media post on Sunday afternoon,
It’s Halloween — did I spook you? I just want everyone to know that I’m okay and I was sad to have to miss the ending last night. I wasn’t feeling well and the show must go on. On my way home, I took a little detour to the hospital but the diagnosis was simply that I returned to the road a little too soon and we’ve been touring just a little too hard. I needed more rest, so I’m going to get it now and be back full steam ahead to jam with all of you in Mexico. I can’t wait. … Love is real, Billy
With Lane locked in once again for the final night of the tour, Dead & Company returned to the famed outdoor venue for one more night. After opening with Sunday staple “Samson and Delilah”, Bob Weir and John Mayer traded vocals on an elongated rendition of “Uncle John’s Band”. An early-show “Touch of Grey” and a short, swaggering “Dire Wolf” kept things moving along. A moody, frantic “Hell In A Bucket” jam finally gave way to a surprising “Terrapin Station” to close out a strong first set.
Dead & Company – “Samson and Delilah” [Pro-Shot] – 10/31/21
A rousing “Althea” got the tour’s final frame moving before the jam went ambient and shifted into “Dark Star” for a jam and the song’s first verse, led with intrepid creativity by Mayer on guitar. After routing through “El Paso” for a cowboy interlude, “Dark Star” crashed in once again for its second verse.
Dead & Company – “Althea” [Pro-Shot] – 10/31/21
The set’s centerpiece jam, “Eyes of the World”, gave keyboardist Jeff Chimenti a chance to truly shine on the grand piano before ceding the stage to the new-look “Rhythm Devil” trio of Hart, Burbridge, and Lane—all decked out in devil costumes—for Drums/Space.
The show’s fourth quarter played out like a greatest hits compilation as the band moved through a 20-minute “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” segment before wrapping up with a powerful “Morning Dew” and a pulsing reprise of the set-closing “Not Fade Away” from the previous night. A flowing “Brokedown Palace” encore finally tied a bow on both the Halloween show and the 2021 Dead & Company tour.
Dead & Company – “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” – 10/31/21
After some time off, Dead & Company returns to action in January for two separate editions of Playing In The Sand in Mexico. For more information, head to the band’s website here.
Get your rest and get well soon, Billy K! We can’t wait to see you back out there in Riviera Maya. Scroll down to check out the setlists from the Saturday and Sunday shows as well as a gallery of photos from Halloween via photographer Dave Stotts.
Setlist: Dead & Company | Hollywood Bowl | Los Angeles, CA | 10/30/21
Set One: Good Times (Sam Cooke), Shakedown Street, Bertha, Minglewood Blues, It Hurts Me Too (Tampa Red), Tennessee Jed, Bird Song
Set Two: Jack Straw, Sugaree > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > Drums/Space > Throwing Stones# > Days Between# > One More Saturday Night# > Not Fade Away#
Encore: U.S. Blues
#Jay Lane on drums in place of Bill Kreutzmann
Setlist: Dead & Company | Hollywood Bowl | Los Angeles, CA | 10/31/21
Set One: Samson and Delilah, Uncle John’s Band > Brown-Eyed Women, Touch of Grey, Dire Wolf, Hell in a Bucket, Lady With a Fan > Terrapin Station
Set Two: Althea, Dark Star* > El Paso (Marty Robbins) > Dark Star^ > Eyes of the World > Drums > Space > Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain > Morning Dew > Not Fade Away
Encore: Brokedown Palace
*Verse one only
^Verse two only
Jay Lane on drums in place of Bill Kreutzmann for whole show