The starting five of Dead & Company took the diamond at Wrigley Field on Saturday with drummer Jay Lane coming off the bench to help finish the weekend run. Saturday’s improv-heavy show marked the third concert in a row original Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann sub out citing health concerns in favor of Bob Weir‘s longtime collaborator.

Following Friday’s women-themed show that arrived on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Dead & Company was all business as Weir, Lane, Mickey HartJeff ChimentiOteil Burbridge, and John Mayer opened up with “Scarlet Begonias”. The breezy, 13-minute telling acted as a harbinger of things to come during the seven-song first set.

Dead & Company – “Scarlet Begonias” [Pro-Shot] – 6/25/22

Chimenti took the upbeat bounce of “The Wheel” and led the band into jazz-influenced territory, eventually building into “The Wheel”. The day’s early warnings of heavy winds, rains, and hail proved for naught as the crowd reveled in the line “If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will,” (a far cry from last year’s Wrigley run, when the band was twice forced to clear the field due to lightning on the first night).

The first set train kept on rolling down the track with a pass through “New Speedway Boogie”. Friday’s darkness still loomed large overhead as Dead & Company ironed out the Workingman’s Dead song’s bluesy crawl into the third consecutive ten-plus minute song of the first set.

Sensing the heavy energy that lingered over the crowd like a storm cloud, Jeff Chimenti revved up his grand piano and barreled through “Big Railroad Blues”. Mayer peppered the track with some old-fashioned rock n’ roll guitar picking as the band hit the reset button with a quick five-minute hit. It would prove the only song of the first set that would clock in at a single-digits timestamp.

With the vibe securely rescued, Dead & Company laced up its dancing shoes and hit the pavement for “Dancin’ In The Streets”. Between John Mayer’s thick envelope filter and the lyrical shoutout to the Windy City, there was a reason for everybody to bust a move as the band locked firmly into the groove courtesy of the rhythm section of Oteil, Mickey, and Jay. Saturday marked the first “Dancin’ In The Streets” of the 2022 summer tour for a total of three tour debuts on the evening. Up next came a quick trip down south to visit our friend “Tennessee Jed”, the slow waltz ultimately giving way to a set-closing “Sugaree”.

Returning for set two, Dead & Company continued tinkering with the standard formula for the band’s first-ever set-opening “Casey Jones”. The chugging rhythm makes one wonder why the locomotive was never placed at the beginning of a set, as Dead & Company immediately followed it with the first-ever second set “Ramble On Rose”.

Dead & Company – “Casey Jones” [Pro-Shot] – 6/25/22

The band finally exited the test kitchen for some conventional set two magic with the movement of “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower”. This movement saw the band stretch out the “Slipknot!” segment a bit more than usual, relishing in the unconventional rhythm before ultimately bursting out the other side into the bliss of “Franklin’s Tower”.

This led into the “Drums” portion of the evening, where team-player Oteil hung around to lend a hand on the rhythmic celebration. Burbridge picked up his bass toward the end of the segment, which moved through “Space” and into the first “Days Between” of 2022. Weir’s take on one of the last great Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter ballads continued the vibrational yo-yo act that has become a defining characteristic of Dead & Company performances, as Oteil Burbridge jumped in on the upswing with his vocals on “Fire On The Mountain”.

As the final notes of Mickey and Hunter’s reggae-infused composition rang out, Weir took the obligatory “One More Saturday Night” off the board to send the show into encore break. Taking the diamond one last time, Weir and Mayer showed off their harmonies with an encore doubleheader of “Brokedown Palace” and the first “Touch of Grey” of 2022. The line “Fare you well” rang out less than ten miles from where Weir, Kreutzmann, and Hart plus Phil Lesh, Chimenti, Trey Anastasio, and Bruce Hornsby performed the Fare Thee Well 50th-anniversary shows nearly seven years ago.

Full-show audio of Dead & Company at Wrigley Field on Saturday is available thanks to taper Toaste. Scroll down for a collection of fan-shot videos. Dead & Company’s tour resumes on Tuesday at Ruoff Music Center (formerly known as Deer Creek) in Noblesville, IN.

Dead & Company – “The Wheel” – 6/25/22

[Video: Sojahsey1]

Dead & Company – “Big Railroad Blues” – 6/25/22

[Video: Sojahsey1]

Dead & Company – “Fire On The Mountain” – 6/25/22

[Video: Brady Johnson]

Dead & Company – “One More Saturday Night” – 6/25/22

[Video: Cole Rector]

View Videos

Dead & Company – Wrigley Field – Chicago, IL – 6/25/22 – Full Audio

Setlist: Dead & Company | Wrigley Field | Chicago, IL | 6/25/22

Set One: Scarlet Begonias > The Wheel > New Speedway Boogie > Big Railroad Blues, Dancin’ in the Streets, Tennessee Jed, Sugaree

Set Two: Casey Jones, Ramble On Rose, Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower > Drums > Space > Days Between, Fire on the Mountain, One More Saturday Night

Encore: Brokedown Palace, Touch of Grey

Jay Lane filled in for Bill Kreutzmann on drums