Dead & Company took the bases at another great American ballpark on Thursday for a show at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA.

The band’s one-off show at the home of the MLB‘s Philadelphia Phillies featured numerous homages to the fairer sex in the first set, including the show-opening “Man Smart, Woman Smarter” that doubled as a tribute to the late Harry Belafonte. Dead & Co’s first “Woman Smarter” of the year got the crowd loose and singing along before starting the show off proper with a drop into “Shakedown Street”.

With everyone good and limbered up from “Woman Smarter”, there was no excuse not to boogie down to the timeless disco Grateful Dead track that has long outlasted the musical fad with which its style is associated. John Mayer put some English on the song’s simple opening chords in a telling display of the effusive energy which would emanate from the guitarist all evening long.

Dead & Company – “Man Smart, Woman Smarter” (Harry Belafonte), “Shakedown Street” [Pro-Shot] – 6/15/23

The music never stopped as Dead & Company threw it all the way back to the original Dead’s very first concert with “Cold Rain & Snow”, another female-focused song (for better or for worse). While Mayer was certainly running the show with his vocals and bluesy guitar licks, he of course made room for his musical conversation partner Jeff Chimenti to chime in on B3 organ.

By the time “Jack Straw” (“We can share the women / We can share the wine”) came around, it was evident that John Mayer was feeling himself this particular evening as he found every nook and cranny in the song structure to widdle away serene runs up and down the neck of his guitar.

Returning from the cross-trekking journey of “Jack Straw”, the band threw it back to a simpler time of “Brown Eyed Women” and red grenadine. The diamond may have been dusty, but Mayer’s licks were certainly clean. The song rounded out a foursome of tunes from the Grateful Dead songbook referencing women, a theme the band has experimented with before on multiple occasions.

Chimenti’s ornate grand piano playing classed up this telling of “Brown Eyed Women” before a stoppage in play brought up the unmistakable opening notes to the Dead’s improvisational behemoth “Dark Star”. Taking a brief journey through the vast sonic space allowed by the jam vehicle, the band bit off only the first verse and saved the rest for later. The instrumental foray proved a preview of things to come prior to Bobby pulling in the reins for a quick giddy-up down to “El Paso” before the traditional “Don’t Ease Me In” first-set closer.

Returning for the second set, bassist Oteil Burbridge turned up the heat with a standalone “Fire On The Mountain”. The melodic reggae bounce got the band and crowd alike warmed up for set two before Weir gave a stern finger-wagging with the Dead’s Altamont lament “New Speedway Boogie”. Circling back to the reggae rhythms that began the second frame, Bobby looked to California’s Golden Shore for “Estimated Prophet” as the band sunk its teeth into the improvisational meat of set two.

Dead & Company – “Fire On The Mountain” [Pro-Shot] – 6/15/23

Continuing to jump genres, Dead & Company switched tracks with the jazz-infused “Eyes Of The World”. The uptempo number reawakened Mayer to his joyously ebullient presence of the first set, as he pushed the jam to its breaking point when the song devolved piece by piece to “Drums” and “Space”.

Observing the Earth from the stratosphere of “Space”, Dead & Company lingered above the planet a little longer to complete the second half of “Dark Star”. Plummeting back toward the Earth’s surface, Dead & Company went straight underground for a trip down the mine for “Cumberland Blues”, Jeff’s boogie woogie grand piano reacclimating everyone to the planet’s atmosphere.

Dead & Company had one more interstellar voyage planned, as Weir set the coordinates for a serene “Standing On The Moon” that captured the stillness of space. Finally, Dead & Company pulled perhaps the greatest closing punch from the Grateful Dead playbook with a set-ending “Not Fade Away”, with the packed baseball stadium keeping the beat during the encore break in a display reminiscent of the awe-inspiring scene from 2015’s Fare Thee Well closer and so many Dead concerts before it. Butting up against curfew, Bob and John grabbed their acoustic guitars, lit the campfire, and plucked out a quick “Ripple” to end the show.

Dead & Company’s Final Tour travels next to Saratoga Springs, NY for a two-night run on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets and a full list of tour dates visit the band’s website. Check out a collection of fan-shot videos of Thursday’s show from Tom F.

Dead & Company – “Jack Straw” – 6/15/23

Dead & Company – “Dark Star” – 6/15/23

Dead & Company – “Estimated Prophet” > “Eyes Of The World” – 6/15/23

Dead & Company – “Space” > “Dark Star” – 6/15/23

Dead & Company – “Not Fade Away” (The Crickets) – 6/15/23

Dead & Company – “Ripple” – 6/15/23

View Videos

Dead & Company – Citizens Bank Park – Philadelphia, PA – 6/15/23 – Full Audio

[Audio: Eric Lugassy]

Setlist: Dead & Company | Citizens Bank Park | Philadelphia, PA | 6/15/23

Set One: Man Smart, Woman Smarter (Harry Belafonte) > Shakedown Street > Cold Rain & Snow (Traditional), Jack Straw, Brown Eyed Women, Dark Star [1] > El Paso, Don’t Ease Me In (Traditional)

Set Two: Fire On The Mountain, New Speedway Boogie, Estimated Prophet > Eyes Of The World > Drums > Space > Dark Star [2] > Cumberland Blues, Standing On The Moon, Not Fade Away (The Crickets)

Encore: Ripple

[1] Verse 1 only

[2] Verse 2