Dead & Company packed up their bags and went looking for a place to hide, settling in on Monday for a show at The Pavilion at Star Lake. The show at the frequent Burgettstown, PA stop witnessed the tour debuts of three songs, including a closing cover of The Band‘s “The Weight”.

Bob WeirJohn MayerMickey HartOteil BurbridgeJeff Chimenti, and Jay Lane felt their way through the show’s opening with an ambient, spacey jam that turned on a dime and crashed into “Hell In A Bucket”. The Grateful Dead offshoot kept the energy and tempo high by rolling down south into “Alabama Getaway”, followed by the crescendo of “Jack Straw”.

Dead & Company – “Hell In A Bucket” [Pro-Shot] – 6/5/23

The first tour debut of the night arrived with Jimmy Reed‘s “Big Boss Man”, with Mayer channeling his inner Ron “Pigpen” McKernan with his bluesy delivery and accompanying guitar licks. Back-to-back tour debuts were in store as Bobby—clad in a Jerry Garcia t-shirt that could have easily come from the parking lot—picked up his acoustic guitar for a tender “Peggy-O” before the band kicked off a continuous movement through “Bertha”, Cassidy”, and finally “Don’t Ease Me In” to end the set.

Taking the stage after sundown, the band members evidently cooled off as they eased into the Primal Dead blues of “Viola Lee Blues”. Situated behind his B3 organ, Chimenti fueled the vamp led by Mayer as the band took full advantage of all the time left on the board and settled in for a long, long, crazy, crazy night.

The traveling spirit overtook the group as they hit the road for “Truckin'”, with the wanderlust anthem flowing into the first “China Doll” of the year. Two of the evening’s tour debuts—”Peggy-O” and “China Doll”—hadn’t been seen since July 8th, 2022 in Bristow, VA per Phantasy Tour.

Dead & Company – “Viola Lee Blues” > “Truckin'” [Pro-Shot] – 6/5/23

Burbridge took lead vocals on the serene Garcia/Robert Hunter ballad, with the band’s secret vocal weapon mellowing out the mood ahead of a classic “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider” pairing. The song partners brought the band into another classic pairing, “Drums” and “Space”, before emerging from the fog with Mayer’s “Althea”.

With the band playing beneath the nightfall of diamonds, Weir gazed up for a starry “Standing On The Moon” ahead of the unmistakable closing rhythm of The Crickets‘ “Not Fade Away” to end the set. The crowd’s unison clapping summoned the band back to the stage, where they performed The Band’s vocal baton race “The Weight” to close the show.

While the show went on on stage, many trying to get to The Pavilion at Star Lake sat idle on the road getting into the venue. Some took to social media and complained of waiting over five hours in traffic, with some spending two hours trying to move two miles.

Given the sold-out crowds following the band from one major U.S. city to another, the traffic issues outside Star Lake were not an isolated incident. A local report from WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC cites fans who were turned away from last week’s concert at PNC Music Pavilion by police who said the venue ran out of parking. A follow-up report from The Charlotte Observer quotes a Live Nation spokesperson who maintains that nobody was turned away from last Tuesday’s show and that the world’s leading entertainment company—who owns the amphitheater—is offering refunds on a case-by-case basis to those who missed the concert.

Dead & Company’s The Final Tour travels next to St. Louis, MO on Wednesday for another sold-out show. Showtime is at 7 p.m. CT, and as the band writes on social media before every concert, “don’t be late!!”

Dead & Company – “Cassidy” – 6/5/23

[Video: MasterpieceCC]

Setlist: Dead & Company | The Pavilion at Star Lake | Burgettstown, PA | 6/5/23

Set One: Hell In A Bucket, Alabama Getaway, Jack Straw, Big Boss Man (Jimmy Reed), Peggy-O, Bertha > Cassidy > Don’t Ease Me In

Set Two: Viola Lee Blues > Truckin’ > China Doll, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider (Traditional) > Drums > Space > Althea > Standing On The Moon, Not Fade Away (The Crickets)

Encore: The Weight (The Band)