On Saturday night, Dead & Company rounded out their 19-date summer tour with a with their second night at Chicago’s storied Wrigley Field. Coming in hot off a top notch set two on Friday night, the band went big for their tour closer, delivering a team-centric performance that saw Bob WeirMickey HartBill KreutzmannJohn MayerOteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti each get multiple chances to shine, both as individual musicians and as the steadily tighter and more cohesive unit they’ve become over the last month on the road.

The show began with a trio of tunes last played at the band’s New York performance last weekend–“Cold Rain and Snow,” “Jack Straw,” and “Tennessee Jed,” before Mayer, Burbridge, and Weir each took a turn at lead vocals on the tour debut of “Ship of Fools.” From there, John and Bobby brought out their acoustic guitars to finish off the previous night’s second-set “Dark Star,” which flowed into a beautiful acoustic “Friend of the Devil” for good measure. Finally, Mayer took the reigns for fantastic set-closing one-two punch, leading the way through revelrous renditions of classic Dead sing-alongs “Althea” and “Casey Jones.” You can watch pro-shot footage of the band’s show-opening “Cold Rain and Snow” below, via Dead & Co’s YouTube page:

After a break, the band returned to the stage with a sunny Sugar Magnolia, building to a euphoric peak on the back of some impressive soloing from John. Instead of the tune’s usual ending “Sunshine Daydream” refrain, the band opted for funky reading of “Dancin’ In The Street.” Next, Weir took the band from dancin’ to playin’ with “Playin’ In The Band,” which gracefully gave way to the second-ever Dead & Co rendition of Garcia/Hunter classic “Comes A Time,” featuring Oteil singing lead. Just like his debut performance of the tune at Citi Field, the bassist’s haunting vocals tugged at the audience’s collective heartstrings in a way few musicians can. You can watch pro-shot footage of “Sugar Magnolia” below, via Dead & Co’s YouTube page:

The second half of set two was one long summer tour victory lap. First, a classic “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” pairing (with Burbridge once again handling lead vocals on “Fire”) flowed into one more “Drums > Space” before landing in a pulsing “The Other One.” From there, Bob led a powerfully wistful cruise through “Days Between,” before everyone joined in on vocals for a set closing “Not Fade Away.”

The “Not Fade Away” clapping–the de facto heartbeat of live Dead–kept its promise as the band waited to re-emerge for their encore, the cadence echoing through the century-old stadium. The band returned to bid the fans farewell with a gorgeous and appropriate “Brokedown Palace” encore, before making one final surprise curtain call: a tour-closing fireworks spectacle, soundtracked by the “Sunshine Daydream” that was missing from the set-opening “Sugar Magnolia.”

With their emphatic finale at Wrigley, Dead & Company capped a summer run that saw the six-piece mosaic of founding members and fresh faces truly come into their own as a band to be reckoned with. The spirit of the Grateful Dead is alive and well with Dead & Co, and we truly can’t wait for this band to get back out on the road and keep doing what they do so well. Many thanks to Bobby, Billy, Mickey, Johnny, Jeff and Oteil for a fantastic summer. You know our love will not fade away…

You can watch crowd-shot footage of the encore and fireworks display below, via YouTube user Johnny A:

You can also watch fan-shot footage of “Ship of Fools” (via Sojahsey1), “Althea” (via Matt Frazier), and the acoustic “Dark Star” > “FOTD” (via Still Dead) below:

“Ship of Fools”


“Dark Star” (verse 2) > “Friend of the Devil”

[Cover photo via Phierce Photo by Keith G.]

SETLIST: Dead & Company | Wrigley Field | Chicago, IL | 7/1/17

Set One: Cold Rain & Snow, Jack Straw, Tennessee Jed, Ship Of Fools, Dark Star (verse 2) > Friend of the Devil, Althea, Casey Jones

Set Two: Sugar Magnolia > Dancin’ In The Street, Playin’ In The Band > Comes A Time, Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain > Drums > Space > The Other One, Days Between, Not Fade Away

Encore: Brokedown Palace

Encore 2: Sunshine Daydream (with fireworks display)