Dead & Company returned once more to Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL on Saturday to finish out a two-night run at the home of the Chicago Cubs. Fans were treated to a full, two-set performance after lightning storms stunted Friday’s concert.
John Mayer took center stage to start the show with what has become something of a signature song for the younger guitarist, “Althea”. Mayer, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Jeff Chimenti, and Oteil Burbridge made clear that they came to play as they wove through an inspired “Uncle John’s Band”, only to immediately outdo it with the ensuing “He’s Gone”.
Dead & Company — “Althea” — 9/18/21
It was Mayer’s turn at bat once again as he fired off a quick “Brown-Eyed Women” before Weir hiked up his shorts and broke out his slide for “Little Red Rooster”. A team effort followed with “Jack Straw” before the obligatory “One More Saturday Night” came earlier than anticipated and closed out set one.
Dead & Company — “Brown-Eyed Women” — 9/18/21
Dead & Company — “Jack Straw” — 9/18/21
Returning for set two, Dead & Company opted for the eternal pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider” ahead of Weir’s reggae-soaked tribute to California, “Estimated Prophet”. While the song selection through the Wrigley run—and most of the tour—doesn’t deviate much from the “hits,” this lets Dead & Company to get more comfortable with the compositions and each other with each passing performance, allowing the band to move more easily through extended improvisation. While Weir, Kreutzmann, and Hart have been playing these songs—and with each other—for over half a century, the entire band’s groupthink is still reaping benefits from this continuous practice.
Dead & Company — “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” — 9/18/21
Dead & Company — “Estimated Prophet” > “Eyes Of The World” — 9/18/21
[Video: Scott Sigman]
Moving into “Eyes Of The World”, Mayer led the expedition through jazz-infused leads as he intermingled playfully with Chimenti. Then came time for “Drums” and “Space” before the second “Milestones” interpolation of the tour. The post-“Space” ballad slot went to an emotional “Days Between” before the band closed out set two with the “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower” movement. Dead & Company opted for a double-dose of emotional sing-alongs as the encore began with “Brokedown Palace” and finished out with “Touch Of Grey”.
Dead & Company — “Brokedown Palace” — 9/18/21
[Video: kembra allen]
Dead & Company — “Touch Of Grey” — 9/18/21
Dead & Company is off until October 6th when the band returns to the stage in West Palm Beach, FL. For tickets and a full tour schedule click here. Scroll down to check out a gallery of images from Dead & Company at Wrigley Field on Saturday courtesy of photographer Daniel Ojeda. Full-show audio is available thanks to taper cabinetmusic.
Dead & Company — Wrigley Field — Chicago, IL — 9/18/21
Setlist: Dead & Company | Wrigley Field | Chicago, IL | 9/18/21
Set One: Althea > Uncle John’s Band > He’s Gone, Brown-Eyed Women, Little Red Rooster, Jack Straw, One More Saturday Night
Set Two: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Estimated Prophet > Eyes Of The World > Drums > Space > Milestones > Days Between > Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower
Encore: Brokedown Palace, Touch Of Grey