Dead & Company Bring A “High Time” To The Legendary Hollywood Bowl (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

Dead & Company hit the legendary Hollywood Bowl for the first of two nights on June 3, 2019, as part of the launch of their 19-show Summer 2019 tour. The Hollywood Bowl concerts followed the start of the much-anticipated tour that began over two nights at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, over the just-past weekend. At the Bowl on June 3, the sold-out crowd soaked in more than three hours of music on a beautiful night in Hollywood.

The band came out running as John Mayer sang lead on “Cold Rain and Snow” that led into“Hell In A Bucket” and a bluesy version of “Easy Wind” where Mayer continuously showed off his superb guitar chops and vocals. The slower, rearranged “Easy Wind” and classics like “Jack Straw” and “Sugaree” gave Mayer additional opportunities to delve into his blues roots on guitar. 

Oteil Burbridge was constantly smiling and swaying as he played his thundering bass. His vocal prowess was also on display early in the first set during “High Time,” a Workingman’s Dead jewel. It was the first time Dead & Company played that song live to the delight of the adoring crowd. The band played a long intro leading up to “Birdsong” near the end of the first set. Jeff Chimenti played several keyboards through the show and his organ work during “Birdsong” and in the second set jam for “Help on the Way” was spectacular. A quick version of “Don’t Ease Me In” closed out the first set. 

The band opened the second set with Weir handling lead vocals on “Iko Iko,” a New Orleans standard originally by The Dixie Cups, but covered many times by legends like Dr. John as well as the Dead. Weir continued to lead the band through “New Speedway Boogie” while Mayer took over vocals for a slowed down, blues-infused “Sugaree.” The frequently paired “Slipknot!” led into “Franklin’s Tower” before the expectedly trippy “Drums” and “Space.” Mickey Hart had the Bowl vibrating as he thumped some of his stringed percussion gadgets before the rest of the band came back out for “Stella Blue.”

Weir sang the mellow and hypnotic ballad before the entire band upped the tempo for the show-closing “Not Fade Away.” The band members bowed and left the stage to thunderous applause. With only a few minutes left before the house curfew, they returned for a monumental encore version of Terrapin Station” that closed out the show.

This six-piece band has really hit their stride at this point in their partnership, playing with passion and precision. The first night at Hollywood Bowl featured a fantastic collection of classic tunes played with impressive accuracy, while still maintaining their Grateful Dead brand and flair for improvisation.

Live photos courtesy of Andy J. Gordon ©2019.

Setlist
Set 1:
Cold Rain and Snow (traditional cover)
Hell in a Bucket (Grateful Dead cover)
Easy Wind (Grateful Dead cover)
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo (Grateful Dead cover)
High Time (Grateful Dead cover) (live debut; Oteil on lead vocals)
Jack Straw (Grateful Dead cover)
Bird Song (Jerry Garcia cover) (>)
Don’t Ease Me In (Henry Thomas cover)

Set 2:
Iko Iko (The Dixie Cups cover)
New Speedway Boogie (Grateful Dead cover)
Sugaree (Jerry Garcia cover)
Help on the Way (Grateful Dead cover) (>)
Slipknot! (Grateful Dead cover) (>)
Franklin’s Tower (Grateful Dead cover) (>)
Drums (Grateful Dead cover) (>)
Space (Grateful Dead cover) (>)
Stella Blue (Grateful Dead cover)
Not Fade Away (The Crickets cover)

Encore:
Terrapin Station (Grateful Dead cover)

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