In 2017, Brian and I saw six Dead & Company shows during the west coast swing of their 2017 summer tour. We brought Natalie and Carter to four of them and even planned our big trip of the summer around the two shows at Wrigley Field in Chicago that closed out the tour. It was an epic vacation and we all had so much fun that when Dead & Company announced their tour dates for 2018, we planned another family vacation around the shows we wanted to attend.
But this time, we planned a massive 5,090 mile road trip through seven states that had us staying at 11 different hotels, attending six concerts — one at The Gorge Amphitheater in Washington, one at Autzen Stadium in Oregon, two at Shoreline Amphitheater in California, and two at Folsom Field in Colorado — and visiting Newberry National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, Rocky Mountain National Park, and several other amazing places, museums, and roadside attractions along the way.
This year the final two shows of the Dead & Company 2018 summer tour were the two shows in Boulder, Colorado and the final concert of the tour was on Brian’s 40th birthday. There’s no better way to spend his birthday than dancing under the stars to our favorite music live with our children!
Running A Little Late And Sweaty
We arrived at Folsom Field early on Friday so we had ample time to wander Shakedown Street, buy some treasures, and meet up with some friends before hopping in the entrance line before it got too long. We chose the general admission route for all shows but The Gorge this year because the kids were with us — and let’s face it, more shows is better.
Unfortunately, the general admission line was on the asphalt, in full sun, in 100 degree weather. We were sweating our butts off, but at least doors would be opening soon… or not. Sound check didn’t even start until the doors were supposed to open. Fans and staff alike were restless, hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable and doors finally opened 45 minutes late, which meant the show also started late.
Kicking Off The Two-Night Run At Folsom Field
Dead & Company, made up of Grateful Dead originals Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, plus John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti, kicked off the two-night tour closing run in Boulder, Colorado with Iko Iko, Cold Rain And Snow, and a crowd of about 25,000 fans. It felt like a slow start and there were clearly some sound issues, but bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti had once again switched places on stage with Oteil next to Bob Weir and Jeff next to John Mayer, which I really like!
Weir then led the band on a Black-Throated Wind that started off rocky but ended well. After that, the band paused for what Weir called “Dead Air” to regroup, before Mayer dug into Bertha, which suffered ear-piercing feedback near the start of the song.
Next up was Greatest Story Ever Told (a first for us) followed by Burbridge leading the ballad Comes a Time. When Oteil sings, the crowds goes nuts and this was no exception.
To round out the first set, Lost Sailor and Saint of Circumstance headed up by Weir was followed by a rockin’ Mayer-lead Deal that a saw sweet solo from Chimenti and Mayer and Chimenti playing off each other.
Coming Back Strong In Set Two
By the time the second set began, Dead & Company seemed to have figured out their technical issues and delivered a killer set packed with fan favorites that had the stadium singing and dancing. The band opened the set with The Weight and Weir, Mayer, Oteil, and Chimenti all sang verses — the crowd completely erupted when Chimenti sang! This was our first time hearing this song live and it was awesome.
Next up was Mayer leading Lady With a Fan and Weir leading Terrapin Station, St. Stephen with William Tell Bridge, and The Eleven. Terrapin Station and The Eleven both saw the fantastic interplay between Mayer and Chimenti on instrumental solos.
Then it was time for Drums and Space, or what I like to call Set Break Two, where I can sit down and rest my legs from dancing non-stop. Oteil Burbridge joined Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann for Drums and then Space got a little weirder than normal with Hart licking the beam.
Out of space came All Along The Watchtower, another first for us that delivered amazing guitar solos from Mayer, followed by Weir leading a bluesy Black Peter. An upbeat, semi-political Throwing Stones rounded out the set with the crowd on their feet singing along and American flag graphics on the screens behind the band. The theme continued throughout the double encore with a rollicking Liberty and U.S. Blues
We loved our seats, the songs, and the memories… and we can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow!
Dead & Company Folsom Field, Boulder 7/13/2018 Set List:
- Iko Iko
- Cold Rain and Snow
- Black-Throated Wind
- Greatest Story Ever Told
- Comes a Time
- Lost Sailor
- Saint of Circumstance
- The Weight
- Lady With A Fan
- Terrapin Station
- St. Stephen with William Tell Bridge
- The Eleven
- Drums / Space
- All Along the Watchtower
- Black Peter
- Throwing Stones
- U.S. Blues