We had an amazing night in Boulder Colorado last night seeing Dead & Company at Folsom Field. We wandered Shakedown Street, we sweated our butts off waiting for the doors to open 45 minutes late, and sang and danced all night. Tonight was more bittersweet. While we were thrilled to be celebrating Brian’s 40th birthday at the final concert of the 2018 summer tour, we were also sad for the tour and our epic summer vacation to be coming to an end.
We Came Prepared
No, we didn’t come prepared to get drunk or high like most people assume when you mention the Grateful Dead. I almost never drink due to stomach issues and I am proud to say I have never tried any drugs, ever. Plus, we bring our kids to the shows! For us, it’s a family affair and we’re making memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
We did come prepared a better game plan for entering the venue with general admission tickets.
After sweating our butts off and staying up way too late last night, and hiking the Flatirons and grabbing lunch at Pearl Street Mall earlier in the day, we were exhausted. Plus, we’ve been on the road hiking and adventuring for almost three weeks and it’s finally catching up with us!
But nevertheless, we again arrived early, wandered Shakedown Street, and found our friends… we also scouted different options to get in the venue and Brian found a lesser known entrance on the back side of the stadium that was in the shade! HOORAY! We stood in that line, which was much cooler, and stayed hydrated with a giant Hydroflask full of ice water and we all felt much better!
An Extraordinary End To An Extraordinary Tour
While Friday night’s show didn’t have a packed stadium, Saturday’s show did. Folsom Field was jam-packed with Deadheads of all ages… but the photos may not depict that. It was so hot that most people got smart on the second night and packed into the shady side of the field, bleachers, and walkways like sardines. It wasn’t until the sun went down that fans spread out around the stadium and we all really had room to dance.
Dead & Company also clearly worked out the kinks because it was killer from start to finish with a set list that many only dream of. The six member ensemble of Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti kicked off the night with a bang, diving right into the fan-favorite combination of China Cat Sunflower and I Know You Rider that had the entire stadium on their feet singing along. Disco-esque Shakedown Street was then followed by Mayer delivering a soulful Brown Eyed Women that had Chimenti and Mayer dueling back and forth, their chemistry undeniable. It was clear the band was on point tonight and the tone was set for a night of fun.
Next, Mayer led the band through a beautiful, blusey 13 minute Althea, followed by a jazzy Cassidy, and of course, the always fun yet predictable One More Saturday Night to round out the set.
After set break, set two opened with a fantastic Scarlet Begonias that featured guitar solos by Mayer that had the crowd cheering, followed by Franklin’s Tower, the longest jam of the night that lead into Fire On The Mountain led by Burbridge. The Scarklet/Franklin/Fire sandwich was almost thirty minutes long and absolutely incredible.
A more serious He’s Gone then flowed into verse one of The Other One, both highlighted with Mayer’s bluesy guitar sound. A more relaxed Drums and Space that saw Oteil on drums and later on bass followed and eventually eased back into The Other One to finish out the song. The ballad slot then saw Weir deliver a slow, soulful Days Between then the energy was kicked back up to finish out the set with a fun and vibrant Sugar Magnolia.
After leaving the stage and hearing the fans cheering non-stop, Dead & Company reemerged with another two song encore!
The hits kept coming with Uncle John’s Band and a killer jam that had the crowd going wild. The band then gathered together on stage, huddled in a group hug, and briefly left the stage, only to return with Bob Weird holding an acoustic guitar for a gorgeous rendition of Ripple that had fans swaying together, lifting lighters and phones into the air, and feeling their hearts bursting with love. It was truly a spectacular moment in time that with my children beside me, I’ll never forget.
It really was the perfect close to a stellar summer tour and the perfect way to celebrate Brian’s birthday… and we can’t hardly wait for next summer to arrive so we can do it all again.
Dead & Company Folsom Field, Boulder 7/14/2018 Set List:
- China Cat Sunflower
- I Know You Rider
- Shakedown Street
- Brown-Eyed Women
- One More Saturday Night
- Scarlet Begonias
- Franklin’s Tower
- Fire on the Mountain
- He’s Gone
- The Other One
- Drums / Space
- The Other One
- Days Between
- Sugar Magnolia
- Uncle John’s Band