After a somewhat slow, sleepy-feeling Dead & Company concert at The Gorge on Friday night, we bolted back to our hotel in Ellensburg for a good night’s sleep. Not only did we do the concert on Friday, but during the day we also toured Ellensburg and Kittitas County Historical Museum, stopped by Dick And Jane’s Spot, explored the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth, snapped photos with dinosaurs, and hiked at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park.
Then, Saturday morning after a quick breakfast, we hit the road bound for Eugene and another Dead & Company show that night. Luckily, we did have time for a few quick pit stops along the way, including a picnic lunch at the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint and a tour of The Living Rock Studios before checking into out hotel and finding some pre-concert food.
Every single hotel in Eugene and the surrounding towns were completely booked for the Dead & Company show weekend and there were people in tie dye, Grateful Dead, and Dead & Company t-shirts everywhere. Our hotel was about a mile from Autzen Stadium, so we decided to walk to the venue and find dinner along the way, which was good and bad.
- The good was that we found the awesome Steelhead Brewing Company that had great food, great service, and no wait and we could walk to the venue through a beautiful park.
- The bad was that the trail through the park was a dirt trail and wearing flip flops meant that I then had “hobbit feet” for the rest of the night, which was totally gross. Also, walking the mile back to the hotel, much of it through the unlit park, after the concert, in the dark, with my kids isn’t something I want to do ever again.
The other good news is that Dead & Company rocked Eugene!
Maybe they just needed to get one show under their belt after a short mid-tour break to really let loose and jam. Not only did we have a fantastic time at this show, but we had our favorite seats — first row, second deck. I’m only 5’3″ and both of our kids are shorter than I am, so if we’re in the pit or seats with a gentle pitch, there is a high probability that we won’t be able to see anything over the taller people in front of us. Plus, paying hundreds of dollars to not be able to see the band sucks.
We love the first row of the second deck not only for the unobstructed views, but for a little extra personal space for my kids (Carter hates big crowds), the breeze the second deck catches at night, and being slightly removed from the hoards of people smoking all the things.
Dead & Company Rocks Eugene
For the first time in 20 years, and 40 years after The Grateful Dead first took the stage at Autzen Stadium, Dead & Company played the second show of their 2018 summer tour west coast swing. Formed in 2015, the band is made up of Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbrdige, and Jeff Chimenti.
Dead & Company kicked off the show with Deal and even though we’ve heard them play it several times, it’s one of my favorites and I was hoping this was going to set the tone for the night. When a quick and fast-paced Me and My Uncle followed, we were smiling from ear to ear and the crowd was going wild and the field was a sea of dancing cheering fans below us.
Next up was a beautiful Here Comes Sunshine, followed by Black Throated Wind by Weir and another of my favorites, Cold Rain and Snow by Mayer with Chimenti on the organ — we have loved the amped-up interplay between Mayer and Chimenti on this tour and it’s been really fun to watch! Weir and Mayer continued to trade off with Peggy-O followed by an extended Sugaree and One More Saturday Night to close out the first set, which I’m pretty sure has been played on every Saturday show on the tour.
Dead & Company came back from set break, diving right into long Dark Star that transitioned into El Paso and back to Dark Star verse two — a nod to famous The Grateful Dead concert in Veneta, Oregon on August 27, 1972. Next up was a powerful St. Stephen followed by William Tell Bridge into The Eleven, both of which we were thrilled to hear the band play live for the first time. After a second set break of Drums/Space the band moved into Morning Dew and a super fun Turn On Your Lovelight that had the whole stadium dancing to round out the second set. The encore featured warm Brokedown Palace with fans swaying and singing along as the night came to an end.
This was a fantastic show and the perfect way to wrap the first two shows of our six stop summer road trip! Yes, for 2018, we planned our summer road trip around six Dead & Company concerts — one at The Gorge, one at Autzen Stadium, two at Shoreline Amphitheater, and two at Folsom Field.
In 2016, we did concerts in Portland, George, Wheatland, and Mountain View, bring the kids to all of the shows except for Wheatland. And in 2017, we did two concerts at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, two concerts at Folsom Field in Boulder, and two concerts at Wrigley Field in Chicago, bring the kids with us to all but the Boulder shows.
It was so much fun, we couldn’t help but do it again this year and are already looking forward to the next show and the adventures we’re going to have along the way.
Dead & Company Autzen Stadium 6/30/18 Setlist:
- Me & My Uncle
- Here Comes Sunshine
- Black-Throated Wind
- Cold Rain & Snow
- One More Saturday Night
- Dark Star (verse 1)
- El Paso
- Dark Star (verse 2)
- St. Stephen
- William Tell Bridge
- The Eleven
- Drums / Space
- Morning Dew
- Turn on Your Love Light
- Brokedown Palace