Our big summer vacation for 2018 was an epic, 5,090 mile, two leg, road trip across seven states that included 11 hotels, two national monuments, one national park, and six Dead & Company concerts. Our first Dead & Company concert of the summer was at one of my favorite music venues of all time — The Gorge Amphitheater, overlooking the majestic Columbia River Gorge. Then we stopped in Eugene, Oregon for an incredible concert at Autzen Stadium, before heading back to California for a two-night run at Shoreline Amphitheater.
As we learned at Dead & Company’s 2016 Shoreline concert, trying to get an Uber or Lyft after the concert is a nightmare. For the band’s two concerts in 2017 Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, we bought upgraded parking and it made things so much easier, we did the same for this year. With the special parking pass, we were able to park in the lot right outside the venue, and because we arrived early, we could pick a spot right next to the exit for a speedy post-show escape.
After enjoying a tailgate picnic in the parking lot, we headed over to Shakedown Street, the everything-goes, organic, fan-held, pop-up flea market and pre-show tailgate party. Here, rows of hippies and deadheads were hawking their wares — pins, clothing, flower crowns, jewelry, artwork, drinks, booze, food, drugs, and more — under shade covers and out of the backs of their vehicles. Music was playing, people were laughing, and everyone was clearly ready for a fantastic night of music that has brought everyone together.
The first time we walked our kids through Shakedown Street, their eyes were huge and they weren’t quite sure how to react! But now that they’ve been to so many shows, they’re pros. Carter isn’t a fan of crowds, invasions of personal space, or strangers, so he sticks close to Brian, but Natalie is all in. She loves browsing the tents, people watching, and searching for a treasure that she’ll take home as a memento of the show.
Dead & Company Kicks Off Two Show Run In Mountain View
Dead & Company, comprised of Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann with Grammy Award winners John Mayer and Oteil Burbridge, and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, kicked off the first of two two hometown shows at Shoreline Amphitheater with another absolutely fantastic display of talent.
Coming off a mellow concert at The Gorge Amphitheater 2018 and a powerful show at Autzen Stadium 2018, the band was clearly ready to rock with Bob Weir firmly at the helm. Weir was on point as Dead & Company opened the first set with a killer Feel Like a Stranger that had the entire amphitheater on its feet and a funky Dancing in the Street. Each sing stretched to almost 15 minutes long and saw Weir and Mayer jam together, clearly having a good time.
Next up was a bluesy It Hurts Me Too, followed by the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter ballad If I Had the World to Give sung by Burbridge, and Corrina led by Weir. This was the first time we were treated to hearing all three of these songs live!
I then danced my butt off alongside Natalie to what was the by far best version of They Love Each Other to date that lasted around 15 minutes and featured a brilliant solo by Chimenti on the Hammond B3 organ. On this tour, Chimenti and Burbridge are much more prominent in the mix, which I have loved. Finally, the politically-charged Throwing Stones wrapped the first set with the crowd on their feet, singing, and cheering loudly.
After set break, Weir once again kicked things off with the popular, two-song combo of The Lost Sailor and Saint of Circumstance followed by He’s Gone. After that, the music got started and the band never seemed to take a break.
For almost 30 minutes straight, Dead & Company delivered a phenomenal Help on the Way > Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower run with Mayer killing it on the solos and the crowd went absolutely wild.
Burbridge then joined in for a tribal-feeling Drums and Space easily led into The Other One — but the first verse only. Next up, Wharf Rat took the traditional ballad spot with two spectacular solos from Mayer, immediately followed by Not Fade Away that really showcased the interplay between Mayer and Chimenti.
The soft Touch of Grey finished off the night as the encore and I don’t think anyone was ready for the night to end. Dead & Company delivered an incredible night of music and the whole crowd was buzzing as we all funneled out of the amphitheater, talking about our favorite songs, jams, and moments of the night.
The best part was that this was just the first show and we would get to do it again the next day!
Dead & Company Shoreline Amphitheater 7/2/18 Set List:
- Feel Like A Stranger
- Dancing in the Street
- It Hurts Me Too
- If I Had the World to Give
- They Love Each Other
- Throwing Stones
- Lost Sailor
- Saint of Circumstance
- He’s Gone
- Help on the Way
- Franklin’s Tower
- Drums / Space
- The Other One
- Wharf Rat
- Not Fade Away
- Touch of Grey