After road tripping to Oregon the day before, and adventuring and hiking in the Columbia River Gorge with the kids for most of the day, we all got cleaned up and ready for our first family Dead & Company show. Brian and I saw them in San Francisco and Los Angeles late last year and couldn’t wait to see them again, but this time with the kids!
We had planned to walk to the Moda Center from the hotel, but our legs were tired, so we grabbed an Uber to the venue about an hour before the show do some people watching and wander around the venue soaking up the experience.
We told the kids all about our experience at the two Grateful Dead Santa Clara Fare Thee Well shows and the three Chicago Fare Thee Well shows, so they were interested to see what the Dead culture and community was like for themselves.
Natalie and Carter were fascinated with all of the crazy outfits, colorful hair, costumes, tie-dye, and variety of Grateful Dead fans. It is similar to what they experienced at the Ain’t Necessarily Dead Fest, but greatly magnified.
The Further Bus
While walking around outside, we found the famous Furthur Bus that Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters hand painted and drove across the United States following The Grateful Dead. It was even inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
We were so lucky to see the bus on it’s trip across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first “trip” in 1964 — and to take photos with it. We even got to peek inside!
Dead & Company, Portland
When the doors opened, we headed inside the area, got popcorn, snacks, and concert tees, then found our seats.
Because buying seats for all of us for four shows isn’t cheap, and this was the last show we bought tickets for, we didn’t splurge on great seats. Our seats were up in the third level about halfway up. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited about this show because the seats weren’t great, but when we sat down, I was thrilled! Our seats were almost dead center, looking right at the stage, and we had a fantastic view with great seat mates!
When Bob Weir, John Mayer, and the rest of the band stepped onto the stage, the crowd erupted in cheers and you could feel the excitement in the air. Dead & Company kicked off the first show of their west coast summer tour with an energetic Feel like A Stranger and debuted Easy Wind. Me and My Uncle and Tennessee Jed followed, and Brian and I were ecstatic.
Bob Weir was on point with his vocals, John Mayer brought his signature style and blues sound to the songs, and even Otel Burbridge joined in on some of the vocals. The band was tight and in sync. Compared to the Dead & Company San Francisco and Los Angeles Shows we saw in 2015, it’s easy to tell they are finding their groove and getting comfortable exploring the music together.
As the night went on, the set list just improved and the music kept going strong. I danced my heart out to China Cat Sunflower into I Know Your Rider and the triple encore of Sugar Magnolia into Sunshine Daydream followed by an acoustic Ripple was an amazing way to wrap up the show.
My son didn’t make it to the end of the show. Just after Drums and Space he pooped out and fell asleep in his chair. My daughter made it to the end of the show, singing along with the songs she knows, but was exhausted, especially after hiking in the Columbia River Gorge all day long. Thankfully we were able to catch an Uber back to our hotel pretty quickly.
Sharing the show with our kids, dancing next to my daughter in our seats, hugging my husband, and snuggling my son during Drums and Space was a magical moment for our family — one I will never forget.
Now, I can’t wait for the Dead & Company concerts at The Gorge, the Toyota Amphitheater, and the Shoreline Amphitheater!
Dead & Company, Portland 7/22/2016 Set List:
- Feel Like a Stranger
- Easy Wind
- Me and My Uncle
- Tennessee Jed
- West LA Fadeaway
- Lost Sailor
- Saint of Circumstance
- Don’t Ease Me In
- Here Comes Sunshine
- China Cat Sunflower
- I Know You Rider
- Viola Lee Blues
- Dear Prudence
- The Wheel
- Sugar Magnolia
- Sunshine Daydream