For the past few years, we’ve planned our summer road trips, national park visits, and family vacations around the Dead & Company summer tour schedule. We’ve done 4-6 shows each summer with our kids and it’s been an amazing experience for our family.
Naturally, we couldn’t wait for the 2019 summer tour schedule to be released earlier this year to see where we would be going this summer… little did we know everything would change this year.
The 2019 Dead & Company Summer Tour is not only smaller, with fewer stops and shows, but it started on the west coast in May before school got out — and junior high / high school kids can’t miss finals for summer tour. This meant the normal swing of west coast shows we’d go to weren’t going to work out. The rest of the tour dates also weren’t playing nice with our schedules.
In the past, because we’re buying tickets for all four of us for several shows, we’ve bought General Admission tickets. This year, because the night two Shoreline Amphitheater show was the only one we’d be able to go to as a family, we decided to up our game and get fourth row seats! As you can imagine, we were so excited!
We looked forward to this weekend and getting to sit up close (because there is no pit at Shoreline Amphitheater) for months. Too bad the poor management and lacking security staff of LiveNation and Shoreline Amphitheater caused us to miss half of the show.
LiveNation Causes Thousands To Miss Half The Concert
At 6:00 pm, one hour before the official show start time, we were standing a quarter mile away from the venue in a line of tens of thousands of people. Dead & Company was still finishing up sounds check and everyone around us was nervous about getting into the show and talking about how long it was going to take to get fans in by show time.
Sound check ended, the minutes ticked by, and the line barely moved. By 7:00 pm, we weren’t even halfway to the venue entrance. When the band took the stage for the opener — Bertha, one of my favorites — we were still looking at the venue far ahead of us. Everyone around us were upset and disappointed and frustrated, some crying, some devastated — and there was nothing we could do.
While in line, we missed more of my favorite songs: They Love Each Other, the bluesy Big River, and Tennessee Jed. I wanted to cry.
We spent nearly $2,000 on three tickets, got in line early, and couldn’t even get into the venue to see the show we paid good money for.
When we finally got to the front of the line (sort of), it became clear the problem was that venue security was understaffed. They had 6-8 metal detectors and ONE person working each one. The bag check was also taking a long time, as security staff were emptying bags, questioning people about what things were, and one was asking for help with almost every bag because it was her first day.
When fans near us spoke with a LiveNation security guard about the complete mess and debacle, there response was, “You should have got in line sooner.” This caused an uproar as the parking lot didn’t open until 4:30 pm and the traffic to get from the freeway exit to the lot took 30 minutes to an hour depending on when you arrived.
Frankly, it’s not about getting in line earlier. That won’t change how long it takes to process all of the fans at the venue entrance, it just means you’ll be one of the lucky people who get to see the entire show.
The problem is that there isn’t enough time between doors opening and the show starting to get all ticket holders into the venue. The problem is also the lack of staffing needed and inconsistent process of checking bags and screening fans. While we waited in a non-moving line, Friends in line on the opposite side of the amphitheater said their line moved quickly and they got in with no problem.
We finally got in the venue at 8:30 pm, just before set break, basically missing the entire first set — and there were thousands of people in line behind us still waiting.
So many people across social media, including us, were so angry. I mean, seriously, how can we trust a concert promoter who does this? How can we trust that if we buy tickets for another show, this won’t happen again? It would be like gambling: Buy the tickets and cross your fingers you actually get to see the show.
Thankfully, the second set was amazing and we had a great time once we were in the venue and at our very expensive seats that sat empty — but this entrance mess sort of ruined our entire night. Honestly, it was devastating. It would have been one thing if we had $40 lawn seats and were going to several shows and missed the first set of one show… but this was an entirely different scenario.
LiveNation, shame on you for not staffing up appropriately, but thank you for refunding our tickets.
Let’s Talk Dead & Company
Dead & Company — featuring Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti — sold out Shoreline amphitheater for their two-night tour opening run, attracting 40,000 fans.
A 20 minute China Cat Sunflower / I Know You Rider combo led by Weir opened the second set, followed by Mayer delivering an excellent Row Jimmy. Next up was a 10+ minute, jam-filled Deal and the first half of The Other One, which lead Drums with Oteil joining in and Space — and I was so happy to see Space getting shorter and shorter.
After what I call “Set Break 2,” Dead & Company debuted an instrumental rendition of My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music and finished up The Other One. The set then wrapped with an incredible Morning Dew by Weir that was easily the highlight of the entire night. Then for the encore, we were treated to Uncle John’s Band and a Supplication jam that led into a Playin’ In The Band reprise.
The half of the show we did get to see was awesome and sitting as close to the stage as we did was even better. We were able to see the band member’s facial expressions and interactions, watch the jubilant interplay between Chimenti and Mayer, and see the music gear and equipment. We got to see what we wanted to see, not the big screens and what the videographers think you should see.
Dead & Company Shoreline Amphitheater 6/1/19 Set List:
- Good Lovin’
- They Love Each Other
- Big River
- Mr. Charlie
- Tennessee Jed
- Lost Sailor
- Saint of Circumstance
- China Cat Sunflower
- I Know You Rider
- Row Jimmy
- The Other One
- Drums / Space
- The Other One
- Morning Dew
- Uncle John’s Band
- Supplication Jam
- Playing in the Band (reprise)