It was “One More Saturday Night” for Bob Weir and his band Dead & Company as they brought their magical, creative and wonderful music to their fleet of “Dead-Heads” at Dodger Stadium… kicking off of their summer tour.
As usual, sound engineers created the perfect sound mix to contribute to the chemistry of the band members, who continue to be three originals – Bob Weir (vocals, rhythm guitar), Mickey Hart (drums), Bill Kreutzmann (drums) and then John Mayer (vocals, lead guitar), Oteil Burbridge (vocals, bass) and Jeff Chimenti (vocals, keyboards).
The lighting and graphics designers also helped take the performance to the next dimension with dancing bears and skeletons on all three stage screens – one behind the stage and two to either side.
Mother Nature also helped with the affair with perfect weather… warm to start the show at 7pm, then cooling off a bit as the three hour show progressed.
Here are some highlights.
One of Weir’s signature tracks, “Playing in the Band,” got everyone in the mood as the first set began. He also treated his adoring fans to “Casey Jones” and “Jack Straw”, all sung by the 74-year-old in his usual gruff manner with his “Moses-style” white hair and beard.
Mayer did his very competent jazzy and bluesy version of Jerry Garcia’s “Brown-Eyed Women.”
In the second set, one of the bright spots was Burbridge performing his special version of another Garcia track, “Fire on the Mountain.”
Then a unique combination of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” that bled into The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” (instrumental).
Hart and Kreutzmann, with their drum and space jam solos, are a staple at every Dead gig. When Brubridge joined us, things got very transcendent.
Since the day of the week was Saturday, they ended the second set with another Weir signature track, “One More Saturday Night”. Weir lit up during this number.
The encore was a highly entertaining version of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”, which helped end the evening on a positive and upbeat note.
As the “Dead Heads” danced out of the stadium at the end and gazed at the nearly full moon in the clear night sky, they most likely felt the spirit of Jerry Garcia smiling down at his partner who continues to carry the torch.