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Dead & Company Rise Again At Vegas Sphere Residency Kickoff

24-show run at groundbreaking venue was marked by stunning visuals
Dead & Company at the May 16, 2024 kickoff of their Las Vegas Sphere residency (photo: Alive Coverage).

Less than a year after concluding what was thought to be their farewell tour, Dead & Company rose again last night (May 16) as part of a 24-show Dead Forever residency at Las Vegas’ Sphere. The run follows those of U2 and Phish, the first two artists to perform in the groundbreaking, $2 billion venue.

Dead principals Bob Weir and Mickey Hart were flanked by guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and drummer Jay Lane for the 19-song, two-set show, which featured such Grateful Dead staples as “Jack Straw,” “Uncle John’s Band” and “St. Stephen,” as well as the familiar “Drums”/”Space” medley. It concluded with covers of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.”

The mind-expanding visuals were loaded with imagery from throughout the Dead’s storied career, beginning with a long zoom-out from the group’s 1960s San Francisco stomping grounds into outer space. At other moments, the nearly 400-foot-tall dome displayed a morphing paint-by-numbers backdrop, turtles playing instruments, a floor-to-ceiling collection of show posters and memorabilia and wide expanses of the desert surrounding the Las Vegas area.

The Dead Forever residency continues tonight and tomorrow, May 24-26, May 30-31, June 1, June 6-8, June 13-15, June 20-22, July 4-6 and July 11-13.

Here is Dead & Company’s set list:

Set one:
“Feel Like a Stranger”
“Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”
“Jack Straw”
“Bird Song”
“Me and My Uncle”
“Brown-Eyed Women”
“Cold Rain and Snow”

Set two:
“Uncle John’s Band”
“Help on the Way”
“Franklin’s Tower”
“He’s Gone”
“Standing on the Moon”
“St. Stephen”
“Hell in a Bucket”
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”
“Not Fade Away”