On the first night of two shows at the Hollywood Bowl, Dead & Company had a chemistry that was palpable.
June 8, 2017
On the first night of two shows at the Hollywood Bowl, Dead & Company had a chemistry that was palpable. As soon as founding Grateful Dead member Bob Weir started singing "Shakedown Street," the first song of the concert, audience members knew that they were in for a treat and a night filled with magic. Two other founding members on drums, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, got help from John Mayer on lead guitar and vocals, Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, and Oteil Burbridge on bass. I have a feeling that the late other founding member, Jerry Garcia (died in 1995), would be very pleased with Mayer. His guitar sounds hauntingly similar to Garcia and so does his vocal style. One other founding member, Phil Lesh, also wasn't along for the ride, but Burbridge helped to make it a seamless transition. The only chink in the armor was an unfounded bomb scare during the song "He's Gone." The stage went dark after the musicians were rushed off-stage and police with dogs made sure everything was safe. After about seven
minutes, the band reappeared, Weir told the crowd "all clear, kind of," and they nailed the rest of the song right where they left off mid-stream. Security was heightened at The Bowl after the bombing on May 22 at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Other than that, the evening was most memorable. The Dead got very creative with the light show and streaming graphics on the screen behind the stage and on all four large-screen monitors. The main graphic had a car filled with characters they've used over the years -- dancing turtles, terrapin turtles, and the famous skeleton with roses on it's head (Skull n Roses). They were all cruising down PCH next to the ocean, heading to The Bowl. They played many audience favorites, including "Ramble On Rose," "Cumberland Blues," "Truckin'," "Sugar Magnolia," and "Ripple," the encore that was Garcia's anthem. Hart and Kreutzmann also treated everybody to their famous drum solo-space jam which always rockets the fans into the next dimension. And that it did.