Playing their 100th show together, Dead & Company brought the music of the Grateful Dead to Blossom Music Center. A blend of three original musicians from the 60s rock group–Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann–and three additional members or company–John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti. The band formed in 2015 on the set of the Late Late Show and have toured five times since.
While a majority of the fans were over-the-hill and die-hard dead heads, wearing the old concert merchandise to prove it, there were a few who were clearly there to witness the talent of Mayer on the guitar. Mayer fills the spot of late Grateful Dead singer-guitarist Jerry Garcia, who passed suddenly in 1995 of a heart attack.
Without an opening act, Dead & Company began the show hours before the sun set, allowing for all kinds of fun to be had up on the lawn with the remaining daylight. The far-from-traditional crowd donned as much tie-dye as they could, formed hair braiding circles, and puffed clouds of smoke into the air. They danced the night away, in sometimes unconventional fashions, and let the music take them over.
The stage design and lighting mimiced that of the hippie clad fans, with colored flowers and sugar skulls, and became increasingly vibrant as the sun went down. With a half an hour intermission between two two-hour acts, the neon colors reflected off of the audience, bringing it all to life in the second half.
It was clear why the band has held onto its fans for decades; their level of performance and comfortability on stage was superior, and their songs timeless. The grassy outdoor venue transformed into a sea of people with waves of arms in the air praising their favorite band.
It was a beautiful, overcast evening with a band carrying on the tradition of their music in honor of the fans who have been there since the 60s. The tickets were expensive, but the company was priceless.