Ohhhhh boy, where do I even start with this one. I get excited all over again just thinking about this show.
If you listened to Episode Six of the Pod, you heard me talk allll about seeing Dead & Company a few months ago. Now that I am an official Deadhead, I figured I needed to revisit the topic since I can’t shut up about being a Deadhead. Haha.
I knew I had to witness John Mayer and his guitar playing again, because I felt like it was such a spiritual experience the first time around. However, I didn’t really do much in terms of finding tickets for this show until, oh I don’t know, the day of the show. What can I say? I work well under pressure.
So I found these tickets, but wasn’t sure exactly where the seats were until we got there. Surprise, surprise…Jess had secured a lovely spot in the pit. That’s right, we witnessed the glory of Dead & Co with John Mayer from relatively close. Riiighttt abouuuttt hereee…
And everyone there seemed to have about 30 years on us…talk about slightly intimidating. But if we’re being honest, I would not have wanted to be inducted into the Deadhead cult in any other way. (Don’t get me wrong – I say that with great love and admiration.) Everyone was so friendly and the vibe was the closest thing I’ve found to the Bonnaroo vibe while not actually on The Farm. Plus, it’s pretty amusing to watch hundreds of people my parents’ age smoking joints so freely in public while also wearing tie dye. Just sayin’! Everyone I encountered at the show was so excited that the next generation actually knew who The Dead were and wanted to see the latest version of them live.
A little history…
I grew up listening to good music. Like reealllyyy good music (thx Mother and Patricio!) In fact, my very first memory in my life is riding in the back of my dad’s old truck on our way to our annual family camping trip in Sun Valley and “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles is playing. That moment has shaped my entire life since.
Naturally in junior high, I went rogue and got obsessed with Lil Wayne (sorry not sorry). Then at one point in high school all I cared about was rock climbing, tie dye and old school rock music. (I feel like now I’ve found a solid balance…for the most part).
This is when my Grateful Dead listening adventure began. I specifically remember driving to a local coffee shop after school, windows down, blaring “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire on the Mountain” and “Casey Jones” the whole way there. At this time, I threw them in the pile of bands I could never see live along with Bob Marley and Nirvana. Regardless, I still listened and loved.
I even used the line “What a long, strange trip it’s been” in my last editorial piece in the school newspaper during my senior year.
So when Dead & Company manifested and John Mayer was invited to play, I saw the slight chance appear. But really, are there any Deadheads in Vegas? Turns out yes, yes there are.
The concert experience itself was one of the best I’ve ever witnessed outside of a festival. It was refreshing to be around people who wanted to focus on seeing and experiencing the show rather than Snapping the whole damn thing. I was in awe to be able to see all of these legendary musicians performing in front of me. This was one of those shows where you close your eyes and literally feel the music. It was truly amazing.
I found myself swaying along as the band jammed out and led us on a journey. So far out that, at certain points, you couldn’t even remember what song they were playing. I barely touched my phone and I found myself truly lost in the music. I wasn’t ready to leave, I didn’t get impatient for the song to end and I felt so peaceful the entire time. Plus being able to see the band when I wanted was so nice. Frequent concerts when you’re 5 foot nothing means you don’t usually see any of the action. Such is my life.
After it was over, I found myself wishing I could go back again. I could see why people have literally followed this band since day one. Most importantly, I finally felt like I could call myself a true Deadhead!
I promptly went home and subscribed to Amazon Prime so I could watch “Long Strange Trip”, the six episode documentary on the history of The Grateful Dead. The doc is so carefully and deliberately done and it offers a fascinating look into The Dead and what they have meant to fans over the years. I highly recommend.
So if you can…go see Dead & Co. Watch the documentary. Both are essential if you even like one song from this band. Truly a life changing and magical experience.