On Monday, Dead & Company arrived in Southeastern Florida, a region still coming to terms with the Feb. 14th school shooting that took 17 lives.
After meeting with survivors, who were later invited to attend the show, the band wrote a setlist expressing their empathy for and unity with the people of Parkland, Fla. (located just 20 minutes away from the BB&T Center).
“What an incredibly special night with some of the bravest young people I have ever met,” Oteil Burbridge wrote on Facebook later. “These young heroes wear T-shirts, not capes. Thank you to all the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It was so amazing to see you smiling and dancing. Your courage is inspiring.”
The band also wore tshirts with messages of support onstage, with slogans like “Marjory Stoneman Douglas Strong” and “March For Our Lives.”
After an opening “Shakedown Street,” wherein the band challenged, “Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart,” they jammed into “Cassidy,” and later performed an emotional “They Love Each Other.”
Love and understanding were ongoing themes, as were strength and mobilization. The set-two opening cover of “The Weight” led into an extended “Help On The Way”> “Slipknot!”> “Eyes of the World”> “Dark Star” jam that bled into the band’s usual “Drums/Space” interlude.
In perhaps the most rousing moment of the night, Dead & Company strategically closed set two with the politically-minded “Throwing Stones,” containing the lyrics “So the kids they dance, and shake their bones/ And the politician’s throwing stones/ Singing ashes to ashes all fall down/ Ashes to ashes all fall down.”
Finally, the band launched into the rallying cry of “Touch of Grey,” telling everyone in attendance, “We will get by.”
Check out the full setlist and watch the set one and set two openers below.
Dead & Company
BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
Set I: Shakedown Street > Cassidy, Comes a Time, They Love Each Other, Bird Song^ > New Speedway Boogie > Bird Song > Deal
Set II: The Weight, Help On the Way > Slipknot! > Eyes of the World > Dark Star, Drums/Space > Days Between > Throwing Stones
Enc: Touch of Grey
^ – Bob Weir on Acoustic Guitar