Photo Credit: Bill Kelly
After kicking off their final tour on Friday, May 19, Dead & Company returned to the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif., for their follow-up last night. The concert represented this group of players’ final stand at the location before moving along to the next city. The Saturday concert consisted of fan favorites plucked from the Grateful Dead’s expansive repertoire and a surprise sit-in from Steve Parish during the evening’s “Drums” and “Space” segment.
The show’s first half got underway with the classic number “Bertha,” which saw John Mayer carry the Robert Hunter-penned lyrics from start to finish. The initial song of the night segued into a cover of The Young Rascals’ “Good Lovin’” before the group added in “Brown Eyed Women” and a collaborative “Jack Straw,” with Mayer and Bobby Weir trading off the famous lines.
Oteil Burbridge took the lead on “High Time,” adding another layer of feeling to the already emotionally dominant tune. The tempo was lifted with the addition of “Mr. Charlie” to the setlist, representing a high point of the performance. As the first set came to a close, Mayer and Weir shared the lead on “Bird Song,” which ran over into the final number of the frame, the upbeat Henry Thomas original, “Don’t Ease Me In.”
After a break from the stage, Weir, Mayer, Burbridge, Mickey Hart, Jeff Chimenti and Jay Lane took their positions and cut into “Althea,” which merged into a partial “The Other One.” In epic fashion renderings of the Anthem of the Sun classic, blended with the two-parter “Lady With a Fan” into “Terrapin Station” before the group curved it back, adding the missing portion of “The Other One” to the grandiose suite of music.
From the final notes of “The Other One” emerged “Drums” and “Space.” Prior to the performance, Hart preluded his rhythmic display, writing on his official Instagram, “Some Egyptians believe that the Great Pyramids were constructed through sonic levitation in the desert. I’m gonna test my own theory about levitating deadheads tonight during Drums & Space with Dead & Company.”
During the second set staple, Hart brought out a longtime member of the Grateful Dead family and one-time crew hand, Parish, who assisted the rhythm section with their established groove. From the cosmic depths of “Drums” and “Space” came a Weir-led “Stella Blue.” The heartfelt tune came before a classic “Help on the Way” pairing with “Slipknot!” The team of songs saw extensive instrumentation and memorable moments exhibited by the musicians.
With more energy remaining in their tanks, Dead & Company delivered one final number in their main frame, landing on a crowd-rousing “Franklin’s Tower.” Before capping their time outside Los Angeles, the band encored with “Brokedown Palace.” After last night’s memorable performance in The City of Angels, Dead & Company will continue their trek on May 23, when they are scheduled to play at Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre in Phoenix.
For more information on the band’s upcoming appearances, visit their official website.
Scroll down to view last night’s complete setlist.
Dead & Company
Kia Forum – Inglewood, Calif.
May 20, 2023
Set I: Bertha > Good Lovin’, Brown Eyed Women, Jackstraw, High Time, Mr. Charlie, Bird Song > Don’t Ease Me In
Set II: Althea > The Other One V. 1 > Lady With A Fan > Terrapin Station > The Other One V. 2 > Drums > Space > Stella Blue, Help on The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower
Enc.: Brokedown Palace
+ With Steve Parish
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