Photo Credit: Chloe Weir

Let us put men and women together

See which one is smarter

Some say men, but I say no

The women got the men like a puppet show

Last night, Dead & Company continued its residency at the technologically superior Sphere venue, where they commenced their sixth week of concerts on the lauded Sin City stage. Prior to the onset of another series of live performances, conversations were piqued in response to crude lot behavior and social media abuse afflicted upon female Deadheads, which sparked response via Instagram, including bassist Oteil Burbridge’s own promise (via a now lapsed Instagram story) to generate a ensure a suitable environment for women to enjoy music. Emulating hope for a better tomorrow, the fathers of daughters started out their night with King Radio’s “Man Smart, Woman Smarter.” 

After a tone-setting opener, the group, comprised of Bobby Weir, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, and Burbridge, followed up with a reminder of  their own reason for being there on “Playing in the Band.” Affection seeping “They Love Each Other” clocked in just before homesick-stricken “Tennessee Jed” and the residency debut of “Dire Wolf.” Representing the night’s second pull from Weir’s 1972 solo debut, Ace, they dusted off “Greatest Story Ever Told” for the first time since their stand at Boulder, Colo.’s Folsom Field on July 13, 2018. For the final song of Thursday’s initial frame, the band worked through Jerry Garcia’s “Sugaree.”

Taking a break from the stage, Dead & Company resumed their concert with revered sister tunes, the summer starter “China Cat Sunflower” and traditional “I Know You Rider,” only to follow up with a subliminal message on “He’s Gone.” From the trailed coos of “Nothin’s gonna bring him back,” the ensemble leaned into an ensuing rendition of “The Other One” before leaving Hart and his percussive assistants, Burbridge and Lane, to carry out the second set staple/ instrumental section, “Drums” and “Space.” 

From the cosmic depths of Hart’s creativity birthed the iconic instrumental start of “The Wheel,” which kept turning, unable to slow down until it collided into “Franklin’s Tower.” On the other side of Garcia’s own debut solo release feature, Dead & Company poked at the status quo with “U.S. Blues” and kept up the need for change on “Throwing Stones.” Ultimately, after the separation of the second set and encore, through the use of old news broadcasts of the Grateful Dead, the latest 21st-century off-shoot of the San Francisco ensemble ended the show with a rendition of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Turn on Your Love Light.” 

Scroll down to view last night’s setlist. 

Dead & Company 

Sphere – Las Vegas 

June 20, 2024 

Set I: Man Smart, Woman Starter, Playing in the Band, They Love Each Other, Tennesse Jed, Dire Wolf+, Greatest Story Ever Told%, Sugaree

Set II: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, He’s Gone > The Other One > Drums > Space > The Wheel > Franklin’s Tower, U.S. Blues, Throwing Stones 

Enc.: Turn on Your Lovelight 


+ Residency debut 

% First time since 2018 
Setlist via setlist.FM.