Dead & Co. has kept the spirit of the Grateful Dead alive for eight years now, but early in 2023, the group announced that this summer run would be their final tour, so it’s no surprise that Tuesday night’s show at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte was sold out.
Though Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann has dropped off of the current leg, former Dead drummer Mickey Hart and guitarist Bob Weir were joined by guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and Kreutzmann’s replacement, drummer Jay Lane. (Lane is a former member of Weir’s band Ratdog.)
While a bit of the Dead’s spirit is perhaps missing on stage, the music carries fans through in fine form. Mayer’s solos have always stayed true to the music and Lane’s rhythm keeps the songs moving forward so that Hart can play around a bit while Weir remains a stellar storyteller.
From the opening notes of “Shakedown Street,” fans were jubilant. The night started off a bit slow but picked up the pace with “Bertha” toward the end of the first set.
The triple threat of “Help on the Way,” “Slipknot!” and “Franklin’s Tower” kicked off the second set, which closed with “Sugar Magnolia” and “U.S. Blues.” Having seen the Dead in countless forms over the years — the Grateful Dead, The Other Ones, The Dead, Further, and Dead & Co. — it’s hard to believe this might be the end.
While Kreutzmann plays with Billy & The Kids and Bob Weir has The Wolf Brothers, it’s nearly inconceivable to imagine these guys not being on stage together in some format, even though the Dead’s original members are all in their 70s.
All of their gratefully dead-icated fans can only say “thank you” for all the music over all these years. However, John Mayer will return this fall on his solo tour to Spectrum Center in October and Oteil will be at the Neighborhood Theatre in September with Steve Kimock, Melvin Seals, Duane Betts and more, so there’s still plenty of good tunes headed our way.
Cold Rain and Snow
Let It Grow
Help on the Way>
Fire on the Mountain
The Other One
The Other One
Be sure to check out Queen City Nerve’s Soundwave, Charlotte’s most comprehensive live music listing, so you don’t miss out on any shows or concerts coming up. And hell, if you’re looking for something else to do, you can check out our events page as well, which runs the gamut of things to do in Charlotte. You don’t ever have to be bored again. You can check out more of Jeff’s pics and live reviews here.
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