Dead & Company kicked off their 2022 tour Friday evening with an epic show at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium that was heavy on Dead standards like “Casey Jones,” “China Doll,” “Jack Straw,” and “Scarlet Begonias.” Toward the end of the second set, they broke out a cover of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” that transitioned into an instrumental coda of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Check out the fan-shot video above.
“Dear Mr. Fantasy” was a regular part of the Grateful Dead’s live repertoire from 1984 to 1990, but this was the first time it was attempted by Dead & Company. The Grateful Dead also played “Hey Jude” 31 times between 1969 and 1990, but this was also the premiere rendition by Dead & Company.
The Dead & Company tour continues tonight and tomorrow with shows at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. It wraps up on July 16 at New York’s Citi Field. It will mark the end of a very busy touring year for John Mayer since he played a 30-date solo tour between February and May.
The only surviving member of the Grateful Dead not involved with Dead & Company is bassist Phil Lesh. He has toured with Phil and Friends ever since the Dead’s Fare Thee Well shows in 2015. In August, however, he is playing a special set at the Sacred Rose festival at Chicago’s SeatGeek Stadium with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline. They’re calling themself Philco.