Taryn's Wreckreation Guide: Dead & Co. Play The Desert

July 25, 2016

Over the weekend, we road tripped across the mountains to George with awesome friends to see Dead & Company take over The Gorge Amphitheater. This would be my first ever Dead show, and to say my mind was blown would be an understatement. 


We camped in the Premier Camping section at The Gorge and made fast friends with our neighbors who had traveled from as far as Boston to be there. There were Dead Heads who had followed the band for YEARS back in the day and were seeing their 50-somethingth show Saturday night. What was REALLY cool was the fact that with so many fans traveling there from other states, most of these folks had never been to The Gorge before! It reminded me of just how special your "first Gorge show" experience is, and we were so pumped to share that with complete strangers. 

When we got inside and found our spot on the lawn with a beer in hand, the sun was going down and the magic was happening. My favorite part was during the sunset, and they were playing When I Paint My Masterpiece.

It was the most appropriate and perfect song for that moment. Here's the recap of the incredible first set:


Touch Of Grey

Hell In A Bucket

Dire Wolf

When I Paint My Masterpiece


Brown-Eyed Woman

Ramble On Rose

Next Time You See Me

One More Saturday Night


After the first set ended, people were buzzing like CRAZY about John Mayer and what he brought to the band. I couldn't believe how seamlessly he was incorporated. To be honest, I was feeling a bit skeptical of his involvement, but I cannot express how phenomenal he was. And that has to be one of the most intimidating jobs in the world. Who would be crazy enough to sign up to play with The Grateful Dead?! How do you even go about that? He was on fire, and I can say that I have more respect for him as a performer and musician than I ever imagined. His performance was legendary. 


We moved down to box seats for the second set, where the view was unreal and the sound was even better. We were actually right next to the sound board, which is a good place to be!

This was the point in the night where things really took off. Bob Weir and John Mayer were playing and singing side by side, looking like complete polar opposites of each other, but creating the most incredible sounds together. You never wanted a song to end, because they took Dead staples to new places. I just couldn't get over the fact that it looked like a GQ model next to Father Time. The music transcended their age difference, which is a true testament to the culture of The Grateful Dead. All over the place there were small kids playing on the lawn, a bachelorette party, and couples in their 70s. It was one of the most eclectic groups of people I have ever seen in one place! The second set was phenomenal: 


Eyes Of The World

New Speedway Boogie

Cumberland Blues

Shakedown Street

Uncle John's Band


Space back into Uncle John's Band

Wharf Rat

Casey Jones

Encore: Knockin' On Heaven's Door


Listening to them go from Space back into Uncle John's Band was one of the coolest musical progressions I had ever heard. The harmonies on vocals were some of the most beautiful moments in music I had ever heard. Moved to tears? You bet I was. 


Although there was quite a bit of chatter regarding Mayer's involvement with the group, I heard from MULTIPLE Dead Heads that Saturday's show was the best Dead show they had ever seen. I feel so very privileged to have been there. I certainly hope they hang onto Mayer. He was superb, and I want to see him playing with Dead & Company again some day without a doubt! Here's to hoping they'll keep touring! For anyone who was there, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the show, so please shoot me an email with your recap!


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly