Home Live For Live Music Dead & Company Settle In, Welcome First Special Guest On Night Two...

Dead & Company Settle In, Welcome First Special Guest On Night Two Of Las Vegas Sphere Residency [Recap/Photos/Videos]

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dead company settle in welcome first special guest on night two of las vegas sphere residency recap photos videos

Dead & Company returned to Sphere for night two of the band’s 24-show Dead Forever residency Friday night. After delivering a mind-blowing visual spectacle and rekindling their onstage chemistry on night one, Bob WeirJohn MayerMickey HartJay LaneOteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti settled in to their new home for the summer and welcomed the first special guest of the run, percussionist Karl Perazzo of Santana, who is in the midst of his own residency at House of Blues Las Vegas. [Revisit our coverage of the entire opening weekend here: Night 1 | Night 3].

Just like on night one, anticipation and expectations were high. The question on the forefront of everyone’s mind: How would night two differ from and measure up to night one? With much of the audience returning for their second Dead & Company Sphere experience and a high likelihood of fans attending all three nights of the residency’s opening weekend, it was safe to assume no songs would be repeated, but what about the visuals? The biggest surprise turned out to be the lack of surprises, as many of the visuals from night one were recycled and reused for different songs on night two.

As on night one, the opening pair of tunes, “Samson and Delilah” and “Shakedown Street”, saw the Sphere screen open up to reveal the Dead’s old digs in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood, which served as the launch pad for a cosmic voyage that took the audience up above the earth and into space. Colorful plumes of smoke then billowed up from the stage during “Bertha”.

It was at the start of “Crazy Fingers” that it became clear the visuals were starting to repeat from night one, as the tropical waterfall scene previously used for “Bird Song” reappeared on the Sphere screen. A little more surprising was the repeated use of night one‘s Western film imagery during Johnny Cash‘s “Big River”, with a title card introducing “Bob Weir as ‘Ace’” alongside his five co-stars.

Fresh visuals appeared during “Good Lovin’”, as a giant spiral tie-dye tapestry reminiscent of those used by the Grateful Dead as backdrops and guitar amp speaker covers transformed with subtle psychedelic undulations. Surprisingly, the visuals for “Deal”, which capped off set one, were a repeat of the ticket stubs and other Dead ephemera from night one’s “Cold Rain and Snow”, rather than Las Vegas casino-themed imagery.

An intentionally slow and groovy “China Cat Sunflower” kicked off the second set, with a simple rose-adorned stealie framing video of the band, before segueing into its usual partner, “I Know You Rider”. One of the most memorable new visuals of the night appeared during “I Know You Rider”, starting with a stylized scene outside San Francisco’s Winterland Arena. The Sphere then suddenly transformed into Cornell University‘s Barton Hall, where the Grateful Dead played what is considered by many to be their greatest show ever—a show Dead & Company commemorated with a return to the intimate campus venue last summer. Finally, Barton Hall changed into Red Rocks Amphitheatre in a literal April fools joke come to life.

The virtual Wall of Sound returned for “Estimated Prophet”, again stretching and transforming into a rainbow road through space. Percussionist Karl Perazzo joined Mickey Hart on his sprawling percussion rig during “Cumberland Blues”, “The Other One”, and “Drums”. The highlight of “Drums”, though, was Oteil’s surprisingly solid chops, which he demonstrated on Jay Lane’s drum kit.

A blues-oriented “Space” brought the energy in the room to a simmer before Lane darted back onto the stage and behind his kit for “Black Peter”, one of the deeper cuts of the evening. “Althea”, the first song that John Mayer and Bob Weir ever performed together, was another highlight of the show and featured trippy lava lamp-like visuals in blue and magenta.

The dancing, motorcycle-riding, skeletonized Uncle Sam from night one’s “Hell in a Bucket” returned for “U.S. Blues” and, though repeated, the ride through his cartoonish, iconography-filled universe was no less thrilling the second time around. A truly epic “Morning Dew” brought the Sphere back down from space, with the audience once again descending from cosmic heights down to street level and landing in front of 710 Ashbury. The same TV news broadcast that played on night one introduced the Grateful Dead and their fans, who “would prefer the music never stop.” With that, the band launched into “Turn On Your Love Light”, which brought the Sphere to life as thousands of beaming smiles sang along.

Night two ended the same as night one, with the industrial-looking Wall of Sound scaffolding closing up for the night. If past is precedent, it will open up on 710 Ashbury again tonight, as Dead & Company cap off the first weekend of their Dead Forever Las Vegas Sphere residency.

For a complete list of upcoming Dead & Company dates at Sphere, click here. Revisit our coverage of the entire opening weekend here: Night 1 | Night 3. Fans hoping to get in on the action can find tons of face-value tickets for the entire run via CashorTrade here.

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Source: L4LM.com