Dead and Company – The Final Tour
Wrigley Field Chicago
June 9, 2023
Photos and review by Roman Sobus
Say it ain’t so! Dead and Company came to Chicago yesterday as what is billed as “the Final Tour. Tickets had been sold out for weeks, but it did not keep diehard fans from showing up hours before the gates opened in hopes of scoring one. Once open, the lines stretched around the block to gain entry. There is something about Dead fans, always mellow, always optimistic and for good reason. They showed up to a sold out show with no ticket and later see many of them inside the stadium. Some fans follow the band from city to city, selling merch to keep the ride going. I see them year after year. The fans have always been there! Young and old, dancing in the aisles and singing along! I did not sit in my chair the full three hours I was there.
Age and health issues play hard on bands touring hard. So does the desire to try something new. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s departure from the band falls into the latter but have a great replacement in Mickey Hart despite being older than his predecessor. Phil Lesh’s health concerns and disagreements with Weir and other members led him to focus more on his own band and a lighter tour schedule. Bob Weir and John Meyer both tour either solo or with their own bands. Despite all the personnel changes, I can close my eyes and imagine it’s 1978 again and Jerry is on stage. The spirit remained.
Bob Weir posted in his Twitter account “Well it looks like that’s it for this outfit, But don’t worry we will all be out there in one form or another until we drop”
We always hoped it would never end but in the words of Jerry Garcia “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been!”
The second Chicago performance is tonight.