Concert Review: Dead and Company at The Sphere June 6-7, 2024

Dead and Company wow audiences with performance and visuals.

Dead and Company are the third musical act to take up residency at The Sphere in Las Vegas. The 18,600-seat auditorium is being marketed for its immersive video and audio capabilities, which include a 16K resolution wraparound interior LED screen, and speakers with technology to give listeners a multi-dimensional audio experience.

This two-billion dollar venue is the most expensive arena project in Las Vegas, or just about anywhere for that ,matter. It is certainly a sight to behold, and tailor made for a performance band like Dead and Company, with it’s colorful, psychedelic videos.

dead and company at the Sphere Las Vegas
Dead and Company’s incredible visuals on display.

The band made optimal use of the video capabilities – a 160,000 square foot LED screen to showcase aerial shots of San Francisco, stars in motion, Dead iconography such as the dancing bears, skull and roses, and steal-your-face. There were also simulated liquid light shows, reminiscent of the sixties concert staple.


Video for Truckin’

Those of us way up in the 300 and 400-level seats could really on see the band via the projections on the screen. The advantage of being that high up was not having to crane our necks to look up at the visual effects that went all the way to the building’s roof. On the other hand, some of the visual effects might be a little intimidating if you get a little vertigo. Just stay close to your seat in the narrow aisles.

The wall of sound

For years I have bemoaned that Dead and Company was merely the world’s most popular Grateful Dead cover band, simply showing up and playing all the fan concert favorites. Their set lists were similar in shape and style to the band they were paying homage two, even if two of the original members (Bob Weir and Mickey Hart) were present. I am Grateful to my friend Mike for convincing me to fly out to Vegas and experience the Sphere firsthand. I heard from people who went to see both U2 and Phish about how amazing the Sphere is. Despite the elevated ticket prices, it would be tough to argue that we didn’t get our money’s worth.

The Sphere shows still had concert favorites, but the versions were anything but copycat covers. Dead and Co took these two performances to the next level, with extended jams, jazz-tinged improvisations, and novel placement of the songs. Some tunes which were traditionally played in the second set were delivered in the opening set. “Help on the Way -> Slipknot” segued into “Eyes of the World” instead of the expected “Franklin’s Tower”.

The sound itself was so incredible. Every note and every single lyric was clear and audible. So many of the new venues that promise top quality sound cannot quite deliver. Yet at the Sphere both nights the sound was pristine, and people we met who sat in different sections echoed the same sentiment.

Getting in and out of the venue was pretty simple. The Sphere’s staff couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful, given that it was most patrons’ first time at the venue. Beverage prices were a bit pricey, but attendees were allowed to bring in an empty bottle and fill it with water.

Brown-Eyed Women

We even took time before the show to visit “Shakedown Street” – entrepreneurs setting clothing, stickers, and other Dead-releated merchandise at the nearby Tuscany Hotel. The Vegas strip was teeming with fans proudly wearing their tie dyes and Dead t-shirts.

If you haven’t seen Dead and Company lately, try and make the trip to Vegas and experience this ultimate long strange trip. They have extended the run into the middle of August.

Here are the setlists: