Monday, January 6, 2020

Dead & Company at The Forum in Los Angeles, Ca on 12/27/19

Playing In The Band

photos and review by Dave Stotts Photography

It was a beautiful but chilly weekend in LA for Dead and Company's SoCal Fun Run stop at The Forum in Inglewood. Upon arrival at 4pm on Friday December 27th, the lot was just starting to become active and Shakedown Street was set up for business as usual for the flow of parka adorned and visibly shivering deadheads. East coasters who made the trek were definitely not complaining about the sub 60 degree weather but even the local dogs in the lot were wearing ugly holiday sweaters for the post Christmas event.
I always said in the Grateful Dead touring days of my youth (to whoever would listen) that you could find almost anything in the lot including a snow shovel if you just poked around. I really don't think that was the case for these shows despite the cold but then again I never really asked. By 6:30 Shakedown had become a chaotic zoo with the furious hissing of nitrous tanks coming from all directions. Escaping the madness was tough as it was more crowded there than the 405 Freeway at rush hour. Hope you guys made some money!

The venue was sold out and filled to the rafters with color. The energy levels were high in The Forum as the show opened with Bob Weir singing a bouncy Truckin' that led into an equally peppy version of Alabama Getaway. Ramble On Rose was followed by a John Mayer favorite They Love Each Other which saw JM throwing down some nice leads. Me and My Uncle came next followed by a sweet rendition of Cassidy. Brown Eyed Women (another Mayer fave) hit fun and hard followed by a very enthusiastic Don't Ease Me In to close the set.
The second set started with a slow paced but melodic Playing in the Band. It had some nice improvised jams throughout but if it got any slower they would have to change the name of the song. A fitting Terrapin Station followed and I will go out on a limb by saying it might've been the best version I've heard of this song with this particular post-Jerry incarnation. Astrologically speaking and just outside the venue, the spiral light of Venus was actually rising first and shining best from the northwest corner of the brand new crescent moon. No seriously - it was...
Oteil then sang a lovely China Doll and a ripping The Other One by Bob led into drums. A soft jam out of space brought us Wharf Rat and the set closed with a red, white and blue lit US Blues. The encore was a perfectly played Ripple with John Mayer adding some new acoustic riffs to the song. All in all... a fairly good show. Not too many risks were taken by the band but what was played was well delivered and well received.

The sound was really good in The Forum considering it being an arena and the mesmerizing lighting Dead & Company used for these Fun Run gigs was truly spectacular and fully utilized the whole space inside the venue. At times the ceiling looked like a tie died Death Star.
Bobby's voice seems to be getting better with age and for those gals out there keeping track - his hair remained well groomed and camera worthy most of the night.

Bill Walton and his incredible wing span is hard to miss

A few random lot shots....


Ann Horvat said...

Love these photos! Grate job capturing the band, BOBBY and the vibe!

Coolbreeze said...

Grate review and photos, you captured it completely!

Timothy Tyler said...

Nice photos that make you feel like you were there

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