Dead & Company Close out Bonnaroo with Donna Jean Godchaux
The 15th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival closed out with its fourth and final day yesterday with a full schedule that wrapped up with headliners Dead & Company playing two sets that featured former Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux on several songs.
Earlier in the day, the Bonnaroo crowd was treated to sets from Cymande, Sara Watkins, Givers, The Wood Brothers, Kurt Vile, Father John Misty, Ween and more, plus main stage sets from the likes of Charles Bradley, Jason Isbell and Death Cab for Cutie before Dead & Co took the stage for the first of their two What Stage sets.
The two-set performance kicked off with the Dead classic “Truckin’” before the group welcomed out Godchaux, who played with the Dead for most of the ’70s along with husband Keith, for a run of “Bertha,” “Playing in the Band” and “Bird Song.” The band then jumped into a nod to Bonnaroo’s home in “Tennessee Jed.” Godchaux would then return for “Shakedown Street” and the Dead & Co. debut of “Passenger” before a “Bird Song” reprise and a particularly energetic set-closer in “Casey Jones.”
Set number two kicked off with the two-song runs of “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” and “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire on the Mountain” before going into a sprawling “Terrapin Station” suite. Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart then took over to kick off “Drums/Space,” and the band then jumped into “The Other One” before closing out the set with “Wharf Rat” and “Franklin’s Tower.”
A predictable “Touch of Grey” encore got an exclamation point at the end when Bob Weir approached the microphone and addressed the audience about the recent mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, citing a politician who used biblical verses to justify blaming the bar’s patrons. Weir urged the audience to get registered to vote in order to replace such politicians. The guitarist had accepted the first ever Les Paul Spirit Award earlier in the day with a similar speech.
Watch videos of the two full sets below. Next up for Dead & Company is a show in Cincinnati on Thursday.
Dead & Company
Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
Set I: Truckin’ > Smokestack Lightning, Bertha* > Playing in the Band* > Bird Song* > Tennessee Jed, Shakedown Street*, Passenger*^ > Bird Song*, Casey Jones
Set II: Help on the Way > Slipknot!, Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain, Terrapin Station*, Drums > Space, The Other One > Wharf Rat > Franklin’s Tower*
Enc: Touch of Grey*
(*) w/ Donna Jean Godchaux
(^) band debut