Watch: Dead & Company Deliver “Looks Like Rain” Series Debut at Las Vegas Sphere.

June 8, 2024
Watch: Dead & Company Deliver “Looks Like Rain” Series Debut at Las Vegas Sphere.

Photo Credit: Chloe Weir

On Friday, June 7, Dead & Company returned to the stage for another installment of its Dead Forever residency, which celebrates the eternal influence of the legendary jam band by poring over its expansive catalog. For the second night of week four and the 11th total show in the series so far, the band continued its ritual of reconfiguring its typical setlists with bold new placements of classic tracks and rolling out new entries to keep the rotation fresh. Friday’s series debut came from the independent catalog of guitarist and bandleader Bob Weir, whose slow and stirring country ballad “Looks Like Rain” has became a cherished centerpiece in the Dead’s live catalog.

Dead & Company–which figures original Dead members Weir and Mickey Hart alongside John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Chimenti and Jay Lane–kicked off its first set of the evening with the upbeat “Uncle John’s Band,” setting a cheery, toe-tapping tone for the show to follow. As the Sphere graphics kicked off its standard entry point of panning to the Dead’s early Haight Ashbury home, the band dashed through a particularly upbeat run of the Blues for Allah classic “Franklin’s Tower,” forecasting further entries from the landmark 1975 album. Next came “Loose Lucy” and the fan-favorite slow-burner “Ship of Fools,” which featured vocals from Mayer and Burbridge.

As the final chords of the soul-stirring ‘74 cut rang out, the band returned to Blues for Allah with the soulful and funky “Help on the Way” and its classic pairing of the heavier, trickier “Slipknot!” Where fans might expect to hear “Franklin’s Tower,” which typically closes the trio configuration in the same form of its album sequence, the band followed with the beloved “Eyes of the World,” which brought the set to a close on an exhilarating and blissful high point.

The ensemble returned to the stage for the second set with “St. Stephen,” then moved on to the bright and far-out From the Mars Hotel essential “Scarlet Begonias” and continued into the comparatively stripped-back and moody Mayer-led “He’s Gone.” The band progressed into the deep-end phase of the second set with the sprawling, cosmic improvisatory launchpad “Dark Star,” flying further and further out into the distant reaches of the groove with “Drums” and “Space,” which gave Hart his chance to shine with experimental moves on The Beam.

Dead & Company issued the evening’s series debut next as the abstract run took a contemplative turn into “Looks Like Rain.” Derived from Weir’s classic solo debut Ace, the cut exemplifies all those aspects that make the artist such a special and distinctive performer, blending revamped country influences into a moody, direct and personal style, delivered with raw, emotional vocals and instrumental poetics that slowly build to a cathartic peak. Watch a fan-recorded video of the track below. After this powerful highlight, the group closed out the show with three more essentials, moving from “Truckin’” into “Throwing Stones” and capping the night off with “Casey Jones.”

Dead & Company will return to the Sphere tonight to close out its fourth week at the venue, he Dead Forever residency will return next week and continue through Aug. 10. For tickets and more information, visit