Dead & Company at MSG- New York, NY

Dead and Company MSG

There’s nothing quite like seeing the Dead at MSG. As the bumper sticker goes, if I had to explain you wouldn’t understand. Unfortunately, that’s a mission of this website. I missed the tour opener two nights ago but had a full day in the city planned before this one. Never miss a Tuesday show right? I say that about every day of the week. This has been on my calendar for a while. It was the only show of the tour I planned to attend due to the high ticket price but now it seems I’ll be at two more in the next few weeks. I specifically bought tickets for the section 300 bridge which has quickly become my favorite spot in MSG. The tickets are cheaper and there is way more room to dance.

Entering MSG on a dark and cold NYC evening strips the color from the otherwise bright, tie-dyed kaleidoscope you see on summer tour. Black coats, tall black boots, scarves, knit hats, and as a mid-week show, lots of work clothes. Formal Dead. Getting there late means longer security lines as though they search more thoroughly when the line grows. The friends I see outside wait on line with me and we discuss their recent travels and plans for this tour. Some I’ve not seen since Labor Day in Colorado. Once inside we glance at merch and catch up with more friends. No need to ask who will be there, all the regular crowd has made tonight a priority.

#52showsayear #meltintoadream

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The stage is a refined blend of classic Dead accoutrements such as large rugs a large platform for the sprawling drum rigs. Video screens abound above the stage with a circular one directly above center stage. One benefit of an indoor show is the lights run through both sets. While being outside on a warm day has its own charm, being inside focuses my attention and helps dissolve the outside world. The lights are brighter, the sound is tighter, and the dancing fills the space completely.

Tonight’s setlist was classic Dead in many respects with the interesting addition of A Love Supreme out of Space and into Stella Blue. The second set opened with Help on the Way which means there was lats of dancing coming up. The band was on fire. In the past I’ve commented on how slow they are playing especially compared with last summer. Word of the diminished tempo has spread through social media and other review sites but as a new baseline and current expectation, I came to the show ready to be surprised. Help on the Way was a good sign. The show flowed well, it was great seeing everyone, and I was left with an authentic Dead & Co. experience. Not quite a Grateful Dead show but a great version of one. Phill and Friends put on an amazing high energy show with deep and intricate jams but not at MSG. JRAD is exciting and unpredictable but doesn’t fulfill the longing for a true Dead show. I’ve given up on a new experience filling that gap but am grateful for the experiences and those to come. Who knows how many more the boys have in them. Love each one, be present, and don’t stop dancing!



  • Hell in a Bucket
  • Cold Rain and Snow
  • Me and My Uncle
  • Brown-Eyed Women
  • Tennessee Jed
  • Bird Song
  • Man Smart, Woman Smarter
  • Set 2:
  • Help on the Way
  • Slipknot!
  • Franklin’s Tower
  • China Doll
  • Estimated Prophet
  • Drums
  • Space
  • A Love Supreme
  • Stella Blue
  • St. Stephen
  • Not Fade Away



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