With the iconic psychedelic jam band once again making its last stand—this time in its current John Mayer-including incarnation, and in its long-ago hometown of San Francisco—Sophie Haigney makes what might be a final pilgrimage. A (two-part study) in juxtaposition, commercialism, and the enduring power of good vibes.
Walking into a Dead & Company show is more or less how you imagine it would be: there are nearly forty thousand people converging on a baseball stadium wearing some of the worst outfits you have ever seen in your life. “This is really a lot of different types of white people, huh?” a first-time attendee said as we walked into the show at San Francisco’s Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park, SBC Global Park, and PacBell Park.) On the street, a white guy with dreadlocks offered us mushrooms. Another white guy with dreadlocks held up a sign that said, “Cash, grass, or ass—I’ll take it all.” A friend, stunned by the famous Northern California fog, bought an ugly tie-dye sweatshirt at a makeshift stand outside the stadium for seventy-eight dollars.