Grateful Dead offshoot Dead & Company announces final tour

Dead & Company, a popular offshoot of the Grateful Dead, announced on Friday that its 2023 summer concert tour will be the band’s final set of shows. In a short post shared on social media, band members told fans they “wanted to be the first to let you know” rather than have the news leak later.

Dead & Company includes longtime Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, along with Grammy Award-winning rocker John Mayer on guitar and lead vocals.

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, who recently headlined the final concert of the Stern Grove 2022 summer series, never joined his former bandmates with Dead & Company but did give them his blessing.

Reports had circulated earlier this year that Dead & Company’s 2022 tour could be its final. Instead, fans will get to see the band one more time with no ambiguity as to its future.

Led by mythical frontman Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead was formed in the Bay Area in the 1960s and became icons of the decade’s counterculture revolution, moving to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury and openly experimenting with psychedelic drugs. The band’s die-hard fans — the Deadheads — are known to be some of the most passionate in the world. An entire culture and countless virtual moving cities have been created around following the Dead on tour.

Multiple Deadheads interviewed at Lesh’s Stern Grove show said they’d seen some iteration of the band at least 100 times.

The Grateful Dead officially disbanded in 1995 following Garcia’s death, but surviving members continued to play together.

Dead & Co. was formed in 2015 after Mayer and Weir played together on “The Late Late Show.” Mayer did not grow up a Deadhead but discovered the rock legends later in life when they came up randomly on his Pandora radio station.

The 2023 tour will likely be reminiscent of 2015’s Fare Thee Well tour, when many of the original band’s surviving members came together for the final time to play five shows in Santa Clara and Chicago.

Dead & Company has not yet announced dates or cities that will be included on the farewell tour.

While fans will mourn the end of Dead & Company, not all is lost, according to Weir. The straggly guitarist gave his rabid followers something to celebrate by tweeting, “Well it looks like that’s it for this outfit; but don’t worry we will all be out there in one form or another until we drop…”

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