Dead & Co. is reportedly considering a residency at the Sphere in Las Vegas. An unnamed source told the New York Post the shows could happen next summer, but added that the arrangement is far from set in stone.
The group is a spin-off of the legendary jam band Grateful Dead, led by guitarist Bob Weir. The current lineup also includes the chart-topping pop rock guitarist John Mayer. News of a potential residency surprised many fans since Dead & Co. announced that they had retired from touring earlier this year.
"What the band said was they were done touring. What a tour for them meant was 15 to 18 cities, four days a week," the unnamed source told the New York Post. "They don’t consider that [a residency in one venue] a tour… It’s cutting a fine line, but that was the final tour."
The Sphere opened in September after Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan spent $2.3 billion building out the 18,600-seat venue. Its main attraction is the giant 160,000-square-foot LED display which wraps up and around the audience to create an immersive experience. The device is the largest screen of its kind in the world.
The cutting-edge technology has been a double-edged sword for the venue. It's undeniably a key draw for spectators, but the high price tag associated with creating visuals for the screen has reportedly been a turn off for performers.
U2, the venue's first headlining act, is currently in the middle of a 40-show residency at the venue that's slated to end in March. The band reportedly charged the Sphere $10 million for this block of concerts. Organizers at the venue hope to spend less on talent going forward.
Phish, another jam band deeply influenced by the Grateful Dead, will play a week of shows at the Sphere in April, including one on the cannabis-fueled holiday of 4/20.
"From the moment we first heard about Sphere and its potential, we've been dreaming up ways to bring our show to this breathtaking canvas," frontman Trey Anastasio said when the shows were announced last month. "We're thrilled to present this completely unique experience to Phish fans."
Sources have also told the New York Post that the Sphere is also in talks with pop star Beyoncé about a potential residency.
Although the first iteration of the Sphere is still in its infancy, Dolan is reportedly currently speaking to developers about opening a second one in Abu Dhabi. He also pitched building a similar venue in East London, but the proposal was knocked down by the city's Mayor Sadiq Khan as "bulky, unduly dominant and incongruous."
Though Weir left the door open to future performances during the close of the band's final tour, Dead & Co.'s jaunt attracted significant attention, with more than 800,000 fans reportedly in attendance across all dates. The tour's three concluding shows at Oracle Park in San Francisco -- the Grateful Dead's hometown -- drew 120,000 attendees.