Dead & Company Aims To Add 20 More Songs To Repertoire This Summer
When Dead & Company played the historic Fillmore in San Francisco on Monday, the band featuring Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead joined by John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge unveiled three songs they didn’t perform during their first tour last year. According to Weir, that’s only the tip of the iceberg as Rolling Stone’s David Fricke reported “Dead & Company expect to add at least 20 more for the summer swing.”
For those who don’t like spoilers, here’s an alert to stop reading now. Bobby told Fricke “Passenger” off 1977’s Terrapin Station and the full “Weather Report Suite” from 1973’s Wake Of The Flood are among the songs he’d like to see D&C play this summer. Back in March Mayer mentioned “Dire Wolf,” “Throwing Stones,” “High Time” and “Foolish Heart” as tunes he wants to see added to the mix. Monday’s show in San Francisco featured the Dead & Company debuts of “Queen Jane Approximately,” “Days Between” and “Big Railroad Blues.” Weir also noted Phil Lesh’s signature composition “Box Of Rain” would be great for Mayer to sing, “The vocal register is right in John’s wheelhouse. I think I’ve talked him into it.”
Fricke talked to multiple members of the group for his extensive feature. Mayer talked about seeing a Deadhead in tears on the night of the band’s first show, “You could tell he wasn’t alone – in spirit. He was there on behalf of his youth and the friends he’d lost. He was there on behalf of his life story and what these songs meant to him.”
Hart discussed not wanting to let go of the Dead’s music:
You couldn’t turn your back on this music,” Hart says of the decision to continue touring with the Dead repertoire after Fare Thee Well. “We said, ‘This is the last time the four of us will be playing together.’ We didn’t say we were going to stop playing the music.” The drummer admits that “dropping” Mayer – an established blues guitarist and pop star and, at 38, the youngest member of Dead & Company – “into the Grateful Dead superstructure was a crapshoot. But there was magic. And that trumps everything.”
As for Bobby, he compared and contrasted Mayer and Trey Anastasio’s styles, “John is a classicist by nature. Trey is more of an iconoclast.” Weir then added they are both “explorers. Juxtaposing Trey’s take on the material with the insights John brings got me looking at all of the songs afresh.” Bob Weir also brought up the idea of Dead & Company entering the studio, “We need to put in another tour – or two.” The guitarist suggested D&C mix new originals with “songs never fully addressed by [Grateful Dead] in the studio like ‘The Other One’ and “Dark Star'” before he stated, “That would be something of an adventure.”
Dead & Company kicks off Summer Tour in Charlotte on June 10.