Dead & Company Begins Citi Field Run With Bill Kreutzmann Back On Drums

Bill The Drummer returned after sitting out several shows on this tour.

By Andy Kahn Jul 16, 2022 8:46 am PDT

Dead & Company drummer Bill Kreutzmann rejoined his bandmates on Friday night for the first of two final Summer Tour 2022 shows at Citi Field in New York City. Kreutzmann had been forced to sit out several recent concerts due to a back injury and testing positive for COVID-19 (drummer Jay Lane was tapped to fill in).

Television personality (and friend of guitarist John Mayer) Andy Cohen introduced the band who responded by opening the concert with “Bertha.” The audience cheered throughout the evening when Kreutzmann appeared on the venue’s large video screens. The energized opener was trailed by the swampy blues of “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo.”

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“Shakedown Street,” with its typical D&C scaled-back tempo, chugged along until Mayer and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti found a groove and the latter once again steered the jam deep into jazz fusion terrain while incorporating electric piano and synthesizers. D&C went back into country blues territory, with Mayer fiercely soloing within “Sugaree,” followed by guitarist Bob Weir leading a sing-along take on “Tennessee Jed.”

During “Tennessee Jed,” Weir played a one-of-a-kind custom D’Angelico guitar designed by AJ Masthay that will be auctioned off at the end of the tour, with proceeds going to voter-registration non-profit Headcount, environmental organization REVERB, and other charities chosen by Dead & Co.

The band then dug into the “Bird Song,” stretching out with a lighthanded jam that cycled through several pretty passages. The sprawling jam settled back into the end of “Bird Song,” which led to a bit of a stumbled entry into “Don’t Ease Me In.” The old-school number from the Dead’s earliest days served as the first set closer.

Read on after The Skinny for the rest of the recap and more.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

Citi Field [See upcoming shows]

41,922

7 shows
6/25/2016, 6/26/2016, 6/24/2017, 6/15/2018, 6/16/2018, 6/23/2019, 8/20/2021

The Music

7 songs

9 songs

16 songs
12 originals / 4 covers

1972

4.93 [Gap chart]

None

None

Tennessee Jed LTP 6/25/2022 (9 Show Gap)

Bird Song 15:52

Don’t Ease Me In 5:22

The Grateful Dead - 1, Anthem of the Sun - 1, Aoxomoxoa - 1, American Beauty - 1, Wake of the Flood - 1, Terrapin Station - 1, Shakedown Street - 1, Go To Heaven - 2, Built to Last - 2

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Mayer was put in charge of initiating the second half of Friday’s concert, taking his bandmates through “Althea.” The opener showcased Mayer’s skillful guitar work that was met with emphatic hits from Kreutzmann. The setlist then called for “Viola Lee Blues,” another classic from the dawn of the Dead era. Chimenti infused the jam with energized organ playing, before moving to other keyboards and synths in his arsenal.

The “Viola” jam eventually wound down for the arrival of “Terrapin Station.” The sweetly delivered suite landed at is usually inspirational climatic peak. The band then pointed their focus on the frequent companions “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider.” The seamless transition from “China” into “Rider” put a smile on the face of bassist Oteil Burbridge who prominently contributed to the sequence.

It was then time for the evening’s “Drums” segment, which began with Kreutzmann and fellow drummer Mickey Hart exploring their arsenal of percussion instruments. Burbridge soon came on to replace Kreutzmann, as the rhythms intensified. Shifting course into the “Space” realm, Hart employed the drone of The Beam, while Burbridge countered on bass and embellished with improvised vocables. Hart then took a break while the rest of the band resumed their spots on stage as Kreutzmann joined in on the wild “Space” jam. Hart soon came back and all six musicians continued an inspired improvisation.

First hinted at by Chimenti’s piano during “Space,” soon “The Other One” formulated out of the lengthy free-form section, with Burbridge supplying the signature introduction and buoyant bassline. After offering some additional jamming, “The Other One” came around to the quiet reflection of “Standing On The Moon.” Weir played slide guitar and sang lead on the tender tune from the Grateful Dead’s later era. The familiar beat of “Not Fade Away” signaled the start of the final song of the set, its equally familiar chorus echoing through the baseball stadium after the band left the stage.

Friday’s encore consisted of Weir’s swooning rocker “Sugar Magnolia.” Dead & Company Summer Tour 2022 concludes tonight, Saturday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York City. Livestreams are available via nugs.net. Visit JamBase’s Dead & Company – The Skinny hub featuring links to Summer Tour 2022 recaps, setlists, stats and more.

View pro-shot video of Friday’s first and second set openers below:

Bertha

Althea

Poster

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