Dead & Company Debuts ‘Box Of Rain’ At Riverbend In Cincinnati

By Scott Bernstein Jun 17, 2016 6:31 am PDT

After a few days off Dead & Company tour continued last night at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati. The big news of the night was the Dead & Company debut of “Box Of Rain,” a song best associated with a member of the Grateful Dead who decided not to participate in the group, Phil Lesh. Beyond that, John Mayer, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Oteil Burbridge, Bill Kreutzmann and Jeff Chimenti focused mainly on staples from the Grateful Dead’s live repertoire.

The show started with a bit of a jam Dead & Company worked into “Hell In A Bucket.” Mayer then had his first turn up front on “Brown Eyed Women.” The seven-tune first set continued with a pair of “cowboy songs” in “Me & My Uncle” and “Big River,” before John showed off his skills on a passionate “Sugaree.” A loping “Jack Straw” then gave way to a set-closing “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo.”

Before the tour started Weir told Rolling Stone, “I’d like to work up ‘Box of Rain.’ The vocal register is right in John’s wheelhouse. I think I’ve talked him into it.” Bobby got his wish as Dead & Company performed the Hunter/Lesh gem for the first time to kick off last night’s second set in Cincinnati. Mayer handled himself well as you can see in this fan-shot video captured by GratefulSunshine:

“Viola Lee Blues” served as the launching pad for Thursday’s big jams as it started after “Box Of Rain” and concluded after the evening’s intense “Drums/Space” segment. Dead & Company also fit a slow-paced “Uncle John’s Band” and the traditional “China” > “Rider” pairing in before a “Drums/Space” that saw the Rhythm Devils work over their massive rig. Bobby handled vocals on the Jerry ballad “Stella Blue” ahead of a rousing “Sugar Magnolia” that closed the second set. Dead & Company said farewell to the Cincy faithful with a “U.S. Blues” encore. The tour now heads to Noblesville, Indiana for a performance at Klipsch Music Center on Friday night.

Full Show Audio (Taped by Rob Krall)


Dead & Company at Riverbend Music Center

Set 1
  • Jam
  • Hell in a Bucket  
  • Brown-Eyed Women  
  • Me and My Uncle  
  • Big River  
  • Sugaree  
  • Jack Straw  
  • Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo  
Set 2
  • Box of Rain  
  • Viola Lee Blues  
  • Uncle John's Band  
  • China Cat Sunflower  
  • I Know You Rider  
  • Drums  
  • Space  
  • Stella Blue  
  • Sugar Magnolia  
  • U.S. Blues
  • Grateful Dead
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