Dead & Company Performs ‘Iko Iko’ In Hartford: Pro-Shot Video


Dead & Company continues to dip into their archives to share pro-shot videos from past tours. The latest performance is a slow-building but eventual feisty take on “Iko Iko” from Fall 2017.

On November 22, 2017, the band played the XL Center in Hartford. Dead & Company opened up the night with the New Orleans party classic. The poly-rhythmic song gave percussionists Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann an opportunity to shine right out of the gate. It was a standout solo from Jeff Chimenti though that was the real highlight as he served up some Professor Longhair-influenced stride piano playing during the extended jam. Here’s what SiriusXM Grateful Dead channel host Gary Lambert had to write about the history of “Iko Iko”:

Hey Now! Based on the battle chants of the legendary Mardi Gras Indian tribes of New Orleans, this song first appeared in recorded form in 1953 as “Jock-a-Mo,” by James “Sugarboy” Edwards, then resurfaced under its current title as a smash 1965 single by the vocal group the Dixie Cups. It started turning up in the Grateful Dead’s repertoire in the late 70s and its irresistible groove was especially welcome at the Mardi Gras shows (complete with parade floats and wild costumes) that the great impresario Bill Graham produced for the Dead in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 80s and early 90s. – Gary Lambert

Watch D&C’s “Iko Iko” from November 22, 2017: