Dead & Company Keeps Tour Debuts Coming In Raleigh
On Saturday night Dead & Company brought their summer tour to Raleigh, North Carolina for a show at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. With their tour now hitting its stride, the six-piece band worked in six tour debuts including the return of a song that had gone missing for nearly two and a half years at the 20,601-capacity venue formerly known just as Walnut Creek.
The sextet got their night in the City of Oaks off the ground with a John Mayer sung take on the traditional folk song “Cold Rain And Snow” that the Grateful Dead turned into a psychedelic garage rocker during their early days. The band next delivered a trio of tour debuts. First up was “Greatest Story Ever Told,” which hadn’t seen action since their destination getaway Playing In The Sand. Bob Weir strapped on an acoustic guitar next as he led the band through with “Peggy-O” for the first time since their makeup show in New Orleans back in February. The biggest surprise of the night followed as “Mexicali Blues” was played for just the second time ever by D&C. The track from Weir’s 1972 solo release Ace hadn’t been played since November 2015 – a span of two and a half-plus years.
Weir remained in control with a slow-paced version of “Tennessee Jed.” A tender “Bird Song” followed with Weir and Mayer sharing vocal duties. The ode to Janis Joplin featured a beautiful jam that segued straight into a rocking version of “Bertha” that eventually worked itself back into a “Birdsong (Reprise)” to bring the opening frame to a close.
Dead & Company’s second set of the night in North Carolina was a seamless, segue-filled affair that got going with the summer’s first “Throwing Stones.” The politically-charged rocker crashed straight into “Deal” which featured stand out solos from both Mayer and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. “Estimated Prophet” was up next as the knotty ode to California transitioned into “Playing In The Band.” Last night’s 12+ minute take on “Playin'” featured some of the night’s best jamming as the band again delivered a version rooted in their mid-1970’s take on the song.
The stage was then turned over to Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann as the Rhythm Devils put their percussion rig on display for the “Drums” segment of the night. The sonic exploration of “Space” transitioned into “The Wheel” which once again found the band working in a portion of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes.” The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” got trotted out for the first time since last December with the final tour debut coming in the form the day-appropriate, party-anthem “One More Saturday Night” which closed out the set. The band returned to the stage for a campfire sing-along version of “Ripple” to bring their night to an end.
Dead & Company continues the tour on Monday in Saratoga Springs. A webcast is available via nugs.tv. Watch pro-shot video of the openers from both sets and check out the full setlist below:
Setlist (via RatDog.Org)
Set 1 7:25 – 8:35: Cold Rain And Snow (jm), Greatest Story Ever Told (bw), Peggy-O* (bw), Mexicali Blues (bw), Tennessee Jed (bw), Birdsong > (bw, jm) Bertha > (jm) Birdsong (Reprise) (all)
Set 2 9:09 – 10:51: Throwing Stones > (bw) Deal > (jm) Estimated Prophet > (bw) Playing In The Band > (bw) Drums > Space > The Wheel > (all) Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes > (jm) The Wheel > (all) Dear Prudence > (bw) One More Saturday Night (bw)
Encore: Ripple (bw, jm)
* Bob on acoustic guitar