Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann continued fall tour with fellow Dead & Company mates John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge on Thursday night in Philadelphia. The sextet’s return to the Wells Fargo Center featured a bevy of Grateful Dead gems along with other surprises.
The particularly slow-paced first set began with a loping “Dancing In The Streets” featuring vocals shared by Mayer and Weir. Philly Deadheads responded with glee to the lyric about “Philadelphia” within the Motown classic. Bobby then led the troupe on “Ramble On Rose” before Mayer fronted the group on a pretty, albeit glacially paced “Row Jimmy.” The John/Bob duo also teamed to sing lead on “Friend Of The Devil” ahead of Weir’s gutty vocals on “New Minglewood Blues.” Dead & Company’s opening set came to a close with a pairing of “West L.A. Fadeaway” and “Let It Grow,” with the latter including the best improvisation of the frame.
Dead & Company kicked off the second set with “Dark Star.” Mayer focused on bluesy licks, while Chimenti worked in hints of “Milestones.” The tempos were faster in the closing frame especially on the standout sequence of “Truckin'” > “Smokestack Lightning” > “Deal.” While John’s style didn’t mesh that well with “Dark Star,” he stole the show on “Deal.” Next up was a well-played “Eyes Of The World.”
The sextet’s instrumentalists left the stage to let The Rhythm Devils embark on another wild “Drums” segment. Mickey and Billy continue to make good use of their paired-down setup featuring multiple samples. When Bob, John, Jeff and Oteil returned to the stage they bypassed the usual “Space” to instead begin a cover of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” From there, D&C presented a song that has been a star of past performances, “Uncle John’s Band.” Once again, “UJB” was a winner thanks to interesting interplay between the guitarists, Oteil and Jeff. Weir then led a move into “Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” to end the closing stanza.
Dead & Company encored with a beautiful rendition of the Hunter/Garcia ballad “Black Muddy River.” Mayer put his heart and soul into his vocal delivery of the late era GD classic. The six-piece now heads to Boston for a pair of shows at TD Garden. As always, each concert can be watched live via livedead.co.
Here’s pro-shot video of the set openers thanks to livedead.co:
Listen to an audience recording thanks to Keith Litzenberger:
Dead & Company at Wells Fargo Center
- Dancing in the Street
- Ramble On Rose
- Row Jimmy
- Friend of the Devil
- Minglewood Blues
- West L.A. Fadeaway
- Let It Grow
- Dark Star
- Smokestack Lightning
- Eyes of the World
- Dear Prudence
- Uncle John's Band
- Going Down the Road Feelin' Bad
- Black Muddy River
- Upcoming Shows