Dead & Company Busts Out ‘In The Midnight Hour’ At SPAC

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Dead & Company played their first concert of the summer on the East Coast on Tuesday at SPAC in Saratoga Springs, New York. The band relied heavily on the Grateful Dead’s ’70s output and dusted off a cover of Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour” after three years on the shelf as part of their performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Bob Weir led the band through “Feel Like A Stranger” and “Hell In A Bucket,” two songs that often start shows, to begin last night’s concert. John Mayer then had his first chance in the spotlight on “Alabama Getaway.” Next, the sextet looked to Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” before Mayer led the second ever D&C version of “It Must Have Been The Roses.” After focusing on songwriting to begin, the group spread their improvisational wings on a rousing “Cumberland Blues” starring keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and a “Cassidy” propelled by bassist Oteil Burbridge. Dead & Company closed out the frame with “U.S. Blues.”

Last night’s second set got underway with a slow and throbbing “Here Comes Sunshine” sung with passion by Mayer. The guitarist also led the band into a bluesy jam space before they finished the Wake Of The Flood classic. Dead & Company then worked “Shakedown Street” into the ballad “Wharf Rat.” The band took its time with the 15-minute “Wharf Rat” and eventually found their way into “Playing In The Band.” Following a short jam, the sextet revved into “Uncle’s John Band.” D&C painted outside the lines on Tuesday’s “Uncle John’s,” which led into the evening’s “Drums”/”Space” segment.

Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann took a rare minimalistic approach to “Drums,” which started with Oteil behind the kit, before Hart moved over to “The Beam” for a droning jam. When the instrumentalists returned, they swapped melodies on one of the longer “Space” segments of the tour. Once the full band was assembled once more, Chimenti laid the ground work for the oldest song played all night, “Viola Lee Blues.” Next up was the tour debut of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence,” which was followed by a set-closing “Casey Jones.” Dead & Company kicked off the encore with their first “In The Midnight Hour” since July 13, 2016 and the reprised “Playing In The Band.”

Pro-Shot Video via Dead & Company

Here Comes Sunshine

Fan-Shot Videos Captured by Matt Frazier

Alabama Getaway

Dear Prudence

It Must Have Been The Roses

Space

Setlist

Set One: Feel Like A Stranger, Hell In A Bucket, Alabama Getaway, When I Paint My Masterpiece, It Must Have Been The Roses, Cumberland Blues, Cassidy, U.S. Blues

Set Two: Here Comes Sunshine, Shakedown Street > Wharf Rat > Playing In The Band > Uncle John’s Band > Drums > Space > Viola Lee Blues, Dear Prudence, Casey Jones

Encore: In The Midnight Hour > Playing In The Band Reprise

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Dead & Company