Dead & Company Plays 1 Extended Set After Weather Delay In Boulder

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On Friday night, Dead & Company returned to Boulder, Colorado’s Folsom Field, offering up the first night of their two-night Summer Tour 2019 closer. Unfortunately, things did not go completely according to plan, as the show was delayed for about an hour due to weather. Still, the band played on, eventually returning to play one extended set that still covered the entirety of their pre-written setlist.

The Grateful Dead spin-off began their show just after 7 p.m., offering up their fan-favorite cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” — an unusual position for the tune given that it’s normally reserved for the second frame or encore. Around this time, the sky began spitting rain, and both the band and crowd remained insistently positive. The group then transitioned into “Cold Rain & Snow,” eliciting cheers from the audience as the weather continued to pick up. After finishing the number, Bob Weir took the mic and announced that they’d need to handle the weather situation, and the group departed the stage.

As the rain shifted to a slushy mix of nickel-sized hail, the crowd was evacuated from the uncovered stands and fields. Reluctant to leave the outdoor venue, fans took refuge just about everywhere they could, huddling together under trees and in food-vendor tents (a shout-out to the kind folks at Old Chicago Pizza, who not only gave fans shelter but then fed them free pizza as they waited for the show to restart). After about an hour delay, security began herding folks back into the venue, while lightning continued to flash in the distance.

Dead & Company did eventually return to the stage around 8:40, but not before John Mayer came to the stage solo to give out free merch to the rail riders, many of whom had weathered the hail and refused to evacuate the venue. To kick off their extended return set, the band dropped immediately into the chorus of “Cold Rain & Snow” once again, absolutely delighting the crowd, which was continuing to filter into the space.

Across the band’s one-set performance, they sought out storm- and rain-related material, in addition to the more traditional Colorado-themed fare. The Mayer-led “Bertha” sported a twangy lead guitar solo, highlighted by Weir’s dynamic counterpoint and thundering bass from a jubilant Oteil Burbridge. The song’s verse on a rainstorm (“Ran into a rainstorm/ Ducked into a bar door/ It was all night pouring, pouring rain/ But not a drop on me”) earned huge cheers, while the following opening Colorado reference in “Me & My Uncle” similarly got acknowledgment from the crowd.

Due to time constraints, the first few songs of the evening were relatively straightforward, offering little in the way of extended jamming. After the meandering “Me & My Uncle,” Bob Weir led the band through an easygoing “Ramble on Rose,” in which Jeff Chimenti shined with an electrifying ragtime solo. After the song, Weir announced that they would play straight through set break to make up for time, then the collective moved into “Mississippi Half-Step,” which featured a bluesy guitar solo that Weir accented beautifully. Seemingly energized by the crowd’s enthusiastic response, Weir sounded great vocally, and he dropped yet another rain reference during the lyric, “A retread to my feet and prayed for better weather.”

“Mississippi Half-Step” was one of the highlights of the night, with Chimenti and Mayer trading solos and the improvisation extended throughout the tune. Mayer also his staggered chorus vocals around Weir’s lead, eventually also taking on lead vocals so that the two guitarists performed a psychedelic, interwoven duet. From there, “Cassidy” offered an atmospheric jam with a slow build, while the John Mayer-led “Deal” began with a rollicking groove that eventually grew into blistering solos.

A direct transition led into a gorgeous take on “Box of Rain,” a song which was originally scheduled to open the second set of the night. A groovy “China Cat Sunflower,” with the build into “I Know You Rider” sporting brief teases of “Franklin’s Tower.” From there, Mayer led “Lady With A Fan,” while Weir took the lead on the band’s dramatic take on “Terrapin Station.”

The initial drums portion seemingly echoed the water theme, with Mickey Hart repeatedly looping an electronic beat reminiscent of dribbling water. Burbridge joined the Rhythm Devils duo of Hart and Bill Kreutzmann during the upbeat and dance-inspiring drums portion, before Hart used The Beam to drive the segment into a more ambient space.

After an atmospheric “Space,” the entire band abruptly dropped into a triumphant “Casey Jones,” with Oteil’s contagious enthusiasm again earning cheers from the audience. A percussive transition led into a dark and grinding “The Other One,” featuring a bridge with power chords and spacey ornaments from Chimenti. To close out the extended set, Weir led an echoing and mournful “Morning Dew.”

As an encore, Dead & Company first offered up a cover of The Band’s “The Weight,” which saw Mayer, Weir, Burbridge and Chimenti all take lead vocals on a verse. After the final verse, which Weir sang in falsetto, the four vocals broke out into a brief a capella vocal jam. From there, the show closed out in full with a celebratory “U.S. Blues,” an appropriate choice given the previous day’s 4th of July celebration.

Watch pro-shot video of the band’s opening “Not Fade Away” below:

Setlist

Dead & Company at Folsom Field

Set 1
  • Not Fade Away  
  • Cold Rain and Snow  
Set 2
  • Bertha  
  • Me and My Uncle  
  • Ramble On Rose  
  • Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo  
  • Cassidy  
  • Deal  
  • Box of Rain  
  • China Cat Sunflower  
  • I Know You Rider  
  • Terrapin Station  
  • Drums  
  • Space  
  • Casey Jones  
  • The Other One  
  • Morning Dew  
Encore
  • The Weight  
  • U.S. Blues  

Tour Dates for
Dead & Company