Dead & Company rolled through Citi Field in Queens for their annual pilgrimage to New York City and penultimate show of summer tour. Billy Kreutzmann made his triumphant return to stage alongside original members of the Grateful Dead Bob Weir and Mickey Hart and bandmates John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and percussionist Jay Lane rounding out a seven-piece band that worked through the Dead’s catalogue of classics.
After an introduction by Andy Cohen, Dead & Co. opened the show with a condensed “Bertha” before pouring a cuppa rye and shuffling into “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”. Billy was displayed on the visual boards toward the end of the song, to which the packed stadium audience responded with appreciative applause rising into a deafening uproar. The beloved drummer held up his drumstick in acknowledgement.
Dead & Company – “Bertha”, “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” [Pro-Shot] – 7/15/2022
After playing “Shakedown Street” with an upbeat tempo that stayed closer to the original than some of Dead & Company’s slowed-down versions of the song, John Mayer took the helm for a rendition of “Sugaree” that featured solos from Chimenti’s corner as well as his own. Following a short pause, Bob Weir unearthed “Tennessee Jed” for a spirited sing-along. Bobby stayed in the vocal forefront as the band took flight into “Bird Song”. During the jam section, the drummers laid into a “Truckin’” tease before the reprise and finish. To close out the first frame, Dead & Co. covered Henry Thomas’s blues traditional “Don’t Ease Me In”, taking it back to the Dead’s earliest days.
Returning from set break, John Mayer built momentum on a sizzling “Althea”, soaring into a rendition of the Cannon’s Jug Stompers‘ “Viola Lee Blues” led by Oteil and Chimenti. The band held down the rhythm fort during the extended jams and stopped to catch their breath before embarking on a voyage through “Terrapin Station”. John Mayer captained the ship as they left the safety of the harbor for a tumultuous ride through the Dead’s opus. The jams were crisp and true before Bobby took the lead and brought the tune to its natural end after a short tease of “The Other One”.
Dead & Company – “Althea” [Pro-Shot] – 7/15/2022
Dead & Company – “Viola Lee Blues” – 7/15/2022
[Video: Matt Frazier]
Weir stayed in control for a segue into fan-favorite “China Cat Sunflower” as the audience began to swoon in anticipation. As sure as night follows day, John Mayer’s solo steered into the backroads of “I Know You Rider”, whose headlights shone on the synergy between Oteil Burbridge and John Mayer. Bob Weir’s voice cut like steel as he sang the lyrics, “I know you, rider, gonna miss me when I’m gone,” adding a smooth guitar solo into the mix. Truer words were never spoken as the dedicated fans thundered their sincere gratitude.
To follow, Oteil joined the Rhythm Devils for a percussive “Drums” breakdown. The back of Mickey Hart’s shirt emblazoned with “Save Our Rights” in pink graffiti font adorned the monitors as he led the group into a deep “Space” odyssey.
Bob Weir and the rest of the band returned to stage as Oteil introduced a bass-heavy “The Other One” to set the stage for Bob Weir to replace attendees’ minds with “smoking craters.” Winding down the second set, Bobby voiced an emotionally charged performance of “Standing on the Moon” before a closing cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” to finish the set.
As the band walked offstage, the enthusiastic crowd carried the beat and clapped along until D&C’s return. To close out the penultimate show of summer tour, Bob Weir remained at the vanguard for a scorchin’ “Sugar Magnolia” finale.
Dead & Company – “Sugar Magnolia” – 7/15/2022
[Video: Matt Frazier]
Another night of dancing in the outfield, flower braids, and tye-dye revelry is ahead for Dead & Company for the tour closer at Citi Field. This will surely be a can’t miss experience for anyone and everyone with a love or curiosity toward the history of music as the Greatest Story Ever Told is still being written.
Setlist: Dead & Company | Citi Field | Queens, NY | 7/15/22
Set 1: Bertha > Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Shakedown Street > Sugaree, Tennessee Jed, Bird Song > Don’t Ease Me In
Set 2: Althea, Viola Lee Blues, Terrapin Station > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > Drums > Space > The Other One > Standing on the Moon > Not Fade Away
Encore: Sugar Magnolia