Dead & Company fall tour continued on Thursday evening with a very special, woman-focused performance at Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, Texas.
The Lone Star State has repeatedly been in headlines of late following its passage of the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which went into effect on September 1st amid widespread protests. Bob Weir, for his part, joined in on the Women’s March‘s nationwide Rally For Abortion Justice in San Francisco earlier this month with his wife and daughter. There, he made his feelings the issue known in no uncertain terms:
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When Dead & Company arrived in Dallas and opened the show with the calypso shuffle of “Man Smart, Woman Smarter”, everyone in the audience surely felt the tongue-in-cheek context of the tune. Rather than moving along after acknowledging the issue on the opening song, however, Dead & Company continued the trend throughout the set, playing exclusively songs about women. That’s right…
Dead & Company – “Man Smart, Woman Smarter” (King Radio) [Pro-Shot] – 10/14/21
Next up on Dead & Company “ladies night” was “Bertha”, sung with gusto by John Mayer. From there, Weir stepped to the mic to lead the way through Bob Dylan chestnut “Queen Jane Approximately”. By the time the band dove into the story of Delilah Jones came around on “Brown-Eyed Women” the theme was cemented, and the excitement in the crowd only grew with each ensuing Grateful Dead lady: “Peggy-O”, “Cassidy”, and “Sugaree”.
Dead & Company – “Sugaree” – 10/14/21
[Video: Steve Tortolani]
With the band’s thematic statement of support for the reproductive rights of the women in the state now complete, Dead & Company kicked off set two with a more conventional ode to Texas, “Deep Elem Blues”, featuring plenty of interesting interplay between Mayer and Weir underneath tasteful Jeff Chimenti piano frills.
Dead & Company – “Deep Elem Blues” [Pro-Shot] – 10/14/21
The everlasting trio of “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower” led into the centerpiece jam of the evening, a thundering “The Other One” that careened through nearly twenty minutes of moody, free-form improv.
Next, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Oteil Burbridge got their time in the spotlight to show off their latest tricks on “Drums” and “Space”. On this special evening, Hart was keen to show off his wardrobe in addition to his rhythm as the shirt on his chest—emblazoned with a women’s rights/fight-the-power Stealie on the front and “Save Our Rights” on the back—spoke just as loudly as the setlist.
[Photo: Katie Friesema]
With time for a few more, the band rejoined the Rhythm Devils onstage for “Cumberland Blues”, “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”, and “Sugar Magnolia”. For the Dallas encore, Dead & Company returned to the night’s big theme with a hearty reading of Robert Hunter‘s “Liberty”.
Dead & Company tour continues through Texas tonight, Friday, October 15th, with a show at the Houston-area Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. For a full list of upcoming Dead & Company tour dates, head here.
Listen to a full audio recording of the show via Nugs.net here.
Setlist: Dead & Company | Dos Equis Pavilion | Dallas, TX | 10/14/21
Set One: Man Smart, Woman Smarter (King Radio), Bertha, Queen Jame Approximately (Bob Dylan), Peggy-O (Traditional), Cassidy, Sugaree
Set Two: Deep Elem Blues, Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower > The Other One > Drums/Space > Cumberland Blues > Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Reverend Gary Davis), Sugar Magnolia