Dead & Company returned to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village on Saturday night to wrap up a four-night, two-venue Colorado run (a pair at Fiddler’s and a pair at Red Rocks Amphitheatre) with Jay Lane filling in for regular drummer Bill Kreutzmann.
After sauntering into the performance with the New Orleans vibes of “Iko Iko”, Bob Weir and John Mayer shared lead vocal duties on an oozing “Shakedown Street”. Oteil Burbridge got in on the vocals on the ensuing “Ship of Fools” before Mayer took the baton on a flowering, sing-along “Brown Eyed Women”.
Dead & Company – “Iko Iko” [Pro-Shot] – 10/23/21
“Crazy Fingers” got the call next, Jeff Chimenti adding flavor on the piano as Oteil and Mayer bolstered Weir’s vocal leads with lush harmonies. Keeping things light and airy, the band then moved into a “Here Comes Sunshine” that built into a satisfying blues jam before winding down and slipping into a set-closing “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad”.
Dead & Company – “Here Comes Sunshine” – 10/23/21
[Video: starman2112 rush]
The band returned to the stage for set two with “Truckin'”, aptly encapsulating the unexpectedly long and strange weekend without Billy on drums for Dead & Co for the first time ever. Benefitting from swelling improvisational segments at the front and back end, this “Truckin'” stretched to almost 18 minutes in length before Mayer steered the band into “Viola Lee Blues”.
Dead & Company – “Truckin'” [Pro-Shot] – 10/23/21
Rather than splitting the number across the set, as this band is wont to do, Dead & Company squeezed more than ten minutes of creative improvisation into this sole instance of “Viola Lee Blues”. While it may have suffered from the lack of Kretuzmann’s famous freight-train backbeat, Lane certainly held his own on the fan-favorite as Mayer put on a blues fireworks display on guitar.
After short-and-sweet versions of “Help On The Way” and “Slipknot!” gave way to a flowing, extended “Franklin’s Tower”, Hart led the way with Lane and Burbridge on a creative “Drums/Space”. Emerging from the ether, the band burned off some excess rocket fuel on a fast-paced “Cumberland Blues” before easing into a beautiful, melancholy “Stella Blue”. With time for one more, the band closed the set with the obligatory “One More Saturday Night” before tugging heartstrings with a swaying “Brokedown Palace” encore.
Dead & Company – “One More Saturday Night” – 10/23/21
[Video: Norm Smyth]
Dead & Company tour continues on Monday, October 25th at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix—and the band has assured fans that Bill the Drummer will be back in action for the show. Big thanks to Jay Lane for stepping in while Kreutzmann healed up to make sure the music never stopped!
For a full list of upcoming Dead & Company tour dates, head here.
Setlist: Dead & Company | Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre | Greenwood Village, CO | 10/23/21
Set One: Iko Iko, Shaakedown Street, Ship of Fools, Brown-Eyed Women, Crazy Fingers > Here Comes Sunshine > Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Set Two: Truckin’, Viola Lee Blues, Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower > Drums > Space > Cumberland Blues > Stella Blue > One More Saturday Night
Encore: Brokedown Palace