Dead & Company brought their summer tour to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY on Monday night. Eight shows into the run, the band still managed to keep things fresh with five tour debuts, including a rare rendition of a latter-day Dead tune.
The night got started with Bob Weir and John Mayer trading vocals on Dead & Company staple “Jack Straw” before Mayer took charge on the tour’s first “Easy Wind”. The tune then moved into “Friend of the Devil”, with Weir switching to acoustic guitar as he sang the American Beauty classic. Next up was the tour debut of “Minglewood Blues”, which was followed by a subdued “Ship Of Fools” before the band moved on to 2018’s first “Corrinna” (the Weir-penned song, first performed by the Grateful Dead in 1992, has been played by D&C on one other occasion). Finally, the opening set wrapped up with an exciting “Cassidy” that allowed the band to exit the stage on an energetic note.
Set two got off to a pleasant start with an ensemble take on The Band‘s “The Weight” that featured some nice group harmonies and saw Weir, Mayer, Jeff Chimenti, and Oteil Burbridge each lead the team through a verse. A brief foray into “The Other One” territory followed before the band dove into a delightful run of “Truckin'” > “He’s Gone” > “New Speedway Boogie”. After fairly standard takes on those three, D&C delivered one of the most interesting renditions of “Uncle John’s Band” of their three-year career.
Following some solid improvisational work during the first part of the tune, Weir led the band into a “Supplication”-centric jam that gave way to “Drums” as all but Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann left the stage. The two drummers did their thing for about ten minutes until the rest of the band returned for a “Space” jam that coalesced into the remainder of “Uncle John’s Band,” which also featured some hints of the earlier “Supplication” jam. The set then came to a close with two more tour debuts—”Black Peter” and the classic “”Good Lovin'”—with the band returning to the stage for a quick take on the Grateful Dead’s biggest hit, 1987’s “Touch of Grey”.
Dead & Company will continue their tour on Wednesday night with a show at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, CT. Check out last night’s setlist, as well as videos of both set-openers, below.
Dead & Company – “Jack Straw”
Dead & Company – “The Weight” + “Other One Jam”
Setlist: Dead & Company | Saratoga Performing Arts Center | Saratoga Springs, New York | 6/11/18
I: Jack Straw, Easy Wind > Friend of the Devil, Minglewood Blues, Ship of Fools, Corrina, Cassidy
II: The Weight, Other One Jam > Truckin’ > He’s Gone > New Speedway Boogie > Uncle John’s Band > Supplication Jam > Drums/Space > Uncle John’s Band, Black Peter > Good Lovin’
E: Touch of Grey