Following weekend shows in Cincinnati, OH and Clarkston, MI over the weekend, Dead & Company kept poking around the Midwest on Monday night with a performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO.
The show got moving with the New Orleans shuffle of “Iko Iko” before John Mayer led the Grateful Dead offshoot through a measured “Cold Rain and Snow”. Next, Mayer and bassist Oteil Burbridge split lead vocal duties on beloved Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter ballad “Ship of Fools” before Bob Weir took control for the first rendition of Johnny Cash‘s “Big River” on the 2021 Dead & Company tour.
Dead & Company – “Iko Iko” [Pro-Shot] – 9/13/21
Continuing to mine the American songbook, the band moved through blues classic “It Hurts Me Too”—featuring plenty of fireworks from Mayer and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti—before landing in the ambling breeze of “Black-Throated Wind” and, in turn, an energetic “Jack Straw”. A celebratory “U.S. Blues” rounded out set one, the notion that “summertime done come and gone” all the more appropriate a week on from Labor Day.
Dead & Company – “Black-Throated Wind” – 9/13/21
After setbreak, the sextet once again took the stage and got things moving with a spirited take on “Bertha”, taken at what felt like a faster pace than many prior Dead & Company versions. The upbeat energy of “Bertha” flowed seamlessly into “Good Lovin'”, offering the band and crowd a chance to sing along as the set-opening pairing came to a close.
Dead & Company – “Bertha” [Pro-Shot] – 9/13/21
Fans of Oteil’s warm, sincere vocals were treated to another highlight next as Burbridge commanded his role as the singer for ethereal Garcia/Hunter chestnut “China Doll”. Without delay, the band launched into a thrilling segment featuring an extended take on “Shakedown Street” that segued into a sprawling “Lady With A Fan”/”Terrapin Station” before tumbling into Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann‘s nightly rhythmic showcase, “Drums/Space”.
Out of the static of “Space”, a unique “Wharf Rat” washed in, twisting and turning with whipping inertia and staccato insistence throughout the 15-minute reading, undoubtedly a high point of the evening. Finally, a joyous “Sugar Magnolia” brought the set to a close and the tour’s first rendition of Chuck Berrys “Johnny B. Goode” served as an encore victory lap.
Dead & Company tour continues on Wednesday night with a performance at the venue formerly known as Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN. For a full list of upcoming Dead & Company tour dates, head here.
You can also stream a full audio recording of the show via Nugs.net here.
Dead & Company – “Johnny B. Goode” (Chuck Berry) – 9/13/21
Setlist: Dead & Company | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre | Maryland Heights, MO | 9/23/21
Set One: Iko Iko, Cold Rain and Snow, Ship of Fools, Big River*, It Hurts Me Too, Black-Throated Wind, Jack Straw, U.S. Blues
Set Two: Bertha > Good Lovin’, China Doll > Shakedown Street > Lady With A Fan > Terrapin Station > Drums/Space > Wharf Rat > Sugar Magnolia
Encore: Johnny B. Goode^
*Tour Debut, Johnny Cash cover
^Tour Debut, Chuck Berry cover