“Dead & Co. Keep The Grateful Dead’s Music Alive and Kicking”
6/17/16 – Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN.
By Bradley Todd
Those of you going to see Dead & Co. this summer are in for a treat. If you had any concerns about how John Mayer would fit into the fold, put them aside and get ready for a great show. The music of The Dead is alive and kicking, thanks to the additions of Mayer, and bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers), who along with keyboardist, Jeff Chimenti, form a formidable musical nucleus for original Grateful Dead members, Bob Weir (guitar/vocals), Bill Kreutzmann (drums/percussion), and Mickey Hart (percussion/drums) to pair with and perform The Dead’s deep catalog of classic songs and other assorted gems. They actually didn’t repeat a single song through the first four shows of the tour!
The group’s versions/interpretations of the songs are notable for their purposeful jams that prominently feature Mayer’s well-honed guitar skills, blues and rock based, which add a great punch to The Dead’s music and give it a bluesy groove that is refreshing, while allowing the tunes to retain their identity. Oteil Burbridge plays his part very well and meshes with John’s tempo perfectly, all while making six string bass play look effortless. Chimenti’s rich and tasteful ivory work add to the swing that made Dead & Co.’s show in Noblesville, Indiana, so much fun.
Kreutzmann and Hart propel the tunes along with a solid backbeat and spicy fills, and judging by the expressions on their faces as they play, both seem to be really enjoying themselves with this band. Which brings us to Weir, the white haired master of ceremonies, who was mostly stoic on this night as he led Dead & Company through its paces of a 2-set performance that featured 17 songs (see setlist below). Mr. Weir was in fine voice and handled his vocals with aplomb, while splitting lead vocal duties with Mayer…and even Oteil Burbridge got into the singing act, doing the honors for a verse on late show smoker, Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad.
If you’re on the fence about catching Dead & Company at any of the remaining dates of this tour, hop on down and grab yourself a (miracle) ticket. You’ll be glad you did!
- Minglewood Blues
- Cumberland Blues
- Ramble On Rose
- Black-Throated Wind
- Lost Sailor
- Saint Of Circumstance
- Dark Star
- A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
- He’s Gone
- New Speedway Boogie
- Looks Like Rain
- Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad
- Black Muddy River
Future tour dates, and links to the bands live recordings and merchandise, can be found on the band’s website: www.deadandcompany.com .