Dead and Company’s third tour made its way to Citi Field on June 24 while the Mets were away in San Fransisco, defeating the Giants by a score of 5 – 2. The summer evening weather made for a spectacular night of music with a packed stadium.
The long-standing game of guessing the show opener was on the tongues of many before the 7:30 downbeat and, regardless of incorrect guesses, “Dancing In The Streets” (which debuted earlier this tour) got the Queens crowd moving to the pace of the night. The relaxed but fun set continued on with the likes of “Jack Straw,” Tennesse Jed” and “Cold Rain and Snow” among others. Dead and Company jumped the gun by capping off the set with the party-rousing “One More Saturday Night,” more often seen in the second set of a Dead show.
As the second set rolled onward from the beautiful “Scarlet Begonias” opener, they let Oteil sing, as some t-shirts have said. Burbridge has been making more of a vocal appearance on this tour and took the lead on singing “Comes a Time,” making for a spectacular performance of the song coupled with Mayer’s atmospheric noodling on Dead and Company’s debut of that song. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman put on a unique rhythmic soundscape for the drums/space break which was integrative of acoustic and electronic sounds and instruments including Hart’s multi-string, one-note Beam.
The encore was truly something special for the New York crowd. The familiar opening riff of “Touch of Grey” rang through the crowd noise as the projection faded to the b-roll live footage of the synchronized light show atop the Empire State Building across the East River in Manhattan. Without much of a skip the happy feels were capped off in a rock-and-roll fashion with “Johnny B. Goode.”
Dead and Company’s two night run at Citi Field last June was a good showcase of the chops of a Grateful Dead family lineup who had only been on tour for about one and a half years at that point. In this year’s single show at Citi Field, Dead and Company showed an ever-flourishing presence of musicianship on stage miles ahead of the band’s debut shows in Albany and NYC in the fall of 2015, which even then were noteworthy.
Set 1: Dancing In The Streets > Jack Straw, Here Comes Sunshine, Tennessee Jed, Cold Rain and Snow, Bird Song > One More Saturday Night
Set 2: Scarlet Begonias > Viola Lee Blues, Estimated Prophet > Comes A Time > Eyes Of The World > Drums/Space > The Other One > Morning Dew
Encore: Touch Of Grey > Johnny B. Goode