Dead and Company returned to play a mainstay of their tours, Citi Field, on June 23 for an all-around solid show with a seemingly near capacity crowd in tow.
Perfect weather ushered in the first set, filled with mellow jams and easy grooves. Since the band’s inaugural shows in 2015 at the Times Union Center in Albany and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, fans have seen a partial core group of Grateful Dead members with a few guests grow into the new touring force in the wake of the Grateful Dead. John Mayer’s increasing share in vocals and frontman duties alongside Bob Weir manifested from the first refrain in the opening song “St. Stephen.” In a surprise to fans, Jerry Garcia’s famed Wolf guitar was played by Mayer for the entire show, which added a subtle accent to his imitation of Garcia’s style.
The second set resembled the construction of a late 1970s Grateful Dead set anchored by two giant ballads, “Terrapin Station” to start the set and a post-Drums/Space “Morning Dew.” In contrast with these two more-scripted songs, the rest of the set took to a rather lengthy jam with “Truckin’” expanded well beyond its original form, teased upon in the outro of Space, including a few doodles from Mayer which briefly echoed a bit of David Gilmour’s guitar style. The set concluded after a rather short encore break and a melodious “Breakdown Palace” (the show was possibly running into a venue or local curfew).
Set 1: St. Stephen -> Cold Rain and Snow, Samson and Delilah, High Time, They Love Each Other, Ramble On Rose, Sugaree, Jack Straw.
Set 2: Terrapin Station, Althea, Scarlet Begonias -> Fire on the Mountain -> Drums -> Space -> The Wheel -> The Other One -> Morning Dew.
Encore: Brokedown Palace.