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Thursday, June 16
Dead and Company continue the magic with a spirited performance at Riverbend
Dead and Company continue the magic with a spirited performance at Riverbend.
I was wondering if The Dead and Company would show any signs of a letdown or rust after Sunday's masterpiece. Bobby and the boys answered the sentiment with a rousing rendition of "Hell in a Bucket" in its familiar Grateful Dead spot as opener. While no signs of a letdown were obvious things however, returned to a familiar formula. The first set showcased the songs in favor of improvisation and that is not necessary a bad thing. A huge, welcome addition back into rotation was the late, great Johnny Cash's, "Big River" inits familiar place, following "Me and My Uncle". John Mayer really shined on "Sugaree" nailing the vocals and tone on this beloved tune. John's monster jam bled into another tour debut in a bittersweet "Jack Straw". Bobby ended the first set with a stirring version of "Mississippi Half Step", and the band nailed the complex jam the led to a beautiful"Across the Rio Grande" segment to leave a collective lump in the crowds throat.
The second set opened up with a surprise in the form of "Box of Rain". John Mayer handled the lyrics perfectly, usually sung by Phil Lesh, it was nice to hear the beloved tune without having reservations. Then "POOF" it happened! The magic started with "Viola Lee Blues" and this band did not relinquish it for the remainder the show. "Viola" jammedit's wayinto aspacy "Uncle John's Band" and after teasing a return into "Viola Lee", Dead and Company delivered the monster "China>Rider" everybody was waiting to hear. Those crowd pleasing sing-a-longs melted into the Drums and Space segments with the band firing on all cylinders. I am not a huge drums/ space guy but tonight's had some purpose to it. Space evolved back into a "Viola Lee Blues" before "Stella Blue " ripped out hearts, while creating smiles simultaneously. There's one way to put a cherry on this show and Bobby charged through a "Sugar Magnolia" while the band all took their turn showboating on their respected instruments.
By the time the band arrived at "Sunshine Daydream" Bobby even managed a few shouts as the crowd was delirious. John Mayer led the band though a stirring rendition of "U.S. Blues". I find that one vocalist usually serves the song best. But the story of the night is this entire band. Each night they have constructed some of the best and most consistent Dead music in years.
Written by:Kevin Long
Edited by: Greg Heffelfinger