One More Saturday Night with Dead & Company in Atlanta July 1, 2019 14:03
Over the past fifty years, the city of Atlanta has played host to countless moments in Grateful Dead history. When looking back over the band’s illustrious career, it’s no surprise that tickets were in such high demand on Saturday night. The blazing summer heat was met with an equally hot ticket, as Dead & Company made their annual visit to Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood over the weekend. It’s always extra special returning to this venue for any Dead related project, as I experienced my first “Dead show” here on the Wave The Flag tour in 2004. While the roster has evolved and some songs might have a slightly different sound, the fact that we’re still able to gather and celebrate this music with nearly 20,000 people is truly remarkable.
When this band came together in the fall of 2015, many of us didn’t know what to think. The “Fare Thee Well” shows were a very recent memory, and I’m not sure that anyone ever expected to see John Mayer playing lead guitar alongside Bobby, Billy, and Mickey. What the Deadhead nation has witnessed since then has been nothing short of magical. The six-piece now has nearly five years under their belt, and Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti have proven to be the perfect combination for this interpretation of the Grateful Dead.
The band came out of the gate with guns blazing on Saturday night. “Scarlet Begonias” and “The Music Never Stopped” made for a beautiful pairing. “Alabama Getaway” proved to be one of the more rockin’ moments of the night. Weir has always done a phenomenal job with the Johnny Cash catalog, and “Big River” was certainly on point. It’s always a treat to hear “West LA Fadeaway,” even if D&C’s rendition is slowed down just a bit. Weir appeared the play the first few notes of “He’s Gone” before quickly aborting, switching guitars, and allowing Mayer to lead the way through a killer “Tennesee Jed.” The first set would end just as strong as it started, as “Bird Song” worked its way in and out of “Loose Lucy” before coming back in full force.
The sun was finally starting to set, and the band returned to the stage after a lengthy set break. An extended jam eventually led us to “The Other One,” which would then segue into a surprising stand alone “Franklin’s Tower.” Mayer led the band through “Crazy Fingers” in impressive fashion. Any time I’m fortunate enough to hear the “Lady with a Fan” > “Terrapin Station” combo is a very special occasion. This particular performance was perfect in every way. They eventually made their way back to “The Other One” before unleashing Hart & Kreutzmann for “Drums” > “Space.” The rest of the band returned to stage and eventually hit the opening notes of “Althea,” the song which led Mayer to discover the Dead’s music. Weir then performed one of the more coveted Garcia ballads in “Standing on the Moon,” before “One More Saturday Night” ended the set in proper fashion.
After the “Scarlet Begonias” opener, many wondered if and when we would hear “Fire on the Mountain.” Fortunately, the band returned for the encore and Burbridge finally had his chance to shine on lead vocals. Walking out of the venue, I felt that familiar since of gratitude that can only be achieved by these unique musical journeys. While I was lucky enough to stumble across the Grateful Dead’s music at a young age, it was just after the passing of Jerry Garcia. The reality that I’m able to be a part of this experience so many years later is something I'll never take for granted. These are moments that I’ll cherish for as long as I live, and hopefully, there will be many more Grateful nights to come.
Dead & Company Announces 2017 Fall Tour Dates September 7, 2017 11:45
Dead & Company Reveal Plans For 'Playing In The Sand' In Mexico July 25, 2017 14:08
Clear your calendar, Dead & Company is heading to Mexico! February 15-18, 2018 the Dead-themed supergroup will be Playing In The Sand. This event will be an all-inclusive Caribbean concert vacation in beautiful Riviera Maya. Want in early? Sign up for access to a special presale before packages are available to the public: playinginthesand.co/dc. Presale will begin August 1st, and packages will be available to the public on August 3rd. Stay tuned for further details on what is sure to be one of the most exciting events of the new year.
Bob Weir Officiates Backstage Wedding At Citi Field June 26, 2017 23:02
Bob Weir was a busy man this weekend, but that didn't stop him from officiating the wedding of a longtime friend backstage at Citi Field on Saturday night. Real estate investor William “Billy” Procida, who jumped on stage and performed with Weir seventeen years ago, confirmed that the two became great friends following that show. The ceremony, which was also attended by Dead & Company pianist Jeff Chimenti, lasted approximately 15 minutes, with Weir and Chimenti hanging around after to chat and take photos with the 50-60 guests in attendance.
Immediately following, the family and around 2,000 of their closest friends celebrated and occupied an entire section at Citi Field for Dead & Company's Saturday night show. “Seventeen years ago I jumped on stage and did an encore with [Weir] and we became great friends,” Procida told Page Six on Monday, adding he’s been in with the band ever since. Procida also noted that the ceremony was “beautiful and funny,” explaining that “at the end, [we] forgot to sign the marriage license. He was getting on a golf cart to go on stage and I had to chase him!” (via Page Six)
Watch footage of the wedding ceremony via Page Six here:
Dead & Company Announce 11 Additional Fall/Winter Tour Dates September 10, 2015 07:35
Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann will be joined by John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti this Fall for latest Dead-themed side project, Dead & Company. After the initial announcement of a two-night Halloween run at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the group released eight additional tour dates and have now added 11 more.
The newly added dates come after the previously announced fall run that begins at Times Union Center in Albany, New York on October 29 and concludes at Worcester's DCU Center on November 10. Dead & Company's Fall Tour continues on November 11 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York and is now slated to run until a pair of shows in Las Vegas at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 27 and 28. Other newly added dates include visits to Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro, North Carolina; Atlanta; Nashville; St. Louis; Minneapolis and Broomfield, Colorado. Dead & Company end the year with a pair of shows in San Francisco (December 27 and 28) and Los Angeles (December 30 and 31).
A year ago Mayer took to Twitter to share more thoughts about what made the Grateful Dead so special. Then, in February, the guitarist invited Bob Weir to perform with him on CBS's The Late Late Show. Fast forward to June when John played two shows with Phil Lesh & Friends at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California. Chimenti was not only a member of the Fare Thee Wellband, but he was Weir's longtime sideman in RatDog and also participated in a post-Jerry incarnation of "The Dead." Burbridge is a newcomer to the world of the Grateful Dead, but has sang many a version of "Franklin's Tower" with the Allman Brothers Band.
An American Express pre-sale for tickets to the newly added shows begins September 16 at 10 a.m. local time (except Nashville which starts at 9 a.m. local time) and will run through September 17 at 10 p.m. local time. Public on-sales start September 18 at 10 a.m. local time.
Watch John Mayer perform "Althea" with Bob Weir on The Late Late Show on February 5th, 2015
Watch John Mayer perform "Truckin'" with Bob Weir on The Late Late Show on February 5th, 2015
Fare Thee Well: The Grateful Dead's Final Stand at Soldier Field July 9, 2015 09:40
When I awoke and drove in to work on Friday, January 16th, I was already excited and knew that I was in for a long day. Several of us were heading to the Charleston Pour House for four rotating sets of Phish and Widespread Panic, courtesy of tribute bands Runaway Gin and Machine Funk. Sometime around noon, my phone started to light up with calls and text messages asking if I had heard the news. The rumors were officially true: The Grateful Dead were playing a three-night run at Soldier Field over the weekend of July 4th. To make things even sweeter, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti were all set to round out the lineup. Any chance at the slightest bit of productivity that afternoon was officially shot, and a hotel reservation in Chicago was made immediately.
In order to honor their creative tradition, the initial ticket offer was made via mail order, in order to ensure that the band's total ticket allotment would be available only to those willing to make the extra effort. Elaborate, Dead-themed artwork was encouraged on each envelope. Over 500,000 ticket requests were received, leaving just a ten percent chance of "winning the lottery." The overwhelming response led promoters to adjust the seating arrangement to accommodate more guests. Peter Shapiro, the event's organizer and head promoter, gave his word that the level of production would provide all mail order ticket holders with an amazing experience.
On April 10th, more rumors were confirmed when the band announced that their final run would now consist of two additional shows at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on June 27th and 28th. It only seemed right that the band make a return to the Bay Area, where it all officially started 50 years prior. Much debate surrounded the band's selection of Anastasio on lead guitar, as past Dead lineups have included many other amazing guitarists such as Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Jimmy Herring, and John Kadlecick in that role.