Dead and Company returned back to Summer Tour today with a show at the infamous Gorge Amphitheatre up in Washington state. And in classic fashion of the Grateful Dead fans this week was spent debated following their run at Alpine Valley which featured a rather infamous sit-in from Wisconsinite Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. You could definitely call that night a very licorice version of The Grateful Dead (so that famous Jerry Garcia saying goes…)
As for the show at the Gorge, everything kicked off with John Mayer and “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and got nice and relaxed before the band was ready to move on to a smokin’ version of “Bertha”. It seemed like the band was unsure of what was happening next, the drummers seemed to ramp up a bit before the leads made it clear those first ringing notes of “Tennesee Jed” played out.
Up next was the Pigpen era classic “Mr. Charlie” which was debuted as Dead and Company for the first time ever. “Loser” had the full-on swagger you’d hope and expect, and Bob Weir was gruff as ever singing this one in a soulful, broken way. “Crazy Fingers” brought a little more vibe to the set before the band really crushed “Cumberland Blues” to finish off the first set. As Weir has done all tour, he told the crowd they’d be back in “just a little bit…”
Set two kicked off with “Playing in the Band” before opening up to a nice and flowy “Eyes of the World”. The crowd went a bit wild when they heard Oteil Burbridge break into “Comes a Time”, and the band really got the crowd into a frenzy for the “Terrapin Station” lead by John Mayer for the “Lady with a Fan” segment.
Great, great set up until that point and the Rhythm Devils were able to get some shine and kicked into their “classic” segment of “Drums” before the band came back out for some mutually jazzy sound explorations as part of “Space”.
The band fell into a slow and swampy “New Speedway Boogie” and stayed pretty chill and bluesy for “Black Peter”, again with Weir at his absolute zen style delivery. It was really as the song was flowing out of the main sections where the jam started to pick up strong, a real must-hear jam of the night, as the band built and built again for a “Playing in the Band” reprise! It was sounding pretty strong all the way through.
For the encore the band finished strong with a rocking “U.S. Blues” and bid everyone goodnight. The band plays in Eugene, Oregon tomorrow night.
Check out the full setlist below.
SETLIST: Dead & Company @ The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA 6.29.18
Set I: Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > Bertha, Tennessee Jed, Mr. Charlie*, Loser, Crazy Fingers > Cumberland Blues
Set II: Playing in the Band > Eyes of the World > Comes a Time > Lady with a Fan > Terrapin Station > Drums > Space > New Speedway Boogie > Black Peter > Playing in the Band Reprise
Encore: U.S. Blues
* – First time played by Dead and Company