SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Dead & Company performed a sold-out show at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Friday during the band’s long-awaited return to the local stage after a canceled 2020 tour.
A legacy, Dead & Company was formed in 2015 when Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead joined forces with young musician John Mayer, Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist of Fare Thee Well and RatDog. Jeff Chimenti. The result was one of the most successful touring groups of the decade.
Since its formation, the group has toured several times, performing in front of millions of fans, and has become a stage record number.
During their recent visit to SPAC, Dead & Company played two sets for a room full of around 25,000 Deadheads, who were sure to be enjoying their ideal version on a summer night.
The concert took place on a particularly busy weekend in the spa town, the day before the Travers Stakes taking place a few miles from Saratoga Racecourse.
With so many people gathered at PSPC, Dead & Company aimed to keep all participants safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic by requiring ticket holders to provide proof of full vaccination or d ” a negative diagnostic test within 48 hours before entry. For anyone sitting in the pit, the closest to the artists, a complete vaccination was essential.
While this tour required some extra logistics, the fans who came for Friday’s show were definitely up for some fun.
The colorful crowd – many wearing tie-dye products with dancing bears and lightning skulls – sang and danced with every groovy tune in the three-hour total performance.
Dead & Company opened with the funky “Shakedown Street” from the 1978 record of the same name. The band then performed “Bertha”, “Peggy-O”, “Me and my uncle”, “They love each other” and “West LA Fadeaway”, closing the first set with “Bird Song” by the late conductor. Jerry Garcia’s first solo album.
Throughout the evening, Weir and Mayer shared the responsibility of singing the lead vocals, while Mayer served as the band’s lead guitarist, showing off his talents in numerous solos.
After an intermission, the gang kept the good vibes going for a second set which started with a cover of “Good Times”, followed by “Scarlet Begonias”, “Help On The Way”, “Slipknot” and the fan favorite ” Fire On The Mountain “with Burbridge on vocals.
Then the group’s double percussionists, Hart and Kreutzmann, had time to shine on “Drums” and “Space”.
Towards the end of the show, Dead & Company performed with a folkloric “Cumberland Blues”, the dark “Days Between” and Buddy Holly’s number “Not Fade Away”.
A reminder of “Black Muddy River” from the 1987 release of Grateful Dead In the Dark sent audiences into the night.
Whether PSPC spectators spend their Saturdays traveling to see Dead’s next show or betting on the great horse race through town, those who found themselves watching Dead & Company perform live on Friday certainly got the week started. -end well entertained.