Musical company

Dead & Company gives fans first Heavy Set tour in Bethel Woods

Photo by Katie Friesema

Last night Dead & Company brought their musical furniture to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Beth, NY as part of their 2022 Summer Tour. The evening saw several tour debuts on their first set as well as a release of “Big Boss Man,” which hasn’t been heard live from the band since 2019.

Unfortunately, percussionist Bill Kreutzmann didn’t play at all during the set and was replaced by Jay Lane – although he was able to wrap up their show a few days early at the Pine Knob Music Theater, Clarkson Michigan on June 29, 2022 .

Dead & Company opened their set with “Deal” and quickly followed up with “Shakedown Street” through bassist Oteil Burbridge’s funk leanings. The band continued to jam having fun, allowing keyboardist Jeff Chimenti to add jazz piano to the mix. Next, Dead & Company released “Big Boss Man”, marking the tenth time they performed it live and the first time in nearly 50 shows. Mayer handled vocals to the 1960s tune written by Luther Dixon and Al Smith and first recorded by Jimmy Reed. Of note, he entered the Grateful Dead live performances in 1966 with Ron “Pigpen” McKernan at the controls and was sidelined after their 1972 European tour in London until they bring it back nearly a decade later to 1981.

Dead & Company continued with another tour debut, a sweet rendition of “It Must Have Been the Roses”, also conducted by Mayer. After the single passed out, Bob Weir steps forward and covers Merle Haggard’s “Me And My Uncle” and “Mama Tried”. “If I Had The World To Give” served as Dead & Company’s final start to the evening and the penultimate track of the first set. The set took its time before the set break and Weir’s extended “Let It Grow” ended the first set.

They opened their second set with “Let The Good Times Roll”, a frequent and well-loved first set. After a short break, they began their non-stop jam of a second set, beginning with the first verse of “Dark Star” which quickly morphed into their classic arrangement of “Help On The Way” in “Slipknot !” in Franklin’s tower. The tried-and-tested pairings continued as Lane and Micky Hart took over the stage together on “Drums” freely exploring the beat that culminated when Hart masked The Beam fans in attendance, after which the rest of the band joined in classic fashion for “Space”.

They continued by returning to “Dark Star” in pristine condition before moving on to “Althea” on which Mayer shared a virtuoso solo. For the final merge of their jam, Dead & Company let a bit of darkness seep in with the soulful “Death Don’t Have No Mercy.” However, the band allowed spirits to lift as they finished with “Not Fade Away” and the crowd sang together finding warmth and strength in their united love for the band.

After a brief hiatus, Dead & Company returned to the stage with another Haggard cover and a fitting ending song, “Sing Me Back Home”, which unsurprisingly already played on the 2022 summer tour, but that was the first time they used it for an encore. This year.

Dead & Company will play again tonight, Saturday July 2 at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. Live streams are available via nugs.net.

Set I: Deal > Shakedown Street, Big Boss Man, it must have been the roses, me and my uncle > Mama tried, if I had the world to give, let it grow

Series 2: Let the good times roll, Dark Star > Help on the way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower > Battery > Space > Dark Star > Althea > Death Don’t Have No Mercy, Not Fade Away

Enc. : sing me home

Jay Lane on drums in place of Bill Kreutzmann throughout the show