After a series of incredibly triumphant shows in Mexico, New Orleans, and Sunrise, Florida Dead and Company continued their “one appendix-less return tour” in Orlando, Florida. To begin the night the band took the crowd in and out of the garden with a rocky, “St. Stephen”. “Stephen” has been one of the more matured songs in the Dead and Company catalog. First played in the hazy days of 1960’s Palo Alto by Garcia, Weir, and friends, the band continues to reinvent “St. Stephen” every time they play it. One of the most memorable “St. Stephen”s by Dead and Company was played on 11/14/2017 which featured Stratocaster shredding by Mayer, which featured hints of Mayer’s Stevie Ray Vaughn influence. However, this was not the night for “St. Stephen”. Weir and Mayer tried to create a tasty jam zone but it never caught the wind. But hey, we can’t have our ups with the boys without the downs. Once again the boys tried to create a unique zone to summon an impromptu jam and it fell flat. Weir, looking frustrated, signaled Mickey and Bill into, “Hell in a Bucket”. Once the WeirWolf howled the show was saved. Mayer kept the tempo up by taking the band into Junior Parker’s “Next Time You See Me” and things got when Weir turned up the dial on the Garcia tune, “Ramble on Rose”. A lazy but well executed, “Row Jimmy” came next followed by a knee-slapping, “Brown Eyed Women”. Things got really interesting with “The Wheel” next. “The Wheel” contained teases of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” by Mayer. Who said getting this guy with the Dead was a bad idea? He’s introduced some of the most “out there” ideas to Dead and Company since its inception!
Set break. *Cue heady Mickey Mouse smoking a set break blunt*
After a set that pales in comparison to the night before in Sunrise, Florida the boys came back with redemption in the second set. One of the best “China > Riders” since Blossom 2016 brought the first set into full jam mode. The bounce of the opening lines of “China” always take me back to my 17 year old self skipping High School to get stoned and hike by the riverside.. days of tour past.. and even just a week ago when I met a head down in the park while I was listening to “China” from Veneta 72.. These songs are truly songs of our own. A titan, “Althea”, the tune that turned Mayer onto the Dead was chosen next. Weir and company made sure to leave empty space for Chimenti to flourish for a hair-raising solo. “Estimated Prophet” with Weir howling sent the crowd into a tie-dyed frenzy of bounce. “Terrapin Station”, the Hunter/Garcia magnum opus simultaneously painted a picture of a distant mystical past and a mystical future. “Drums > Space” featured a segment with Mickey and “the beam” that said, “the best government is no government at all”. Following “Space” the boys told a tale of a man named August West in “Wharf Rat”. One of the lesser played tunes of Dead and Company’s catalog this Garcia/Hunter masterpiece has been delivered with strength and resolve each time. Highlights of tour past include Burgettstown 2017. And another tune that has never failed Dead and Company came in to close the second set, “Casey Jones” left the whole crowd feeling like they just railed a line off the cosmic powder. “US Blues” brought our postponed Fall tour to a neat and clean end.
Now the bus is headed to New York City to the legendary Radio City Music Hall for Bobby and Phil’s duo shows.
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Next Time You See Me
Ramble on Rose�
Brown Eyed Women
The Wheel **
China Cat Sunflower>
I Know You Rider