The present incarnation of the legendary jam band The Grateful Dead came to town Saturday, July 2 for another in a series of great concerts. Dead & Company played a rousing show before thousands of dedicated fans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Although everyone missed percussionist Bill Kreutzmann, on the DL due to a shoulder injury, the band was in fine form all evening. His replacement, Jay Lane was strong and didn’t miss a beat, as they say in the percussion world. The rest of the crew – percussionist Mickey Hart, guitarists Bob Weir and John Mayer, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and bassist Oteil Burbridge – were on fire all night.
A thunderstorm-shortened first set began in promising fashion behind fan favorites “Cumberland Blues” and a particularly strong “Bertha,” before the show “ran into a rainstorm.” A stadium official took the stage to advise fans to seek shelter in the concourse, just before the skies opened up …
Fans weren’t disappointed for long – after an hour delay, the boys returned to the stage, for an epic two-and-a-half-hour second set, which will go down as legendary in Dead circles. They opened with a memorable “Good Lovin’,” with founding member Bob Weir, barefoot, belting it out like he was a 16-year-old kid who just joined the band. With Weir and Mayer trading off vocals, the set continued with such favorites as “Crazy Fingers,” “Mr. Charlie,” and an epic version of band rarity “St. Stephen.”
After a cheerful “Eyes of the World”, the traditional Space-Drums was impressive as always, ending with an inspired cover of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” followed by a brief foray into The Beatles’ classic “Hey Jude” which had Deadheads singing along to the familiar chorus. The tone was mellow and the mood was shakin’ on show closer “Morning Dew,” with Weir taking the helm as he has in recent years on a song made famous by the late “leader of the band,” Jerry Garcia.
Fond memories of lost members were ever-present for the encore when opened with a superb cover of Dylan’s “Knockin’ of Heaven’s Door,” followed by the customary “One More Saturday Night.” The show was indeed a worthy contribution to the Dead’s catalog; no doubt, Saturday’s show will be bootlegged heavily and may even show up on a future album.
The tour continues Tuesday, July 5 with a show at the Xfinity Theatre in Harford, CT. Tickets are available here. WUN Contributor Gary Alpert was there are shares some photos of the band below.