Dead & Company Debut Dylan Cover In Rockin’ Michigan Performance [Full Audio/Review]

first_imgLast night, Dead & Company rocked Clarkston, MI for another night along their summer tour. In a similar vein as how “Deer Creek,” is more affectionately known, Pine Knob (also known as DTE Energy Music Theatre) was a great venue to see Dead & Company. Nestled amongst many trees and a couple of manmade creeks and mini-waterfalls, Bob, Billy, Mickey, John, Oteil, and Jeff all brought the best for a very special Thursday night.The first set brought the band’s standard excellence with some great moments. The show began with some jamming that eventually led into the opening notes of “Jack Straw.” Always a great opener, this version was unique in that it had an uncharacteristic reggae jam before the final chorus. And after this mellow rhythm, the rocking “Jack Straw from Wichita cut his buddy down!” sounded even more powerful than usual. It was a great way to start the show. Other stellar moments of the first set included a nice “Friend of the Devil” and a “Sugaree” that made for a great sing-a-long, as well as the band’s debut cover of Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” By the time “Sugaree” was played, most fans had finally overcome the massively long lines to enter and were in the venue, filling the lawn and leaving no blade of grass untrodden. Thus, the sing-a-long was fun. “Don’t Ease Me In” closed out the set, and the set itself wasn’t too unfamiliar of a first set the Grateful Dead could have played twenty-five years ago at this same venue.Where the first set was fun and could have been termed pedestrian, the second set took the music to another level. Opening with “Playin’ in the Band,” it didn’t take long for Bob Weir to give the nod to the rest of the musicians signaling improvisation to follow. The jamming was dark before going into “Estimated Prophet.” It was a great rendition, and although it appeared Bobby’s head was about to fall off his shoulders the way he was shaking his head during the tune, all the musical glory goes to John Mayer. Mayer did a great job of hitting some powerful chords at the beginning of the song to denote its beginning. As the song progressed and all the lyrics faded, it was Mayer who was leading the foray into improvisational space, only to be cut short by Weir.It sounded like they would play “Eyes of the World,” but instead a fun “Cumberland Blues” followed. It was during the short jam that I first noticed how salient bassist Oteil Burbridge was by adding some very dark bass lines to the song. It was cool. The next song was “Truckin’,” and the band played a great version of the national treasure of the United States Congress followed. A brief return to “Playin’ in the Band” then led to “Drums” which was very short but interesting because Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti joined drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart on the various percussion instruments. It was certainly a fun moment.“Space” had some cool reverb effects from Mayer, who was sitting in front of his amplifier making some crazy sounds and noises with his guitar. From “Space” they went into “The Wheel.” A fun version that had some reggae influences at the end (in the way that Weir has done before with Ratdog), they went into a choice cover with The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” The set culminated with a rocking “Casey Jones.” Finally, the band played a quick “Johnny B. Goode,” and with no encore, that was the end of the night.All things considered, the show was fantastic. The venue was beautiful, the Deadheads were congenial, and most importantly the music was Dead. The band will hit up Alpine Valley in Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, and Fenway Park in Boston before heading out West. Be sure to catch Dead and Company if they come around your area. Or better yet, road trip to somewhere they are playing!Check out full audio recording of the performance, courtesy of taper Jeff Frank.Check out the full setlist below, as well as video highlights and a gallery from Ojeda Photography.Edit this setlist | More Dead & Company setlists Load remaining imageslast_img