Dead & Company, Cincinnati, 2016-6-16

You want to see & hear what I partook in last night?  Here’s a link to the recap, setlist, and audience recording of the show.

My memories of the show:

  • Mayer was great.  His vocals were great.  He played “Jerry-style”–the pins-and-needles major key arpeggios and modal stuff, always bending up to the major instead of the minor (which is more SRV), but on the jams–especially Viola Lee Blues, where he played an old SG–he played more of the SRV-shaped stuff I’m used to hearing from him.
  • Weir is a hoss.  He’s sixty-eight years old, and he stood toe-to-toe with John Mayer for 3 hours 40 minutes.
  • Kreutzmann and Hart are amazing, too.  Drums > Space > Viola Lee redux was awesome, even though it felt like they kept trying to dovetail into a different song.
  • Maybe it was just the adrenalin of being at the show, but I remember EVERY song being tight and excellent.
  • The jams and dovetailing were not super-smooth or telepathic.  There were a half-dozen or so clunky moments where one song was finished and they wanted to go somewhere else, but didn’t quite know how to get there smoothly.
  • Two disappointments:
    • FIRST, they didn’t play any of the rare gems (although the triumphal Box of Rain was amazing.)  I didn’t expect Dark Star, but a St Stephen? Or Scarlet > Fire.  Or Playing in the Band. Or (dare I dream it?) a Terrapin Station.
    • SECOND, Oteil Burbridge is an incredible bass player, and he brought a lot of energy and personality even without taking the microphone.  But I’d really love to see Phil Lesh.
  • The highlight of the night, and one of the greatest musical experiences of my life, was Jack Straw.  The vocals (Weir and Mayer) were smooth and strong, and the jams at the end were simply furious.

It was the perfect evening with my beautiful daughter, and the best Father’s Day gift ever.

Oh, and I got a really cool t-shirt.  I haven’t worn tie-dye since the 7th grade.

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