Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

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Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby tcsned » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:44 pm

I was last in Chicago and Wrigley Field in 1990. Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson were still on the team and Brent was still playing keyboards for my favorite band. The guy playing guitar for Dead & Co was 13.

It was good to go back. The Cubs are reigning World Series Champs and Dead & Co. are back in the city almost exactly 27 years after I was last there. My wife bought me tickets for my birthday in January. She has never been to any Dead related show other than coming to see and sing with my band <3 I was a little skeptical, not a Mayer fan by any stretch but it was a good excuse for a road trip with my wife. I have read a lot comments about playing way too slow, Mayer's playing not being up to par, etc. Also a bunch of positive comments and some interviews with Mayer that showed me that he is, if nothing else, saying the right things.

It was a beautiful day, in the low 80s. We went for a nice walk downtown, Millennium Park, Malnati's pizza, the lake front, and then off to Wrigley. Monuments to Santo and Banks, that famous front entrance, Elwood Blues' home address at 1060 W. Addison. Ballparks are cathedrals to me, holy ground. This is one of the holiest. Oh yeah, there was a concert too . . .

I have seen pretty much every evolution of the Dead since 1982 with the exception of the Fare Thee Well thing. I loved Jimmy Herring, Warren Haynes, and John K. All of them brought things to the music that, while not the same as pre-1995 Dead, kept the music alive. Mayer is different. He's a pop star, Katy Perry's ex-boyfriend. WTF? How does he fit into this scene? Like a fucking champ if you ask me. He's a great singer and what I was most surprised with was how good of a guitarist he is. I have seen him in various things live (opening for Phil & Friends and a show in Blacksburg at our football stadium) and thought he was good, better than most pop stars of his generation. He was a pretty good blues/rock player. I thought he did an excellent job of managing all the different styles it takes to play GD music. His tone was really good. I was not impressed with his tone from the live cast things they have been posting. It sounded processed and lacked edge. Live it was clear and singing. He played like he really knew the music with great depth and not just hacking through chord changes and collecting a big check. The Dancing in the Streets was sublime. I don't know if it was better than any of the other post-Jerry things I had been to, I do know that I had more fun than I had at a Dead show since probably 1991 or so. Also of note, Oteil Burbidge is off the hook. He is one of the best bassists on the planet. I was taking with Victor Wooten after seeing the Flecktones at a bar in Blacksburg back in the 90s and there was a sign for Col Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit pinned to the wall and he told us, "you gotta see these guys, their bassist is the best one I've ever seen." Coming from Victor, that was saying something. He was right. Not only did he rock the bottom end, he sings beautifully. Comes a Time was amazing as was Fire on the Mountain. Bobby was in great form as were Billy and Mickey. The only song they played that I wasn't a big fan of was Days Between and Jeff Chimenti's beautiful piano playing rescued that song. the set list from the night before looked like the best one of the tour but I was really happy with the show we got. I give it two thumbs up! Can't wait for fall tour - we're going to Greensboro may one more . . .

my $0.02
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby waldo041 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:49 pm

I absolutely agree, they are pretty damn good at what they are doing!

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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby Searing75 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:21 pm

I may have to bite!
All's well that sounds well.
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby chip » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:09 pm

Thanks for the review, tcsned

So tell me what you've heard about a fall tour.
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby tcsned » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:16 pm

[quote="chip"]Thanks for the review, tcsned

My, bad - it was an old article . . . FAKE NEWS! :roll:
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby hieronymous7 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:02 pm

Nice review - wasn't aware of the Blues Bros. connection.

Oteil is another reason I'm into Dead & Co. - I love Phil Lesh but Oteil was one of my favorites when I was in college watching him play with Col. Bruce (RIP) & the ARU opening for Phish, jamming into Widespread Panic's set at the first H.O.R.D.E., etc. For me he's a big part of the reason I was willing to go with this project. (Can you tell I'm a bassist? :cool: )
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby hippieguy1954 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:48 am

I agree they are very good at what they are doing. What they are doing just doesn't do it for me so much.
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Last show: 1994
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby lightningbolt » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:52 pm

They all seem happy and excited. They are making great music IMHO and Mayer can really play...many different styles and certainly more then just the blues. Him and Oteil bring some incredible enthusiasm to the ones that came before. ( I am including Chimenti in the older group because he has been grateful deading in one way or another for 20+ years.)

Most importantly, it is not the Grateful Dead...and should be judged to me on it's own amazing merits.

I hear some head/friends say that it doesn't sound like the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead of 1965 sounds nothing like the GD of 1975. The GD of 1975 sound very little like the GD of 1985. The GD of 1985 sounds little like the band did in 1995. We have our favorite era's but the band was different all the time. D&CO sound like D&CO and I believe should be judged on their own merit.

Did any of you notice that Mayer was using his Dumble Overdrive Special...$100K plus head at the beginning of the tour and about half way through switched it out for his PRS Amp? Anyone know why?
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby gratefulredhead » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:44 pm

+1 on Tcsned's review. I was there on night 1, and it floored me. I had low expectations, but it was as close to the old feeling I'd had since the last time I saw Jerry (in1990).
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby urbanvets » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:36 am

I saw them at Citifield in NY this time around. I greatly enjoyed the show, and will gladly see any formation of members of the Dead.

I have seen most if not all of the incarnations, and Dead and Co. certainly fits in with the rest.

Thoughts - love to here the drummers again with Bob, it's been too long, and drums and space brought back memories and kick started an awesome The Other One.

"Comes A Time" worth the price of admission Oteil great vocals, was wondering what all the signs "let him sing" were about. Jeff Chimenti always solid.
Bob, strong having fun!!


John Mayer was very good, and his tone has come along way from his solo stuff. Why he definately ripped the more pentatonic rock based leads, his melodic leads, and modal leads on some songs left me wishing Steve Kimock or even John K were jamming. That Jerry noodling, chromatics, I was jonesing for, wasn't at the level I wanted. Don't get me wrong, I think John Mayer was awesome on his leads, just missed, or wasn't trying to nail the Jerry sound. Still prefer Ratdog, and Furthur, both for a more Jerry sound, and ability to see them in a small venue front row, rather than packed on a baseball field. Overall. I certainly will go again, but hope Bob will bring back Ratdog, or do some more dates for Blue mountain, or more Jerrys 75th birthday shows!
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby nopunin10dead » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:31 am

lightningbolt wrote:Did any of you notice that Mayer was using his Dumble Overdrive Special...$100K plus head at the beginning of the tour and about half way through switched it out for his PRS Amp? Anyone know why?


I noticed that too and wondered. One can only speculate. One possibility is that Mr. Smith reminded John that there was a signature amplifier to promote? Endorsement contracts... :lol:
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Re: Dead & Co at Wrigley Field

Postby Smolder » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:06 pm

I had to sell my Friday night tickets for Boulder and travel to SF for work. Ended up at Terrapin Station watching Phil and the boys and shaking Phil's hand. Flew back to see Saturday night and it was absolutely great. On a couple of occasions it seemed songs were just about to fall apart and then whipped back around in classic firey fashion.

That said... the second night at Wrigley was on fire. They sure ended that tour on a high note. Really enjoying this incarnation of this music. May it live on long into the future.
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