Dead & Company (photo: Kate Haley)
Words by Kate Haley
Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Chimenti, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, and Bill Kreutzmann of Dead & Company are showing no sign of slowing down. Not surprisingly the band was fully dialed in after the amazing Gorge and Autzen shows last week and they were bringing the carefully constructed jams to their homeland. I feel that the July 2nd, 2018 Dead and Company show at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA was the best they’d had at that venue.
This record was immediately passed on July 3, however, as night two was almost otherworldly at times, with a “Drums,” “Space,” and “The Other One” medley that was fully immersive and never overplayed by Mayer. “China Cat Sunflower” and “Casey Jones” came close to running off the rails, and back, brilliantly. “Brown Eyed Women” and “Althea” were stretched out and fully explored with duets between Weir/Mayer and Mayer/Chimenti. Hart and Kreutzmann were as innovative as ever and one is struck with how the Grateful Dead and Dead and Company have evolved and keep evolving, embracing diverse musical reaches and simultaneously leading and following the whole amphitheater’s energy.
At one point both Weir and Mayer were playing lead guitar, and it came off brilliantly. These world-class musicians clearly limbered up before the show and were ready to take us on a hell of a ride.
Night one’s standouts were Burbridge’s singing lead on “If I Had the World to Give” and “Feel Like a Stranger,” which kicked it all off.