John Mayer is still riding high with latest solo album Sob Rock and still has the world tour for it to come, but for the rest of the summer he's switching his attention to his other musical commitment; Dead & Company, playing the music of the Grateful Dead.
The guitarist joined Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, along with Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti at the at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh, N.C. on 16 August for a 19-song set. Now footage has emerged of the celebratory first night of the tour.
The ensemble opened with Touch of Grey, rom the Grateful Dead's 1987 album In The Dark. Mayer, playing his PRS Silver Sky signature guitar, shared vocal duties on the song alongside Weir and the song's refrain of “I will get by / I will survive" clearly resonated with the crowd after so long away from live gigs due to the pandemic.
The band played a couple of notable covers in their set too – including the first time the first time Dead & Company had Reverend Gary Davis’ Death Don’t Have No Mercy live. An old favourite of the Grateful Dead's to play during the '60s.
The band also revisited the Dead's loose and bluesy take on Buddy Holly & The Crickets 1957 classic Not Fade Away to close the set.
Te full setlist was:
1. Touch Of Grey
2. Shakedown Street
4. Tennessee Jed
5. Brown Eyed Women
6. New Speedway Boogie
7. Playing In The Band
8. A Love Supreme
11. Playing In The Band (Reprise)
12. Help On The Way
14. Franklin’s Tower
17. The Wheel
18. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
19. Not Fade Away
True to form, the band's next date in Bristow, VA saw a strikingly different setlist starting with opener Cold, Rain And Snow onwards.
The next date of the tour will be at Citi Field, New York, NY with tour dates running until the end of October. Full list of dates at deadandcompany.com.
In related John Mayer news, the video for Sob Rock highlight Wild Blue was recently released and continues the songwriter's current love affair with '80s pastiche right down to the large shoulder pads…