As my newsfeed became clogged with pics related to dispensary visits, Dead & Co were setting up shop in Hippie Heaven, otherwise known as Colorado. Upon arriving via Private jet, our favorite musicians got to shopping quicker than Katy Perry landing for Halloween shows in NYC last fall. While dispensaries seem to be as abundant as Wawa Markets on the Jersey Shore, only one contained a strain specifically crafted for a band member. Oteil’s Egyptian Kush, only at Groundswell Cannabis Boutique. We talked with a source claiming to have connections within the “Boutique” about whether or not strains were being created for any other musicians based on the Dead’s resurgence. Apparently, they tried to make a Mayer strain but too many people refused to even try it. Those that did had an extremely hard time admitting they liked it at all. Men refused to buy it all together but it seemed to sell ok to the women. A strain was created for John K but they didn’t move forward on production because while some of the people loved it, half of the people weren’t able to feel anything at all. A strain was made for Mickey Hart but it’s only available in edibles because instead of smokin a pair of sticks, Mickey is still playing strictly with oven mitts and kitchen utensils. Most people were hoping Oteil would get a chance to sing, but after enjoying the gift pack he received from Groundswell, he had enough cotton in his mouth to knit a sweater. At one point while singing backup, I actually saw tumbleweed and some feathers come out of his mouth.
The Love Fest that is Dead & Co’s Summer Tour continued rolling through what was forecast to be cool Colorado rain. In a feat that equals weather related feats the band has pulled off for years, Bob Weir, while meditating earlier in the day, absorbed all of the moisture from the sky and quietly commanded it to hydrate his entire being. Most of US have known for a while that Bob Weir controls the weather. It ended up being a great night for a great night in Grateful Dead & Company Land. The band got things started with Bertha-> Good Lovin that was a strong pairing in the late 70s and I’ll never forget that magical night on 12-30-89 that opened the same way. Good Lovin spent most of my years on Dead Tour, as well as most of the later years, as a show closer. It was great to get the night off to that kind of a start. The next really moving moment for me was the “Even So” Bob dedicated to Wasserman. The emotional connection our favorite musicians feel to each moment directly translates to our ability to properly plug into the moment as well. That one was felt by all of US. Another pair of second set regulars showed up early as Uncle Juan’s came as a surprise and One More Saturday Night was the first set closer! That triggered memories of Shoreline, 5-11-91. It’s amazing how much Grateful Dead shit I can remember but I can’t find my keys for the life of me… There was a good Dew that night… I never forget a Dew.
During intermission, Deadheads sent all of the clouds back up to the sky that Weir had previously removed by meditating. Instead of rain, tiny little skunks fell from the sky. They all landed safely in case you were concerned…
Tuning for Scarlet Fire creates an instant jamathon and people started dancing before the music even started. The second set ripped through our lives with the precision of a surgeon’s knife and separated all flesh that didn’t belong in US from that which perpetuates kindness and generosity. Reminiscent of the Saint of Circumstances that came back in the early 90’s, it came without being attached to the Lost Sailor. OK for a change of pace but hopefully not something that becomes the norm as it was in the 90s. Terrapin followed and that tune has always been a musical ride on a unicorn’s back through the cosmos. While I’m here, I gotta get something off my chest. Does it bother anyone else the way Weir pronounces “cicadas”. I understand from the point of view a dictionary presents, his pronunciation is acceptable however, my dictionary is Garcia and Garcia NEVER sang “səˈkādə”. Not even once… No long “a”… No big deal I guess.. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. I’m really glad they’re giving Terrapin the ending it deserves. Some earlier versions were really lacking the monstrous jams that were always at the end of that one. They were ending way too abruptly and without proper treatment of the humongous jam that finishes that one off. It’s getting much better.
Drums was absolutely incredible and I think everybody other than Weir took part. It was the horniest drums I ever saw! Even Jeff got in on squeezing the horns. I never realized how many horns existed up there before. There has been fantastic stuff coming from the drum segments all tour long. John is turning Space into a jam session and finding new ways to make space take on different forms. I definitely enjoy where he goes with it. It’s funny to realize, since having timed track stats to look at nowadays, that Space has always been 7 to 10 minutes. It used to feel like it went on for hours. Maybe it was just me… I had a lifetime worth of thoughts during Space segments back in the day… Can’t believe they were all about 8 minutes…
Stella came gracefully stepping out of Space and smoothed the environment over like a frosting knife made to remove the rough edges off of humanity. Throwing Stones after being held back for a long stretch of shows came up again almost immediately. I hope it doesn’t get as played out as I thought it was in the latter years. There was a real snap to that tune back then that doesn’t exist in its current manifestation. I hope that snap comes back after some practice. I’d have to say the highlight of the night for me was Not Fade Away. A tune that we’ve all heard thousands of times in varying degrees of “Goodness”. It’s not easy to point to a particular one you like more than others simply because there was a ton of em over the years. Last night was absolutely outstanding. The jams that went around to all members of the band created the wave of love around everybody for which our scene is most famous. By the end of it, Jeff was blasting keys, I think Oteil and John both did some scat jams and had a moment where they played impeccably and powerfully off of each other. It was a great moment of total music chemistry that I won’t soon forget. That tune allows US to get involved as well which always proves to be a fine moment.
Black Muddy River was the encore.. meh…
I’m looking forward to another night watching the HD Streams from the couch and I’d like to thank my lucky stars as well as Live List for the weekend streams that I won. Once again, the entire tour should be streamed in HD. I was buying the stream if I didn’t win it as I would for all of them I can’t attend. Mine was flawless and I didn’t experience a single hiccup. Speaking of winning stuff, make sure you’re registered for a chance to win the ultimate Dead & Company Sweepstakes. This prize package is off the hook and gives you and 3 of your guests, chauffers, hotels, tickets, a badass camera and $2800 spending money to see the last 5 shows on the tour. I hope I win that one too but if I don’t, I hope you do! Enter here for a chance to win and Good Luck!!!
I’m outta time, please excuse any typos… Love You Forever!
Dead To The Core,
Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)