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Dead & Company
Riverbend Music Center : Cincinnati, Ohio : June 16, 2016
|Out Of The Blue
Publications Association, LLC
Guest Review By JOSH MIRAGLIOTTA | Photos By MIKE HOWARD
Dead & Company played to an enthusiastic crowd Thursday night, songs that we hold dear to our hearts. The night
was a triumphant reminder that the spirit remains unbridled, taking fans through an amazing journey, playing the
songbook of many of our lives.
The original members of the band joined with their new partners in bringing the spirit of the band and it's powerful
cultural influences back to life, even if only for a few hours and then packing it all up to travel on across the country to
break it back out and do it again for fans along the way.
The group’s performance to a capacity crowd at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati should quiet the concerns of
any 'Doubting Thomas' over John Mayer’s inclusion. He was simply astounding, pushing the band forward with his
virtuosoic fretwork and an infectious energy that propelled the show from start to finish.
The show opened with a jam into “Hell and a Bucket,” Weir’s voice was sounding great and the band was tight with
former Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge’s touch and a tasteful lead from Mayer that led into “Brown Eyed
Woman” then into “Me and My Uncle.” Powered by a beefy riff, smoking guitar solo and lead vocals from both Mayer
and Weir, the crowd roared in appreciation.
Mayer’s lead vocal spot was a rarity; most of the front man duties belonged to Weir. For the most part Mayer played
the role of eager and focused axe-slinger, ripping guitar lines that were Garcia-like in tone and pacing, yet completely
The second set provided a real treat: a jammy, powder kegged filled, list of songs from “Box of Rain,” “Uncle John’s
Band,” the iconic duo of “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider.” As Rider coolly drove along, Weir singing as
forcefully as he had all night, the crowd bought in, cheering and singing along. That, in turn, seemed to turn on Mayer,
who cut loose with an amazing solo. And the more he broke loose, the more the crowd cheered.
Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti was laying down some funky lines, Burbridge was grinning ear-to-ear as he kept the rhythm
section humming along and Mayer played soaring lead after soaring lead. After some spacey drum solos and jams,
Dead & Company uncorked a rhythmic, driving take of “Sugar Magnolia.”
The evening ended with an encore of “U.S. Blues,” Mayer and Weir alternating verses. This incarnation of The Dead
can thrive. We can’t wait to see what is next, In the world of rock music, fifty plus years is not just a milestone, it is an
era, one far longer than most performers or bands ever survive. God Bless The Dead and Company.
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