Dead and Company is a new band including some original members from the iconic American rock band The Grateful Dead, and some new members including John Mayer
By Callan Patel ’18
The Grateful Dead sprung up from their graves on Friday 13, 2015 and blew dead heads away with their outstanding show at Nationwide Arena. Guitarist and singer Bob Weir and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, all from the original band, came up with new ways to keep their music alive by including iconic guitarist John Mayer to take the place of Jerry Garcia. Even though Mayer has a unique style of playing, Dead and Company is sure to impress all die hard Grateful Dead fans.
John Mayer blended well with the rest of the Grateful Dead members. Every show, he gets better and better at obtaining the classic technique of the legendary guitarist Jerry Garcia. The rhythmic blues guitar that Mayer performed was both classic and his own; every once in awhile, he threw in his signature riffs which gave this band a distinct sound.
The stage was decked out in skeleton skulls and colored lights, all contributing to a Grateful Dead feel. The sold out crowd of fans were wearing tie dye graphic tee shirts from past Grateful Dead concerts, all waiting for the new band to reflect the greatness of the old band. As the lights went out, the band flowed into place for the first set of songs.
The first set included favorites such as “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”, “Tennessee Jed” and “Cumberland Blues”. Every song included a classic long intro and an iconic, one of a kind guitar solo from either Weir or Mayer. All members of the band blended together perfectly creating a new atmosphere. The band had both new and old sounds with every song, but either way, the crowd was enjoying every minute of it. At intermission, the band paid tribute to the Paris attacks that happened that day by projecting a massive peace sign/Eiffel Tower onto a Grateful Dead skull.
The second set of song began with “Playing in the Band” which got the fans back on their feet. After a couple more songs, the guitarist’s left the stage and left the crowd with just the drummers. Everyone leaped to their feet and cheered for the upcoming, chest pounding drum solo. The abstract beats and the luminous lights filled the arena. Mouths dropped with aw as Kreutzmann and Hart slammed their drum sticks onto uncountable drums. Weir and Mayer walked on as the drums faded away. “Space” is what fans call it, sounded like nothing, just a bunch of unnamed sounds coming from the 2 guitars. But what they were doing was amazing. Every sound had its own taste. Mayer and Weir continued impress the fans as they gradually led into “The Wheel” which started the show again.
Dead and Company ended the second set with the upbeat classic “Good Lovin’” that led the fans to wanting more. The crowed roared and screamed for the band to come back on stage. After a couple minutes of egging on for an encore, the band emerged from back stage. Weir dedicated the encore “Touch of Grey” to the families in Paris, and the band erupted with one of the most famous rock songs in history. The crowd was never more alive. They sang along to the chorus “I will get by, I will survive”.
Even though the Grateful Dead is gone, their music lives on. Dead and Company has set a new marker for rock band alike. All members in the band contributed to the perfection of every note, and they will live on to fulfill dead heads around the globe.