On June 26, 2016, Citi Field, located in New York City, was transformed from a baseball stadium to a sea of tie-dye, courtesy of the performance given by Dead & Company. If you have ever heard of the legendary Grateful Dead, then the Dead & Company concert was the place for you.
Dead & Company is essentially a revival band of Grateful Dead and consists of three original Dead members (Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann) and three new members (John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti). Together, they bring to life the sensational and, for some, nostalgic songs from the 70’s. Mayer, known to most of us, pioneered the creation of Dead & Company and is now the lead singer.
Mayer, inspired to pursue this project because of his love and respect for the enchanting music of the Grateful Dead, invited original member Weir to come play a live studio performance with him and from there, Dead & Company was born. Dead & Company toured all throughout early summer and each show had its own specialized set list consisting exclusively of Grateful Dead songs.
The Grateful Dead’s repertoire is enormous, yet every song entirely has its own character and story. Something that made the original Grateful Dead so special was their remarkable ability to improvise lines and lines of guitar jamming for their audiences, which Dead & Company pulled off flawlessly as well.
If there could be one word to sum up the music of the Grateful Dead, it would be bliss. From the concert environment to the people you meet and see around, it seems as though everyone is on the same page. There are no worries when listening to the music of the Grateful Dead, especially live. The vibrations just fill the air. People in every corner were dancing and grooving to the beat of the tunes. Everything from the lyrics to the instrumentals seemed to put people in a trance during which they emitted only vibes of love and happiness.
Some of the songs from the June 26 set list included “Box of Rain,” “China Cat Sunflower,” “I Know You Rider” and “Truckin’,” which contains the iconic signature line of the Grateful Dead: “what a long strange trip it’s been.” When that line echoed throughout the stadium, everyone sang along as loudly as they could. To witness this musical unison among fans across this vast stadium shows that the music of the Dead is deeper than simply the same chords played over and over again.
By the conclusion of this show something was for certain: everyone was at ease and full. The music is a constant reminder about the beauty of life; it allows one to stop and feel the rhythm, which can make even the stiffest of folks loosen up. You can listen to the music of the Dead on their original studio recorded albums or you can choose from a plethora of recorded live shows. It is really fun to compare the same song across the ages to see what the original Grateful Dead did differently which makes them exciting, unique and inspiring. They show that changing things up a little keeps life exciting. This is something we can all learn from in terms of changing up our normal routines by trying to do things we do every day in a different way. I definitely felt inspired, calm and collected after leaving the show and will always be a fan of the Grateful Dead. If Dead & Company are in your area, do yourself a favor and go experience the magic that is the music of the Grateful Dead.