Photos via Dead & Company on Facebook
After delivering a stellar show on Friday night, Dead & Company returned to Citi Field for night 2, an evening that would see the band rely again squarely on classic Grateful Dead material. On an absolutely beautiful summer evening, the band jumped into it at 7:45pm with a heft first set.
“Sugar Magnolia” kicked things off, segueing straight into “Half Step Mississippi Uptown Toodleloo”. The venue was noticeably much more full than Friday night, and you could hear the difference too on sing-alongs in the early portion of the night. “Peggy-O” and “Bertha” followed as everyone settled into the groove. The band was tight and focused, setting the tone for a brilliant second set to come.
Before that though was a “Birdsong” sandwich with “New Speedway Boogie” nestled in between. The definite first set highlight featured extensive improv and guitar interplay from Bob Weir and John Mayer, who shed the sweatpants for a pair of jean shorts with the warm temperature.
Second set kicked off in spectacular fashion, with the classic “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot” > “Franklin’s Tower” segue delivered in seamless fashion. The crowd swelled up to fill each nook and cranny of the monstrous Citi Field, flooding the stadium with an energy that would carry on until nearly midnight. “St. Stephen” was met by a thunderous roar from what felt like a near-40,000 person crowd. That segued into a bluesy and punchy version of “The Eleven”, a Dead & Company debut that many fans were quite excited to hear. After dissipating into a wonky “Drums / Space”, the group emerged with “Eyes of the World”, and a wonderful rendition that saw the crowd chanting as loud as the band sounded. “Stella Blue” wined things to a more intimate moment, with couples slow-dancing around the venue, before cranking it back up for “Sunshine Daydream”, a joyous end to a perfect summer day.
But that wasn’t all, folks. “One More Saturday Night” of course sealed the deal for an incredible weekend evening in Flushing, Queens. As the band continues with the second leg of their 2018 Summer Tour, things are better than they’ve ever been on the Dead & Company front. The band is coming into their own, gelling in a superb fashion, and creating new memories with music’s greatest song book.