Dead & Company returned to Mansfield, MA’s Xfinity Center on Friday to finish out a two-night run that began on Thursday night. The band made the most of the two-night stand—its first multi-night run of the summer—by spreading a massive “Dark Star” jam over the course of the two shows, with the first verse appearing alongside 20+ minutes of improv on Night 1 and the second verse coming during Friday’s fantastic second set alongside another lengthy improvisational tangent.
Friday’s first set started strong with a Bob Weir-sung “Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodeloo” followed by “Cold Rain and Snow” and the tour debuts of “Minglewood Blues” and Bob Dylan‘s “When I Paint My Masterpiece”.
Dead & Company – “Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodeloo” [Pro-Shot] – 9/3/21
A sauntering “Dire Wolf” followed, allowing John Mayer the chance to croon one and fire off some roots-y licks. A flowing “Jack Straw” saw both Mayer and Weir take their turns on lead vocals before the younger guitarist led the way on a on a slow and soulful “Sugaree” to close set one.
Dead & Company – “Dire Wolf” – 9/3/21
[Video: Matt Frazier]
Dead & Company – “Sugaree” – 9/3/21
[Video: Jamey Klein]
Dead & Company returned for set two with “New Speedway Boogie” and its enduring refrain, “one way or another, this darkness got to give,” as images of the Dead’s iconic “Wall of Sound” were projected behind the band. The ensuing “Bertha”, bolstered by the ever-lively Oteil Burbridge on the bass, put some pep into the band’s step next before a powerful “Truckin’” gave New England fans an opportunity for sing-along catharsis after a long, strange year.
Dead & Company – “New Speedway Boogie” [Pro-Shot] – 9/3/21
As “Truckin’” ran its course, Jeff Chimenti‘s flowering piano fills helped signal the segue back into formless reflections of matter for the continuation of Thursday’s “Dark Star”. Before surrendering the second verse, however, the band took more than 15 minutes of bonus time to explore its abstract space, bringing the full, two-part “Dark Star” to a total of nearly 40 minutes in length over two nights.
Not ready to take their feet off the gas, Dead & Company moved from there into a sprawling rendition of Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter masterwork “Lady With A Fan”/”Terrapin Station”. The ensuing Drums/Space gave Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann a chance to show off their continually evolving rhythmic palette before spilling out into a rumbling “The Other One”.
With time for one more, the band served up yet another monster rendition of “Morning Dew”, Mayer once again unleashing cascades of fluttering licks as it built to its soaring climax. A spirited “U.S. Blues” encore wrapped up yet another strong show for the outfit.
Dead & Company – “Morning Dew” – 9/3/21
[Video: Matt Frazier]
Dead & Company will round out the weekend on Sunday with a performance in Hartford, CT. For full details, head here.
Listen to the full show courtesy of taper JT/NY.
Dead & Company – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA – 9/3/21 – Full Show
Setlist: Dead & Company | Xfinity Center | Mansfield, MA | 9/3/21
Set One: Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodeloo, Cold Rain and Snow, Minglewood Blues, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Dire Wolf, Jack Straw, Sugaree
Set Two: New Speedway Boogie, Bertha > Truckin’ > Dark Star^ > Lady With A Fan > Terrapin Station > Drums/Space > The Other One > Morning Dew
Encore: U.S. Blues
^verse 2, completing version from Night 1
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