Dead & Company
Dead & Company
Dead & Company is a band consisting of former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir (guitar and vocals), Mickey Hart (drums), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums), along with John Mayer (guitar and vocals), Oteil Burbridge (bass and percussion), and Jeff Chimenti (keyboards).
Mayer recounts that in 2011 he was listening to Pandora and happened upon the song "Althea" by the Grateful Dead, and that soon Grateful Dead music was all he would listen to. In February 2015, while Mayer was guest hosting The Late Late Show, he invited Grateful Dead guitar player Bob Weir to join him in a studio performance. A bond developed between the two, and while Weir and the other three surviving core members of the Grateful Dead were preparing for their 50th anniversary shows, dubbed Fare Thee Well, Mayer began practicing the band's large catalog of songs. That August, Mayer and original Grateful Dead members Weir, Hart, and Kreutzmann formed the band, along with keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and bassist Oteil Burbridge. Mayer expressed a particularly strong enthusiasm toward playing with the new band.
Phil Lesh, the original bassist for the Grateful Dead, was not asked to join. Mike Gordon of Phish briefly auditioned for the bassist role but had to withdraw due to being too busy with other matters.
Dead & Company initially announced only one concert date on October 31, 2015, at Madison Square Garden in New York but announced a full tour shortly afterwards. The shows were called "magical" (Billboard) and the tour was very well received.
Following the band's final 2015 performance on December 31, 2015, Mayer told fans that they could expect more Dead & Company concerts in 2016 and this was confirmed by Weir when he was interviewed on Periscope. The band initially had one performance confirmed for 2016 at the Bonnaroo Music Festival but announced a full summer tour on February 8, 2016. On February 18, 2016, the band performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote the tour.
In 2016, Mayer and Weir expressed strong optimism about the band's future, including the possibility of new studio recordings. Mayer said he "will never close the door on Dead & Company, ever." Weir spoke of a "cosmic, out-of-body vision" he had, and a subsequent dream, of the band continuing for decades hence:
We were playing...and suddenly I was viewing this from about 20 feet behind my head, and I looked over at John from that point of view and it was 20 years later and John was almost fully gray. I looked over at Oteil and his hair was white. I looked over to my left and Jeff's hair was all gray." [Then, looking to where he, Hart and Kreutzmann would be playing,] "it was new guys, younger guys holding forth, doing a great job...playing with fire and aplomb....It changed my whole view of what it is that we're up to. I find myself wondering, 'Well, what are they gonna be saying about this new approach or this honoring of this tradition? What are they gonna be saying about that in 200 or 300 years at the Berklee School of Music?' That's the kind of stuff that goes through my head now because this legacy here, there's a chance now that they'll be talking about us in years to come. So I find it incumbent on myself to think in those terms.
When Dead & Company played their first festival performance at the 2016 Bonnaroo Music Festival, former Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux sat in with the band for several songs. She joined the band again for their shows at Citi Field in Flushing, NY on June 25 and 26, 2016, and at Fenway Park in Boston, MA on July 15 and 16, 2016.
In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Phil Lesh praised the band's performances, saying "I think they're doing a great job. They're bringing the music to the people just like we always wanted to do, and I commend them for it. I hope they're having a good time. It's not something I could do myself. I'm done with that kind of touring."
On September 7, 2017, Dead & Company officially announced their Fall Tour 2017. The tour began on November 12, 2017 and was scheduled to wrap up on December 8, 2017. However, on December 5, Mayer was hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy, which postponed the New Orleans show that night. Dead & Company subsequently postponed the remaining tour dates, rescheduling them in February, following several independent shows in Mexico. The Fall Tour consisted of 16 shows in 14 cities.
From May 31 to July 6, the band played their 2019 Summer Tour. They performed 19 concerts at 14 locations across the U.S. The band played a short fall tour in New York City on October 31 and November 1 followed by 2 shows at Uniondale's Nassau Coliseum on November 5 and 6. They then moved south to Hampton, Virginia on November 8 and 9. On December 27 and 28, they played at The Forum in Inglewood (Los Angeles), California as part of their "Fun Run" tour. On December 30 and 31, they played in their hometown of San Francisco at the Chase Center, featuring a bi-plane that descended from the ceiling of the Chase Center carrying the daughters of Jerry Garcia, Trixie Garcia and her half-sister, Ken Kesey's daughter Sunshine Kesey, dropping rose petals on the audience as they toured the arena.
In January 2020, Dead & Company played three concerts as part of the "Playing in the Sand" event at the Moon Palace resort in Cancún, Mexico. The band planned on performing at New Orleans Jazz Fest and to embark on a 2020 Summer Tour, consisting of 17 dates at 14 locations from July 10 to August 8, all of which were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The band played a national tour in August through October 2021. Jay Lane joined Dead & Company as stand-in drummer while Bill Kreutzmann recovered from a non-COVID respiratory illness for their October 19 and 20, 2021 shows at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO, their October 22 and 23 shows at Fiddler's Green in Greenwood Village, CO, and their October 31 show at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. For the October 31st show at Hollywood Bowl, Bill Kreutzmann started the show with Jay Lay taking over at the ending segment of "Drums".
In the Spring of 2021 Dead & Company scheduled 3 concerts at the Moon Palace in Cancun for January 13-16 2022. The event sold out quickly and Dead & Company added a second series of 3 shows taking place January 7-10 2022. The January 13-16 event is commonly referred to as the "OG "weekend as PITS alumni had first access to the offered packages.
The band has released no studio recordings, but all of the concerts from their 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 tours have been (or are being) released on CD, on iTunes, on streaming services and through their Livedead.co website.
- Bob Weir – rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals
- Bill Kreutzmann – drums
- Mickey Hart – percussion, drums
- John Mayer – lead guitar, lead and backing vocals
- Oteil Burbridge – bass guitar, percussion, backing and lead vocals
- Jeff Chimenti – keyboards, backing vocals
- Dead & Company 2015 Tour
- Dead & Company Summer Tour 2016
- Dead & Company Summer Tour 2017
- Dead & Company Fall Tour 2017
- Dead & Company Summer Tour 2018
- Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019
- Dead & Company Fall Fun Run 2019
- Dead & Company Fall Tour 2021 (ongoing)
The band has played thirteen concerts that are not officially part of any tour:
- May 23, 2016, The Fillmore, San Francisco (free show)
- November 9, 2017, AT&T Park, San Francisco (single set at Band Together Bay Area benefit concert for victims of the 2017 California wildfires)
- February 15, 17 and 18, 2018, Playing In The Sand, Barceló Maya resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico
- January 17, 18, 19 and 20, 2019, Playing In The Sand, Barceló Maya resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico
- January 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2020, Playing In The Sand, Moon Palace Cancún resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico
- "Dead & Company (Official Facebook Page)". Facebook. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
Dead & Company is: Mickey Hart – Drums / Percussion; Bill Kreutzmann – Drums / Percussion; John Mayer – Guitar / Vocals; Bob Weir – Guitar / Vocal; Oteil Burbridge – Bass; Jeff Chimenti – Keys
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The group includes three of the Grateful Dead's surviving core four: Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir, joined by John Mayer ('I'm going in tonight, like a 1930s boxer,' he exclaimed); former Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbidge; and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
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- Relix https://relix.com/news/detail/dead-company-close-out-halloween-run-with-jay-lane/
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