Dead & Company Debut “Supplication”, Welcome Bill Kreutzmann Post-“Drums” In Michigan [Videos]

Dead & Company on Wednesday returned to the venue once again known as Pine Knob Music Theater in Clarkston, MI. there, the Grateful Dead offshoot continued to further expand its live repertoire with the addition of “Supplication”. Wednesday’s show also saw another revolution in the band’s ongoing drumming saga, as Jay Lane provided percussion for the majority of the show, with original Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann jumping in during “Drums” and finishing out the show.

The last time Dead & Company visited 33 Bob Seger Dr in Clarkston, MI, the shed was known as the DTE Energy Music Pavilionas it was since 2001. Prior to that, it was Pine Knob since the venue first opened in 1972, and during that time, the amphitheater hosted four Grateful Dead concerts in 1980, 1984, and a two-night run in 1991.

Moving from past to present, Weir, Lane, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimentiand Hotel Burbridge stepped onstage and dropped straight into the descending opening lick of “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”. From across that lazy river, Dead & Co journeyed into Disco Dead with “Feel Like a Stranger”, the new curly-haired companion on the kit making himself right at home.

Dead & Company – “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” – 6/29/22

The historical whiplash of the first set continued with a throwback to the Grateful Dead’s very first concert on May 5th, 1965 when The Warlocks played Magoo’s Pizza Parlor in Menlo Park, CA and opened up with “Cold Rain and Snow”. The band caught a serious bounce in its step during this traditional tune, as Mayer’s youthful vocals, Chimenti’s driving organ, and Lane and Hart’s synchronicity all connected to give set one some tangible momentum.

That inertia carried the band through a saucy trip down to Minglewood with “New Minglewood Blues”, before Hotel melted every heart at Pine Knob with his tender reading of “China Doll”. The kinetic Yo-yo of the Dead & Company set continued as the self-starter “Jack Straw” witnessed the band go from starting position to an all-out sprint, taking that energy through Johnny Cash‘s “Big River” and finally a set-closing “Bird Song”.

With the sun dipping down over Clarkston, Dead & Company kicked off set two with “Here Comes Sunshine”, before the improvisational opus “Playing In The Band”. The band lingered in the jazz-infused ambiance that came out of “Playing” before switching gears into the Workingman’s Dead singalong “Uncle John’s Band”, which consistently offers balance in the depths of set two explorations. Before closing the tune, however, Dead & Company made the move into its first-ever “Supplication”, which first appeared on Weir’s 1976 album with kingfish.

Dead & Company – “Here Comes Sunshine” – 6/29/22

What made the debut of “Supplication” all the more surprising was that it wasn’t preceded by its typical running partner “Lazy Lightning”. Instead, Lane and Hart led the group into the unconventional 7/8 timing before Weir delivered his rap over the eerie instrumentation that lay behind him. Subtly, Mayer began to lay down the descending breakdown from UJB, with Chimenti eventually picking up the hint before the entire band stopped for the A Cappella outro, concluding the “Uncle John’s Band” > “Supplication” > “Uncle John’s Band” sequence.

A late-evening pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider” came next, leading into “Drums” which summoned Kreutzmann from the wings. Bill The Drummer took over his seat beside Hart for the percussive breakdown, and would remain for the rest of the show. Emerging out of “Space”, Dead & Company offered its fourth-ever “A Love Supreme Jam”, based on the main theme of John Coltraine‘s 1964 album, A Love Supreme. Though the Grateful Dead never jammed on A Love Supreme, the Dead did at a pair of shows on the Dead & Company predecessor’s 2004 summer tour.

The cautionary tale of August West then followed with “Wharf Rat” before Independence Day weekend started a little early with a set-closing star-spangled run through “US Blues”. Returning to the Pine Knob stage one more time, Dead & Company finished out the show with “Ripple”.

Dead & Company’s tour continues on Friday at Bethel Woods Center of the Performing Arts in Bethel, NY. Scroll down for a collection of fan-shot videos.

Setlist: Dead & Company | Pine Knob Music Theater | Clarkston, MI | 6/29/22

Set One: Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo [1]Feel Like a Stranger [1]Cold Rain and Snow [1]New Minglewood Blues [1]China Doll [1]Jack Straw [1]Big River [1]Bird Song [1]

Set Two: Here Comes Sunshine [1]Playing in the Band [1] > Uncle John’s Band [1] > Supplication [1] [2] > Uncle John’s Band [1] > China Cat Sunflower [1] > I Know You Rider [1] > Drums > Space > Love Supreme Jam > Wharf Rat > US Blues

Encore: Ripple

[1] with Jay Lane on drums in place of Bill Kreutzmann
[2] Dead & Company debut.

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