Sunday, June 23, 2019

Dead & Company at The Gorge in George, WA on June 7 and 8, 2019

Here Comes Sunshine

When Dead and Company announced their summer tour it was surprising there were no Canadian dates. Just kidding; it would be a surprise if there were. Dead and Company includes some of the Grateful Dead original members: Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart; joining them are John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge.
Being a Pacific Northwest resident (from Canada), it was an easy decision to attend the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington for the Friday June 7th and Saturday June 8th shows, even though the Pacific Northwest is known for cold rain and sometimes snow. We got lucky with warm days and cool nights.

Prankster Alert! Strolling down Shakedown Street, before the first show, one of the most fascinating booths was the one with Zane Kesey, son of Ken Kesey - author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Zane, wearing super fun tie dyed coveralls, and manning his booth of tie dyed t-shirts, toilet seats, (Yes! Tie dyed toilet seats! As you will hear Deadheads say, “It’s not just about the music.” He also gave me some cartoon art blotter paper, which he said was a medicinal placebo. Zane gave some to my friend Justin too, who popped it all in his mouth. No one has seen Justin since. Rumor is he’s on a ranch somewhere in La Honda, sporting a bushy beard and a jean jacket with the sleeves cut off, blowing bubbles, banging on a drum and playing the finger cymbals 24 hours a day.

While waiting for the Friday show to start, there was a sweet moment when Oteil’s adorable son Nigel waved to the crowd several times; of course we all waved back to him. The Boys were in fine form and prepared for the cold wind. John Mayer came out wearing a trendy trench type coat with camouflage pants, Bill Kreutzmann wore a Dead and Company bolt hoodie and he actually pulled the hood part over top of his hat for extra warmth, Mickey Hart was bundled up in a full zipped up jacket, Bob Weir had a white cowboy hat with a feather in it that threatened to blow away in the fierce wind and Oteil wore his intricate face paint. John tucked his face into the top of his jacket a couple times to keep warm. They opened the show with “Feel Like A Stranger” and continued with favorites: “Cumberland Blues”, “Dire Wolf”, “Loose Lucy” and debuted a beautiful rendition of “It Must Have Been The Roses”, which was definitely a highlight of the 2 day venue. During set break there was a stunning Gorge sunset on the way to the restroom.

copyright Ann Horvat
Wow! What an amazing backdrop to the Dead and Company concerts!  

The second set opened with” Here Comes Sunshine”, “Dark Star” and another favorite, the lively “Scarlet Begonias.” We will all get old before Scarlet. The second set closed with “Casey Jones”; Bobby’s rowdy vocals got the crowd all riled up, and there was a tender “Ripple” encore.

The Saturday night was warmer and The Boys dressed accordingly: John, Mickey and Billy sporting sunglasses, Bobby wearing a hat again, looking like more and more like Crambone.
We got a “Bertha” opener complete with an energetic and bouncy Mayer. The second song “Me and My Uncle” (a John Phillips cover) had a western cowboy feel, fitting in well at the Gorge. YEE-HAW! “I Need a Miracle” was a reminder of the Miracle Seekers on Shakedown earlier that day, walking through the crowd with a pointer finger in the air, the sign that they are looking for a miracle ticket to the show that night. Hope they got that ticket because the show was truly epic.

We got to hear Oteil’s honey smooth vocals on “Comes a Time”; the crowd looked peaceful and happy listening and watching intently. How can you not love Oteil! (Is this where I can brag about finding Oteil’s guitar pick in the pit after the show ended?) No one had to use any STFU (Shut The F*** Up) cards during this song.

The Boys came back after a short break; Weir hatless and showing off his wonderfully wild hair (Insert 10 fire emojis here). The second set opener was “Playing in the Band” where John and Jeff continued their bromance with some cute PDA (Public Display of Affection).
The second song was “Uncle John’s Band” where Jeff literally blew the dust off his keys, with a “Playing in the Band” reprise. During “Playing in the Band” a drone appeared above the crowd and Weir gave us a Drone Rap, “Uh, so there’s a… there is a drone. Somebody’s operating a drone and it’s getting dangerously close to the crowd, and close to the guys here, and if you don’t knock it off, we have to quit the show, ok. So, whoever you are, park that thing, ok.” Yes, Bobby!

“Deal” was one of the best Deals they have ever played. During Drums/Space Mickey picked something out of the air. Magic. Next was an amazing version of “The Wheel”; Jeff’s cool voice and John’s and Bob’s subtle falsetto harmonies were a perfect match with the 1950s/Mexican/Reggae vibe near the end. We got a Dylan cover of a “Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”; Bobby Weir singing Bobby Dylan is always a treat. Weir’s voice is strong and steady, thoughtful and melodic. Weir has been working out and sharing his photos on Instagram with photo credit to the Gym Safety Advisor. You can see his strong guitar guns when he’s on stage and his voice has a new strength. The Bobby Howl and his remarkable voice control will give you shivers. Someone in the crowd yelled, “Bust out the short shorts, Bobby!” Okay, maybe that was me.

Mayer’s fiery guitar licks and sublime, mellow vocals have won him many Deadhead fans.
Michael from Portland said, “He’s killin’ it!” about John Mayer and referring to Eyes of the World in the second set, Michael said “I can’t believe what I just heard! Mayer and Chimenti grabbed that song and BLEW IT UP!”

The Boys played “One More Saturday Night” and we got a “Touch of Grey” encore; the popular song that brought the Grateful Dead into the tie-dyed limelight in 1987 with the MTV video, much to the chagrin of some Deadheads.

It was a beautiful end to a beautiful weekend and the memories will be treasured forever.

The weekend was full of fun. Love the things you hear at a Dead show; these are some of the remarks heard at The Gorge:

1) When did Bobby start growing his beard?
2) Oh My God! When did Billy turn his hat backwards?
3) Did you see John’s face? (Heard many times during a show)
4) Enjoy the magical afterglow (We still are.)

It is definitely more than the music in the Deadhead culture. The camaraderie the band has created with and within the fans over the past 50+ years is extraordinary. Watching the crowd and seeing the pure joy on their faces as they sing and smile; and you know how the song goes…”Nothin’ left to do but smile, smile, smile."

Review by Ann Horvat
Photos (June 8 only) by Dave Stotts Photography

Timothy Tyler and Hilary Clarkson

The author Ann


Sean Bazin said...

What a magical venue for this wonderful family gathering and a fabulous weekend. Lovely to see you both as always ❤️

Ann Horvat said...

So nice to see you and Cortney, Sean! Love the photo of you two!😂❤️✌️🎶 See ya down the road.

Mike Cerneant said...

Hi Ann!!!!

Ann Horvat said...

Hey Mike! Hope to see you again soon!

Rosebud said...

WE got ROCKED & ROLLED! Gorgeous weekend at a gorgeous venue to hear a gorgeous band with gorgeous friends...I Am stoked and inspired* So glad we made it! Carry that Torch of Love and Light high, so that those that have eyes may see! Thanks Ann!*

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you Rosebud!🌹So grate meeting you!🌹At least Weir enjoying the ride!❤️😉🌹🎶

Mervin said...

"fiery guitar licks"....nice. Great Article Annie�� once again, you captured the raw energy of the show...reading it was a true transport in time.

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you Bro! (Literally)😂 One day I hope to see you at a Dead and Co. show!❤️ Bucket List item #7

Margo in Mexico said...

Great jobe you two! Really captures the feeling of being there ! Thanks for the photos! Are they for sale?

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you Margo in Mexico!�� Yes, the photos are for sale! Please send a message to Dave Stotts Photography on Facebook for more information.��

Unknown said...

Thank you Ann, another fantastic review. Wish I could of been there!

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you! You should do it!

Stibby said...

Just stumbled on this blog! Awesome review and photos! Thank U Kindly for sharing your experience with us. Didn't make it to a show this tour but hopefully they will hit my neck of the woods soon! Haven't seen em since Blossom last summer. 😰😝

Ann Horvat said...

Get your ticket for Playing in the Sand 2020; 3 Dead and Co. shows on the beach!☀️����

Sean Bazin said...

See'ya's both in Mexico this winter I hope ❤️⚡��

Unknown said...

I love this review n the pics are awesome.... Wish I could have been there .. bet they rocked the Gorge good ✌💜🎸⚡💀🌹💥💥🎶🎶🎶🎶

Unknown said...

This is your sweet hippie Sister BTW... ✌💜🎸⚡🌹💀💥💥🎶🎶🎶🎶 Terri

Ann Horvat said...

Sweet Hippie Sister!❤️Love ya, Terri!������

Ann Horvat said...

Yes! Mexico coming up fast!❤️⚡️

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