Dead & Co. Summer Tour 2019: The Music Never Stops

Dead & Co. are about to start at Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN. || 06-12-19 || Photos by ©Pix Meyers 2019
Dead & Co. are about to start at Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN. || 06-12-19 || Photos by ©Pix Meyers 2019

Noblesville & Co. – The weather was perfect as fans streamed into Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center on Wednesday June 12th for a visit by Dead & Co. This venue has some history with the Dead hosting concerts with the original line up in the late 80’s to early 90’s, including one of the last concerts (July 2, 1995) before the tragic loss of founding member Jerry Garcia.  The years since have seen various touring incarnations with the remaining band members, but none have had the success or longevity of the original Grateful Dead. This took a turn in 2015 with the addition of guitarist/vocalist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti to the line-up with original members Bob Weir on guitar and vocals and twin drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart to form Dead & Co.  

Original founding members of the Grateful Dead play Noblesville, IN as Dead & Co. || 06-12.2019 || Photos by ©Pix Meyers 2019
Original founding members of the Grateful Dead play Noblesville, IN as Dead & Co. || 06-12.2019 || Photos by ©Pix Meyers 2019

The first tour spread the word and now the venues are full with old fans and new – gray hairs and grandchildren side by side – the fact that Ruoff was named Pollstar’s 2018 #1 Top Selling Ampitheatre in ticket sales makes it an obvious stop and a sea of tie-dye’s filled the seats and lawn. Like the shows of old, there are two sets to the night without an opening act. Set 1 on this night was drawn from throughout the Dead catalogue – opener “Cold Rain and Snow” dates back to 1967’s The Grateful Dead Album, “Tennessee Jed” and “Sugaree” are both long time live standards for the band and “Row Jimmy” and “Let It Grow” were released on Wake Of The Flood in 1973.    

While staying true to the classic arrangements this new line-up brings an energy to even the slower ballads that is captivating and exciting. Even a tune like “Iko-Iko” (a traditional song with hundreds of covers – maybe this night a silent nod to legendary New Orleans musician Dr. John?) benefits from the fresh feel the new players bring. Set closer “Let It Grow” in particular featured some soaring guitar solos from Mayer driven by the dynamics of the ensemble.  

Terrific to see families passing down their love for "The Dead" | 06-12-2019 | Photos by ©Pix Meyers 2019
Terrific to see families passing down their love for “The Dead” | 06-12-2019 | Photos by ©Pix Meyers 2019

After a short break, Set 2 kicked off featuring bassist Oteil stepping up on lead vocals for “Fire on the Mountain”.  The setting sun finally allowed the stage visuals to take a step up – a combination of lights and projection seamlessly interact to create backdrops of color and imagery that are less like “cues” and more like a flowing sea of information for the eyes. Kudos to Lighting Director Chris Ragan, Video Director Jonathan Singer and Lighting Company Upstaging

From the familiar bounce of “Truckin'” to a great cover of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” out of the “Drums/Space” segment the 2nd set continued to fire off ever higher. An extended workout on “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” ended the night before the band returned for a beautiful encore of “Black Muddy River”. Always a prime consideration for the Grateful Dead organization special note should be made of the superior sound quality achieved through collaboration with long-time sound system provider Ultrasound and especially live sound engineer Derek Featherstone. This event illustrated how good concert sound can really be with a combination of today’s technology properly implemented – and of course a smokin’ hot group of musicians on stage always helps as well.  

Be sure to catch Dead & Co. as they make their way across the U.S. – Tickets go fast but like they say, “There’s nothing like a Grateful Dead concert” and Dead & Co. definitely has the experience dialed in. Check here for dates near you and enjoy pictures from both sets below along with both setlists. 

DEAD & CO. Set 1 Photo Gallery

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Set 1: Noblesville & Co. 

  • Cold Rain and Snow
  • Iko Iko
  • Minglewood Blues
  • Tennessee Jed
  • Sugaree
  • Looks Like Rain
  • Row Jimmy
  • Let It Grow

Side Note: An added bonus of buying a ticket to see Dead & Co. is they have teamed up with Nugs.net to provide a free download audio recording of the show you attend with your ticket stub. How cool is that! 

DEAD & CO. Set 2 Photo Gallery

Set 2: Noblesville & Co.

    • Fire on the Mountain
    • Lost Sailor
    • Saint of Circumstance
    • He’s Gone
    • Truckin’
    • Smokestack Lighting
    • Drums
    • Space
    • All Along the Watchtower
    • Stella Blue
  • Going Down the Road Feeling Bad

Encore:

  • Black Muddy River

Show Date: June 12, 2019 

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I am a freelance photographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana specializing in concert and event photography. With my childhood love for music and photography plus the added influence from my mother (a Broadway Company Manager) and later from my husband (a live sound engineer) it seemed only natural to combine my passions and pursue my craft more seriously. I have been blessed with great opportunities to shoot fabulous performers and look forward to sharing my work and new adventures with Digital Beat Magazine. Be sure to look for me in the pit at the next show... They call me "Pixie Dare" Make sure to check out my portfolio at www.picturesbypix.com and be sure to find me on Facebook at Pix Meyers Photography and Instagram @pixmeyersphoto.