Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ 5/28/17 (Live) Digital
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If you find yourself attending a concert in Phoenix, AZ just a few weeks before the beginning of summer, chances are good that regardless of the music, it’s gonna be a scorcher, in the most literal sense. That was certainly the case when Dead & Company arrived in town for the second date of Summer tour 2017, and the temperature topped off at an even 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah, we know… the locals will tell you, “but it’s a dry heat.” But let’s face it: A hundred is still hot, no matter how low the humidity. That didn’t thwart Dead & Co. from bringing some heat of their own to a venue familiar to their fans, the Grateful Dead having played there back when it was called the Desert Sky Pavilion in the 1990s, and alumni of the band having appeared there in subsequent years.
The setlist for this second show of the tour features an appealingly random mix of songs from various Grateful Dead eras, including some going all the back to pre-Dead folkie days (“Peggy-O” and “New Minglewood Blues”), and others from the band’s great surge of popularity in the 1980s (“Feel Like A Stranger,” the “Lost Sailor>Saint Of Circumstance” pairing and the breakthrough Top Ten single, “Touch Of Grey”). Some of the intermediate stops on the GD timeline include 70s standbys like “Bertha,” “Loose Lucy,” “Crazy Fingers,” “Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain” and “Casey Jones,” as well as a welcome nod to the Beatles with John Lennon’s White Album gem, “Dear Prudence.”