Citi Field, New York, NY 6/24/17 (Live) Digital
Citi Field, New York, NY 6/24/17 (Live) Digital

Citi Field, New York, NY 6/24/17 (Live) Digital

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It couldn’t have been more fitting that Dead & Company’s Summer tour would land in this particular place in June of 2017, because it was the very same month that marked the 50th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s first appearance in New York, the city that the Dead and its various offshoots would come to regard as a second home. Of course, on June 1st, 1967, when the band first took the stage at Tompkins Square Park, located in the grungy heart of the East Village, to play for a small but enthusiastic gaggle of fans – or, when they commenced a multi-night stand a few days later at a little Bleecker Street basement called the Café au Go Go – no one could have imagined that a half-century later a band featuring three core alumni of the Dead (along with three younger comrades) would not only still be at it, but playing to tens of thousands of fans in a major league ballpark across the East River, in the fair borough of Queens. But that was exactly the case when Dead & Company made its second appearance in as many years at Citi Field, home of the beloved Mets, located right next to the hallowed ground where once had stood Shea Stadium, site of the home team’s miraculous World Series triumphs in 1969 and ’86 (as well as history-making appearances in 1965 and ’66 by a certain little pop quartet from Liverpool).

That the GD/NYC love affair was still in full effect is obvious from the first notes of this recording, as the band gets the crowd in the mood with the Motown evergreen “Dancing In The Street,” a 1964 smash for Martha and the Vandellas that the Grateful Dead adopted as a live vehicle very early in the band’s history, put on the shelf in the early 70s, then brought back later in that decade with a more contemporary dance feel that afforded plenty of room to move and groove. From there the first set unfolds with one audience favorite after another, including a stately “Jack Straw,” a particularly raucous “Tennessee Jed” featuring some astringent lead guitar by John Mayer, a delicate “Bird Song” and, to polish off the set, Bob Weir’s rock ‘n’ roll anthem “One More Saturday Night.”

Part Two kicks off with the ever-popular “Scarlet Begonias,” with the jam that follows seeming as though it’s going to gently morph into the familiar follow-up – until the band throws a glorious change-up, veering hard into the pile-up of dissonance that heralds the start of the turbocharged jug band chestnut “Viola Lee Blues.” The reggae-gone-askew rhythms of “Estimated Prophet” emerge next, and then a lovely Jeff Chimenti piano interlude that elegantly becomes the intro to Oteil Burbridge’s sweet vocal rendition of one of the most touching Garcia-Hunter ballads, “Comes A Time.” The band picks up the pace with an “Eyes Of The World” featuring potent instrumental statements by John, Jeff and Oteil and providing a momentum that carries though into a particularly powerful “Drums” sequence, followed by a “Space” that goes through some wild convolutions before settling into that 6/8 rhythm that announces Bob Weir’s timeless Grateful Dead origin story, “The Other One,” the final notes of which blend seamlessly into a stunning “Morning Dew,” beautifully sung by Bob and powerfully played by the whole ensemble, to end the set.  The crowd’s rapturous response earns them a double encore: first “Touch Of Grey” and then the song Jerry Garcia once introduced by saying, “Alright, folks, here’s the one it’s all about!” – Chuck Berry’s immortal “Johnny B. Goode.”

Bundle includes:

FLAC is High Def 48/24
Dancing in the Streets11:17
Jack Straw10:41
Here Comes Sunshine11:02
Tennessee Jed10:00
Cold Rain and Snow7:10
Bird Song11:58
One More Saturday Night7:17
Scarlet Begonias8:16
Viola Lee Blues9:44
Estimated Prophet13:49
Comes A Time8:34
Eyes of the World16:47
The Other One7:41
Morning Dew11:17
Touch of Grey7:23
Johnny B. Goode4:48