Saying "Fare Thee Well," as the Grateful Dead did with some epic shows last July, doesn't mean that the members of the band have retired. "I'm not entirely sure what would bring somebody to think that a guy like me can walk away from this body of music," guitarist Bob Weir told Rolling Stone. Their latest incarnation, as Dead & Company, kicked off a seven-week summer tour on June 10th at Charlotte's PNC Music Pavilion. The band matches three Grateful Dead alumni (Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann) with three fellow travelers (John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti).
We were eyewitnesses as the band prepared for their first show of 2016. Although the musicians mostly spent the hours before the show in individual dressing rooms, when they gathered in the fading summer light and headed for the stage, they were clearly excited to begin another leg of their long, strange trip.
"It feels new," drummer Bill Kreutzmann said. "With the add-on that I know the songs really well."