When Uncle Billy has his hat on, you know you are in for a heater... Saturday night delivered just that at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA The Dead faithful showed up in the usual fashion to the home of Tom Brady. At every turn on shakedown you ran into a stealie with the Patriots’ iconic symbol replacing the bolt. But upon entering the stadium, you have a different feeling, a new vibe. After speaking with multiple venue employees and hearing how excited they are for the jam juggernaut to take the stage. It’s a lot different one of the media coordinators told me, we had a country fest here recently. This crowd is much better behaved.
At 7:30 sharp the crowd is stirring with anticipation as the band takes the stage. the sun still shining bright the electric first chords of Eyes Of The World ring through the stadium. Setting the tone with the Bobby Weir penned Black Throated Wind / Easy Wind keeping things in the family. A personal favorite came up next with Loser. Coming in hot as a pistol with what I think was the highlight of the first set Bird Song, captivating young and old fans with gigantic smiles. Making things easy for a tour bust out on a botched Box Of Rain had the smiles even wider as the crowd cheered John Mayer on. Bobby jokingly saying Take 2, Once again bringing the band into its closing number where the energy and vibe blowing as strong as the nights breeze.
At last the sun has gone down and the fun is only getting more fun with a thunderous Help On The Way opener. Followed by the usual suspects in Slipknot and Franklin's Tower keeping the energized circus jazzed with excitement! Paving the way for the ever so cherished rendition of Heʼs Gone. Allowing Bobby to shine in a beautifully done Dark Star taking the tempo down to a simmer. Everyone in the joint knew what was happening next. With the rhythm devils favorite moment of the evening.
Delivering a powerful drum solo with Oteil jumping into join the fun. Opening up the floodgates to Space with genre bending synth and electronic drum play closing out the duos drum and space section of the evening. Bringing the mood into one of the more beautiful moments of the set with a timeless Stella Blue. Taking the tempo up to a boiling point with the Crickets cover Not Fade Away, that has a seamless transition into a charging rendition of Going Down The Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away reprise.
Closing out the set with the crowd keeping the energy going with a Not Fade Away of our own bringing the boys back for a Beautiful Cover of The Weight by The Band. Most definitely one of my favorite part of this monstrous encore was Oteil bringing home the third verse with a grandeur of swagger and confidence. A perfect way for an evening of peace, love and music to come to conclusion.