Photos by Jay Blakesberg via @JohnMayer on IG
In the midst of a warm Sunday evening, Deadheads were treated to a historic night at Citi Field as John Mayer performed Dead & Company’s entire two-set outing on Jerry Garcia’s beloved “Wolf” guitar.
With the help of photographer Jay Blakesberg, Mayer borrowed the instrument the from the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Play It Loud” exhibit. Through the Grateful Dead’s history, Wolf was wielded by Garcia many times between 1973 and 1993.
On Sunday, from the first few bars of the opening “St. Stephen” word spread across the venue of the storied instrument onstage, and you could see Mayer gradually get more comfortable with the artifact, culminating in standout set one moments like the band’s second ever “High Time,” a blissful “They Love Each Other,” a sing-a-long “Ramble On Rose,” a multi-peaked “Sugaree” jam and a closing “Jack Straw.”
“It wasn’t time until it was. NYC, we were all holding Jerry’s guitar tonight,” Mayer wrote on Instagram after the show. “I cherished the responsibility. All I care about is that I might help take you where you’re looking to go. Thank you for your kindness and your trust. An unforgettable night.”
Once the sun went down, Dead & Company pulled no punches in the second half, opening with “Lady With A Fan”> “Terrapin Station” and pivoting smoothly into what has become their signature song, “Althea.”
The crowd was thrilled to hear a classic pairing of “Scarlet Begonias”> “Fire on the Mountain,” and despite the venue encountering sound issues, the “Fire on the Mountain” jam was one of the evenings premier moments, with two of the younger band members (Mayer and Oteil Burbridge) taking the reins and ushering the song to new heights.
A huge applause break followed the song, and “Drums”> “Space” followed (once again, with some venue sound interruptions). Things cleared up for a reggae-fied version of “The Wheel,” with Mayer complimenting Bob Weir’s vocals with some nice falsetto work.
After a take on “The Other One,” the emotional apex of the show came with “Morning Dew;” Mayer got bold on this set-closer, taking a Clapton-esque, blues-rock approach to the Garcia favorite, winding his way upward to the song’s musical peak.
To ensure the night would be unforgettable, the band the emotional “Brokedown Palace” as their final tune. To cheers from the crowd, Dead & Company stood arm-in-arm at the foot of the Citi Field stage, soaking in the importance of the moment.
Dead & Company summer tour continues on June 26 in Viriginia. For tickets and more information visit the band’s official website.
Check out Sunday night’s full setlist – as it appears in our Box Scores section – photos by Jay Blakesberg and video highlights (via YouTuber Sean Roche) below.
Dead & Company
June 23, 2019
Citi Field New York, NY
Set I: St. Stephen> Cold Rain and Snow, Samson and Delilah, High Time, They Love Each Other, Ramble On Rose, Sugaree, Jack Straw
Set II: Lady With A Fan> Terrapin Station, Althea, Scarlet Begonias> Fire on the Mountain> Drums> Space> The Wheel> The Other One> Morning Dew, Brokedown Palace
John Mayer played full show on Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf” guitar