I already did an overview of the band in my summary of DeadCo so I'll try not to retread the same material, but here are a few things I'm looking forward to.
- The band members should, by now, all be comfortable enough with the songs that they can take some more chances with the music. Mayer proved himself competant enough last year, so I have total faith in him as a musician, but some of the twists in Dead songs seemed to catch him off guard. So I'm hoping he, and the rest of the band, have the songs and their arrangements well enough rehearsed that they can drift away from the core of the song, and still come back to it all together to catch the hooks.
- At the Fillmore show last month, they didn't do a massive "Drums > Space," and I think it would be cool if that carried on. I truly love that interlude in shows, but as I've said before I think it adds a level of predictability to setlists and show formats.
- Going off of this, I think swithcing up setlist formats in general would be a cool twist. They already did this to an extent last tour (they opened my show with "Cassidy," after all), but it's not like they're opening shows with "Dark Star." And maybe they shouldn't go that extreme with the changes, but some first set "Eyes" and second set "Sugaree"s couldn't hurt anyone!
- They already gave in to my demands to release soundboards of the tour, so I'm just hoping they'll be good quality with accurate tracklistings!
- I hope they give Jeff Chimenti a little more room to flex his muscles. I get that Mayer is a rockstar and wants to be the big man with the lead guitar, but Chimenti has been the one constant thing in the world of the Dead since Jerry died. He's been in so many iterations of the Dead, and played in so many offshoots, that the music is genetically embedded in his body. What I'm saying is: he knows these songs, and they should, as they say LET HIM SHOW HIS POWER. (ToTD, if you're hear listening, yes I'm stealing that from you, but only because it's true, applicable, and funny. Also, can you sign my blog?)
- I hope Oteil keeps dancing and having a great time, because that makes me have a great time!
I think that's all I got for now. Really, my big hope is just that they'll play great shows and everyone will have a fun, peaceful time. Are you guys hoping for anything in particular? If so, let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter and Facebook @21stCenturyDead! I probably own't have a post this Sunday, got company coming, but maybe I'll find a little something to say about the shows this weekend.