Summertime has come and gone, my, oh, my!
Our third time at The Watermark featured perfect weather, a throng of deadicated heads, and a band beyond description, ready to melt their faces. We love playing the Watermark for many reasons (including the delicious food), but one of our favorites is the ability to play 3 sets of Grateful tunes. Usually, Set I and II feature songs with shorter structures, lots of pretty harmonies, and a few jams, and we save our best for the last set. Last night was no exception. Set III was a nonstop 100-minute angle bracket festival of f-yeah moments, although the lack of breaks didn't mean the crowd couldn't find places to cheer us on. But we are getting ahead of ourselves, so back to set I.
We opened with a groovy Althea and a rockin' Brown Eyed Women. We were excited to debut the first of two new tunes this evening, Mission in the Rain. Our drummer for the evening was the exceptional Stephen NyQuist, and he took lead vocal duties for the first time on Mission. The first set concluded with Dire Wolf (a favorite of some of our youngest fans), a super Sugaree, and a lovely Liberty.
After a short break, Bill's fat bass tones announced Touch of Grey. Bird Song achieved liftoff, and one of our favorites, the time-shifting Unbroken Chain made another welcome appearance in an RTD show. Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad felt so good, and even though the skies were clear, Looks Like Rain was pretty and soulful. We ended the set with the second debut of the night, Brokedown Palace, where we showcased our 3-part harmonies and left everyone wanting more. Little did they know...
Bertha into Dark Star into St. Stephen into The Eleven into Drums into The Other One into Truckin into Eyes of the World into Playin' in the Band into Shakedown Street into Playin' Reprise. The feeling from the stage as each song began to segue was that the audience was ready for whatever we had to give them, and when they realized what was next, minds were blown. Ok, here's the song by song shakedown: Bertha rocked. Dark Star was waaay out there for a loooong time. St. Stephen brought the raw energy of late 60s Dead. The Eleven (and the preceding William Tell Bridge) showcased our instrumental and vocal skills. The intensity of The Other One featured a fan repeatedly shouting "TURN IT UP!" Stephen owned every corner of his kit (who needs two drummers? Not him!) in Drums. Truckin featured Jake's bluesy, ballsy, and big guitar. Eyes of the World showcased jazzy keyboard fills from Max's corner on stage left and sensitive vocals from Dave, as well as the '73 ending featuring the 7/8 breaks we love to play. Playin' in the band brought the energy level back up, and just when you thought we were done, it's time for a funky-as-hell Shakedown! FINALLY, we brought it back to the Playin' reprise, and let ourselves breathe for a second, while the crowd roared for more. With apologies to all the teachers in the crowd (you know who you are), we ended with a rowdy, rockin' US Blues.
This summer has been the best season Raising The Dead has yet had the pleasure to play. From the Psychedelic Shack to Trixie's to Gibraltar, the Michigan Glass Project to Hippies at the Village, Comerica Park, the Taylor Botanical Gardens, and finally back to The Watermark, our band has gotten tighter, our repertoire has expanded, and most importantly, we've met so many amazing people along the way. If you've been part of our journey this summer, we want to thank you for being kind. Deadheads are the best! The contributions of our drummers Stephen NyQuist, Brent Nagy, and Nick Serocki have also been amazing and we are lucky to call them our brothers. On behalf of Bill, Max, Dave, and Jake, thank you for being a part of our best summer yet. See you again in the fall!
8-30-2019 The Watermark Bar and Grill, St. Clair Shores, MI
Set I: Althea, Brown Eyed Women, Mission in the Rain, Dire Wolf, Sugaree, Liberty
Set II: Touch of Grey, Bird Song, Unbroken Chain, Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad, Looks Like Rain, Brokedown Palace
Set III: Bertha>Dark Star>St. Stephen>The Eleven>Drums>The Other One>Truckin>Eyes of the World>Playin' In The Band>Shakedown Street>Playin' Reprise
E: US Blues
It was a perfect evening - unseasonably cool, a refreshing breeze, the sun shining between billowy white clouds, and gorgeous reminders of nature's beauty all around. Hundreds gathered on the green for an evening of food, drinks, and the best music, all to benefit the worldwide polio eradication efforts of Rotary International. The Taylor and Allen Park Rotary clubs sponsored the event, and collected donations were tripled by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Deadheads and fans of the Art in the Garden concert series were treated to two fine performances by Mirror Image and Raising The Dead.
Mirror Image opened with a set of classic songs featuring their double-guitar work and adept beat buddy pedal work. Did we mention they're only 11? And twins? They got their name due to the fact that one is left handed, so they look like a, well, you get it! Wonderwall, Under The Bridge, Africa, they played hits from the 60s-now, and sounded great. We know we'll hear more from them in the future.
Raising The Dead took the stage with Stephen NyQuist in the drum throne, ready to throw down some hot beats. We opened with a dynamic Jack Straw, transitioning into a pretty Looks Like Rain. Up next was an energetic The Wheel, featuring some cool slide work by Jake. We took our time to let Uncle John's Band grow from the last C major chord of The Wheel, and treated the crowd to even more sweet 3-part harmony, with a strong dose of intense, rock and roll improv. The Marty Robbins black-hat cowboy ballad El Paso followed, to the delight of the fans. We ended the first set with what the band thinks is our best Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance yet. As Mike C said after the show, "It was a heater!"
After a short break, we dug into Feel Like A Stranger, which benefits from our 3-voice harmonies, with Stephen doing his best Brent impression. Brown Eyed Women showcased some fine, bluesy lead work from Max and Jake. Our best Estimated Prophet yet showed that 7/8 white-boy reggae can really swing, and we transitioned it into a big and dynamic Terrapin. After announcing the Art in the Garden concert series dance contest, we played our closer, our first performance of Not Fade Away. We'd put NFA on setlists several times, but it always got cut due to time. We're glad this was the night to bust it out, because the audience loved it, with dozens of dancers vying for king and queen titles, as well as free passes to next year's entire series. The audience clapped along until RTD fans Elena and Bill claimed their crowns after deftly shaking their bones.
Our encore was a crazy energetic Truckin, which got the audience up to the dance floor like nothing else, and we left them wanting more! RTD takes one day off, and then it's back to the Watermark in St. Clair Shores to kick off Labor Day weekend in style. See you there!
8-28-2019 Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Taylor MI
Set I: Jack Straw>Looks Like Rain, The Wheel>Uncle John's Band, El Paso, Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance
Set II: Feel Like A Stranger, Brown Eyed Women, Estimated Prophet>Terrapin Station, Not Fade Away*
* = first time played
Summer's here, and the time is STILL right - for dancing to live Grateful Dead! Raising the Dead has two remaining August dates to close out the summer. We're excited to perform our first show at the beautiful Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens on Wednesday, August 28. The show is a benefit presented by the Taylor and Allen Park Rotary clubs, with funds benefiting their global polio eradication initiative. They'll have a cash bar and food, so bring a lawn chair or better yet, your dancin' shoes!
On August 30th, we'll return to the Watermark in St. Clair Shores to perform on their beautiful dock. Excellent food and an awesome atmosphere on the water mean it will be a show to remember. Don't miss it!
As we set up our gear and sound checked our PA on the stage outside the Big Cat Court at Comerica Park, we felt like we were on the verge of something new. Once our excitement to provide an awesome show to the 500+ fans who'd purchased the show-shirt-game package was met by the enthusiasm of the crowd, we knew we were right! It was awesome to share our love of the best music with all the fans gathered to see the Detroit Tigers play. The band members - joined again by drummer Stephen NyQuist - agree this may be our best show yet. The sound was great - with thanks to Mike Chojnowski mixing front of house - the jams flowed effortlessly, and the dancing and roar of the crowd pushed us to greater heights. Fox Sports Detroit captured some of our performance and broadcast it before the game, which was really cool. Welcome to all of our new fans, and thanks for getting on the bus with us - see you again soon!
August 5, 2019, Grateful Dead Night at the Tigers, Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
Help On The Way>Slipknot>Franklin's Tower, Bird Song, Unbroken Chain, Eyes of the World>Jack Straw, China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider
It was a perfect Michigan August weekend in Lake Orion - sunny with temperatures in the low 80s, tons of kind people, and sweet music from the greatest American band of all time. Celebrating the days between Jerry's birth and release from this world, we played 4 sets of music - over 5 hours - without repeating a song.
During those 5 hours, we touched upon every corner of the Dead catalog - from the psychedelic 60s (Dark Star, The Other One) through the wall-of-sound 70s (Help On The Way, Weather Report Suite, Jack Straw), into the shakedown lot 80s (Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance,Touch of Gray), and the best of the stadium scene 90s (Liberty, So Many Roads). We covered early rock and roll (Promised Land), cowboy country (Big River, Me and My Uncle), and let the moment carry us away with a ton of sprawling jams (Slipknot, Let It Grow, Bird Song, to name just a few). In short, it was everything a Deadhead could want from a pair of shows - everything except more!
Playing two days in a row (with a third to come on Monday), we became experts at setting up our sound system, and spoke wishfully about the day when we might have a road crew to do it for us! In other gear news, Max was excited to debut his new Fender Rhodes Mark I Stage 73 for the gig, and the sound was as heavy as the piano itself.
While Raising The Dead is still searching for our "forever drummer," we are fortunate to have been joined this weekend by two of the mitten's best tub thumpers. Brent Nagy held down the beat with style and precision on Saturday, and Stephen NyQuist brought the rolling thunder on Sunday. We are so grateful for their musicianship and professionalism!
Last year's Hippies at the Village was where we first met many of our biggest fans, and we're excited to have made many more this weekend. Big thanks go out to the Hippies at the Village founder and organizer, Tina Wooley. As we pack up our gear, we are ready to head off to Comerica Park, playing for the Detroit Tiger's Grateful Dead Night on Monday, August 5th.
August 3, 2019 Hippies at the Village, Canterbury Village, Lake Orion, MI
Set I: Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Me and My Uncle, Shakedown Street, Black-Throated Wind, Sugaree, So Many Roads, Cassidy, The Wheel, Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain
Set II: One More Saturday Night, Help ON The Way>Slipknot>Franklin's Tower, Weather Report>Let It Grow, Big River, Jack Straw, Terrapin Station, Truckin'
August 4, 2019 Hippies at the Village, Canterbury Village, Lake Orion, MI
Set I: Feel Like a Stranger, Playin' in the Band>Uncle John's Band, Promised Land, Brown-Eyed Women, China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider, Touch of Grey, Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance, Bird Song, Liberty
Set II: Unbroken Chain, Estimated Prophet>Eyes of the World>Dark Star>St. Stephen>The Eleven>Candyman, Drums>The Other One>Playin' reprise
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Raising The Dead
Is a band committed to recreating the live experience of a Grateful Dead show. We hope you'll kindly join us.