The Dead are touring for the first time in five years and Hartford was lucky enough to be one of only 23 shows of their 2009 Spring Tour. The show at the XL Center appeared smack-dab in the middle of the tour, so any live kinks would already be worked out.
After having 24 hours to asset the experience and replaying the show on CD (CDs of the show were available at the venue) the band was in a very giving mood. They gave much respect to their influences by performing some amazing covers like "All Along The Watchtower" (Bob Dylan), "The Weight" (The Band), "Tomorrow Never Knows" (The Beatles) and blazing version of "Little Red Rooster" (Willie Dixon). The Dead were also very giving to their fans by performing some of their classics for the first time on this tour. Songs like "Row Jimmy" and "Black Peter" have never sounded better.
The Dead were so giving that they almost went overboard with a version of "Space" that went too far out for some of the audience. But, "King Solomon's Marbles" and "Viola Lee Blues" brought the audience back, before blowing the roof over the XL Center with an amazing version of "Samson And Delilah" that ended the second set.
After Phil Lesh's short "Donor Rap", The Dead returned for one more song, which came in the form of the 1970 classic "Ripple", that had the audience swaying as one. With the performance clocking in at over 3 1/2 hours, all of the members of The Dead gave the Hartford audience a glimpse of why they were and still are one of the premier bands touring America.