Dead & Company opened up their Playing in the Sand destination concert event in Riviera Maya, Mexico last night, offering a lively batch of favorites from the Grateful Dead catalog along with a special tribute to late poet, activist and lyricist John Perry Barlow, who passed away last week.
The show kicked off with the song that inspired the event’s title, “Playing in the Band,” and the first set also featured staples like “Cassidy,” “Brown-Eyed Women” and “Bertha,” plus a set-closing run of “Good Lovin’” and “La Bamba.”
The second frame opened with the familiar “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire On the Mountain” before Dead favorites “Althea,” “Estimated Prophet” and “Eyes of the World” led the band into a “Drums/Space” segment that ended with guitarist John Mayer and drummer Mickey Hart joining Jeff Chimenti on keys.
The band then transitioned into “Looks Like Rain,” turning the tune into a touching tribute to Barlow, with images of the lyricist—who penned the tune along with Bob Weir—displayed behind the band starting when Weir hit the first-verse line “You were gone, my heart was filled with dread.”
Dead & Company then closed out the set with “I Need a Miracle” and “Casey Jones” before rounding out the night with a cover of The Band classic “The Weight.”
See the full setlist below, along with a video of the Barlow tribute. Playing in the Sand continues tonight with music from Michael Franti & Spearhead before Dead & Company return for two more performances tomorrow and Sunday.
Dead & Company
Barcelo Maya Beach, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Set I: Playing In The Band, Me and My Uncle, He’s Gone > Cassidy, Brown-Eyed Women, Bertha > Good Lovin’ > La Bamba > Good Lovin’
Set II: Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain > Althea, Estimated Prophet > Eyes Of The World > Drums/Space > Looks Like Rain* > I Need A Miracle > Casey Jones
Enc: The Weight
Notes: *Bob on acoustic, photos of John Perry Barlow on screens