Dead & Company kicked off their Playing in the Sand destination event on Thursday night, offering two full sets on the windy Mexican coastline.
“Not Fade Away” started the party off, marking an unusual setlist placement for the Buddy Holly cut (D&C typically place the tune as a set-closer or an encore).
The opener then segued into “Hell in a Bucket” giving Bob Weir yet another opportunity to take on lead vocals.
John Mayer – embracing the vacation vibes with a Hawaiian shirt – took on the following “Row Jimmy” and, eventually, the first half closed around 9:15 p.m. with a “Let It Grow.”
40 minutes later, Dead & Company were ready for round two, with Mayer taking the lead on “Deal” and Weir getting cosmic on “Dark Star.” The latter tune bled into “Estimated Prophet” and a standout “Eyes of the World,” before the Rhythm Devils took over for a far-reaching “Drums”> “Space.”
“The Wheel” emerged out of the ether, before the multi-song segment finally landed on “Standing on the Moon.”
Fans thought the set-closing “Casey Jones” was the last they’d see of the rollicking Dead original, but the encore kicked off with a surprise “Casey Jones” reprise before Mayer, Weir, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti all traded verses for a final bow on The Band’s classic “The Weight.”
Dead & Company will return to the Playing in the Sand stage on Saturday and Sunday.
Read Relix‘s 2017 cover story on Dead & Company here.
Check out the full setlist – as it appears in our Box Scores section – and watch videos of each set opener below:
Dead & Company
Playing in the Sand
Moon Palace Resort, Riviera Cancun, MX
Set I: Not Fade Away > Hell in a Bucket, Row Jimmy, Peggy-O, Brown-Eyed Women > Ramble on Rose, Bird Song > Let It Grow
Set II: Deal > Dark Star > Estimated Prophet > Eyes of the World > Drums > Space > The Wheel > Standing on the Moon > Casey Jones
Enc: Casey Jones > The Weight