Photo via Playing in the Sand Facebook

Last night, Jan. 17, Dead & Company concluded the third and final performance of their destination concert series, Playing in the Sand at Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico. The Tuesday night gig boasted a setlist that brimmed with fan favorites pulled from the Grateful Dead’s fabled songbook. The last frame included tight jams and the inclusion of Jay Lane and Goose’s Ben Atkind before the night’s conclusion on a three-song sendoff. 

To start the show, John Mayer led the group through “Cold Rain and Snow.” In hand was a replica of Jerry Garcia’s famed guitar, “Wolf,” which was strummed and plucked as they worked through the opening number. Next, the band emerged on “Cassidy” before the arrival of “High Time,” which saw Oteil Burbridge croon the favored lyrics. Then, Bobby Weir commanded the group’s “Mississippi Half Step” delivery before Mayer followed up by taking on the Robert Hunter-penned “Sugaree.” 

In continuation of the Garcia covers, the group worked on “The Wheel,” which ran over into “New Speedway Boogie.” The second set got underway with a classic pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” with “I Know Your Rider,” the first number saw Lane sit in for Bill Kreutzmann, who made a quick return on the ensuing “Rider.” 

The band dropped into “He’s Gone,” which once again saw Lane take the stage and step in for Kreutzmann during part of the fan favorite. Next, a pairing of “Help On The Way,” with “Slipknot” appeared before a run-through of “Franklin’s Tower.” Then, Goose band member, Atkind, joined the percussion section for the second set staple, “Drums/Space.” From there, “The Other One” spawned out of Mikey Hart’s rhythmic display and inevitably shifted into “Standing on the Moon.”

For the last song of the second set, the ensemble delivered a memorable rendition of “Not Fade Away,” which evoked a crowd response with the arrival of the synonymous lyrics. After wrapping their last frame, Dead & Company retook the stage for their encore, which started with “U.S. Blues” before “Sunshine Daydream” and a send-off on “Brokedown Palace.” 

Next on the docket, Dead & Company will perform on May 6 as a part of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the Big Easy. For more information, visit their official website

Scroll down to view last night’s setlist. 

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Dead & Company 

Playing in the Sand – Moon Palace – Cancun, Mexico

Jan. 17, 2023

Set I: Cold Rain and Snow, Cassidy, High Time, Mississippi Half Step, Sugaree, The Wheel > New Speedway Boogie  

Set II: China Cat Sunflower^ > I Know You Rider, He’s Gone^ > Help On The Way > Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower > Drums/Space+ > The Other One > Standing on the Moon, Not Fade Away 

Enc.: U.S. Blues, Sunshine Daydream, Brokedown Palace 


+ With Ben Atkind

^ With Jay Lane