Dead & Company Concludes Playing In The Sand 2020 In Mexico

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Dead & Company capped their 2020 Playing In The Sand destination event in Mexico on Sunday with a matinee that focused mainly on Garcia/Hunter classics from the Grateful Dead repertoire. The afternoon and evening featured a dream setlist played with passion by the sextet.

“Playing In The Band,” the song that gave the event its name, served as opener. The band quickly broke through the song’s normal boundaries for a deep and groovy jam propelled by bassist Oteil Burbridge featuring strong soloing from guitarist John Mayer. Dead & Company eventually changed keys and made a move for “Uncle John’s Band.” The jam-heavy opening frame continued with the expansive “UJB” as well as a particularly bluesy start to “Dark Star” before the group closed out “Playing In The Band” complete with Bob Weir changing the lyrics to “Playing In The Sand.”

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Mayer fronted the band on “They Love Each Other” next, which surprisingly was the longest song of the set up until that point. It was then Weir who belted out “Me & My Uncle,” gaining applause for the “And we hightailed it down to Mexico” lyric. Then, Bobby delivered the Sunday Sermon of “Samson & Delilah” before Dead & Company ended the set with a particularly strong version of “Terrapin Station.”

Dead & Company came out of the gates for their final set of the event with a 20+ minute “Scarlet/Fire.” Weir handled vocals on “Scarlet Begonias,” while Burbridge sang “Fire On The Mountain.” Mayer took a bluesy approach for the former and utilized a MuTron-esque effect for more funky work during the latter. The set continued with a loping “He’s Gone” featuring strong organ and piano stylings from Jeff Chimenti while John Mayer laid down some of the most emotive playing of his night. The six-piece took “He’s Gone” in a bluesy direction at the end and just when it seemed the band would transition into “Smokestack Lightning,” they dropped into “China Cat Sunflower.” D&C played a short “China Cat”/”I Know You Rider” sequence before leaving The Rhythm Devils for their “Drums” segment.

Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart were once again joined by Oteil for what sounded like a trip through an Amazon jungle. Hart then strummed The Beam before the instrumentalists returned for a particularly jazzy “Space” that starred Burbridge. The rest of the band fell out to give Chimenti his turn for an impressive solo to end “Space.” Mayer then led his mates through a slow and throbbing “Althea” that was followed by a Weir-led rendition of the late era Dead ballad “Days Between.” The set concluded with a rousing “U.S. Blues.” For the encore, John and Bobby went acoustic for the beloved “Ripple” and then Dead & Company finally ended the “Not Fade Away” that started the event on Thursday night as fireworks lit up the sky.

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Playing In The Band

Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain

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Setlist

Dead & Company at Moon Palace The Grand

Set 1
  • Playing in the Band  
  • Uncle John's Band  
  • Dark Star  
  • Playing in the band  
  • They Love Each Other  
  • Me and My Uncle  
  • Samson and Delilah  
  • Terrapin Station  
Set 2
  • Scarlet Begonias  
  • Fire on the Mountain  
  • He's Gone  
  • China Cat Sunflower  
  • I Know You Rider  
  • Drums  
  • Space  
  • Althea  
  • Days Between  
  • U.S. Blues  
Encore
  • Ripple  
  • Not Fade Away