Dead & Company was back in action south of the border on Saturday night as the 2020 installment of the band’s annual Playing in the Sand destination event continued with a mix of older classics from the Grateful Dead songbook. Following the first performance of the weekend on Thursday and a night off on Friday, the band was well rested to charge into Saturday night with a mix of songs spread out over two sets under the light of the Mexican moon.
The show opened with the uptempo energy of Bertha led by John Mayer on vocals with an impressive solo to match. “Good Lovin'” and “Shakedown Street” were next, followed by an Oteil Burbridge-sung “High Time” to keep the feel-good first set going strong. There was no “Cold Rain and Snow” anywhere to be found around the beachfront Mexican setting, but the band tore through their take on the traditional cover before Bob Weir kept things rolling with “Black-Throated Wind” from his 1972 Ace solo album. first set came to a close following “Sugaree” and a cover of Bob Dylan‘s “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”.
Watch the show-opening performance of “Bertha” from Saturday below.
Dead & Company – “Bertha” – 1/18/2020
[Video: Dead & Company]
The band returned to the stage to open the second half of Saturday’s show with the fan-favorite Grateful Dead song combination of “Help on the Way” into “Slipknot!”. The music didn’t stop for a second as the band grooved right into some early Dead classics in “St. Stephen”, “William Tell Bridge” and “The Eleven”. The instrumental part of the night in the Drums > Space segment channeled the primal spirits of music to the Mexican shores before the rest of the band returned for a fitting “Spanish Jam”. The band made the turn back to more contained songs with “New Speedway Boogie” and “Stella Blue” before returned to “Slipknot!” into “Franklin’s Tower” to close the set.
Dead & Co. fittingly sent fans into the night with an encore performance of “One More Saturday Night”.
Watch the second set performances of “Help on the Way” into “Slipknot” below.
Dead & Company – “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” – 1/18/2020
[Video: Dead & Company]
Dead & Company and their fans will return to the beach on Sunday for the final night of music as part of this year’s Playing in the Sand.
Setlist: Dead & Company | Playing In The Sand | Moon Palace | Cancun, Mexico | 1/18/20
Set One: Bertha, Good Lovin’ (The Young Rascals cover), Shakedown Street, High Time, Cold Rain and Snow (Traditional cover), Black-Throated Wind, Sugaree, Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) (Bob Dylan Cover)
Set Two: Help on the Way > Slipknot! > St. Stephen > William Tell Bridge > The Eleven > Drums > Space > Spanish Jam > New Speedway Boogie > Stella Blue > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower
Encore: One More Saturday Night