Dead & Company made their final appearance at the annual Playing In The Sand event in Cancún, Mexico on Sunday. The band played a mix of Grateful Dead classics and staple covers over the two-set show which began at dusk and carried on throughout the night.
The first set began with the Bob Weir/Mickey Hart/John Perry Barlow-penned “Playing in the Band” before a segue to “Uncle John’s Band”. John Mayer took over lead vocal responsibilities on the Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter collaboration. After completing the rendition of “Dark Star” that went unfinished at Thursday night’s show, the bad moved into a reprise of “Playing in the Band” before a rendition of Garcia’s “They Love Each Other” gave Mayer another opportunity to stretch his vocal cords.
Dead & Company – “Playing in the Band” – 1/19/20
[Video: Dead & Company]
The six-piece then moved into John Phillips-penned Dead staple, “Me and My Uncle”, which saw Weir on vocals. Following a traditional cover of the Sunday staple “Samson and Delilah”, the band closed out set one with a classic “Lady With A Fan” > “Terrapin Station”.
After opening set two with “Scarlet Begonias”, bassist Oteil Burbridge sang an upbeat “Fire on the Mountain”. Mayer dominated the jam section with envelope-filtered lead phrases while keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and Weir built a strong rhythm base on top of Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart‘s drums.
Dead & Company – “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire on the Mountain” – 1/19/20
[Video: Dead & Company]
After “He’s Gone”, the band embarked on a lengthy segue, weaving together “China Cat Sunflower”, a traditional cover of “I Know You Rider”, “Drums”, “Space”, and “Althea”. Dead & Company finally ended set two with a “Days Between”/”U.S. Blues” combo. Mayer and Weir shared vocals on the “Ripple” that started the encore. Then, ending just as they began the weekend on Thursday, they finished off with a cover of The Crickets‘ “Not Fade Away”.
The band’s only remaining scheduled 2020 date is their spot at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this spring, but we can likely expect a summer tour announcement in the coming weeks. Until next time…
Setlist: Dead & Company | Playing in the Sand | Cancún, Mexico | 1/19/20
Set One: Playing in the Band > Uncle John’s Band > Dark Star (verse 2) > Playing in the Band, They Love Each Other, Me and My Uncle, Samson and Delilah, Lady With A Fan > Terrapin Station
Set Two: 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
 John Phillips
 The Crickets