Playing In The Sand Day 1: And We Hightailed It Down To Mexico

“Búscate a ti mismo, por tus propios medios. No permitas que otros hagan tu camino por ti. Es tu senda, y sólo tuya.  Maya

Find yourself with your own means. Do not let anyone set your path. It’s your journey, only yours. “ – Mexican proverb

The human adventure of the Dead continued last night in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The wave of the Dead over planet earth is as powerful as ever. A case in point, Dead and Company nearly tore the sky open in Mexico after a powerful bust out of a rare La Bamba. Weir and fateful companions right in the middle of a “Good Lovin” sandwich to end their first set.
Our union of pranksters shot into “Playin’ in the Band” to kick off a heated night of jubilee. Side note on “Playin” I can’t be the only one who gets reminded of the morning sun when I hear that opening lick, can I?

 Who doesn’t love a good ol’ Bobby cowboy tune? The music charged towards the John Phillip’s but Bob Weir adopted “Me and My Uncle” next. With recent thoughts of the late John Barlow “He’s Gone” summoned a veil of memories for me. I’ve recently lost a very close friend of mine and the chant portion of the Garcia/Hunter brought a smile to my face. Writing to my fellow Deadheads, I’m comforted that I can make the generalization that you too know that feeling from “He’s Gone”.

Weir made sure that the first Dead show since the passing of his buddy John Barlow was one to be remembered in his name. The timeless “Cassidy” jam machine was introduced to our psychedelic night in Mexico. Later into the debauchery “Brown Eyed Women” came and knocked the cosmic sombrero off the craniums of every Deadhead in sight. The work that Mayer does with this Jerry classic is out of this world. I’m currently bobbing my head to JGB Shoreline 1990 and it’s true nobody does it like Jerry but Mayer sure does a phenomenal job of carrying the torch of fun and inspiration forward. A double whammy “Bertha” “Good Lovin” combo came next. BERTHA AND GOOD LOVIN! What a bouncin’ combo! The boys had a few more tricks up their sleeve, though. Bobby broke out into the lyrics to a rare “La Bamba” revived from the late Grateful Dead years. This Mexican Veracruz folk song sent the crowd into a wave of bouncing energy. Mayer’s quick licks and Bobby’s responses were quick and decisive. The band seamlessly made their way back into Good Lovin to finish the first set.

After a quick tequila break, the sea of tie-dye was once again taken hold by the band beyond description. The second set, set the crowd ablaze with a scorching Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain which featured a particularly jazzy Fire on the Mountain. Normally, Mayer had been Spring 77 esque with this song and absolute balls to the wall slaying. This time, he switched things up to a more subtle striking Jerry from the eighties mixed with Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Althea the song that captured John Mayers’ attention towards the Dead was called upon next. In my humble opinion, I am no guitar master but I can jam my way through a couple Dead songs but I believe John Mayer really thrives on his A major pentatonic. Althea is a powerhouse for him since it’s A/Blues fusion. Only to have Weir hit with swirling accented and perfectly executed chords. Now this Althea is an honorable mention but I do have to say I believe the Chicago 2016 Wrigley Althea reigns supreme. Kreutzmann turned to Mayer after Althea and verbally said, “Hell yeah”. It was a great moment.

The second set jam powerhouse slot was up next and Estimated > Eyes decimated Riviera Maya. The sea breeze kissed the sand and the stomping feet of hundreds of hippies loaded on sunshine swayed to the Barlow classic to the vibration of the world in “Eyes”. Drums > Space took Deadheads along another musical experiment in rhythm and “Looks Like Rain” came out of space in a beautiful symbolic transition for the late Barlow, perhaps. Although he is no longer with us his presence of creativity in his lyrics creates itself from space in our minds. The boys wrapped up their first night in Mexico with a hard kicking “Miracle” and high octane “Casey Jones”. In an epic fashion, the Dead capped off the performance with a “The Weight” encore that sent solidarity to all in attendance. 

In retrospect, night one was a triumphant return for the main torch carriers of the music of the Grateful Dead. We here at So Many Roads are more than psyched out of our minds to be here with you all for this magical ride in the Deadhead world in 2018. Were still here truckin.

Follow our boots on the ground at “Playin in the Sand” #DestinoMuerto at our Instagram: @smrtraveled for pictures, live videos, updates, and looks into the Deadhead pilgrimage to Mexico!

Set 1.

1) Playing in the Band

2) Me and My Uncle

3) He’s Gone

4) Cassidy

5) Brown Eyed Women

6) Bertha

7) Good Lovin’

Set 2.

1) Scarlet Begonias

2) Fire on the Mountain

3) Althea

4) Estimated Prophet

5) Eyes of the World

6) Drums

7) Space

8) Looks Like Rain 

9) I Need A Miracle

10) Casey Jones


11) The Weight
Dead Playing in the sand

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