Friday, February 15, 2019

Dead & Company Playin' In The Sand#2 Jan 17 - 20 2019 in Riviera Maya, Mexico - photos and review

Sunshine Daydream

Dead and Company played their first gig of the year, at the destination event Playing in the Sand (Round 2) from January 17th– 20th in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The band includes three original Grateful Dead members: singer/guitarist Bob Weir, drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart along with singer/guitarist John Mayer, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and bassist Oteil Burbridge. John Mayer dressed in the usual trendy wares and barefoot Bob Weir wore his uniform of cropped cargo pants and cutoff muscle shirt showing his guitar guns to the delight of his female fans.

Tickets to this all-inclusive concert vacation went on sale August 20th for Deadheads who attended the 2018 Playing in the Sand and the general public sale started on August 22nd. The excitement was building for months! The unique concert venue was right on the Caribbean, providing a picturesque backdrop for the special event.

 The performances took place at the Barceló Maya, a premium resort accommodation, with many onsite activities including hippie yoga, tequila tasting, unaffordable bowling, tie dye shirt party (like the world needs more tie dye), fake wave surfing and eating tacos. Cenotes (natural sinkholes filled with fresh water) across the highway (Careful when crossing!) offered serene swimming experiences in a beautiful and natural setting. Similar to last year, attendees were of all ages: toddlers, tweens, teenagers, seniors, babies and baby boomers; all ages were welcome. One night, a little mystery boy even made it on stage and played Mickey Hart’s drums for a couple minutes! Talk about a special lifetime memory! No one knows who the little boy is; but I’ve sent a message to Mickey; still waiting for his response. I’ll edit the review with the little boy’s name when Mickey gets back to me. Okay, Mickey? Call me.

Thursday January 17, 2019 was the start of a 4 night concert extravaganza where Deadheads danced in the sand and the ocean, creating lifetime memories on the warm Mexico beach. Dead and Co. opened the first night with “Shakedown Street” which got everyone slow dancing from the first note. “Mr.Charlie” picked up the pace and then there was an intense “Here Comes Sunshine”, which everyone thought would be the opener because it was played at soundcheck the night before. The second set opener “China Cat Sunflower” was played with a lively 3-dimensional sunflower light show. Other highlights of the set were “Jackstraw” and watching Jeff’s and John’s bromance ignite on stage as they traded riffs during “Cumberland Blues”. Sizzle!

Each night that Dead and Co. played, Deadheads were treated to colorful fire dancers on stage left during set break. No one got hurt while dancing with fire, but do not try this at home.
On Friday night, an off night for Dead and Co, the energetic sister band Larkin Poe from Atlanta, Georgia entertained the crowd with their beautiful vocals, dynamic riffs and cute goof ups. At one point Rebecca admitted she may have had one too many delicious strawberry adult beverages and almost thanked Bob Seger instead of Bob Weir for inviting them to perform at Playing in the Sand. They had been playing with Seger a couple nights before. Hey, it could happen to any of us.
Dumpstaphunk, from New Orleans, took the stage next, phunking out while the crowd grooved in the sand and the ocean. The band was joined onstage with Eric Krasno and Marcus King (Saturday’s pool party act) and their energetic set ended with an impressive version of Led Zeppelin’s iconic “Ramble On.”

Before the pop-up pool party on Saturday there was a trades/gift event that was supposed to take place on the beach, but instead, all the hippies decided to do their trades in the middle of a walkway. Yes, a walkway. Have you ever tried to organize 500 hippies? This fun event was where Deadheads gathered to gift and trade all sorts of trinkets, stickers, magnets, mints, bookmarks, (How come I didn’t get a bookmark?) beautiful charms, necklaces, key chains, guitar picks, lip balm, sunscreen, mints and condoms, etc. You name it, people were trading it. I even saw a kitchen table someone wanted to trade for a “John Mayer is DEAD” sticker. Deadheads are definitely the kindest music fans out there, and some of them are REALLY out there! Keep it WEIRD!

On Saturday afternoon, a pop-up pool party took place featuring the talented bluesy-rockers Eric Krasno and Marcus King who entertained the pool partiers with their soul soothing vocals. They played for a very relaxed swimsuit-clad audience who were mainly dancing and watching from the pool, and poolside loungers. Ivan Neville, wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt, returned the favor from Friday night and joined the act on the poolside “stage.” The pop-up band played 15 songs, ending with the iconic, “Friend of the Devil” and the resounding Neil Young anthem “Ohio.”
On the evening of Saturday January 19th Dead and Co. opened with an unexpected “Deal” and “One More Saturday Night” as the first set closer. The band’s energetic “Saturday Night” got the already enthusiastic, highly intoxicated crowd even more pumped, bodies swaying, peace signs flashing, hands in the air waving to the band, “Bobby! Bobby! Look at me!” What a sight; Saturday night! The second set was perhaps the most energetic of all sets. There is a heated online debate going on with regard to the William Tell bridge and whether it happened or not; whatever did happen between “St. Stephen” and “The Eleven” was spectacular, to say the least! And that ring around the moon - who was responsible for that? The encore, “Turn On Your Lovelight” shone love on the crowd as they kept dancing to the very last note.

Sunday’s full moon show started early, for the visibly hungover, but extremely happy hippies, with doors opening at 5:30 PM; the afternoon sunshine giving the venue a true summer day concert feeling. The show opened with the sparkling “Sugar Magnolia” and continued with hit after hit: “Bertha“, “Brown Eyed Women“, “Sugaree“, “Scarlet Begonias“ - sounded like Bobby changed the lyrics from, “She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls…” to “She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her gown…” Dead and Co. also played the 1966 classic, “Good Lovin’” and closed the first set with “Sunshine Daydream”, which it really was for the rumored 6,000 (more like 7500) Deadheads attending the event. Oteil joined Mickey and Bill (The Rhythm Devils) for “Drums.” Always a pleasure to see Oteil’s smiling face on stage. The Sunday Show for me was flawless and the highlight show of the whole weekend! Weir’s tender rendition of “Standing on the Moon” had the crowd swaying in the wind. The Boys did not disappoint; giving the crowd two encore songs: “Eyes of the World” featuring Oteil’s silky, smooth vocals and the more than suitable Warren Zevon classic, “Werewolves of London”; very fitting for the super blood wolf moon and total lunar eclipse that night. This lunar spectacle added another special effect to the already phenomenal band playing in the sand.

The night ended with Deadheads howling as they left the sandy venue on a literal high from the heady music, already making plans to Play in the Sand next year. CID really knows how to host a party.

The only complaint…it all ended way too soon.

Until next time, “let there be songs to fill the air.”

Article/review by Ann Horvat
Photos by Dave Stotts Photography

My good friends Kenny, Charlie and Rachel won the line lottery for the first show!!!

Timothy Tyler and his girlfriend Hilary entering his first Dead show in too many years

Amy won the cutest photo contest - no prize given...

Ann the author

Have Faith

Safety first

San Diego PITS crew

Julian waited on me every morning for breakfast both last year and this. He's the best!!

Kevin the media guy for CID is super cool!!!

Deb Deb Deb and camera dude

I need to do sit-ups

Cirkus creating



Bobby ✌🏻 said...

That looks like a ton of fun... I would love to go, maybe next year ! ✌❤️😊

Ann Horvat said...

Bobby! Yes! You will have the time of your life!❤️✌️

Mike Cerneant said...

Ann! Great article!

Debbie Watts said...

Dave, Dave, Dave!!! These are amazing shots!!! I love the one of Julian!! He is a Superstar!!! We are so lucky to have you capturing these unforgettable moments for prosperity!! Beautifully written article by my girl Ann <3

Ann Horvat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Horvat said...

We are so lucky to have had such an extraordinary experience and to have Dave capture all of it! ❤️

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you Mike! See you next year!✌️❤️

JToddFTC said...

Love it. We had a great time with our family. Overall amazing experience. Thank you for the great pictures to capture the memories.

Ann Horvat said...

What a grate way to start 2019!❤️

Unknown said...

Ann, Great Blog, brought me back to a Real Good Time! Thank you, Marian Van Egas

Ann Horvat said...

What a blast! Thank you for checking out our post! For more awesome photos, check out Dave’s pics (Not to be confused with Dave’s Picks) on Instagram @dave_stotts_photograhy and on Facebook Dave Stotts Photography

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you Marian! So fun!😊

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you for checking out our post!❤️

Helen said...

Wish I had been there! Totally feeling the love vibe!

Ann Horvat said...

Come next year, Helen! Bring your sweet little deadheads!

Unknown said...

Hey Ann,It's me from NC . I just read your blog n it was cool. Pics were awesome n looks like a Grate time... Wish I could Play in the Sand one yr before I get to old
... 🌞⚡⚡🌈🌈🎸💯♥💚🌹💀✌

Unknown said...

I am TLM69 on Instagram..... Grate article....✌💀🌈⚡🌞💚🎸

Paula Schuck said...

Omg well done Annie! I had no idea the community was so big! Looks like a wonderful event and a welcoming friendly group.

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you!I’ll find you on IG.

Ann Horvat said...

Thanks Paula! Deadheads are the kindest!

Ann Horvat said...

Hey there! I’m old and I still play in the sand! See you there!

Unknown said...

Very comprehensive and well written review. Excellent job Ann!

Ann Horvat said...

Thank you!❤️⚡️

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More