Dead & Company - Playing In The Sand, Riviera Maya, MX 1/20/19 (Live) Digital

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As if the extended weekend hadn’t already been enough of a journey into the Great Beyond, for the final show Dead & Company had a potent collaborator to work with – the Solar System itself, as closing night would coincide not just with a full moon, but a total lunar eclipse. How cosmic can it get? Plenty cosmic.

For the first set, the band treats the crowd to a delicious sandwich: “Sugar Magnolia” to start, its “Sunshine Daydream” to finish, with a heap of tasty ingredients in between, including “Bertha,” “Good Lovin’,” “Loser,” “Sugaree” and “U.S. Blues.” Yum!

Dead & Company - Playing In The Sand, Riviera Maya, MX 1/19/19 (Live) Digital

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As had been the case in the first “Playing In The Sand” the previous year, Dead & Company ceded the stage to guest artists on the second night of the extended weekend, then returned on Saturday, tanned, rested and ready.

Dead & Company - Playing In The Sand, Riviera Maya, MX 1/17/19 (Live) Digital

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the long and glorious history of the Grateful Dead and the still-active founding members that carry on the music and the legacy of the band, it’s that Dead Heads don’t need a whole lot of encouragement to have a great time… simply get a bunch of ‘em together in one place, let the music play, and joyous celebration is sure to ensue, whether in an arena or stadium in any given American city, a suburban amphitheater, or ankle-deep in mud at a festival.