Dead & Company Kicks Off ‘Playing In The Sand’ With John Barlow Tribute [Video/Photo]

first_imgDead & Company’s inaugural Playing In The Sand show kicked off last night with a two-set performance by the Grateful Dead-inspired six-piece, marking the group’s first performance since guitarist John Mayer’s unexpected appendectomy cut their last tour off early in Austin, Texas, on December 2nd. As a brand-new event, many fans were unsure as to what to expect—both musically and from the host resort of Barceló Maya Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.First and foremost, it was absolutely mind-blowing to see a big rock ‘n’ roll show in this setting, and many people’s long-time pipe dreams actually came true this evening. The venue is essentially a beach the size of the floor at Folsom Field, if the floor started more or less where the soundboard was, with a fence with foliage behind it on stage left and the Caribbean Sea on stage right. The water had floodlights trained on it and was patrolled by a boat and two jet skiers to prevent swim-ins (and probably swim-outs, too). Venue entrance and exit were smooth and orderly, as was everything else from a production standpoint. I witnessed no hassle or problems the entire evening.As you walked in, there was an area of palm trees where a Mariachi band was playing, Mexican ladies were dancing, a couple guys were dressed in full Mayan garb with headdresses. There was also lots of food and drinks, a few other various displays, a photo booth, and the merch stand (with no less than five limited-edition posters on offer at $60 each, and they were going fast).Throughout the evening, servers were walking through the crowd with trays of beer and slushy drinks for anyone to take. At set break, a cleanup crew came through to pick up all the empty cups and other trash, and many of them were pleasantly surprised when the members of the crowd scrambled to help them. Due to having to pass through customs, there was noticeably less smoking going on, especially when compared to recent shows in Colorado and Washington. But, there were only a few visible instances of drunk people. All in all, it was a really well-behaved crowd given that alcohol was free all day and all night.About two hours before showtime, after some brief showers, the skies cleared (though the evening remained windy), and you could see the stars. The constellation Orion was directly above the stage for much of the show, which ended up timing in at over four hours, including the break.The band’s first set ran from 7:43 to 8:59, marking a long first set by Dead & Company’s standards. Overall, the first set was a laid-back and mellow, with the band clearly settling back into playing live for the first time since Austin. The opening tune, “Playing In The Band”, was a complete ’72–’74-era version with the reprise, and lasted 16 minutes. “Me & My Uncle” got one of the obligatory Mexico references in early (“In the confusion, my uncle grabbed the gold, and we hightailed it down to Mexico”).By the time the well-segued combination of “He’s Gone” into “Cassidy” was over, the first four songs had run 46 minutes. Moving through a classic take on “Brown-Eyed Women”, the band offered up the crowd-pleasing “Bertha”, kicking off the non-stop final stretch of songs to end set one. “Good Lovin’” included a take on “La Bamba”, with Bob Weir singing the verse and chorus of “La Bamba”—it was pretty similar to the version Jerry Garcia did with the Grateful Dead for a handful of shows in Fall ’87, but the band used the 60’s- and 70s’-version intro riff as a bridge to the intro. Aside from “La Bamba”, on paper, this could have been a Grateful Dead set from 1977.Second set ran from 9:49 to 11:53, including the encore, marking another long set by Dead & Company standards. The starting pre-drums was very strong and ran for a whopping 68 minutes. Good thing tapers aren’t confined to 90-minute cassettes anymore, as that would have been a bad tape flip. “Scarlet Begonias” through “Looks Like Rain” was hands-down the strongest portion of the show.The Grateful Dead’s music used to change when they played in different places, and Dead & Company’s music did the same last night, as the band infused reggae and tropical touches into “Scarlet Begonias”, “Fire On The Mountain”, and “Estimated Prophet”. The “Scarlet” outro jam went on a couple minutes longer than usual, and “Estimated Prophet” was highlighted by Oteil Burbridge’s bass line that sounded more like a traditional reggae tune at times. He was much louder in the mix on this one, and it was a slinkier, mellower version that fit perfectly.“Althea” may have been the best Dead & Company version of the song to date and was arguably the highlight of the second set along with “Looks Like Rain”. “Althea” is another Garcia/Hunter song that seemed to have been written for John, as he’s really made it his own. John’s searing rock solo ensured the song justified its second-set slot, and the fact it easily stood up to the “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” before it and the “Estimated Prophet” > “Eyes Of The World” after it really says something.“Eyes Of The World” was an unexpected bonus, and John and Jeff Chimenti pushed each other to great heights during the second solo. Oteil did his usual lead bass outro to lead into drums, and “Space” led to a fun little jam with John and Jeff playing four-handed piano—eventually, Mickey Hart joined into the mix to make it five hands. This raucous space saw the band laughing and clearly having a blast onstage.Then Weir strapped on a nylon-string acoustic to join in and led the way into “Looks Like Rain”, which served as a tribute to John Perry Barlow. “Looks Like Rain” has always been a love song,  but this version gave the number another new meaning as Bob sang it to his now-departed songwriting partner of over 40 years and images of the recently departed Grateful Dead lyricist flashed on stage.“Looks Like Rain”[Video: The Zalewski Law Firm]“I Need A Miracle” was such a slowed-down version that this reporter mistook it at first for “New Speedway Boogie” until Bob sang the first line. To close things out, the band offered up “Casey Jones”, which was a strong closing effort, as John soloed at high velocity for several minutes before the song ended. Early arrivals to the venue would have heard the band sound-checking “The Weight” not long before doors opened, so it was unsurprising the song got the nod for the encore. Jeff and Oteil got the biggest cheers when they sang their verses.You can check out pictures from last night’s show below, courtesy of Erik Kabik.Setlist: Dead & Company | Playing In The Sand | Barceló Maya Resort | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 2/15/2018 Set One: Playing In The Band, Me & My Uncle, He’s Gone > Cassidy, Brown-Eyed Women, Bertha > Good Lovin’ > La Bamba > Good LovinSet Two: Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain > Althea > Estimated Prophet > Eyes Of The World > Drums > Space > Jam > Looks Like Rain > I Need A Miracle > Casey JonesEncore: The Weight Photo: Erik Kabik Photo: Erik Kabik Photo: Erik Kabikcenter_img Dead & Company | Playing In The Sand | Barceló Maya Resort | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 2/15/2018 | Photo: Erik Kabik Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Mourinho: No rift with Eto’o

first_img “He has no reason to be upset because also, he told a few years ago, that Mourinho is the only manager in the world who I would never play for, and after one year he was playing with me at Inter and now here. “There is no story, there is no story. I repeat: it was a funny conversation between me and somebody who doesn’t belong to the football world. “We were laughing as everybody was saying. I really think it’s a disgrace that someone is taping and recording a private conversation when, obviously, we don’t know.” That was the second question Mourinho had fielded on the subject and he snapped when a third was asked about whether the relationship with his strikers have been damaged by the remarks. “If you want to speak about the game, I’m ready,” he said. “If you want to keep speaking about some non-ethical journalist, I’ve had enough.” With that, focus quickly turned to facing the Turkish champions and the various sub-plots surrounding the tie. The match sees Mourinho go up against Inter Milan predecessor Roberto Mancini, as well as Wesley Sneijder, a key part of his treble-winning side at the San Siro. However, the standout link is that between Chelsea and Didier Drogba. This will be the first time the Ivorian has faced the club he played for between 2004 and 2012, with his last kick for the Blues seeing them win the Champions League. “I look forward to every match,” Mourinho said. “I like to play. I’m happy to do it. I like to do it against the best, and Galatasaray is the Turkish champions. “To face Drogba, I know that is difficult and it’s a strange feeling, I have to admit that. “But we have to do our job. We know he wants to do his job. “Last year it happened the same. I want to do my job to help my team, and he tried to do his by scoring goals, which he did. “But I admit it’s a strange feeling we have to try and forget during the game.” Not knowing he was being filmed, the Blues manager was recorded saying: “The problem with Chelsea is I lack a striker. He is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?” Mourinho was apoplectic about the remarks being broadcast, telling journalists they “should be embarrassed” by what has happened when asked about the fallout in Tuesday’s press conference previewing the first leg with Galatasaray. “I’m not defending what I’m saying, I’m attacking something that is, I think, fundamental in your professional area,” he said, speaking at Kasimpasa’s training base on the outskirts of Istanbul. “That person showed exactly what he is, or what he doesn’t know about the job. “From my perspective, the comment is obviously not a good one, and obviously not something I would do in a serious way, something I would not do an official way in an interview. “First of all, because I don’t make fun. Secondly, because if there are managers in the world who really defend their players, I’m obviously one of them. “And third because Samuel Eto’o is Samuel Eto’o. He’s four times a Champions League winner: people think three times, but one in Real Madrid, two in Barcelona and one with Inter. “It was with him that I had the best ever season of my career. He’s one of the few players who is working with me at a second different club, and a manager never does that if he doesn’t like the player or the person. Preparations for the Champions League last-16 tie with Galatasaray have been somewhat overshadowed by Canal Plus broadcasting video of the Portuguese making inflammatory comments to a businessman at a recent sponsor’s event. The recording, aired on Monday, shows Mourinho commenting on Chelsea’s lack of depth up front and questioning the age of Cameroon forward Eto’o. Jose Mourinho insists his relationship with Samuel Eto’o has been unaffected by footage showing him questioning the Chelsea striker’s age. Press Associationlast_img read more

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What we learned from Syracuse’s loss to Clemson

first_imgSyracuse (10-6, 0-3 Atlantic Coast) has dropped its first three games in conference play for the first time since the 1996-97 season. Its 74-73 overtime loss to Clemson (9-6, 2-1) on Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome was the latest, a game the Orange led by four with under a minute remaining.Shortly after the loss, Jim Boeheim officially returned as head coach and Mike Hopkins reverted to the role he’s served in for 20 years. As Hopkins prefers, Syracuse basketball is back to normalcy. But the Orange sits in the depths of the ACC with No. 6 North Carolina up next. Here are three things we learned from Tuesday’s loss.Michael Gbinije can still score at an All-ACC levelThe fifth-year senior scored a somewhat quiet 22 points to lead Syracuse in the loss. Freshman Malachi Richardson led the charge down the stretch, but it was Gbinije with 11 second-half points on 3-of-7 shooting. He added two 3-pointers, one of which gave the Orange its first lead in over 25 minutes, and a trio of foul shots in the second half.Against Miami, Gbinije scored a season-low 10 points and complained about the officiating after the game. But just four days after being flustered by Miami’s Angel Rodriguez, Gbinije bested his season average against Jordan Roper and the Tigers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Mike Gbinije … iron man,” Hopkins said. “The guy is a stud. If your ripped him open, it would be like iron coming out of him.”He elevated his scoring average back up to 18 points per game, which ranks third in the ACC. In the process, he restored the offensive prowess that defined him before laying an egg, by his standards, against the Hurricanes.Syracuse can defend the inside, to an extentIn the first half, Clemson pounded the ball inside to Landry Nnoko and Sidy Djitte. Often it was a quick turn and hook shot against a Syracuse big, either Dajuan Coleman or Tyler Lydon, that did little to push back.In the second half, Lydon forced whichever Clemson center was playing out of the paint, and the ball around the perimeter. The Tigers swung it around the key before slicing up the zone at times, a method still effective but one that just took longer.Syracuse was able to defend the paint more effectively earlier in the clock and force the visitors to create from the outside in instead of the other way around. It taxed the Clemson offense more and allowed Syracuse to crawl back in the game, but SU was still dissected and outscored 40-18 in the paint. Against North Carolina, a team with Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson down low, it’ll only get harder.“Our best offensive lineup is when Tyler Lydon’s in at the five,” Hopkins said, “… and it was able to open up some things but there’s the give and take and they did a really good job of trying to get in there … (Lydon’s) a light heavyweight fighting heavyweight.”Foul shooting is still an issue, this time lateSyracuse’s season average from the charity stripe is just over 67 percent, so a 10-of-15 mark in the second half isn’t staggering. But on Tuesday, its misses were magnified coming late in the second half. The most glaring one, Richardson’s only miss of his six second-half foul shots with 18 seconds left, kept the game within one possession and allowed Clemson to tie and force overtime.The freshman took the blame for the loss, saying that if he made the back end of his one-and-one that Syracuse would’ve won the game. Each of the four players who took foul shots on Tuesday missed at least one, though, and Syracuse logged an underwhelming 12-for-19 mark from the foul line compared to Clemson’s 10-of-11 total.The Orange sits third-to-last in the ACC in free-throw percentage and three of its next four games come against teams in the top half of the conference in that category. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 6, 2016 at 1:34 amcenter_img Related Stories The best game of Malachi Richardson’s career was painfully incompleteMike Hopkins after loss to Clemson: ‘I’m not a loser’Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 74-73 overtime loss to ClemsonSyracuse community reacts to loss against ClemsonGallery: Syracuse drops last game with Mike Hopkins as head coach to Clemson, 74-73last_img read more

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