Dead & Company Welcome Michael Franti & Spearhead In Mexico [Audio/Video/Photo]

first_imgDead & Company are down in Mexico for their inaugural Playing In The Sand event this weekend. After kicking things off on Thursday night with a heartfelt tribute to John Perry Barlow, the Grateful Dead-inspired six-piece gave the stage to Michael Franti & Spearhead on Friday night. With near-perfect weather on the pristine beaches of Riviera Maya, the setting made for an adventurous playground to explore before the evening’s main attractions. On Saturday night, Dead & Company were well rested from the day off and once again took the stage for their second of three total shows.Although there were the same amount of tickets sold for all three nights, Saturday’s concert experience felt slightly more crowded as the band took the stage after sunset and opened with “Shakedown Street”. The tune featured a relaxed tempo that seemed to indicate that the band was setting themselves up for another long night of music. Things got moving during the mid-song jam as John Mayer‘s guitar soloing caught a wave that swept everyone else along. The band skipped the vocal coda after the final verse and headed straight to the second jam section, which was first highlighted by Jeff Chimenti‘s keyboard work and wrapped up with guitarist Bob Weir playing some chunky funk chords that Mayer counterpointed nicely. The song wound down after 18 minutes, and the band headed straight into a busy jam that transitioned into  “Cold Rain and Snow”–an ironic choice given the setting, but a welcome choice nonetheless. “Cold Rain and Snow” is another repertoire staple that Mayer has really made his own; his extended mid-song solo generated a huge cheer and was the first big peak of the night. Weir followed up with “Loser”, which was a nice change of pace that found Mayer strumming his guitar like a mandolin during the last verse. “Jack Straw” re-upped the momentum, and during the final jam, Mayer caught such a huge wave that he continued soloing over two attempts by Weir to lead the band into the vocal coda. Following Weir’s second attempt, he scorched the crowd with a run of Eddie Van Halen-style hammer-ons and pull-offs that worked beautifully and ensured the second peak moment of the night was a long one.After a quick pause to allow two band members to answer nature’s call, Mayer led the band through the rare Pigpen classic “Easy Wind”–marking the fourth time Dead & Company played the tune. Initially, it was a smoother, honed version than the rough-edged original, but Chimenti took an extended solo and veered the song into 60s cosmic blues territory. “Tennessee Jed” and “Sugaree” kept that bluesy feel intact for two more songs, with Mayer’s final solo on “Sugareee” taking some Garcia-esque turns with delicate runs and some fanning before hitting the set’s final peak. Rather than concluding the set there, the band strapped on acoustic guitars and closed it out with “Ripple”–a perfect choice, despite Weir’s technical failure, which led him back to electric guitar about halfway through. At 92 minutes, this may have been the longest first set the band has played; only their Pittsburgh show in summer 2016 is comparable.The dissonant power chord intro of “Viola Lee Blues” made for a strong launch to the second set. Over the course of two verses and eight minutes, the band got themselves back up to speed before transitioning straight into the 22-minute “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” that followed. There was an extra couple of minutes of jamming during the solo between the second and third verses, and as the band headed into the outro jam, Michael Franti and four members of his band Spearhead came out onstage. By the time the band transitioned into “I Know You Rider”, there were 11 people onstage–three more percussionists to complete Mickey Hart and Billy Kreutzmann‘s section, a second keyboardist seated next to Chimenti, and Franti on vocals. He added backing vocals to every verse, taking lead on the “I wish I was a headlight” verse that was a Jerry Garcia showpiece at Grateful Dead gigs. This was a one-of-a-kind version of the song, and the sort of thing that folks who made the trip were hoping to see.After a full stop and a false start, the band mellowed things out as bassist Oteil Burbridge led the six-piece through the delicate Garcia/Hunter ballad “Comes A Time”, which featured a nice call-and-response of Oteil’s best falsetto vocals and Mayer’s answering guitar at its conclusion. From there, the band segued into a 14-minute version of “Deal”. At one point, Mayer got so into the jam that he was soloing with one hand while mouthing “Don’t you let that deal go down” and pointing at the crowd, which was met with a gratuitous roar. With each successive tour, Mayer gets more and more comfortable deviating from the unwritten jam band rulebook and doing whatever zings into his head and his fingers, and Dead & Company is a better band for it.Kreutzmann and Hart’s night foray into the percussion universe was also notable, as “Drums” featured a guest appearance from Spearhead drummer Manas Itiene, who took the opportunity and ran with it to keep things upbeat and loud before Hart was left alone on The Beam to provide a transition into “Space”. Once the guitarists and Chimenti were back, Hart stayed on The Beam to add some low-end while Mayer played jagged riffs and patterns with an abandon not usually seen at this portion of the show. Soon after, Weir motioned to the band and eased everyone into the Garcia/Hunter ballad “Standing On The Moon”, which fit the location and the vibe perfectly. “Standing On The Moon” played out nicely and things then shifted up a gear for an extended version of “The Wheel”, featuring a full reggae break at the end along with band members singing in reggae stake. (This may have been Bob’s first onstage go at reggae vocals since the “Stir It Up” one-off during the Grateful Dead’s legendary Hampton ’88 run.) “Sugar Magnolia” made for a rocking closer, but this time the band members were loose enough to take the musical chances they might not have otherwise taken–resulting in a version with a decidedly different feel to it, making the rough endings of both the mid-song jam and the closing easily shrugged off by everyone, both onstage and off.“One More Saturday Night” turned up in its expected slot as the encore to ensure a rocking finish, and once again the band decided to experiment a bit and play the main body of the song with a looser, shuffle tempo that really accentuated Chimenti’s piano rolls and chord. The band tightened back up for the closing jam and final choruses, and all of a sudden it was time to return to earth.Once again, the second set also ran long by Dead & Company standards–the exploratory nature of the set generated a running time of just under two hours with the encore, and the entire show ran for over four hours including the break. Dead & Company–and particularly John Mayer–are clearly having the time of their lives playing these gigs, and it shows. Check out some videos from Dead & Company’s Saturday night showdown below.“I Know You Rider” feat. Michael Franti & Spearhead[Video: Still Dead]Shakedown Street[Video: Still Dead]Viola Lee Blues[Video: Pete Greenway]China Cat Sunflower[Video: Matt Ehrlich]Deal[Video: Matt Ehrlich]You can also listen to the full show audio, courtesy of cabinetmusic:[Audio: cabinetmusic]Dead & Company will take the stage again tonight for their final night in Mexico, before finishing out their run of rescheduled southeastern dates next week. You can check out pictures from last night’s show below, courtesy of Erik Kabik.Setlist: Dead & Company | Playin’ In The Sand | The Barceló | Riviera Maya, MX | 2/17/18Shakedown Street, Cold Rain and Snow, Loser, Jack Straw, Easy Wind, Tennessee Jed, Sugaree, RippleViola Lee Blues, China Cat Sunflower, I Know You Rider*, Comes A Time, Deal, Drums, Space, Standing on the Moon, The Wheel, Sugar MagnoliaE: One More Saturday NightDead & Company | Playing In The Sand | Barceló Maya Resort | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 2/17/2018 | Photo: Erik Kabik Load remaining images Photo: Erik Kabiklast_img read more

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Quake in Iran kills nine in neighbouring Turkey

first_img In Turkey, it was felt mostly in the eastern district of Baskale in Van province on the Iran border. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said nine people were killed, speaking to reporters from the quake scene in Van. Four of the dead were children.”We have right now no citizens trapped under the rubble,” he said.Images showed collapsed adobe houses in several snow-covered villages in Van province.  In Gurpinar village, search and rescue teams were seen on top of the rubble pile, watched by anxious locals. Van, which was hit by a 7.1 magnitude quake in 2011 killing more than 500 people, was struck by tragedy again this month when two avalanches left 41 people dead.Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 37 people were injured and nine of them were in critical condition. He said that 25 ambulances, one rescue helicopter and teams of medics were rushed to the quake region. Turkish officials said some schools were also damaged in several villages.  Dozens injured in Iran The impact of the quake in Iran was less severe, according to latest reports.It injured at least 51 people in Iran’s West Azerbaijan province, 17 of whom had been hospitalised, the country’s emergency services said. The same source also said there was damage to buildings in 43 villages.Sunday’s earthquake was felt in several Iranian cities, including Khoy, Urmia, Salmas and Osku, state media reported, citing West Azerbaijan’s crisis management centre.Both Iran and Turkey sit on top of major tectonic plates and see frequent seismic activity.In November 2017, a 7.3-magnitude quake in Iran’s western province of Kermanshah killed 620 people.In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake in southeastern Iran decimated the ancient mud-brick city of Bam and killed at least 31,000 people.Iran’s deadliest quake was a 7.4-magnitude tremor in 1990 that killed 40,000 people in northern Iran, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless.In December and January, two earthquakes struck near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbours have often raised concerns about the reliability of the country’s sole nuclear power facility, which produces 1,000 megawatts of power, and the risk of radioactive leaks in case of a major earthquake.Turkey is also prone to earthquakes and over 40 people died in January after a 6.8-magnitude quake struck Elazig in eastern Turkey.In 1999, a devastating 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Izmit in western Turkey, killing more than 17,000 people including about 1,000 in the country’s most populous city, Istanbul.Topics : A magnitude 5.7 earthquake in northwestern Iran on Sunday killed at least nine people in neighbouring Turkey and injured dozens more on both sides of the border, authorities said.The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9:23 am (0553 GMT), was near the Iranian village of Habash-e Olya, less than 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border, according to the US Geological Survey. The earthquake had a depth of six kilometres, said Tehran University’s Seismological Centre.last_img read more

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