Exclusive Pro-Shot Video: Dead & Company Welcome Michael Franti for “I Know You Rider” in Mexico

February 22, 2018

Dead & Company hosted their Playing in the Sand destination event in Riviera Maya, Mexico, this past weekend, offering three full performances over four days, including a Saturday-night show that saw the band welcome Michael Franti and Spearhead for the Grateful Dead classic “I Know You Rider.” 

Franti, who played his own show on Friday night, added his voice and a number of dance moves to the 17-minute “Rider,” as the members of Dead & Co.—along musicians from Franti’s band Spearhead—stretched the tune out with some improvisational explorations. 

“It’s honestly one of the highlights of my life in music, and I’ve been making music now for thirty years,” Franti tells Relix about the onstage collaboration. “To play with those guys and to be in that circle of life that you’re surrounded by when they’re all jamming up there, it’s something really special. Like being with the Dream Team and getting to go out there and practice with them or something. To me it was like that.”

“I’m normally playing my guitar—and I dance a lot even with my guitar—but the groove that was going down was really super funky,” Franti says of his onstage moves. “All my band members had picked up percussion instruments and were back there jamming and our keyboardist was playing the B-3, and I got super inspired so I just started dancing a whole bunch. I feel like the more I danced, the more John and Bob wanted to solo. So I had a choice: it was either stand there and wait for them, or do something to play off what they were doing. And I had a good interpretive dance session going up there.”

Watch pro-shot footage of the collaboration below.