After months of anticipation, Dead & Company‘s 2017 tour is finally upon us! Last night, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti rolled into Las Vegas to kick off their 20-date summer run. The band came in hot in their first performance since 7/30/16 at Shoreline Amphitheatre, opening the show with classic cuts including “The Music Never Stopped,” “Dire Wolf,” and “Jack Straw,” each highlighted by poignantly beautiful guitar interplay by Mayer and Weir. You can watch pro-shot footage of the show’s first three songs (“The Music Never Stopped,” “Dire Wolf,” and “Jack Straw”) via nugs.tv, which the band streamed live on their Facebook page:Set one continued the string of jukebox Dead sing-alongs, including “Loser,” “Friend of the Devil,” “Brown Eyed Women,” and “Bird Song.” Set two kicked off with a joyous “Playin’ In The Band,” which eventually bled into “Deal,” sung with sly charisma by Mayer. A classic “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” pairing came next, and eventually dissipated into “Drums/Space,” giving Mickey and Billy their first crack of the year at their patented percussion odysseys. Out of the “Space” arose “The Other One,” as Bobby fearlessly led the band on vocals through the remainder of the set, including “Black Peter” and the obligatory “One More Saturday Night.”However, as we all know, yesterday wasn’t just another Saturday night. Earlier that evening, the music world received the devastating news that Gregg Allman, the leader of the iconic Allman Brothers Band and widely respected rock and roll elder statesman, had passed away. In a moving tribute to the fallen legend (and Burbridge’s former Allmans bandmate), Dead & Company delivered a delicate rendition of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” the Bob Dylan classic performed by the Allmans, the Dead, and just about everyone else. As the band played, images of Gregg were projected behind the stage, blending with visuals of fluffy white clouds to give Allman’s an angelic aura. After the touching tribute, the band slipped back into a “Playin’ in the Band” reprise to cap an excellent tour opener. Watch fan-shot footage of the end of the encore tribute to Gregg Allman below, courtesy of YouTube user Nala ThaBoxer:SETLIST: Dead & Company | MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las Vegas, NV | 5/27/17Set 1: The Music Never Stopped, Dire Wolf, Jack Straw, Loser, Friend of the Devil, Brown Eyed Women, Bird SongSet 2: Playin’ In The Band > Deal, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > Drums > Space > The Other One > Black Peter, One More Saturday NightEncore: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door > Playin In The Band (Reprise)The band keeps playin’ on tonight as they make their way to Phoenix AZ for a performance at Ak-Chin Pavillion. From there, the band will play a pair of two-night runs in California, at Hollywood Bowl and Shoreline Amphitheatre, respectively. For a full list of upcoming Dead & Co shows, or to purchase tickets, head to the band’s website.Enjoy the full gallery below, courtesy of Erik Kabib[Cover photo via Instagram user @deadandgang]Dead & Company | MGM Grand | Las Vegas, NV | Photos by Erik Kabib Load remaining images
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Medeama of Ghana believe they can overcome their financial difficulties and beat TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo this weekend when the Confederation Cup group stage begins.It is a lofty ambition for a club battling to fund a trip from west to central Africa as they have never won a Confederation of African Football competition while their opponents can boast of having won nine titles.”We are prepared mentally and physically for the clash with Mazembe,” Medeama president Moses Armah told a local Ghanaian radio station.”The only challenge now is funding our trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said, referring to a problem faced by many clubs in Caf competitions.Medeama must travel to DR Congo, Algeria and Tanzania in the group phase and, should they finish bottom of the standings, will receive only $150,000 (105,000 euros) prize money.Armah said approaches to the sports ministry and Caf for financial assistance had been unsuccessful, but stressed that the trip to DR Congo was not in jeopardy, without giving details. “Once we overcome this obstacle, the boys will deliver the goods and beat Mazembe in Lubumbashi,” he said.Midfielder Malik Akowuah said the cash crisis meant a $2,000 bonus promised to each player for beating Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in a play-off had not been paid.”I do not believe an unpaid bonus should affect our performance,” said Akowuah. “Mazembe are a big club but we are a tough nut to crack.”While Medeama came though three rounds of Confederation Cup qualifying to reach Group A, Mazembe were among five clubs demoted from the Champions League who won play-offs.The Congolese boast a perfect home record in Confederation Cup group games, winning all six in two previous campaigns. Medeama have yet to win away in Africa this year, losing twice and drawing once, and Ghana-born Mazembe midfielder Daniel Nii Adjei has written off the chances of his countrymen.”They want to win the Confederation Cup, but so do the other seven contenders,” said Adjei. “We have studied them and rest assured they will not win at our ground.”Novices Mouloudia Bejaia of Algeria host vastly experienced Young Africansof Tanzania in the other Group A match and are set to exploit home advantage and collect maximum points.Group B consists exclusively of North African clubs – 2010 Confederation Cup winners FUS Rabat and Kawkab Marrakech of Morocco, title-holders Etoile Sahel of Tunisia and Al Ahli Tripoli of Libya.All except Ahli, who cannot play at home because of militia-instigated lawlessness, have realistic hopes of a top-two finish and a semi-finals place. Morocco host both matchday 1 fixtures with FUS facing Ahli and Kawkab meeting Etoile, the only winners of all five past and present Caf club competitions.
In a rarity for First Take, @stephenasmith went off main topic this morning to discuss the WNBA and its bubble accommodations versus NBA’s Disney plans.”The NBA might need to be aware of that and make sure they address that quick, fast and in a hurry.”H/T @DorothyJGentry pic.twitter.com/MdxvxkX77s— Cassandra Negley (@CasNegley) July 7, 2020MORE: Stephen A. Smith worries NBA players will ‘violate the bubble’ because they need to have sex”I’m hearing a lot of rumblings, a lot of people have reached out to me over the last 24 hours talking about how the NBA players themselves are treated vastly different than WNBA players,” said Smith. “A lot of people in the WNBA — I’m hearing some noise about the treatment that they’re receiving. The hotel rooms might be fine, but the laundry facilities and things of that nature, it’s considerably less than what NBA players are being treated like. “These kinds of things will be very problematic for the NBA because when you say WNBA it’s not like people are going to separate that from the NBA when it comes to something like this. It’s going to be all intertwined. So the NBA might need to be aware of that and make sure they address that quick, fast and in a hurry, because there are rumblings that are proliferating.”The NBA created the WNBA in 1996 and still owns about 50 percent of the female professional basketball league.As WNBA players were arriving at their new home on Monday, videos began emerging on social media showing unclean and seemingly infested amenities, including a laundry room with filthy floors and a mousetrap.just got this video from one of the laundry rooms inside the WNBA “bubble” and couldn’t be more disturbed. this is not ok. pic.twitter.com/6FC10jlcql— Kayla Johnson (@klajohnson) July 7, 2020Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson replied to the video and confirmed it was indeed their laundry room.Like ppl funny but this fr our laundry room 🥴— A’ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) July 7, 2020Check out this video, which appears to show a worm on the floor next to a player’s bed.What appears to be a worm found on the floor of one of the rooms pic.twitter.com/WRZYTxdbGo— Kayla Johnson (@klajohnson) July 7, 2020And it gets worse — a report by Deadspin claims two teams had bedbugs in their living quarters and had to be moved to different rooms. Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart shared a video on her Instagram story showing what appeared to be bug traps between her mattress and box spring. (UPDATE: ESPN reported Tuesday that IMG brought in a third-party exterminator, who found no bedbugs.) Stephen A. Smith believes the NBA needs to address disturbing issues surrounding the WNBA’s facilities at IMG Academy in Florida.During Tuesday’s episode of “First Take,” the ESPN host shared his concerns after learning about poor living conditions inside the WNBA’s “bubble.” Some NBA players, who are staying in a luxury resort at Walt Disney World outside Orlando, shared their disbelief at the WNBA’s accommodations.Smfh I hope this fake https://t.co/pZWerPpVHk— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 7, 2020This is not suitable for anyone. Let alone a professional athlete. This looks horrible. https://t.co/dLq0tGQEbn— Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) July 7, 2020ESPN reported that the poor conditions were limited to The Lodge at IMG, one of three housing options for WNBA players. The other two facilities received positive reviews. Several players were moved out of The Lodge to the other facilities. Additionally, the WNBA sent players a survey seeking feedback, and IMG told players in a previously scheduled orientation meeting Monday night that it would address the players’ concerns.