Grateful Dead Make Final Greek Theatre Appearance In 1989

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The earliest known appearance by the Grateful Dead at the historic Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California dates back to October 1, 1967. A year later the Dead played the outdoor venue near their San Francisco home, but would not return to the Greek until a three-night stand in September 1981. Each subsequent year of the 1980s saw three-show runs culminating with a trio of concerts in August 1989.

The Grateful Dead’s 29th and final performance at the Greek Theatre took place 30 years ago today on August 19, 1989. Below is both video and audio of the complete final Dead concert at The Greek as well as video featuring isolated audio of Bob Weir’s guitar.

The evening began with “Let The Good Times Roll” peppered by Weir’s falsetto howls that elicited a smile from fellow guitarist Jerry Garcia. The pink guitar playing Weir and the Tiger playing Garcia trade verses on the following “Jack Straw” ahead of the rarity “We Can Run” led by keyboardist Brent Mydland. The set ended with bassist Phil Lesh singing lead on the closing rendition of the classic “Box Of Rain.”

After the “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” tandem opened set two, the show got cooking with a sequence featuring a take on “Playing In The Band” that ventured into “Uncle John’s Band” before sliding back into a loose “Playing” jam. The Rhythm Devils Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart set off on the “Drums” improvisation with the latter on talking drum before moving on to other exotic sounds in his arsenal. A powerfully blistering “The Other One” dotted with cartoon-like vocal effects comes out of the “Space” excursion and is trailed by Garcia’s heartfelt delivery of “Wharf Rat.” The common closer “Not Fade Away” ended the set before the band returned to play a rare “Foolish Heart” encore.

Watch full show video courtesy of voodoonola and stream a soundboard audio recording below:

Audio of Weir’s guitar from the entire concert has surfaced thanks to Charlie Miller and has been paired with video by cleantones. “Apparently Bobby was troubleshooting his guitar rig and had his guitar recorded separately for the three nights at the Greek by Don Pearson,” shared Cleantones about the audio. Watch the Dead’s Greek finale featuring Bob Weir isolated guitar audio below:

Setlist (via JerryGarcia.com)

Set One: Let The Good Times Roll, Jack Straw, We Can Run, Tennessee Jed, It’s All Over Now, Loser, Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, Box Of Rain

Set Two: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Playing In The Band > Uncle John’s Band > Playing In The Band > Playing In The Band Jam > Drums > Space > The Other One > Wharf Rat > Not Fade Away

Encore: Foolish Heart

[Originally Published: August 19, 2016]