Grateful Dead Performs ‘My Brother Esau’ In 1987


The Grateful Dead continue the All The Years Live video series with a “My Brother Esau” from 1987. Bob Weir led the group on the biblical tale on July 24, 1987 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Stadium in Oakland in this week’s video.

“My Brother Esau” was debuted by the Grateful Dead on March 25, 1983 at Compton Terrace in Tempe. The song was played regularly through October 3, 1987. Weir stumbles with the lyrics in Oakland but recovers quickly. “My Brother Esau” came during one of three sets they played on July 24, 1987 at a “Day On The Green” concert as part of their “Dylan & The Dead” tour. Bob Dylan fronted the Grateful Dead as the first set of the day.

“This Bob Weir-John Barlow song was only in the Dead’s repertoire for four years, but it was a terrific first set addition, played in several arrangements, sometimes with a drumming introduction, and sometimes with the entire band coming in for a grand intro,” wrote Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux. “I saw this at four of the first six shows I attended, and then it was dropped for good in October 1987.” Both Dead sets without Dylan from July 24, 1987 were released as part of View From The Vault IV in 2003.

The previous installment of All The Years Live featured previously unreleased video of “Blow Away” from July 16, 1990. Prior videos include “Touch Of Grey” from July 4, 1989 in Orchard Park, “Box of Rain” from July 7, 1989 at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider” from July 6, 1990, “Morning Dew” from October 18, 1974, “Sugar Magnolia,” “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire On The Mountain” from December 31, 1978, “Reuben & Cherise” from June 6, 1991, “Estimated Prophet” from July 8, 1990 and “Wang Dang Doodle” from June 14, 1991.

Watch the Dead’s “My Brother Esau” from July 24, 1987 below:

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