Watch Grateful Dead & Related Bands’ Halloween Highlights

Grateful Dead and Dead-related bands continue our week of revisiting memorable Halloween live concert performances available in the JamBase Live Video Archive.

1960s

The Grateful Dead’s Halloween history dates back to at least 1966 when they performed at the Acid Test Graduation organized by Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters and held at San Francisco’s Calliope Warehouse. Check out scenes from that psychedelic night on Haight Street in this video:

On October 31, 1967, the Grateful Dead held a “Trip or Freak” show at The Winterland in San Francisco. Mickey and the Hartbeats — drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann guitarist Jerry Garcia and bassist Phil Lesh and played a gig at The Matrix in San Francisco on October 31, 1968. A proper Grateful Dead concert went down on Halloween 1969, when they held a show on the campus of San Jose State University.

1970s

The band played on the campus of S.U.N.Y. in Stony Brook, New York on Halloween 1970, when two Grateful Dead sets were broken up by a New Riders Of The Purple Sage set. The following year found the band at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio for a show on Halloween that became the source of Dick’s Picks Volume 2. After several years without Halloween gigs, the Dead were back in New York state on October 31, 1979 for a concert at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale.

October 31, 1980

Once again in New York on Halloween, in 1980 the Grateful Dead celebrated their 15th anniversary with a run of shows at Radio City Music Hall, performing eight nights at the legendary NYC venue leading up to a Halloween night finale. The run produced the live albums Dead Set and Reckoning and the Dead Ahead concert film. Like the other shows at Radio City, Halloween featured an acoustic set, but unlike the other shows, the holiday concert was broadcast to 20 movie theaters around the eastern part of the country.

Dead Ahead will be streamed this Friday, October 30 as part of the Grateful Dead’s Shakedown Stream series. The recent episode of the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast podcast took a deep dive into Halloween at Radio City, including interviews with Sen. Al Franken and the late Tom Davis, the former comedy team that hosted the show. The Dead shared official clips of “Fire On The Mountain” and “Lost Sailor” > “Saint Of Circumstance” from the electric October 31 show and “Heaven Help The Fool” from the acoustic part of the October 30 show, which can be seen below:


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Grateful Dead (See 97 videos)
Grateful Dead (See 1,166 videos)

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Grateful Dead (See 97 videos)
Grateful Dead (See 1,166 videos)

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Grateful Dead (See 97 videos)
Grateful Dead (See 1,166 videos)

October 31, 1985

The Dead were back in the Bay Area when they performed at Marin County Veteran’s Auditorium in San Rafael, California on Halloween 1983 and at Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, California on Halloween 1984. They returned to the East Coast on Halloween 1985, holding an October 31 show at Carolina Coliseum on the campus of the University Of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. The show opened with a cover of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves Of London,” starting a Halloween/Dead connection to that song that remains active.


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Kevin Tobin (See 333 videos)
Grateful Dead (See 1,166 videos)

October 31, 1986 – Jerry Garcia Band

Jerry Garcia’s solo projects staged Halloween concerts in 1974 and 1975, and again on Halloween 1981. Jerry Garcia Band played a concert on October 31, 1986 at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland. The “Werewolves Of London” Halloween tradition continued as Zevon’s song was chosen for the night’s encore (see above).

JGB and the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band held matinee and evening performances at Lunt-Fontanne Theater in New York City on October 31, 1987 that was later officially released. JGB Halloween gigs went down in 1988 and 1989 as well.


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Kevin Tobin (See 333 videos)
Jerry Garcia Band (See 153 videos)

October 31, 1990

In October 1990, the Grateful Dead embarked on a brief European tour that culminated with three concerts at Wembley Arena in London. The middle night fell on Halloween, and unlike the opener in ‘85, the Dead followed the JGB’s lead and waited until the encore to break out “Werewolves Of London,” which was doubly fitting given the setting.


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Kevin Tobin (See 333 videos)
Grateful Dead (See 1,166 videos)

October 31, 1991

Back on their home turf, the final Halloween Grateful Dead concert took place on October 31, 1991 at Oakland’s Oakland Coliseum Arena. The show was the last of a four-night run that started on October 27, just two days after promoter and close Dead associate Bill Graham was among several people killed in a helicopter crash near Vallejo, California. On Halloween, the band brought out Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist Gary Duncan during the second set for “Spoonful,” “Dark Star” and “The Last Time.” The “Dark Star” also saw Ken Kesey onstage for an intense rap that eulogized Graham. Once again the night was punctuated with a “Werewolves Of London” encore, marking the last time the Dead covered Zevon’s tune.


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voodoonola (See 127 videos)
Grateful Dead (See 1,166 videos) and Gary Duncan

October 31, 1992 – JGB

While 1991 was the final year the Dead played on Halloween, the Jerry Garcia Band played shows on October 31, 1992 at Oakland Coliseum Arena and on October 31, 1993 at Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Both nights featured the same encore: “Werewolves Of London.” Watch JGB’s encore from Halloween 1992 above.


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Tito Garcia (See 3 videos)
Jerry Garcia Band (See 153 videos)

Following Garcia’s untimely death and the end of the Grateful Dead in 1995, his band mates continued to perform on Halloween with a variety of projects. Some examples of October 31st shows can be seen below featuring Phil Lesh & Friends on Halloween 1999, Bill Kreutzmann with Papa Mali on Halloween 2008, and — keeping the “Werewolves Of London” tradition going — Bob Weir And Wolf Bros on Halloween 2018 and Weir, Kreutzmann, Hart and Dead & Company (whose second show was Halloween 2015) on Halloween 2019.

October 31, 1999 – Phil & Friends


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Kevin Tobin (See 333 videos)
Phil Lesh & Friends (See 184 videos) , John Molo (See 105 videos) , Paul Barrere (See 8 videos) , Bill Payne (See 19 videos) and Derek Trucks (See 31 videos)

October 31, 2008 – Billy & Papa Mali


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tdunski (See 391 videos)
Papa Mali (See 17 videos) and Bill Kreutzmann (See 45 videos)

October 31, 2018 – Bob Weir & Wolf Bros


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nugsnet (See 549 videos)
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros (See 34 videos)

October 31, 2019 – Dead & Co


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Dead & Company (See 19 videos)
Dead & Company (See 139 videos)

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