San Francisco Treat: Watch Yo La Tengo Cover ‘Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad’ At The Fillmore

The performance of the traditional song played often by the Grateful Dead came within the trio’s second set on Wednesday.

By Scott Bernstein Feb 23, 2023 10:56 am PST

Yo La Tengo brought a winter tour in support of their recently released album, This Stupid World, to San Francisco last night. The trio’s first of two concerts at The Fillmore as part of Noise Pop 30 included a cover of “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad,” a traditional song that was a staple of hometown heroes Grateful Dead’s live repertoire from 1970 through 1995.

First released by Henry Whitter in January 1924 as “Lonesome Road Blues,” the tune was purportedly taught to Jerry Garcia by Delaney Bramlett during the legendary 1970 train tour across Canada immortalized in the 2003 documentary Festival Express. An instrumental “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” jam was worked into “Not Fade Away” at the Grateful Dead’s October 10, 1970 concert in Queens before the song was debuted complete with lyrics the next night in Wayne, New Jersey according to JerryBase. Three hundred additional performances followed from the Dead through July 5, 1995.


Last night marked Yo La Tengo’s debut “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” cover as per Setlist.FM’s statistics. James McNew helmed the song, which came early in the evening’s second set, with backing vocals provided by bandmates Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley. The three-piece previously performed a handful of Grateful Dead songs including “Ripple,” “Wharf Rat” and “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” over the years. Additionally, Kaplan recorded “Wharf Rat” for The National’s Day Of The Dead 2016 compilation honoring the Grateful Dead.

Check out a few clips of YLT’s “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” below (scroll the Instagram post):


Yo La Tengo loaded Wednesday’s setlist with songs from This Stupid World. Seven of the album’s nine cuts were played at The Fillmore, which will host the band again on Friday. Last night’s show also featured plenty of staples including the “Big Day Coming” opener as well as “Sugarcube,” “From A Motel 6,” “Mr. Tough” and “Decora.” Kaplan, Hubley and McNew fit original “Alyda” between covers of DEVO’s “Beautiful World” and Anita Bryant’s “My Little Corner Of The World” as the evening’s encore.


Yo La Tengo
  • Big Day Coming
  • Sinatra Drive Breakdown
  • Until It Happens
  • Ashes
  • Gentle Hour
  • Apology Letter
  • Aselestine
  • I'll Be Around
  • Miles Away
  • This Stupid World
  • Here to Fall
  • From a Motel 6
  • Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad
  • The Evil That Men Do (Craig's Version)
  • Mr. Tough
  • False Alarm
  • Fallout
  • Sugarcube
  • Decora
  • The Story of Yo La Tango
  • Beautiful World
  • Alyda
  • My Little Corner of the World
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