The Grateful Dead’s Greatest Show


32 years ago today, the Grateful Dead played their greatest show at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Yes -the greatest show EVER. It’s a hot take, but if I had to pick one, this would be it. Peak Bobby. Brent on keys. Branford Marsalis on saxophone (for the majority of the show), and a KILLER setlist:

Set I:
Jack Straw
We Can Run But We Can’t Hide
Ramble on Rose
Bird Song
Promised Land

Set II:
Eyes of the World
Estimated Prophet
Dark Star
Dark Star
The Wheel
Throwin’ Stones
Turn on Your Love Light

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Just hit play…



  1. Mike
    03/29/2022 / 10:13 AM

    Set II was on GD Radio this morning on SXM while taking the kids to school. The Estimated Prophet with Branford is so so good.

  2. PDB
    03/29/2022 / 11:05 AM

    That is a hot take. Will give a listen now. Been on a big 89-90 kick right now as is. The Alpine Valley ‘89 shows have been on heavy rotation.

  3. Jackstraw
    03/29/2022 / 9:08 PM

    Hot take, for sure! Among their better ‘90s shows no doubt. However, hard to rank this one above Cornell/Ithaca, NY ‘77 or the 1978 Winterland shows or the 1972 Veneta, Oregon show. Need a Top 5 or Top 10 list instead!

  4. Rob
    03/30/2022 / 12:19 AM

    I would agree that it’s among the best of the spring 90 shows, but that was their stadium/arena era and it’s hard to compare it to their earlier stuff.

    I think it’s a matter of preference. I’ve never been a big fan of Pigpen, but the older purists will disagree. A lot of people didn’t like Donna, but they will still put Cornell, Veneta, etc. on their lists of best shows.

    The Dead is the most innovative and complex group in history and they never stopped evolving. We all have our favorites, but I think it’s impossible to ever boil it down to one or even a handful of shows.

    When the “Get Shown the Light” box set came out five years ago, the stand alone Cornell show had something like the greatest concert ever written on it. Somebody on SiriusXM, I think it was David Gans, said that he didn’t even think it was the greatest concert that week. That’s always stuck with me.

  5. Tanner
    03/30/2022 / 9:04 AM

    Great show. The Dead’s Spring 1990 tour remains one of my favorites.

  6. Robert Myers
    03/31/2022 / 9:40 PM

    Great show, still think the sound and quality of Closing of Winterland might be their Best.

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