Mississippi River Festival - August 16, 1980
August 16, 1980
last "Iko Iko": 02-04-79 
Set List:Alabama Getaway
They Love Each Other
Me and My Uncle
Looks Like Rain
Easy to Love You
New Minglewood Blues
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Ship of Fools
The Other One
One More Saturday Night
Previous Show« San Diego Sports Arena - July 1, 1980
Attendees of this show
Lex Luther, aikomark, msk4401, bodegahwy, milfodo, email@example.com, akpfeiff, Burl Brother Skip, pokerpete, Cosmic.Wimpout, vandi421, trw7264, MNGLWD, golfmann, ChinaRider77, safewayjay, Krell58, jpruitt53, Lazer, stl1fan1, Mary Margaret, Floodman, MRFhead, August_r, picasso_moon420, Drangd1, Lex Luthers Mom, nicklas59, eFreak, AmikkoDelicOne, lagnaf, deadinmadtown, Dead Man Telling Tales, aikox2, lamarred664, fdm, Kraut888, Dead in Illinois, asteroid4442, deadhead616, Wolfhound, Rum Jungle, LynnRS, bsxl, davidg528, Dead_2_Core, edgeman, mrcharlie57, tiedyebob, raferm, aikani, grtflmark, joscar, tony23d, Dave Matlick, gremmie1, StLMSOSea, alta, drewzter, ststephen49, sgolston, ouroboros007, budman, Edgefan, Deadicated
nothin left to do but smile smile smile!
big storm hit during LL Rain, took a break, so wife and I headed for shelter, I guess went to far beyond the so called line of no return. Tried to crash back in when they started but was escorted back and off the premises. Only good thing about having to leave early was my car didn't get stuck in the muddy field like hundreds of others did. A friend of mine who was parked next to me was there until noon the next day waiting for a tow!
Yes the storm was lovely. This was my second show and the one that really started it all for me. After the storm they came back and started the show all over again. My tape has 14 songs in the first set. Two encores. Iko was acoustic. I was flabergasted. I would not leave. I stood there yelling to the heads, " Don't leave. They will come back , Don' t Leave. " Way blazed. Me and my buds had to sit in my ex-girlfriend' s little brother's bedroom all night finishing the trip.
This was the show that about nine of us were photographed with Jerry after the show at the Green Room at the Holiday Inn in Edwardsville. The band was all present and were hanging around. Annie Liebovitz scheduled the photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine to be conducted back stage. But, alas the incredible strom hit so it was moved to the motel. An hour and a half of photos with Jerry... Brent hanging around trying to come up with the set lists with us.. buying drinks for Bob as he was refused at the motel bar for not having on a collared shirt... Phil drinking Heine's... Eventually Jerry picked up someones acoustic and started playing Dire Wolf before abruptly ending but sayin stay tuned for some acoustic live music on the horizon... Warfield, Sanger and Radio City. Pictures were published in College Papers, Annie Liebovitz Photographs (1983) and David Gans Playin in the Band. Jerry put us on his guest list for the next 5 shows.
This opportunity truely changed me and as the saying goes "the bus came by and I got on thats when it all began".
Would love to chat with others who were in the Photo or at the hotel that night.
Wow! What a night. I worked at the Holiday Inn Edwardsville [ which is no longer there]. I served Brent, Phil and Bob lunch. Jerry never came out of his room.Brent Mydland invited me to the concert. He left my name at the gate for a backstage pass. I went to the concert with a couple of cousins. I let them use my backstage pass the first part of the concert. A friend of mine was working the gate to backstage so that was no problem. When I went backstage during the break, everyone was having a great time in the waiting room.Things get a little sketchy after that.I sat on the side while the band played. Then the storm came. We sat in back and waited for awhile then we got in the limo to go back to the hotel. At the hotel I saw Rolling Stone Mag. taking pictures and I remember sitting across the table from Phil drinking his heine's. Later Brent called me a cab [the only one in E'ville at the time] and gave me his phone number in Cal. I never called it, but years later I worked for SBC and had it checked. It was his. Anyway some parts of that night are hard to remember. But I still have my backstage pass, Brents phone # and his wrist band that was laying on his piano on stage. What a fun night.
Best time I ever had at a Dead show, bar none!
Not to step on toes or anything, though, but the rain did not start until Set Two, not during LLR. Set list is wrong, too: CC Rider opened, then went into China Cat (CC Rider or Little Red Rooster into China Cat was a Second Set opener of choice during that end of summer run, perhaps elsewhere on the calendar, too, but don't hold me to that--and I could be wrong, but it might also have been Jack Straw following Alabama Getaway, as opposed to Promised Land), and the rain started at about the same time as the China>Rider jam, right at nightfall.
Magical stuff happened during that thunderstorm. When Bob sang "the sun's gonna shine in my back door some day," and the thunder struck right on cue . . . well, it just doesn't get any better than that. Jerry got a real charge out of singing "I'd shine my light through the cool Colorado rain," too, even though we were nowhere near Colorado, but that was beside the point. And Estimated Prophet--"I'll call down thunder and speak the same!" Amazing night.
I found a girl there at her first show who graduated from high school with me. "I knew you'd be here!" she said when our path crossed that night. She and I ended up square dancing during Sugar Magnolia,
Very fond memories of the entire evening. The double encore of Iko-Iko--a little bit of a rarity during that point in their tenure--then One More Saturday Night sent the message that the band seemed to feel it had been a pretty special night, too.
Not to be a huckster, but I have a cumulative total of three Grateful Dead concert posters to my name . . . this just happens to be one of them. Perhaps it would have more sentimental value to someone who attended this show--I did not. I did, however, see the Dead at Stanford University, Eugene (U of O), Portland (Memorial Coliseum twice, coincidentally the first time on 05/18/1980, the day Mt. St. Helens erupted, and they had a "condensed" show), and the Berkeley Greek Theatre three times. I had these posters hanging in my college dorm room for four years during the early 1980s, and have stored them in the back of a dark closet pretty much ever since. Kind of seems a shame. Perhaps someone will want to bring this one back into the light . . . .
I got to thinking about the date of the Portland (Memorial Coliseum) show, and did an internet search. It was not May 18, 1980 (the day of the first Mt. St. Helens eruption), the date which was in my head, but rather June 12, 1980. Mt. St. Helens had another powerful eruption--nothing, however, like the first--at 9:09pm during the show. It seemed that the Dead foreshortened their show probably fearing that they would encounter travel difficulties caused by the ash.
Anyway, it was more than a little ironic that they did a version of Fire on the Mountain earlier that evening . . . .
My senior year in hs. First show totally overwhelmed. And kicked out the same way. Ahhh my youth I want it back.
Researching the Archive from the school found these. Not sure if they are the from the show itself, yet is a good view of what the amphitheater looked like. Also said the Dead were last band to perform at the festival being 1980 ended the annual river festival.
The Mississippi River Festival was held at Southern Illiniois University Edwardsville. A rich multimedia archive of the festival is located here:
1980 was the last year of the festival.
Without doubt, shows at the MRF were the most fun because of their wonderful venue and management's generally "hands off" attitude towards the space explorers. Summer nights spent taking long trips...and you know the Dead were our favorite trip outfitters. We saw so many different artists there and enjoyed every one. Allman Brothers, Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, Beach Boys, Chicago, Doobie Brothers, Stanley Clarke, James Gang, the Eagles, Dave Mason, Boz Scaggs, Marshall Tucker, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Nitty Gritty. Tickets were cheap and the place became like a second home for us. I really miss it.