Oakland Coliseum Arena - December 30, 1985
December 30, 1985
first "Mighty Quinn" - sound check: "Mighty Quinn" (x3), "Watchtower" (x2))*
Set List:Greatest Story Ever Told
West L.A. Fadeaway
Little Red Rooster
My Brother Esau
Looks Like Rain
Don't Ease Me In
Quinn the Eskimo
Samson and Delilah
I Need a Miracle
The Other One
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Attendees of this show
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The opening act was Babatunde Olatunji, who was accompanied by about 20 drummers, including two who played drums so large they had to get up on ladders to play them. They had Nigerian dancers dressed in loose cotton clothes come out in front of the drummers to dance to the rhythms.
Also, there was an AMAZING display on the backdrop of some incredibly freaky cartoons featuring some sort of Felix the Cat type of character, among other things. This was a fantastic Bill Graham produced show.
My friends and I always call this The Quinn Show. I was definately On The Edge, when the band opens the 2nd set with the first Quinn The Eskimo. When the song started I had no idea what they were playing, and I remember concentrating so hard trying to figure it out. When they came to the chorus I recognized the song right away. I was stunned. I thought "Why are they playing this song? I can't believe it!" It didn't take long to get the gist of it, and with Jerry rocking from side to side like a big ol' teddy bear, I just had to laugh and sing along. We were right down in front and in the center, and that He's Gone-Miracle-Crazy Fingers took us deep into the groove, with the images from Candice's Big Screen, we were right where we wanted to be...
I'd taped the Dylan bootleg Troubled Troubadour (Basement Tapes) specifically for this road trip the day before. The place was trippin', the frantic cartoons and slide visuals were rippin', and I was understandably slackjawed to hear them breakout Quinn The Eskimo. The guy next door (we nicknamed Chopper) at the hotel on the end of the parking lot, said they we're "just getting dialed in". Alas, the show and visuals that night were at least ten times higher octane than New Year's Eve the next night. The rumour circulated that the TV camera had "jumped the track" this night, but if Dead productions has this in the visual vault somewhere CRACK IT OUT!
well, if you haven't already guessed it by now .... This was my runaway "ALL-TIME" favorite show, for what I felt was a perfect ending to a just wonderful, incredible, high-powered, and ROCKIN' 20th Anniversary Grateful Dead Year....!!!
The opening of the second set was pure "Sixth Man", a term Mickey has used in referring to those rare moments when the Boys were perfectly joined in music together !!
It completely caught everyone off-guard, trippin' or otherwise, with music so heavenly even the sirens above were dumbfounded and silenced... and HOW we all broke out into song(like a NYC MSG-jerryfest) once we all stopped laughing, shaking our heads, clapping, crying, and hugging everyone within reach, upon realizing ....
QUINN HAD ARRIVED !!!
It was the chorus that brought us all to LIGHT... I still sing this song in my heart today hoping Jerry comes back, in some recognizable reincarnated form, or in the very least, this is what we'll hear when we join him !!
This was the single, most definitive moment ever in a SHOW OF SHOWS for me !!! Heck yea, I was trippin' but it took me(and everyone else) up, over, and beyond !!!
As SweetWilliamO above so aptly posts, the second set was a "recharge", a brief look into a mystical purity, and that THIS WAS THE ONLY PLACE on earth that you wanted to be !!
And acapello, you just can't beat that....
A most soulful August West... into a rippin', Weir-prancing/hard-charging (heck, did we have a few stage crashers)....only thing Bobby didn't do that night was climb the speakers !!! or did he ???
The first set lineup was so unique that no one could have called/predicted it....Smooth Greatest, fast West LA, tight Lil Red, rippin' Bro Esau, a jammin' (!?) Tennessee Jed, powerful/screamin' LLR, into a soothing Don't Ease... we couldn't have handled The Deal there, as we would have had nothing left for the second set.
In all the commotion, carrying-on, and confusion... I told Dirty Harry I felt lucky that night.... and that's right, kids... he just blew my head clean off.
Still trippin' after all these years....
-"one way or another".... and "you need to be kissed often, and by a man who knows how"- Rhett to Scarlet - Gone with the Wind
The Big Dog Dad - Schultzie
i too was like holy shit ...i knew it was quinn in the first few seconds and holy shit ... was absolutely beautiful....yes indeed and the show overall yes it was a very special night and grateful to have been there...
When we got there we drove into the parking lot at Oakland Coliseum and were all excited and like..."yeah we just drove for 56 hours!" And this guy in a station wagon just looks at us and says..." I'm from Jersey!"
I can't believe this was 23 years ago. What a long strange trip it's been.
This was definitely the better of the 2 shows. The Band was tight and having fun... Sugar magnolia was certainly a surprise since it had been the traditional New Year's song.
Funny how things come back to ya after years and years. The comment above is correct I now remember thinking Sugar Mag that for tomorrow night. We all loved the Quin.
Jumped to this first Quin the aud version of this show.I love it you can hear us in the background yelling abit. West coast shows were so much more laidback and mellow even if it was a break out. Just the perfect crowd nothing to crazy. I like it like that.....
This was my first show in a little over 8 years. Believe it or not, my last show had been the 5/8/77 Cornell show and I hadn't seen them since. I remember the big surprise Quinn was opening the 2nd Set. At first I thought it would be Casey Jones, as the opening notes are quite similar. Then Jerry started singing and as they hit the first chorus, the place just exploded.
One correction here though - the opener for the 1st Set was Gimme Some Lovin'. Everything else on your list is correct, they just opened with GSL, Greatest Story was the second song. I've got a tape of the night with it too. I remember being thrilled about it because I'd been hearing it on the KFOG Dead Hour that year and recognized it right away as they launched into it. It was a wonderful TIGHT show - though I was shocked at the weight Jerry had put on since I'd last seen him.