Grateful Dead

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds - September 24, 1983

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

September 24, 1983

Watsonville, CA US

Average: 4.8 (8 votes)


"Funiculi Funicula" tuning into "Saturday Night" - final "Deep Elem"

Set List:

Alabama Getaway
Promised Land
They Love Each Other
Me and My Uncle
Mexicali Blues
Bird Song
Hell in a Bucket
Deep Elem Blues
Looks Like Rain
Day Job

China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Man Smart/Woman Smarter
Ship of Fools
Uncle John's Band
Throwin' Stones
Not Fade Away
Brokedown Palace

Funiculi Funicula
One More Saturday Night

See an error in show info or set list? Let us know!


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Duggles's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Just loved those mid-afternoon California shows.

This was a hometown show for me at the time cause we were staying at a house in Ben Lomond.

Stephen J's picture
Joined: Jun 9 2007
Santa Cruz Party

Drove up with beautiful Stacy from CSUF. Was an excellent weekend :) Great show. I took some 35mm slides, they came out great. Very colorful. I remember the fairgrounds were right next to a cemetery. Hi Stacy; if you read this, I'd love to hear from you.

Joined: Nov 18 2007
sunset@Show end

I remember the whole band wearing sunglasses in the second set,because the sun was setting directly behind the audience.

threesaints2003's picture
Joined: Jun 23 2007
Wild shrooms, not Bill managed, sneakin' backstage...

...were among the many memories of this show. Remember only 1 or 2 ticket sales locations, long lines wih many upset heads, many of whom who crashed a few fences/barriers, and little staff knowledgable to deals with the throng.

Dosed as we drove in the lot, remember warm, sunny day with peakin' comin' fast... yet no way in. Heck when we finally got in the place(2nd to last song of the 1st set), the place was barely 1/2 full, stands to the rear and right were full, GA "floor" was wide open, a true rarity at any dead show.

Even remember having to pass long concession lines and latrines before the break into the concert area. Lots of dancing, sunglasses, and wind. Remember sneakin' "backstage via a natural building corner break with a fence heavily entwined with vines... watching within 6 feet Linda Ellerbee of all CBS fame interview Mickey, then Jerry after the show(taped it yet one of my first...miserable quality), then joined in on the bar-be-que and coped a few autographs from Brent, Phil, and Bill.

The final score was collecting two(2) of the bright yellow "STAFF" shirts that had a wonderful skeleton at the beach motif with beach umbrella, play pail/toys, and inflatibles to complete the scene up against a fenced dune background. Jus wish I was smaller to fit into it today - Still have it !!

Ahhhhh, let the good times roll....


"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

Joined: Dec 31 2008
almost skunked....

...then bam, some cat in a BMW drives up and offers me a ticket. Doubt that 5 bucks was put to good use by him, but my good times cranked up a notch or two as I walked in on TLEO. Small outdoor venue was a plus. I recall wandering around after the 2nd set for a while without being rushed out. Then the band came out for that Funiculi-Saturday Night oncore - a treat for the aimless!

Joined: Jan 31 2009
Current events on another plane

Santa Cruz has an annual car show called Beach Street and in '83 it was the same night as the Dead show. However, the car show was by the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz (City of) and the Dead show was at the County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, roughly twenty miles away. There was drunken rowdiness at the car show and the newspaper, car show promoter and police all blamed the concert for the drunken rowdiness at the car show. Even though the rowdiness was taking place twenty miles away WHILE the band was playing. That is power and influence like you can't believe! Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/25/83 if you think I'm lying.

Joined: Jan 31 2009
something I'm less sure of

I believe the boys wanted to do a free concert on the UC Santa Cruz campus and they were prevented. I've heard that that is why they didn't play that town too often.

Once when JGB played SCruz Civic some of us used fake tickets to get in. Later I watched BillG. examining each stub and bawling out the ticket taker when he discovered our crime. I almost felt bad for the worker. I was always amazed to see the lengths that BillG. would go to to thwart ANY scam, regardless.

Joined: Oct 14 2008
walking to watsonville

art says
As we were driving to the show,we saw many people pulling over and parking,so we did the same.It turns out we were about five miles away (or so it seemed).We marched ahead,for a long time,passed a graveyard (!) on the way,and arrived two or three songs into the show.When Bobby sang It Looks Like Rain,his voice seemed break with emotion (or maybe it was phleghm) at just the right moments,adding so much feeling to the song.Between that and Jerry's inspired playing,I was very moved.I looked over at my friend,and she had tears just rolling down her face! Her man gently consoled her,and I felt a little closer to humanity for a while.A truly spiritual moment that I'll never forget.
I had noticed the presence of the Santa Cruz County Fire Department and their big shiny red trucks.The men stood still and stoic as they helped to "protect" us from all manner of harm.I was amused by their rather stiff countenence.During the best "China Cat/ Rider" I had ever heard opened the second set, I looked over at the firemen,and to my joyfull amazement,some of them had rolled up their sleeves and were dancing with abandon to the Deads awsome jam.
I spent the long walk back to the car in silence,in awe of the experience I had at this show.

Joined: Jun 13 2007
"You must be from San Bernadino, man"

Good place for a show...good show from what I remember. In the parking lot after the show two giant monster trucks met for some kind of hellish, macho death match. I'm talkin' those giant trucks with tires the size of a VW. They locked front bumpers and floored it...trying to push the other one back. Tires were screeching in the dirt and dust was flying everywhere. It was actually pretty dangerous in a crowded lot if one lost control cause--like I said--they had it floored. Some mellow hippie came by and remarked, "They must be from San Bernadino or something." I thought that was funny. Not sure why.

lamagonzo (not verified)
mellow, mellow 2nd set

There was some definite moments in the first set -- Deep Elem comes to mind and they finished the first set strong but Jerry lost it after Ship in the 2nd. It took a long time and a lot of effort by the boys to pull him into UJB, whach was nothing but space your face noodling. I was not sure if Jerry is gonna nod or they're gonna finish an early encore Brokedown but Bobby musta let Jerry get a look at his face in the mirror because he got his ass back onstage for Saturday Night!


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Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds - September 24, 1983