Grateful Dead

RFK Stadium 1989 Box

Digital Download


The Grateful Dead battled the elements in July 1989, enduring drenching rains and stifling humidity during back-to-back shows at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in the nation’s capital. In spite of the bleak weather, the band thrilled the massive crowds both nights with triumphant performances that rank among the very best of a busy year that included 74 shows and the release of the group’s final studio album, BUILT TO LAST.

ROBERT F. KENNEDY STADIUM, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 12 & 13, 1989 includes two previously unreleased concerts taken from the band’s master 24-track analog recordings, which have been mixed by Jeffrey Norman at TRI Studios and mastered in HDCD by David Glasser. The collection’s colorful slip case features original artwork by Justin Helton and a perfect-bound book with in-depth liner notes written by Dean Budnick, editor-in-chief of Relix magazine. The set will also be available as a digital download in Apple Lossless and FLAC 192/24.

When Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Brent Mydland, and Bob Weir rolled into D.C. in July 1989 for the Dead’s two-night stand at RFK, the band hit the stage running with a stellar rendition of “Touch Of Grey,” the group’s biggest hit from its only Top 10 album In The Dark, which was released in 1987. The following night, the band returned to its double-platinum commercial breakthrough when it opened the show with a fiery version of “Hell In A Bucket.”

“RFK Stadium '89 fell right in the middle of one of the best tours of the last 15 years of Grateful Dead performances, with these shows being the sixth and seventh of an 11-show tour. This tour is widely considered the start of a nine month period of sustained excellence, which ran from Summer '89 through Spring '90. The RFK shows are as good as any of the more famous shows from this period, including July 4 in Buffalo, July 7 in Philadelphia, and the Alpine run,” says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “When Bob Weir has asked me to provide copies of Grateful Dead songs to give to his bandmates to learn and rehearse, he almost always requests Summer '89, and I've often drawn upon the RFK shows for this purpose. It's really that good!”

Both shows feature standout moments, but the July 12 show is notable for a few reasons. Perhaps the biggest is that the first set featured at least one song sung by each of the band’s four lead singers – Garcia, Weir, Lesh and Mydland – something that rarely happened. Another surprise came when the band opened the second set with “Sugaree,” a song that almost always appeared during the first set.

Pianist Bruce Hornsby — who briefly joined the band between 1990 and 1992 — is featured on both shows. He played accordion during “Sugaree” and “Man Smart (Woman Smarter),” with a touch of keyboard-tinkling, on July 12, and then played more accordion the following night for “Tennessee Jed” and “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.”

For fans of Mydland’s tenure with the Dead – which began in 1979 and ended in 1990 with the keyboardist’s tragic death – these stellar shows capture that incarnation in peak form. Among the long list of highlights are performances of live staples such as “Eyes Of The World,” “Wharf Rat” and “I Need A Miracle,” along with rarities like “To Lay Me Down,” which was played only a few times in 1989. The July 13 show also features the band road-testing “I Will Take You Home,” a track Mydland wrote with Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow that would appear later that fall on Built To Last.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/10/17
Limited Edition of 15,000
Individually Numbered
A Exclusive

Listening Party: THE BIG ONE

Far From Me
Black Peter
To Lay Me Down
Looks Like Rain
Wharf Rat

Listening Party #1

"Wharf Rat"

Listening Party #2

"Let It Grow"

Seaside Chat: RFK Stadium

Product Details

R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/12/89)

1. Touch Of Grey
2. New Minglewood Blues
3. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
5. Far From Me
6. Cassidy
7. Friend Of The Devil
8. Promised Land
9. Sugaree>
10. Man Smart, Woman Smarter
11. Ship Of Fools>
12. Estimated Prophet>
13. Eyes Of The World>
14. Drums>
15. Space>
16. I Need A Miracle>
17. Dear Mr. Fantasy>
18. Black Peter>
19. Turn On Your Lovelight>
20. Black Muddy River

R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/13/89)

1. Hell In A Bucket
2. Cold Rain And Snow
3. Little Red Rooster
4. Tennessee Jed
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. To Lay Me Down
7. Let It Grow
8. He's Gone
9. Looks Like Rain
10. Terrapin Station
11. Drums
12. Space
13. I Will Take You Home
14. The Other One
15. Wharf Rat
16. Throwing Stones
17. Good Lovin'
18. U.S. Blues


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MLavallee's picture
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Neil Young Archive...

Don't get too excited. It's Neil Young, the novelty will wear off and he'll abandon it. How're those PONO adopters feeling right about now? How about the Archives 1 Blu-Ray buyers with their exclusive updates? Amounted to 3 songs which are no longer available. He flirted with DVD-audio, how'd that work out? Blu-Ray audio, lasted just about as long. Neil first mentioned releasing the archives in the mid-70s! He started seriously working on them in the mid-80s and it took until 2009 for the first box to come out!

Joined: Apr 1 2008

That is very cool - kind of makes me wish that I was a bigger Neil Young fan.

GD does indeed already have this in the form of the Interent Archive which was formerly the collection. Made by fans for the fans, just the way it has always been!

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Online archive

Looks like Neil Young is about to put his entire archive online.

So if he can do it.......

Now that would solve the constant bickering about eras and releases. Everything for everyone any time a la carte.

Joined: Aug 6 2013
Jerry & Merl

9-1-1974 Keystone

Wondering Why...

get some

Frankie Lee's picture
Joined: Nov 15 2010
Makes me wonder?

Ok Folks...There are many naysayers out here posting. I will share once again what I heard David L. say on last Sunday's special on this box set on SiriusXM.

He said this set would be "extremely limited". He also said that it will for sure "Sell Out".

David L. tends to know what he is talking about. Just because there is no mention of "limited edition" or "numbered edition" in the advertising thus far...does not mean it may not end up that way.

I personally believe David when he shares insights...thats just me.

Look at the track record of all of the releases over the last 10 years. The Road Trips series for example was slow to sell for a long they sell for hundreds of dollars over original asking price and are very collectable.

It could be that not listing this set as a "limited numbered edition" is a way to keep the scalpers at bay from snatching them all up for resell on Ebay...perhaps a way to give those who are truly interested in owning the music a better opportunity. Just look at the irate posts from the last Daves Pick that sold out in hours.

"In the end it will all be okay...if its not okay now then it certainly is not the end"

Joined: Jul 9 2007

Plan to buy the flacs once they're available . I have enough stuff in my life but never enough Dead. Every era is a treasure.

Listen to the music play.

LedDed's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2017
Music For Fun and Profit

As this theme continues to reoccur, my two cents... and Rhino don't need the money. Yes, this is a "for profit" enterprise, but it has already proven itself over and over. The subscriptions continue to rise as do quick sellouts of so many releases.

The fan base, even after all this time, is expanding - at least here. It's like the vinyl resurgence and not altogether different. In an ever more bullshit, digitized throwaway world, people are rediscovering the inherent value in things like Grateful Dead music and vinyl records.

Some are over-thinking it. Sure, there may be bean counters somewhere monitoring this but the whole thing has been so splendidly done from the esteemed Mr. Latvala on through to Dave L., they are clearly motivated 100% by artistic reasons. Best sounding shows from any era.

Some say the Dead died with Pigpen. I think not, I think they changed and adapted like any organism needs to, to survive across eras and personnel changes.

The late 60s through 1978 are my favorite era, but I love Brent when he wasn't overbearing vocally and all through the 80s and 90s right up to the end. Old Jer spit out a pretty decent Black Muddy River there, eh?

These folks have to tend to the greater good, and it's mostly gonna be 70s releases. It really was their golden era. Golden, not as in dollars, but as in musically.

Joined: Jan 13 2010
a tip of the hat to Glen Campbell

travel back to 1975, turn on the radio, and you would hear Rhinestone Cowboy within 15 minutes.

FloridaBobalooToo's picture
Joined: Feb 17 2017
Goodbye Mr Campbell. And yet.............

Keith Richards is still going strong? Ain't no rhyme or reason to the big

Joined: Sep 10 2009
RIP Glen Campbell

An amazing guitar player!

Joined: Dec 17 2011

Glen Campbell

Mr. Pete's picture
Joined: Nov 3 2010
Just "enjoy" the RFK shows...

It my humble opinion one should just buy the box set and sit back and "enjoy" the music. I am VERY appreciative that I can buy the concerts and sit back and enjoy them since I was unable to attend either show. I doubt if one could find any better quality sound for these two shows.
Regarding the comments about the cost just go out and price one truck tire. That will put things in perspective. Or, look at your cable bill. Now that is something to complain about.

I do hope I live long enough to see a nice Greek Theater boxset come out. I was never able to go to any of those shows but from what people say/comment I am sure it would be wonderful to have them in a nice well recorded set.

Mr. Pete----------->
aging hippie

Joined: Apr 1 2008
5926 left

Looks like sales are creeping along. I predict it will take a year or so to sell the last couple of thousand like the July 78 box.

Joined: Feb 21 2011
@Mr. Pete

Wow brother, that made my day....

Long may you run....

Still missin' Jerry here....

Seth Hollander's picture
Joined: Aug 27 2009
My theory on the price

I ordered because I have been loudly and repeatedly calling for more 80s. These are not shows I really want and the price and slipcase are not what I want either. But I will put my money down to encourage an 80s-inclusive future release plan.

I think the price is the result of a perception that this release risks being unprofitable. After years of comments here declaring a dislike of 80s Dead among the GDM audience, I think TPTB have good reason to worry that this will be a low-selling, slow-selling release. Their business model seems to rely on quick sell-outs to keep the release ball rolling. The higher product pricing here should translate into a higher profit-per-sale, potentially offsetting any costs that would result from slow sales (inventory storage, etc).

That's my theory.

Minas: I found your last two posts in this thread (and the recent ones in the DP23 thread) pleasant and easy to agree with. If you haven't heard the entire 4/26/69 show, seek it out. It runs 2 1/2 discs and is superlative, even for '69. I no longer remember were I found a lossless downloadable copy, but it is out there and can be combined with the 4/27 DP26 material to make a 4 disc home-brewed "Deluxe Edition" that is VERY satisfying.

JeffSmith's picture
Joined: Jun 9 2014
Mr. Pete

I like you attitude! And once you've popped the disc in your CD player, I guess the only really difficult decision is which of your extremely cool, Turkish, hand-carved, Dave's-inspired meerschaums goes best with the show. . . Onward aging hippies everywhere!

Mr. Pete's picture
Joined: Nov 3 2010
As I get older...not that picky anymore.

At my age, 70, I am not that picky about what decade show I listen too. I just pick a show...pop it on my cd player...get a cold St. Pauli's...fill my pipe up with a good "Latakia" blend it up...and sit back and enjoy the show. It all sounds great to me and I hope to live long enough to listen to all my shows at least once more!

Mr. Pete-------->
aging hippie

Joined: Jul 25 2014
getting too expensive

What's with the price of $65 for six discs? That's almost $11 per disc? Is this about the music or the profit? As an observation prices seem to be creeping up and up - and as I read the product "colorful slip case", it will be a cardboard/paper box, but colorful.

LetsGoCaps's picture
Joined: Feb 5 2008

Wow. Word for word I could not have said this better. Me and you sure think alike!

MinasMorgul's picture
Joined: Feb 4 2015

Very insightful post about the eras. I didn't see it last night somehow when I was on here. You mentioned 1972 as best of both worlds - I feel the same, although it's not my favorite year for Pigpen songs. Next Time You See Me, Mr. Charlie, Chinatown Shuffle, Good Lovin' all decent but overplayed on E72 I felt. I would like to have heard Smokestack Lightning, School Girl, and more of those '72 Lovelights. Maybe a few Alligators, maybe Empty Pages.

Some talk about the audio quality. I get that the shows need to sound good to be released. I'm too picky, but some of those shows from 30 Trips were "emergency only", meaning, it's okay since the theme of the box is a concert per calendar year, but definitely too poor to represent a two show box set like RFK. Or imagine if we got two in a row from Dave's Picks that sounded so poor. There would be a lot of complaints I believe. Even DaP 22 from the Felt received a lot of negative feedback about the audio quality, and that was one I thought was way better than those few 30 Trips shows that I think everyone agreed were poor sounding. Just my 2 cents on why Dave puts so much emphasis on audio quality. What they could do, however, is make them available for download at a reduced price.

Holy cow, this is a righteous Truckin' / The Other One on DaP 11.

Doc, no '71 link? I actually listen to those.

seabird17's picture
Joined: Apr 27 2014
Art Work

Remember the traffic Jams
Mini 2 box
that's all folks

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
Speaking of the '80's.... appears Innerspace is on Netflix. Guilty pleasure ensuing....things seemed so much easier back then. Am I wrong?....

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
Not being an audiophile....

....i hear ya muhlberg. Some people here must have canine hearing. Is that a blessing or a curse?....As long as the sound isn't too muddy, I'm all in....

Joined: Jul 5 2009
Video too?

One of my favorite releases was Crimson, White & Indigo, also from July 89'. Both CD & DVD full performance, even took the cheesy effects off of the video for full viewing pleasure.

Why not release with a DVD? Even if you don't have both shows complete, you atleast have the one that was just featured for Jerry Day. Good shows from a great tour, as DL says there's more "famous" shows.

I'd pay lots for proshot release from Fall Tour 89' if exists. Miami, Philly, Meadowlands....

One wonders what they've actually got in the vault video wise from 89', an obviously heavily documented year, as they continue to release videos for the GD movie meetups.

Yeah, good shows. I probably wont buy this time considering that i've got the boards already, and not being an audiophile like some ya'll fine folks, the nuances are lost on me.

But yea, release with video, Please!!

MinasMorgul's picture
Joined: Feb 4 2015
DP 26

That's a great one Gary Farseer. I may put it on next. Odd that they opened and closed with Lovelight. I would understand better if it was a big long "sandwich", but there is a break in there. Anyone have insight into that one.

I put on DP 19's Dark Star. Yoww! First off, I'm doing headphones. Second off, there's an effect I have on my player that puts reverb on the music. Not so great for vocal parts (sounds like the heavy reverb on the May '77 vocals, but much more). But it's great for intrumentals like Dark Star. There is a huge Mind Left Body jam in the middle of Dark Star. Face melter. And Morning Dew & Eyes of the World are still coming.

And then it is DP 26 for me. The Eleven is on my radar now.

Joined: Sep 21 2011
Everyone has their own opinions

And I 100% agree that we should not get all pissy about someone elses favorite era. It's all Dead & it is all good.

For me, I just think Dave gets too hung up on sound quality. I've always been a performance guy who preferred a good audience tape to a stale soundboard anytime (though the Betty's are the exception to that rule).

For me, It hink 89-90 was a peak. Not necessarily THE peak ('72, '77, '69, '73), but a Brent era peak for me. I do not like the midi as much.

'69 is peak trippy experimental Dead with TC on keys providing a layer of depth beyond what Pig alone could do, and we get the beginnings of the Hunter/Garcia tunes.

'72 is best of both worlds. Keith's piano, Pigs vocals & harp &( some of the best playing ever. The Workingman's/Beauty/Garcia/Ace stuff is incorporated. Legendary. Billy manning the skins alone gave it some swing & subtlety.

'77 forced them to practice more to reintegrate Mickey after '76 was kind of loose, and it showed. As tight as it ever got. Blistering often. The Terrapin/Shakedown/Blues for Allah stuff gets integrated fully. Help/Slip. Terrapin. Scarlet/Fire. Samson. Estimated. Shakedown. 'Nuff said.

'73: height of the post Pig no Mickey era.

After that, I put '89-'90 right up there in terms of a peak of an era (Brent). However, I can still see liking '70 (acoustic shows + Beauty/Workimgman's stuff debuts), '71 (Pigs last mostly full year with super peaks despite the lineup changes), '74 (Wall of Sound) or even '76/'78 (a little looser but also some great stuff if a little more inconsistent).

Early Brenth ('79-'82) is fine. I listened to DiP#13 the other day & it is smokin'. Would love a full release of an '80 acoustic show, or the Anchorage. I like '85 for the 20th anniversary & the energy of '87 after the comeback.

'67-'68 is great for a single show, but there isn't much variation night to night. '88 was a litte inconsistent. '91 was interesting with a lot of the Bruce influence and swing returning.

Everyhing else is a steop down for me. '66 is cool for the start. '75 had only 4 shows. Nice little recovery in '93 for a while. '83, '84,'86, '92, '94, '95 have moments, but little sustained brilliance. A show here and there in '83 & '84. Just moments at the end. Still, the first Unbroken Chain in '95 still gives me goosebumps 20+ years later just thinking about it.

Joined: Jul 9 2007
@Scott-O totally agree

Couldn't agree more. I'd love to see an 83 box, or a box with a run anywhere 83-86. On the other hand I'm going to buy the flacs for these 89 shows. That was a special year. Always loved 04/19/86. One strange show where they tried something different. But as you said, the tape quality just isn't available. Still, if they could fix up what they have I'd be all over that. As far as Dave's goes and the recent boxes, I couldn't be happier with them. The sound quality is just jaw dropping. Betty is one amazing "taper". Before I had any tape resources back in the mid-70s I used to buy bootleg Dead LPs in the back room of a barber shop in Amherst, MA. I could never have imagined having what's available today.

philledawg's picture
Joined: Dec 12 2009

10k at a time! These are NOT numbered.....straight from the order page for RFK '89. BTW: ...really enjoyed Dylan, Petty, Dead @RFK!

Joined: Jan 13 2010
what does Bobby's Yellow Dog say?


Yes, a Ark box would be sweet.

Gary Farseer's picture
Joined: Aug 1 2015
Like A Virgin

Got my first listen to DiP26 Labor Temple/Electic Theater. Man that is a beast mode Pick. Loved, can't wait to revisit soon.

I also revisited D&C in Atlanta. Watched the entire show, it was very tasty. Forgot about the Days Between that Bobby ripped on. Great Job guys. It hit me like a ton of bricks that just stumbled across that during this years days between. Really made me feel the Karma.

As soon as finished it, You Tube served up live Phish, #13 of the dozen. Not going to add my two cents worth on the multiple discussions on Phish. I like them, but to get served up a live freebie (well say 50 minutes) was a great way to close out the weekend before the big crash. Phish can still find those weird jams at will, good job to those guys. Keep up the good work.

Also over the weekend got my 2nd listen to DaP23, close encounters. Loved it even more. GSTL has been played a couple times through as well.

All in all, a great jamming weekend. Thanks to all involved, including the folks in Colorado that make it all extra special.


Joined: Jun 7 2007
Follow The Sound

While I'm personally disappointed in this box, DL has said more than once they will follow the sound and only release the best quality sounding shows. I would gobble up any box from 1983 but the cassette recordings aren't worth it in comparison. Fortunately the found trove of Betty shows still has much left to mine.

Joined: Sep 9 2015
More box sets please!

This release got me thinking on how much good music there still is in the vault that needs to be given the royal treatment and released. Especially with the return of the Betty's! More boxes please, from the 60's to the 90's you can count me in on all of it. What should be next?......?.......?

ARK BOX!!!!!

So many of us missed out on the FW box, please, please please bring us an ARK box!

I don't think these shows are limited, will probably run like the Warlocks box... available until it isn't.

Joined: Jan 28 2017
6021 left?

6021 left

boblopes's picture
Joined: Jan 13 2009
Good times abound

These shows are like hitting the multi-bonus - shows with both Wolf and Tiger recorded on multi-track, throw in Hornsby with Brett, good times abound.

I didn't see any shows this year - got a really cool tie dye (Love to Cook) from a girl I was dating from the Foxboro show - I was away visiting my brother in Paris that week.

Been a great year of releases - hard to imagine next year topping this year, but if that's true time to do the happy dance.

MLavallee's picture
Joined: Jan 14 2009

Was a pretty good year for me too.

Started off with three fun shows at The Forum in my hometown of Inglewood in February, nice To Lay Me Down and jammy Playin' on the first night, Eyes out of Space on the second then the just weird third night with Spencer Davis (I had no clue who he was, hey I was 16!) and then Dylan, Monkey And The Engineer? Sure, why not! Not the tightest show, but an awful lot of fun.

Then the band swung around again at the end of April to Irvine Meadows, three very solid shows, the band was just on fire this year, whole run is really well played, last shows at Irvine. Riots in the parking lot so it's understandable...

And to cap off the year, they returned to The Forum in December, opening night was real good, another solid show, Blow Away turned out to be a real nice addition to the repertoire. I for one was a fan of the MIDI but I seem to be in the minority. I like silly sounds, sue me! This show ended on a bad note with a police officer breaking my jaw with his baton (no arrest, ticket, nothing...), didn't deter me from going back the next two nights! Touch Of Grey was the perfect opener for the 9th, another solid show and then the 10th, best show of the 9 I caught by far, with the return of Spencer Davis (even better than in February) and Hornsby joining the band as well. This was a really solid run of shows that would make a nice mini box.

Didn't realize how good we had it back then, 3 great runs of shows right in my backyard in one year. Great times.

NCDead's picture
Joined: Apr 16 2015
Limited Edition

Units available is also going down, so it seems to be limited as well.

direwulf's picture
Joined: Oct 15 2007
Product details say...

A exclusive, so should not be sold on Amazon.

Joined: Jun 5 2007

I agree. They also left the "Limited Edition" out. I guess that means that it will be sold on Amazon. This set is on 6 cd's. Are there 3 CD's per show? Doesn't sound right.

NCDead's picture
Joined: Apr 16 2015
Limited edition question

For what it is worth it seems that all that is available currently is 6079.

Thin's picture
Joined: Jun 21 2013
Not limited, and likely available digitally...

I'm not on the inside, but this is obviously not "limited" and they will produce plenty, so no rush.

And frankly $70 for just 35 songs in a non-Limited release seems like a lot (no mention of any special physical product). Those who don't have $70 to drop on something like this, note that it will likely be available for download for cheaper (they tend not to announce download version until the actual release). General release CD's like this tend to resale on eBay and Amazon at very reasonable prices anyway.

But do get it one way or another - these are great shows from a great year that has been waaaay under-released.

Joined: Sep 1 2014

Sorry for dissing a year that you hold in high regard. It must have been great seeing the band at that time-I wish I had. You give a good impression of what it must have been like.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
Its all good-LedDed

Wise words indeed. The last two shows I have listened to have been from the latter half of the year. Baltimore 17/9/72-Dicks Picks 23- is a fantastic show from the get go. But after only 5 songs in, it gets really good, with a wonderful, almost 11 minute long Bird Song. From then on the show real lifts off.
The other one I listened to, for the millionth time, was the more well known Veneta Oregon show from 27/8/72. I am normally sceptical about shows that everyone rails about-but this one, to me, really is as good as its reputation. Bird Song(again) Playing in he Band, Dark Star-if I only had one Dead show, I think this would be the one I would want. Even the small songs shine-great version of Mexicali Blues!

Interesting comment about being over the hill, too. I am 60 now, and have been lucky enough to have been retired for 3 years. When I think back to what I was like when I was 30, 40-even 50-I feel like a different person now. A lot of the baggage I had when I was working has been dropped-I no longer need a car, I don't have a "professional" identity-no ghastly meetings to attend all over the country. I have met a completely different set of people, have been able to develop spiritual interests more-different forms of meditation/contemplation. Life feels more open than it did when I was working. In terms of my career, I was probably over the hill in my latter years-but in terms of my life-unless I am completely deluding myself-I feel as though I am just starting out.
I think we only risk being over the hill if we persist in doing things as an older person that we enjoyed as a younger one. Obviously, in many cases, we have no choice-but at its best, old(er) age is a time for transformation-not decay.
I wonder what would have happened with Jerry, had he retired early.

Joined: Jun 4 2007

I caught both Ann Arbor shows in the Spring (4/5-6/89) and they were smoking hot. Highly recommended listening! First night had a longer-than-usual first set with many highlights while the second set was what you might say was a rager (or I would say rocker). The second show was more jammy with as good of a Birdsong as you'll ever hear in the first set. The second set Scarlet > Fire also stands up with the best of them. One of my favorite moments was the Playin' into probably the best Built To Last they ever performed. The way they rolled into it has to be heard. These two shows are every bit as good as the best from the Fall '89 tour, except without the MIDI. From Playin' on was a continuous jam that kept finding it's way back a few times before finally hitting the Reprise to close set 2.

The recordings more than live up to the memories in this instance at Ann Arbor.

The only other show I caught that year was the middle night (7/18/89) at Alpine Valley. Every note and beat that show was pure spot-on perfection, as was the whole run.

I also had front row center tickets for a Jerry Garcia Band show that ended up never happening at Pine Knob. It was sadly cancelled. JGB did play Poplar Creek and Alpine Valley nearby, but was unable to attend. Reports from friends who went were in attendance of those shows unanimously agreed that Jerry was at his all time career peak at those JGB shows that '89 fall.

The Fall '89 Shoreline run (9/29-10/1/89) is highly overlooked and under-rated. I imagine there must be some pro-shot video of these.

oh yeah, Deer Creek '89 was another good one.

If '89 RFK is limited, I wonder how many they are making? 8900?

Joined: Jun 4 2007
89, RFK, etc

Stars didn't align too much for me 'n the good ol' GD in '89. After Greensboro in Spring, spent all afternoon first night Pittsburgh trying to find the friends who had my ticket ~ and never did. (No cell phones.) Long drive back to B'more. 2nd night RFK I was taking my final college final. And that Fall I got pneumonia just in time for the Warlocks tip. Had a ticket for 2nd night Philly, though (and the newly revived Help/Slip and Death Don't), but stayed home just to be safe...and the next morning my doctor gave me a clean bill of health.

But did catch 1st night RFK, they reopened the box office and sold special orange tickets with a black skeleton. Honestly I thought it was an average show, but have some fun memories: a great summer Half-Step, a song that always sounded best outside; my 1st FOTD in three years, only my 2nd and never again (even if Brent had the wrong MIDI sound queued up for the start of his solo!, which he quickly rectified); my only Far From Me; Bruce and Brent sharing the piano (a prophetic moment, but who knew?); and the Dire Wolf guitar out of space! Wasn't as loud as the Irwin, though. Fun show, but certainly didn't wow me like the Downhill From Here video.

Maybe that latter '89 magic solidified at Alpine, or a little earlier. But to my perception, it was the Garcia Band shows in September that really set the stage.

Whatever didn't happen for me in '89, I saw the two-night Garcia stand at Merriweather, and I think I have to say it was the hottest and tightest I ever saw Jerry. Weir/Wasserman opened and watched from the side of the stage.

Here's what I've always imagine happened after this experience:

Bob: "Damn, Jerry.... Why can't we tighten up OUR band like this again?"
Jerry: "Let's do it."

A month later they break out two of their tightest songs ever, Help/Slipknot and Attics, along with Dark Star, of course, and go on a great run through the next Spring.

epilogue: 2015, Santa Clara, 2nd night ~ Bob sings Death Don't, long lost to me from Fall 1989 (and he the sole remaining singer from that year's arrangement)

LedDed's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2017
It's All Good

The Dead were always good even when sub-par. I've been listening to a lot of Europe '72 shows lately. A high-water mark, indeed. The highest? I don't know. I can't decide myself.

It is awesome hearing Pig's organ and he in full voice. The drums being different, man Billy really did kill it on his own and that shit was tight. Jerry cemented his legacy right there as one of the greatest rock lead guitarists of all time on just that one tour. We are so lucky to have all those shows, recorded so well.

I appreciate that Dave Lemieux has access to things I'll never have, and I respect his well-informed opinion and judgment. If he's pulling a show from 1989, I'll bet my ass it's a GREAT show from 1989 and am happy and excited to hear and have it.

Is 1989 my fave era? No. But I still love the Rolling Stones and catch them every time they come through town, every few years. Exile/Stinky Fingers Stones was the pinnacle, I think, but I enjoy and appreciate them to this day.

We all get old. Most of you are over the hill. Bet you still get after it, though. God Bless.


thursday's child's picture
Joined: Mar 29 2012
if it sells out....

......ouch, i guess. let the 80's crowd buy it and be happy. I don't need midi, overweight, addicted Jerry. Those that have wished for it should buy it. I won't. We all have different periods we like. All good. No one should get pissy over someone else's favorite era or years. Many heads don't want more 73 or 74. All good.. Lets talk about music. Love you all. Let's be civil and cool. We all saw them at different times and have different views on what was the golden age. Our age often determines this (as do our ears). I'm older (relatively speaking) and know what I like, but let's not begrudge each other our certain eras of preference. The only thing that upsets me on these boards is when people bitch about $ or politics. Peace.

wave-that-flag's picture
Joined: Oct 7 2015

Why post and imply these show were representative of a "band in decline?" Harsh! I'll go with Dave's assessment above:

“RFK Stadium '89 fell right in the middle of one of the best tours of the last 15 years of Grateful Dead performances, with these shows being the sixth and seventh of an 11-show tour. This tour is widely considered the start of a nine month period of sustained excellence, which ran from Summer '89 through Spring '90. The RFK shows are as good as any of the more famous shows from this period, including July 4 in Buffalo, July 7 in Philadelphia, and the Alpine run,” says David Lemieux,"

I was there (and at shows earlier in the 80's.) I'm with Dave! Things were fine the Summer of '89! Band on fire and in a state of resurgence!

If this release isn't for you, maybe quietly beat it on down the line and take it elsewhere. It's a big Internet.

Just sayin' These shows are damn near sacred to many of us......

Frankie Lee's picture
Joined: Nov 15 2010
Hey Now Phriends

Those of you attempting to confirm the truth of my post...

I have searched high and low on the interwebs for written info on this release. Today David L. said aloud on his SiriusXM special about this box set that it would be "very limited" and will for sure "sell out".

I am not attempting to panic anyone but rather help those that may be undecided. Do not wait!
You can not lose on these releases...someone will always be willing to pay you what you payed if it ends up not being your "taste".

75th Birthday rebroadcast from Red Rocks tonight on SiriusXM! Pay attention!

Anatexis22's picture
Joined: Aug 9 2012
PatagonianFox is a real jerk (not really)

I don't think so. I've always liked his posts even though they might go against the status quo. Nothing he has said has bothered me in the least. I may not agree with everything that people post, but I just don't worry too much about opinions that differ than mine. I like the Fox and value his comments.

As far as his question, I don't think there has been any evidence that this is a limited edition offering.

Joined: Sep 1 2014
I agree with him-not him-HIM

Wouldn't it be nice be everybody agreed with each other. Especially if the views that were being agreed upon were mine.

Added to Cart RFK Stadium 1989 Box

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