Today in Grateful Dead History: June 26, 1986 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN

dancing-bear Since we ended last week with a pretty foul sounding audience recording of a good show, I thought that we’d start this week with a foul sounding audience recording of a mediocre show.

Why is sound an issue at this show?  Because it was held in the Metrodome.  For those of you who don’t live in the U.S., or don’t follow North American sports, or both, please feel free to peruse the Metrodome’s entry on Wikipedia.  Especially the photos.  Now picture the Dead playing there as the opening band for Tom Petty and Bob Dylan in 1986.  Yup.  You got it.  If you want additional information, there are some great contemporary sources here.

Or you can just listen to this one-set show to get the idea.  Since this was a co-headlining tour, the Dead condensed their shtick so that Dylan and Petty had more time, but since this is 1986, the show isn’t all that much shorter than a normal 1986 Grateful Dead show.  Maybe Space is cut down a little, but that’s about that.

Good songs?  Not many.  Sugaree is ok until (according to a comment on the Archive that sounds true to me) Jerry hits his head on his own microphone and gets discombobulated.  Iko Iko is always fun in 1985 and 1986 and this one is fine, but it’s really short.  Terrapin Station, which follows Mexicali Blues (how’s that for a pair), is not a dome kind of a song.  Like, not at all.  Truckin’ could probably be a dome song, but no . . . And on and on we go.

I think you get the idea.  1986 Grateful Dead playing in a huge dome in Minneapolis two weeks before Jerry lapses into a coma and almost dies – not the recipe for transcendence.  If you want the full dome experience, you can listen here:

(All kidding aside, the recording here could sound a lot worse – all credit to Danny Taggart for doing what he could under the circumstances.  Listen to it loud and it won’t sound terrible.  But that reverb . . . )


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