You are here

Dead of the Day: March 28, 1985

Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, New York
Click stars to rate

A Truckin’ opens the show, sets the mood, and then bursts forth into a voracious, down and dirty, totally bluesy Smokestack with Matt Kelly on harp giving it that added touch. An exquisite High Time, with Jerry bellowing with his raspy voice and some nice jamming, builds on the first two tunes. Jerry also provides some great picking on Peggy-O; even his bronchitis-like voice cannot take away from this beautiful song. Then the China> Rider set closer is unbelievable; the former is an upbeat dance machine and the Rider has a deep rocking, heavy rolling, and totally tumbling sort of sound that is fantastic. The second set opens with a Scarlet> Fire and then heads to a solid, but not otherworldly, LL Rain. The jam out of LL Rain is quite cool, though, as the band noodles around and finds a little groove before leaving the stage to the drummers. The backside of Space has some great stuff, but is totally dominated by the nearly twelve minutes of absolutely rocking Sugar Mags. Brent kills it on the keys and the whole band comes together for some ferocious jamming that builds to a supersonic pace that surely had the whole place totally boogieing. 

The Dead played thirty-five shows at Nassau Coliseum, and that great pit out on Long Island provoked the band to some stellar efforts during many of them. The coliseum opened in 1972 with an initial capacity of between 13,000 and 15,000 depending on the event. The Dead played their first show there the following year, beginning with a three-night run opening on the Ides of March. They would come back for two more dates in September of 1973 and then not return to the venue until 1979. From then on, their appearances were fairly regular, except for a five-year hiatus after the three-night run that this show is from. Their last show at Nassau would come on Monday, March 29, 1994, closing out with a Brokedown Palace encore, which I find perfectly appropriate. 

The recordings that we have cued up here are a pair of matrixes from Hunter Seamons. The second, complete show recording is the first matrix of the night that Hunter put together back in 2008. After completing that matrix and sending it out into the world, Hunter then came across a cleaner digital source for the first set soundboard than he had used previously. So, Hunter sat down to improve on his earlier effort, turning out the first set only, all-digital matrix goodness that we have on top to the left. Thanks to Hunter and all the other tapers, sound engineers, roadies, and enthusiasts that have, over the years, helped preserve and share the Dead’s amazing music.


Search for shows