Over the course of their storied career, the Grateful Dead played 52 shows at New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden, the fourth-most at the venue of any act in history (behind Billy Joel, Elton John and, now, Phish). In recognition of their impressive track record at the venue, the Dead were inducted into the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame in 2015.
As drummer Bill Kreutzmann said at their induction ceremony, “Out of about 2,300 shows that the Grateful Dead played, the 52 we played here (at Madison Square Garden from 1979 to 1994) were nothing short of amazing,”
“This place was different,” added Bob Weir. “There were a few places we used to look forward to playing. This place was horrifying, but at the same time titilating.”
September 20th is a big date in the history of the Dead at MSG, as the band played a total of five shows at MSG on this date, in ’82, ’87, ’88, ’90, ’93. We’ve pulled together all five of the Grateful Dead’s September 20th MSG shows below for you to watch and listen to. Enjoy!
Grateful Dead – 9/20/93
[Audio: Jonathan Aizen]
Watch video of the full performance here,
Grateful Dead – 9/20/90 — Set one
[Video: Old Man River]
Grateful Dead – 9/20/88
Grateful Dead – 9/20/87
[Video: Kevin Tobin]
Grateful Dead – 9/20/82
[Audio: Matthew Vernon]
Though the Grateful Dead ended in earnest with the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, the music of the Dead can still be heard at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” to this day. Dead & Company, the latest latter-day incarnation of the Dead (featuring original members Weir, Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart as well as John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti), played their first-ever multi-night run as a band at MSG for Halloween 2015, and played a totally free show there a week later. The modern iteration of the band returned to the Garden on November 12th and 14th of 2017 to kick off their fall tour, and will be back at MSG for a pair of shows on October 31st and November 1st, 2019.
[Originally published 9/20/17]