In fall of 1981, the Grateful Dead headed over to Europe, marking the second time the band had been in Europe that year following a four-night late-April residency at London’s Rainbow Theatre and a one-off performance in Essen, Germany, for a television appearance. The group’s fall ’81 tour kicked off in Scotland at the end of September, with the band later touring across England, Denmark, Germany, Amsterdam, France, and Spain. Though the Grateful Dead’s Europe ’72 tour is frequently lauded as their landmark European stretch, their fall ’81 European tour has frequently been forgotten—undoubtedly because of the poor quality of the soundboard recordings available from the shows.
While the audio available from the shows is less than stellar due to poor mixing (Bob Weir and, occasionally, Phil Lesh are at points completely absent from the recordings), ’81 was a great year for the Grateful Dead, and the shows in Europe seemingly followed this trend. As noted on Blair’s Golden Road Blog on Dead.net,” The band played with tons of energy and imagination. I can honestly say there’s not a true clunker show in the bunch, and a few would rate among the best shows of ’81.”
During the Grateful Dead’s fall ’81 tour, the band performed a two-night run at Club Melk Weg in Amsterdam, Netherlands, spanning across October 15th and 16th—coincidentally, the latter performance also doubled as a celebration of Bob Weir’s 34th birthday. These two Amsterdam shows have taken on the name the “Oops Concerts,” earning the title given their impromptu nature after the band’s shows in Nancy and Fréjus, France, were cancelled due to lack of pre-sale tickets. For these two shows, the band performed the 1,500-capacity venue using borrowed instruments and equipment, save Phil who had his trusty bass on hand.
On October 11th, 1981, a few days prior to these two Dutch shows, the band was in Amsterdam plotting their next moves. After getting word that their upcoming shows later that week in the south of France were cancelled, Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir headed to Club Melk Weg early, performing an intimate duo acoustic show which later prompted the full band’s two-night run at the small club a few days later.
You can check out a 18-minute video of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir’s first few numbers from this intimate duo acoustic show below. Enjoy!
Jerry Garcia & Bob Weir – Acoustic Duo Show – Amsterdam – 10/11/81
Setlist: Jerry Garcia & Bob Weir | Club Melk Weg | Amsterdam, Netherlands | 10/11/1981
Set: The Monkey and the Engineer, Been All Around This World, Cassidy, Jack-A-Roe, On the Road Again, Bird Song
Encore: Oh Babe, It Ain’t No Lie