The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, also known simply as the Nassau Coliseum, was one of those hotspots for the Grateful Dead throughout their 30-year long, strange trip. The Long Island venue played host to 42 Dead shows between 1973-1994. The band played so well at the venue in fact, that four of their performances from over the years would go on to be released as three separate archival album releases from shows in 1980, 1981, and 1990. One of the other stand-out performances at the Long Island area included including a scorcher from January 10th, 1979, which celebrates its 40th anniversary today.
The show was the first of a two-night run and saw The Dead incorporate a handful of new material from their then-recently released studio album, Shakedown Street, which had arrived just a few months prior in November 1978. The show opened with “The Promised Land” and never looked back. The band charged through a first set which included a handful of John Perry Barlow and Bob Weir classics including “Mexicali Blues”, “Looks Like Rain”, and “Music Never Stopped”.
The equally-thrilling second set began with “Shakedown Street” and continued into a trio of dance-friendly tunes including “I Need a Miracle”, “Bertha”, and “Good Lovin'”. From there, the show took an exciting turn as they busted out their first east coast performance of “Dark Star” in more than four years. Following the “Drums” portion of the set, the band returned to the stage to close out the show with “Wharf Rat”, “St. Stephen” (it’s last performance until 1983) and “Around and Around”, followed by a one-song encore of “Johnny B. Goode”.
Fans who couldn’t snag a ticket to the show for one reason or another can revisit the performance by tuning into the fan-taped audio of the show below.
Grateful Dead – Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – 1/10/1979
[Audio: Keith Gatto]
Setlist: Grateful Dead | Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum | Uniondale, NY | 1/10/1979
Set One: Promised Land, Dire Wolf, Mama Tried, Mexicali Blues, Tennessee Jed, Looks Like Rain (Bob Weir cover), Stagger Lee, El Paso, Row Jimmy, Passenger, Loser (Jerry Garcia cover), Music Never Stopped
Set Two: Shakedown Street, I Need a Miracle, Bertha, Good Lovin’, Dark Star, Drums, Wharf Rat, St. Stephen, Around and Around
Encore: Johnny B. Goode