46 years ago tonight, the Grateful Dead rocked Uniondale, NY with the second of two performances at the Nassau Coliseum. It was during the band’s show at the Long Island arena that evening when the Dead delivered their live debuts of a pair of tunes which would go on to appear on Wake of the Flood with the first live performances of “Weather Report Suite Pt. 1” and “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away”.
Surprisingly, compared to other jam-heavy shows from the early 1970s, the band only performed one song that night which extended past the 10-minute mark with a first set “Eyes of the World”.”Playing in the Band”, “Dark Star” and “The Other One” didn’t make any appearances into either set that night, allowing the band to put more focus on trying out some of the new material which would appear on their then-forthcoming studio album with Flood, which arrived a little over a month later on October 15th.
The show began with performances of “Bertha”, “Me And My Uncle”, “Sugaree”, and “Beat It On Down The Line”, before they Deac continued with fan favorites like “Tennessee Jed”, “Brown-Eyed Women”, and “Jack Straw”. Following “Row Jimmy”, the band delivered their first live performance of “Weather Report Suite Pt. 1” before continuing into its second half with “Let It Grow”.
Coming out for the second set, the band started with “Greatest Story Ever Told”, “Ramble On Rose”, and “Big River” before pianist Keith Godchaux treated the show’s attendees to the debut of “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away”. The song would only go on to be played a total of six times in the Dead’s journey, with all of the performances taking place throughout September 1973 to get fans ready for the arrival of Wake of the Flood.
The show continued with more early 70s-era Dead live staples including “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider”, “El Paso”, “He’s Gone”, “Truckin'”, and ending “Not Fade Away” and “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad”.
Relisten to the band’s live debuts from the September 8th, 1973 performance in full below.
Grateful Dead – Nassau Coliseum – 9/8/1973
[Audio: Jonathan Aizen]
Setlist: Grateful Dead | Nassau Coliseum | Uniondale, NY | 9/8/1973
Set One: Bertha, Me And My Uncle, Sugaree, Beat It On Down The Line (Jesse Fuller cover), Tennessee Jed, Looks Like Rain, Brown-Eyed Women, Jack Straw, Row Jimmy, Weather Report Suite Pt. 1*, Let It Grow, Eyes Of The World, China Doll
Set Two: Greatest Story Ever Told, Ramble On Rose, Big River (Johnny Cash cover), Let Me Sing Your Blues Away*, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, El Paso (Marty Robbins cover), He’s Gone, Truckin’, Not Fade Away (The Crickets cover), Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad (Bill Monroe cover)
Encore: Stella Blue, One More Saturday Night