As members of the Grateful Dead made their return to Nassau Coliseum, Dead & Company’s Nov. 5 performance provided an opportunity for the band to look back their storied history at the Long Island venue.
The Tuesday-night show kicked off with a freeform jam into “Jack Staw,” which directly mirrored The Dead’s 4/24/09 opener at the venue.
Additionally, “Looks Like Rain,” which arrived midway through D&C’s first half, has quite a bit of history at the Nassau Coliseum. Memorable Nassau versions of the tune can be traced back to 3/28/90 and 5/16/90 as well as 5/9/81, and (as discovered in his 2018 memoir) songwriter John Perry Barlow fondly remembered a Nassau “LLR” as an eye-opening experience.
“Many years later, the Dead were playing ‘Looks Like Rain’ in Nassau Coliseum, and I was snuggled up against a woman with whom I actually was in that kind of love,” Barlow wrote. “I suddenly realized who this song had been composed for and who it was that I felt this way about. I started singing it to her and said, ‘I swear I wrote this for you many years ago.'”
Looking back at Dead & Company’s Nov. 5 setlist, set one ended strong with a pairing of “Cumberland Blues” and “Casey Jones.”
The second set, on the other hand, was highlighted by the peaks and valleys of a jammed-through segement of “St. Stephen”> “The Eleven”> “Comes a Time”> “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad”> “Drums”> “Space”> “The Other One”> “Stella Blue”> “Not Fade Away.”
Finally, on Election Day 2019 no less, Dead & Co. asked their fans to “Wave that flag” and encored with a rowdy “U.S. Blues.”
Dead & Company will return to Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday Nov. 6.
Check out the full setlist and a video of “Looks Like Rain” (via YouTuber Matt Frazier) below:
Dead & Company
Nov. 5, 2019
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
Set I: Jack Straw, Deal, Peggy-O, Brown-Eyed Women, Looks Like Rain, Easy Wind, Cumberland Blues, Casey Jones
Set II: Here Comes Sunshine, St. Stephen > The Eleven > Comes a Time > Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad > Drums > Space > The Other One > Stella Blue > Not Fade Away
Enc: U.S. Blues