The Grateful Dead: A complete list of their NJ concerts

Grateful Dead NJ

“Fare Thee Well,” the last series of shows by The Grateful Dead, ends tonight in Chicago.

You may be planning to watch the final concert together by the four living original Grateful Dead members (Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir), tonight in Chicago. (For a guide on how to watch, in theaters or in your home, click here.) And that may start you thinking about that Dead show you saw … was it 1980, or 1981? And where exactly was it? The decades have a way with playing tricks with memories, especially when mind-altering substances may have been involved.

Anyway, for those who need a little help remembering — and for those who don’t, but are just curious — below is an annotated list of all the shows the band performed in New Jersey prior to Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995 — 55 shows in all, starting in 1970. I used, and as sources.

If you think a show has been left out, or if you have any memories you’d like to share, please share in the comments section, below.

Oct. 11-12, 1970: Marion Shea Auditorium, Paterson State College (now William Paterson University), Wayne.
Nov. 22, 1970: Middlesex County Community College, Edison. New Riders of the Purple Sage open.
April 17, 1971: Dillon Gym, Princeton University. New Riders of the Purple Sage open.
July 18, 1972: Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City.
Sept. 19, 1972: Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City.
Sept. 26-28, 1972: Stanley Theatre, Jersey City.
July 31 and Aug. 1, 1973: Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City. The Band opens.
Aug. 6, 1974: Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City.
Aug. 4, 1976: Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City.
June 17-19, 1976: Capitol Theatre, Passaic. Last night broadcast live on WNEW-FM.
April 25-27, 1977: Capitol Theatre, Passaic.
Sept. 3, 1977: Raceway Park, Englishtown. The biggest concert ever in New Jersey, with more than 100,000 people attending. New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Marshall Tucker Band opened.
Sept. 2, 1978: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. New Rider of the Purple Sage and Willie Nelson opened.
Nov. 24, 1978: Capitol Theatre, Passaic. With Hamza El Din on “Ollin Arageed.”
March 30-31 and April 1, 1980: Capitol Theatre, Passaic. John Belushi guests on “U.S. Blues” on March 30.
May 15, 1981: Athletic Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway.
April 16-17, 1983: Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford. Stephen Stills guests on “Black Queen,” “Johnny B. Goode” and “Iko Iko,” first night, and “Not Fade Away,” second night.
Oct. 17-18, 1984: Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford.
Nov. 10-11, 1985: Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford.
April 6-7, 1987: Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford.
July 12, 1987: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. Collaborates with Bob Dylan for third set and encore.
March 30-31 and April 1, 1988: Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford.
July 9-10, 1989: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. Los Lobos open. Guest appearances by members of The Neville Brothers on “Drums,” “Iko Iko” and “Morning Dew” on second night.
Oct. 11-12 and 14-16, 1989: Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford.
June 16-17, 1991: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. Little Feat opens.
June 14-15, 1992: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. Steve Miller Band opens. Miller guests on “Spoonful,” “The Other One,” “Morning Dew” and “Baba O’Riley,” night one, and “Standing on the Moon,” “Not Fade Away” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” night two.
June 5-6, 1993: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. Sting opens.
Aug. 3-4, 1994: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. Traffic opens, with Jerry Garcia guesting on “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” both nights, and also “Gimme Some Lovin’,” second night. Also on second night, Bruce Hornsby joins Dead on accordion for 11 songs in second set and encore.
June 18-19, 1995: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. Bob Dylan opens.

16 thoughts on “The Grateful Dead: A complete list of their NJ concerts

  1. I have not so fond memories of the ’72 shows at Roosevelt Stadium. I was working for the promoter that summer. At the July show, the supposedly peaceful Deadheads decided that music should be free and began throwing all sorts of objects at the security guys out front. It was the only time in my concert-working history that I took off my staff t-shirt before heading to my car at the end of the night because I feared for my safety.

    By the time the September show rolled around, security was ready. Extra hands were hired including an ex-Israeli commando, and a huge guy who sported a bullwhip. As you might imagine, things were much more peaceful.

    I am not in any way suggesting that all Dead fans are violent. Sometimes a handful of bad actors make everyone look bad.

  2. I recall a rumor that the GD East Coast hotline was physically at the Capital Theatre…anyone know about this?

    • That would make sense since concert promoter John Scher owned the Capitol and he did a ton of work with the Dead over the years, not just in NJ but all over the East Coast. I’m not sure if this is true but it’s been said that the arrangement was that Bill Graham would do all shows west of the Mississippi River and Scher would do all shows east of it.

  3. We were at the 1970 Middlesex County College show, right up front in front of Jerry. I remember one of the roadies sold an audience member his big ten gallon hat.

  4. I was at the Concert in East Rutherford in 1978, at Giants stadium. I remember for a fact their were several deaths. Someone jumped off the spiral stairwell to the ground below tripping on acid.

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  6. awesome list!
    if u are still updating it, please add Dylan as the support for 1995 Giants shows.

    Other bands that opened for the Dead at Giants:
    Steve Miller
    Traffic 1994


    • Are you sure about that? No source lists a Capitol show that month, though they did play at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. Do you know the exact date or have any other info?

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