Grateful Dead: 10/26/1985


The day after seeing the Dead at the Hollywood Sporatorium, we set out in the rented RV to see them at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. The drive there was relatively uneventful and we took turns napping. We arrived with plenty of time to entertain ourselves in the parking lot before going in to see the show.

The concert was amazing, and since this was my first time seeing consecutive Dead shows, I was really impressed at the complete diversity between shows, this one being entirely different from the previous night. It was almost like seeing one long two-day concert. Anyway, I’ve included the setlist below. High points for me were “Gimme Some Lovin’” opener, “China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider,” “One More Saturday Night” to close the second set, and an incredible version of “In the Midnight Hour” as the encore.

After the concert, we drove a little bit until we found a campsite where we could park the RV overnight. We were still wound up from the concert, so we sat inside the RV and talked late into the night. One of the guys who was with us (a friend of my co-worker Tom), I found out later was a professional stand-up comedian, which explains why he had us laughing uncontrollably for hours. I distinctly remember laughing to the point where tears were streaming down my face and I had a stitch in my side like I had just run several laps.

The next morning, we started our drive back to Miami. I was designated driver for most of the drive while others slept in the back. I was OK with that, listening to cassette tapes while I cruised along the flat Florida highway. But after a while, I noticed the temperature gauge climbing into the red zone. I called to the folks in the back, but no one responded, so I threw a soda can and beaned someone in the head. After a quick huddle, we decided to pull off and deal with the situation. It took a while to cool the engine down, and then we went to a gas station and added more water to the radiator. This did the trick, and I just made sure to drive a little slower the rest of the journey home.

Set 1:

Gimme Some Lovin’
Greatest Story Ever Told
Dupree’s Diamond Blues
C.C. Rider
Stagger Lee
Me and My Uncle
Big River
Big Railroad Blues
Looks Like Rain
Don’t Ease Me In

Set 2:

China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Man Smart, Woman Smarter
He’s Gone
I Don’t Need Love
Drums > Space
Comes a Time
Throwing Stones
Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
One More Saturday Night


In the Midnight Hour

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