Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Blister In The Sunshine Daydream

It’s true, Enthusiasts: the Violent Femmes did indeed open the Dead’s 6/9/91 show at Buckeye Lake in Ohio, playing to a semi-interested crowd for 45 minutes. There’s no recording, but here’s their setlist:

My two favorite things about this:

  1. “Opened for Grateful Dead.” Such a lovely understatement of the day’s events. It’s like a theater critic in 1865 giving a full review of Our American Cousin and then mentioning at the very end of the article that there was a disturbance in the balcony.
  2. “What should we open with?”
    “Country Death Song.”
    “Good choice, Gordon.”

AND the Dead’s show has one of the only mumblemumble renditions of Ruben & Cherise, which at least one bass player whose name I won’t mention has no idea how to play.


  1. Houdini huffalumpus

    OH but there is a recording enthusiasts. I’ll post it here tomorrow on a link.

  2. John

    My pal as a member of Roger McGuinn’s band opened for the Dead ay Soldier Field. He considers it a major highlight.

    Still can’t find a recording.

  3. Tor Haxson

    I was there, it was too close not to go, but I was dis-enchanted with the whole thing at that time.

    10,000 maniacs opened for the boys a few years earlier.

    • Fremont

      Despite the awkward bill (and it was awkward- I love the first Femmes record and even I was not happy to be watching them play), this was a pretty fun show. One of the last fun ones for me. Not sure how it stands up today, but I remember the Crazy > Playing transition being extremely tight and Jerry digging deep during the He’s Gone outro.

      • mikemj

        I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Femmes set but 45 minutes was plenty. As they neared the end I was ready for them to be done.
        Mentioned this in another post but does anyone remember seeing David Crosby there watching from the back or side of the stage?

  4. forshac

    Oh, Christ, I was there.
    I knew the Femmes only by reputation. Surprised how tame they were.
    As for the Dead…… forgettable. The relapse rumors were, in fact, true.
    Took me seven hours to find my rental after the show. Parking, shmarking…….

  5. Amy

    I was there. It was such a hot day and there was no shade. I was pretty excited to see the Violent Femmes actually. I remember the mooooing too, it was because we felt like we were being herded like cattle.

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