The SetList Program allows you to search through the Grateful Dead's setlists for shows between 1965 and 1995. It also allows users to comment-on and share their experiences for each show. Find a show you've attended, and leave some comments for other users!

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Philadelphia Civic Center - Philadelphia, PA

Set 1:
Alabama Getaway
Promised Land
Friend Of The Devil
Me And My Uncle
Mexicali Blues
West LA Fadeaway
New Minglewood Blues
Tennessee Jed
Looks Like Rain

Set 2:
Help On The Way
Franklin's Tower
Playin' In The Band
China Doll
Don't Need Love
Wharf Rat
Throwin' Stones
Not Fade Away

Brokedown Palace

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One hell of a smokin show. The Dead always did play Philly well. Take it from someone who knows
-/steve F

one word comes to mind when listening to this show...TASTY!! the first set is fairly typical but all the songs are played well and LLR>Deal is particularly pleasing. the second set is one long jam...from help on the way all the way thru not fade away the boys don't come up for's truly a treat! the brokedown palace encore is sung by jerry in such a heartfelt way that you can even forgive the way he totally fucks up a couple of the verses!
this show is a "keeper"!


My first show. One of only 2 runs The Dead played at the Civic Center (The Clash was at The Spectrum). The entire 2nd set was a treat. Nice Help>Slip>Frank, Playin'>China Doll was a huge surprise! I will never forget the Wharf Rat, 20 years later I still have the image of the crowd below as Jerry sang "I'll get up and fly away".
-Alex from Philly

I attended the majority of this tour and stayed with some very cool people outside of Philly for the duration.
Very cool venue and decent shows.
I fell in love with a girl during this tour and convinced her to come with me back to Florida after the tour.
I wonder where she is now ??
- (09/07/2010)

Excellent Slipknot!
-fz (04/11/2012)

What is it about Philly that makes these boys go so hard and so good? Seriously, every time i listen to a Philly run, it just shines above the rest.
Last time the boys played the Civic was in the summer of '74, a damn good year (anyone who knows has gotta admit, even donna was on in '74, the few times she was singing). Guess they liked playing the spectrum more, no suprise though, i have heard from many heads of olde that this place was fallin apart back then too.

One question i do have, which i would really appreciate an older head taking is, Was China Doll a popular song back in the day?

The only reason i ask is because i think it's a beautiful piece where jerry really gets to stretch his soulful chops, but a few of my friends, who also love the dead, hate the song and say it puts them to sleep. Just want a little insight into what the followers thought back then.
-Murphy (11/18/2013)

Didn't see the show but, as an earlier post noted, the Clash were in town the around the same dates at the Spectrum and I'd imagine that's why the Dead played the Civic Center - anyway, that night I hung out in the hotel with Weir and others when there was a knock on the door around 1AM and in walked Joe Strummer from the Clash - we all partied until the sun came up literally around 6AM - the Clash and the Dead were admittedly strange bedfellows to be hanging out together, but they seemed to get along well enough and talked about the Reggae Sunsplash Festival in Jamaica that both the Dead and Clash had both played (or were getting ready to play later that year) - when Weir talked about his experiences meeting Jimi Hendrix, Strummer was really fascinated - we all were - I remember the boombox had King Crimson's album "Beat" on among al ot of other good music - that's a great record - Weir listened to a lot of great music the few times I hung out with him in the Dead's "hostility suite" -- oops I mean "hospitality" :-) ...sad that Strummer died at only 50 - although their place in rock 'n roll history is undeniable, I never was the biggest Clash fan, but if you listen to his stuff with Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros after the Clash, particularly the album "Streetcore" that was released posthumously, it's a great record... and as for the post above about the song "China Doll" and how some find the song boring, I just think that's nuts - one of the best lyrics Hunter ever wrote in my opinion
- (07/10/2015)

Glad someone agrees with me. I am a huge fan of the acoustic China Dolls of 1980. Brent on harpsichord added such a somber aura to the tune that seemed to push jerry to new highs. I've heard a theory before (i think it was one of the annotated Lyric site's posts) that China Doll is meant to be a conversation between man and god where god asks man why he destroys the world he gifted to them and man responds that it's all he knows. Then god and man agree to let the world and man go on as they are, since god created man, then god also allowed man to destroy himself. The end of the song is a bit harder to decipher, but god basically tells man that the world isn't over, it's just fractured from the latest destruction of man. Check it out, you can break the song up into a dialogue.

Scene: A pistol shot at 5 o'clock. The bells of Heaven ring.

God - Tell me what you done it for
Man - No, i won't tell you a thing. Yesterday i begged you, before i hit the ground, all i leave behind me is only what i've found.
God - If you can abide it, let the hurdy-gurdy play. Stranger ones have come by here before they flew away.
Man - I will not condem you, nor yet would i deny.
God - I would ask the same of you, but failing will not die. Take up your china doll, it's only fractured and just a little nervous from the fall.
-Murphy (04/20/2016)

actually, suicide is the subject matter of China Doll
- (05/14/2016)

for those keeping score at home, Bobby says "those Philly phillies start looking good" during Minglewood.
-Just Exactly Perfect Band (06/04/2019)

(09Aug20) To: intrepidtraveler - The reason the Grateful Dead played at the old Civic Center instead of the Spectrum was not because of the Clash. I donít know what venue the Clash were playing at but it wasnít the Spectrum. If the Clash really showed up in the Grateful Deadís hotel rooms, then that was the Warwick Hotel on Rittenhouse Square. That was the Deadís home away from home for that first ever 3-night stand in Philadelphia in April Ď84. (Also, on an aside, it was during that 3-night stand that they played one of the very few 4/20 shows they ever did.)
Anyway, the reason the Dead played the Civic Center was because both the Sixers and the Flyers had both made the playoffs that spring. Both teams had potential games scheduled for the three dates that the Grateful Dead was in town: 4/19, 4/20 & 4/21.
The Flyers were unfortunately eliminated before the second round. The Sixers, however, played games at the Spectrum on 4/19 and 4/21. (For the curious, they lost both games to the Nets.)
Anyway, there you have it. They sort of accidentally ended up there AND exactly 10 years after they first played there in Ď74.
Peace! Hoz
PS - I was there in Ď84 for all three nights!
PPS - just released the 4/20 show in itís entirety as Daveís Picks, Vol. 35. (To sweeten the deal and to fill in a little extra space, they also threw in a good handful of tunes from the 4/19 show, too, including a rock-solid tTerrapin.)
- (08/09/2020)

To: intrepidtraveler - My apologies, amigo. I stand corrected. The Clash did, indeed, play the Spectrum on 4/21. So did the Sixers, though, so that must mean that the Sixers played an afternoon matinee game vs those weaselly Nets.

Hereís the Clashís settie ...

Peace! Hoz
- (08/09/2020)

... TIGDH thank you for playing today & smoke em if you got em ....

Set 1:
Alabama Getaway
Promised Land
Friend Of The Devil
Me And My Uncle
Mexicali Blues
West LA Fadeaway
- (04/20/2021)

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Band Configuration
(04/16/79 - 07/23/90)

Lead Guitar: Jerry Garcia
Rhythm Guitar: Bob Weir
Bass: Phil Lesh
Keyboards: Brent Mydland
Drums: Bill Kreutzmann
Drums: Mickey Hart

Note: Band configuration is across specified time period. Configuration for particular show may have differed.

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