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Grateful Dead

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On May 6th and 7th, 1970, the Grateful Dead played at MIT.

The Grateful Dead were scheduled to play MIT's Spring Concert on Thursday, May 6th. Here's the promotional poster:


Note the Great Dome in the background. The small text at the bottom reads:

LSC Presents The Grateful Dead in concert May 7 1970
MIT Armory 8:00 p.m. $3.00 $3.50 at the door

The MIT Armory is now called duPont Athletic Gymnasium (W31).

During the 1969-70 academic year, student unrest about the Vietnam War was at a peak. Just three days before the scheduled MIT Spring Concert, the Kent State massacre occurred. On the same day, according to The Tech, "Well over 1500 members of the MIT community, most of them students, voted overwhelmingly to strike 'in solidarity with the national university strike.'" The next day, the faculty met to affirm the community's desire for a strike. The ~700 professors at the faculty meeting voted (again) overwhelmingly to cancel classes.

Wednesday, May 6th was the first day of canceled classes—the strike—at MIT. With the Grateful Dead already in Boston, they came to MIT a day early to perform a free outdoor concert, joining in the student protest (although, cheekily, the "schedule of events" listing in that day's special issue of The Tech said: "2 pm - There will not be a free concert by the Grateful Dead today."). The band set up on the Student Center steps, with the crowd all across Kresge Oval:

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There is an audio recording of the concert, from WMBR, MIT's radio station, which was able to patch directly into the band's amps:

The Grateful Dead returned to MIT the following night to perform the Spring Concert. Once again, the MIT radio station was able to patch in:

Setlist: May 6

Dancin' In The Streets, China Cat Sunflower, I Know You Rider, Next Time You See Me, Morning Dew, Good Lovin', Casey Jones, Saint Stephen, Not Fade Away

Setlist: May 7

Don't Ease Me In, I Know You Rider, Friend Of The Devil, Me & My Uncle, Deep Elem Blues, Candyman, Cumberland Blues, New Speedway Boogie, Black Peter, Uncle John's Band Good Lovin'-> Drums-> Good Lovin', Cold Rain & Snow, Dire Wolf, Easy Wind, Beat It On Down The Line, High Time, Cryptical Envelopement-> Drums-> The Other One-> Cryptical Envelopement-> Cosmic Charlie, Casey Jones, I'm A King Bee, Not Fade Away-> Turn On Your Love Light-> Darkness Jam-> Turn On Your Love Light