Image of Grateful Dead at MIT Grateful Dead at MIT
Grateful Dead at MIT, Concert Recordings, 1970

The Grateful Dead, rock band and countercultural standard bearer, appeared at the DuPont Gymnasium on May 7, 1970, a day after playing a short impromptu set in the rain on the steps of the Student Center. With the deep unpopularity of the Vietnam War, more than a few MIT students were protesting the Institute’s close ties with the military. The band’s visit came four months after students occupied MIT President Howard Johnson’s office—breaking in with a homemade battering ram—and three days after the Ohio National Guard shot to death four Kent State students. In a show whose memory is still cherished by many alumni, the band played no fewer than 43 songs for a ticket price of $3.00 (or $3.50 at the show). In the popular Dead tradition of sharing bootlegged recordings, you can listen to those concerts here.

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  • You didn’t mention that New Riders of the Purple Sage were also there and that Garcia sat in on pedal steel. The Dead actually didn’t play 43 songs.

    Chris Cowles
    6 Aug 12 at 2:17 pm