Video, Vintage Video — March 29, 2018 at 9:48 pm

Vintage Video: 10,000 Maniacs open a Grateful Dead stadium show on July 4, 1989

For this week’s installment of Vintage Video, we present this hour-long, broadcast-quality footage of 10,000 Maniacs opening for the Grateful Dead at the Buffalo Bills’ stadium on July 4, 1989. The show comes a few months after the release of the band’s fourth album, Blind Man’s Zoo, which was propelled by the singles “Trouble Me” and “Eat For Two,” both played here.

Check it out below via Wesley Costas


Setlist: 10,000 Maniacs, Rich Stadium, Buffalo, NY, 7/4/89

1. “What’s the Matter Here?”
2. “Eat for Two”
3. “A Campfire Song”
4. “Cherry Tree”
5. “City of Angels”
6. “Planned Obsolescence”
7. “Dust Bowl”
8. “Trouble Me”
9. “Gun Shy”
10. “Poison in the Well”
11. “Hey Jack Kerouac”
12. “You Happy Puppet”
13. “Like the Weather”
14. “Headstrong”
15. “Don’t Talk”
16. “My Sister Rose”





  1. oh man, i forgot about that happy puppet puppet…
    and good on natalie for stopping the show to help a /lost sailor/

    more /inspiration/ from that day:

  2. Greg Parker

    The winner of this video is Dennis Drew’s hair. I miss Rob Buck.

  3. What a great show. The band being from Jamestown an hour outside of Buffalo had a very loyal following at the show. It was a weird mix of bands. Steve Miller open the next time the Dead played Buffalo as was so drunk it was a terrible appearance. Love Natalie’s voice.

  4. I could watch Natalie stalk the stage all day. What a great period for her and the band.

  5. I saw 10KM in concert at Johns Hopkins University on December 7, 1987.

    I had been a big fan of “The Wishing Chair” album and “In My Tribe” had been out nearly six months but, at that time, neither album had made a big splash outside of college radio.

    But things were changing. Elektra Records had decided to give Tribe a big promo push and one could just feel the sense that the band was on the cusp of breaking bigger but not quite there. Seeing them in a small hall that sat fewer than 1,000 was something quite exciting and it remains one of my most memorable concerts.

    Miracle Legion was the opening act.

  6. I was there ! This was a no-brainer for us – me and my wife live in the area and my wife was a huge fan of the band. We left as soon as 10,000 Maniacs were done. When we tried to leave, a cop stopped us at the exit and asked us what we were doing. Told him “there’s no way we’re staying for the Grateful Dead – we only wanted to see the opening band”. Best part of leaving so early besides avoiding the Ralph Wilson Stadium traffic ? We didn’t reek too badly of pot or body odor. Thanks for posting this video !

    • While I was not there had I been I would’ve been right behind you! Pot, BO, and patchouli? No thank you!

      • I lived at Nottingham village townhouses right across from ridge stadium. We knew and got to be friends with Natalie in 10,000 Maniacs when they were just playing either at or near the University of Buffalo campus. We were so excited they were going to get to open up for a big band and went to the stadium on that July 4th just to see 10,000 Maniacs did not stay for the grateful Dead but definitely wanted to support our friends Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs they were so awesome Natalie is so unique and talented loved her then love her now recently got to see her perform in her solo career in Florida and though it’s years later she’s still the same Natalie spinning and dancing in that wonderful unique voice love her

  7. I saw 10,000 Maniacs open for Squeeze at The Univ. of Alabama in 1988. I saw them a couple times after that including Camper Van Beethoven opening for them at Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham a few years later. I had a big crush on Natalie Merchant during my college days. ;)
    “In My Tribe” is a fantastic album.

  8. I was there, full of lsd, that was a helluva ride. :)

  9. My two favorite bands. I could not imagine this show.

  10. I was sitting stage right front stands – KILLER July 4th, and awesome shows. I remember every minute of this as it was just a wonderful show, time and good vibes. I ran into my friend Billy P there RIP.
    Those screens were fabulous. Saw almost the entire summer tour. Maniacs rocked this opening – and Natalie and the boys were at their peak. I only wished Rob and Jerry could’ve gotten a jam going!

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