Uncle Tupelo / Primatives Live Performances, 1985 - 1989
NOTE: Information on live recordings is included for informational purposes only. Please do not write to inquire about availability of these recordings.
5/17/85 - Liederkranz Hall, Belleville, IL
A flier from this show was included in the art work for the reissue of No Depression.
From Mike Heidorn's liner notes to that release: "We got to the point where,
during our senior year, we'd rent a local hall, the Liederkranz, on a
Saturday night for a hundred dollars and cram about 500 high school
students in there at two or three bucks a pop. We'd have Jeff's mom, Jo,
collect money at the door (usually with friends Kong and Chuck nearby to
make sure things went ok), pay the local cop $25 to "run security", play
and sweat for three or four hours, and load out (usually with friends Kong
and Chuck nearby to make sure things went ok). We'd split the money up on
Sunday and have a bunch of new albums, instruments, and stories on
7/26/85 - Liederkranz Hall, Belleville, IL
A flier for this show was including in the book Wilco: Learning to Die
Venue and city unknown, this show is known from a picture labeled with this date.
10/31/85 - Liederkranz Hall, Belleville, IL
Munster's Theme/ Great Balls of Fire/ Gloria/ Johnny B Goode/ Little Bit of
Soul/ Brand New Cadillac/ costume contest/ Shakin' All Over/
You Really Got Me/ I Just Want to Make Love to You/ Hang on Sloopy/
Christina/ Shout/ Nobody But Me/ Louie Louie/ The
Swim/ Twist & Shout/ I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night/ Route 66/ Psycho/ Slow Down
Halloween show with the band in costume (Jeff Tweedy in drag), and a costume contest mid-show. Wade Farrar on lead vocals with the exception of "Hang on Sloopy" and "Twist and Shout" which were sung by Jay. "Christina" was an original.
Multiple camera video footage exists of this show, click on the hyperlink above to watch a clip on Youtube.
11/8/85 - Edwardsville VFW Hall, Edwardsville, IL
A flier from this show was included in the art work for the reissue of No Depression
12/31/85 - Augustine's, Belleville, IL
With the Blue Moons (early version of Chicken Truck/Bottle Rockets) and Joe Camel
04/02/86 - Mississippi Nights, St. Louis, MO
Mike Heidorn mentioned in the liner notes to the reissue of No Depression that they
had opened for Johnny Thunders at Mississippi Nights in 1986. Specific
date based on a live tape of Johnny Thunders at Mississippi Nights on this
date. There is no known recording of the Primatives set.
07/28/86 - Mississippi Nights, St. Louis, MO
Smoking Gun/ I'm Talking About You/ Diddy Wah Diddy/ Dirty Water/ Primitive/ No
Different/ instrumental/ Surprise Surprise/ I Just Want to Make Love To
You/ ?/ Gloria/ Psycho/ I'm So Glad
Benefit show for Jet Lag, other bands on the bill were Substitute
Heroes and Blank Space. All songs are covers, with the exception of the first song which might be called "Smoking Gun" (which has one passage that is similar to the bridge from
"Otherside") and "No Different," which were originals. All song sung by
Wade Farrar, with the exception of "Primitive" which was sung by Jay.
Multiple camera video footage exists of this show, click on the hyperlinks above to watch clips on Youtube.
1986 - Panorama Lanes, Belleville, IL
The Primatives played at least once in 1986 in the basement of bowling alley, which was often rented by local bands (thanks to Sidney and Chris for the information).
1986 - Turner Hall, St. Louis, MO
The Primatives opened for Plan 9.
09/19 or 09/20/86 - Knights of Columbus Hall, Belleville, IL
Opened for Joe Camel. This was a birthday party for their friend Kong, and according to one person who was there this was their first time playing in public as a three-piece.
October or November, 1986 - Page Three, Belleville, IL
Opened for Joe Camel, again as a three-piece.
06/30/87 - Corner Tavern, Edwardsville, IL
Good Times/ Pickle River/ I Got Drunk/ Knockin' on Heaven's Door/ ?/ Blister in the Sun/ I Wanna Be Your Dog/ ?/ White Room
Opened for Das Damen. According to an interview with show promoter Nick Sakes, this was their first show billed as Uncle Tupelo.
Poor quality video footage exists of this show, click on the hyperlinks above to watch clips on Youtube.
(Thanks to Chuck and Jesse for the scan)
07/05/87 - French Village Drive In, East St. Louis, IL
Good Times/ Pickle River/ Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Video footage of UT playing in front of the big screen at the local drive-in theater, click on the hyperlinks above to watch clips on Youtube. Formerly listed as being from 1988, this new date is an educated guess.
08/??/87 - Cicero's Basement Bar, St. Louis, MO
Chicken Truck opened, show mentioned in an interview with the Bottle Rockets in the St.
Louis Riverfront Times.
11/28/87 - Knights of Columbus Hall, Belleville, IL
A flier for this show was including in the book Wilco: Learning to Die
02/01/88 - Cicero's Basement Bar, St. Louis, MO
Opened for The Service, show known from article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on
08/21/88 - Phi Kappa Theta's "Bid-Day Bash," Columbia, MO
UT played this huge annual frat party on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia, along with 2 Back Beat.
Note that a PKT alumni newsletter lists the date as 08/30/88 (warning, big file).
08/22/88 - Blue Note, Columbia, MO
Maggie's Farm/ I Got Drunk/ Cocaine Blues/ Cinnamon Girl/ Screen Door/ Before I Break/ Gimme,
Gimme, Gimme/ No Depression/ Graveyard Shift/ Pickle River/ Life Worth
Livin'/ Fortunate Son/ That Year/ Baby Please Don't Go/ Dead Flowers/ Down
By the River/ Good Times
Soundboard recording. Source tape for live tracks on "Live and
Otherwise" cassette release. This same recording is sometimes listed as 7/88 or 7/22/88.
12/22/88 - Stagger Inn, Edwardsville, IL
From the Post-Dispatch on 12/22/88: "He describes tonight's band, the Belleville-based Uncle Tupelo, as a
group that favors ''post-punk'' interpretations of the music of Neil
Young and Credence Clearwater Revival. Those '60s artists are not dead
yet. But will they turn over in a figurative sense tonight when their
music is accelerated or amplified beyond any obvious nostalgic
12/28/88 - Great Grizzly Bear, St. Louis, MO
An acoustic set along with many other St. Louis songwriters at this benefit for radio station KDHX.
Here's a preview from the Post-Dispatch.
1988 - Lincoln Theater, Belleville, IL
Otherside/ Cinnamon Girl/ I Got Drunk/ Screen Door/ Pickle River/ Left in the Dark/ Sweet Home
Alabama/ Fortunate Son/ Blues Die Hard/ Rock and Roll All Night/ Before I
Break/ Down by the River/ Good Times/ Knockin' on Heaven's Door/ Cocaine Blues
Poor quality black and white video footage, click on the hyperlinks above to watch clips on Youtube. This show may have been from July, 1987.
1988(?) - Blue Note, Columbia, MO
Knockin' On Heavens Door/ Little Guitars/ Rock n Me/ Born On The Bayou/ Good Times/
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35/ Waiting For The Man/ True to Life (banjo instrumental)/
Graveyard Shift/ Willin'/ Down By The River/ Baby Please Don't Go/ John
Hardy/ Baby Please Don't Go (#2)/ Cocaine Blues/ Outdone/ That Year/
Screen Door/ Fortunate Son/ Maggie's Farm/ Blues Die Hard/ Dead Flowers/ A
Good Year For The Roses/ Cinnamon Girl(cuts)
Mediocre quality soundboard recording, the songs on the tape are not in
the same order as they were played.
1988 - St. Louis, MO
Opened for the Lyres. From Mike Heidorn's liner notes to the reissue of No Depression "We
started making a name for ourselves through loyal fan support around St.
Louis and got an opening slot playing before the Lyres. There was a good
crowd and I remember the night went pretty well. We picked up some fans
that night and it kind of got the ball rolling for us to focus on getting
our own, headlining gigs. That night, we ended up taking the Lyres back to
our 13th Street studio and showing off the motorcycles and instrument
collection, which was beginning to amass. I showed drummer Johnny Bernado
an old set of Ludwigs that I recently got and he loved them wanted to buy
them right there on the spot. I passed, but told him I'd call if I ever
wanted to sell. I put heads on them the next day and started playing them
exclusively. I still got them."
1988 - Cicero's Basement Bar, St. Louis, MO
From Mike Heidorn's liner notes to the reissue of No Depression: "We also gave
another short-lived attempt at having a four-piece when we invited Alex
Mutrux over to play electric guitar and some pedal steel (this time Jeff
would stay on bass). We figured this would free Jay up to sing, and fill
in more sound. He was good. We tried it for a while, even playing out at
Cicero's once, but somehow dynamically it didn't sound right and we
reverted back to a three-piece."
1988 - Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO
Opened for Young Fresh Fellows.
Spring '89 - Off Broadway, St. Louis
That Year/ Outdone/ Blues Die Hard/ Do Re Mi/ Flatness/ There Was A Time/ Screen Door/
Whiskey Bottle/ Before I Break/ Life Worth Livin'/ I Got Drunk/ Graveyard Shift
5/??/89 - Mississippi River Center Benefit, St. Louis
Graveyard Shift/ Blues Die Hard/ Fortunate Son
Great multi-camera video footage, unfortunately it is not the complete
show (click on the hyperlinks above to watch clips on Youtube). Other bands on the bill included Chicken Truck and the Electric
06/30/89 - Cicero's Basement Bar, St. Louis, MO
So Called Friend/ Graveyard Shift/ Train/ John Hardy/ Factory Belt/ Life Worth
Livin'/ Mr. Soul/ Whiskey Bottle/ D.Boon/ Outdone/ Weary Blues From
Waiting/ Little Guitars/ Screen Door/ Otherside/ There Was A Time*/
Willin'/ A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall/ Flatness/ Dead Flowers/ That Year/ No
Depression/ Mercedes Benz/ Wasn't Born to Follow/ Baby, Please Don't Go/
Cocaine Blues/ Do Re Mi/ Blues Die Hard/ ?/ I Wanna Be Your Dog/ I Got
Drunk/ Knockin' on Heaven's Door
* This refers to the early uptempo version of "Looking For A Way Out," similar to the version on the "Sauget
Soundboard recording, this is the best document of Uncle Tupelo's long,
sloppy, beer-soaked shows at Cicero's. Jay Farrar at his very loosest.
07/??/89 - CBGB's, New York, NY
07/??/89 - Green Street Station, Jamaica Plain, MA
Sean O. remembers "They played with a Boston band called Curtain Society in front of about 15 people."
08/02/89 - Mississippi Nights, St. Louis, MO
Opened for The Godfathers. The Godfathers' set was recorded for broadcast by radio station KDHX, but no tape of Uncle Tupelo's set has been found.
08/12/89 - The Cubby Bear, Chicago, IL
This was the final show that Sue Miller booked at the Cubby Bear before moving on to Lounge Ax.
08/25/89 - Cicero's Basement Bar, St. Louis, MO
Factory Belt/ Flatness/ Gimme, Gimme, Gimme/ That Year/ Blues Die Hard/ D.Boon/
Fortunate Son/ Outdone/ Train/ Life Worth Livin'/ Cocaine Blues/ Do Re Mi/
Otherside/ Mercedes Benz/ So Called Friend/ Pickle River/ Screen Door/
Whiskey Bottle/ A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall/ Little Guitars/ Orange Blossom
Special/ Good Times/ No Depression/ Maggie's Farm/ Sauget Wind/ Cinnamon
Girl/ I Got Drunk/ Graveyard Shift (cut)
Incomplete soundboard recording, sound quality is a bit better than
other Cicero's shows from 1989. A few songs from this show were
distributed as the "Secret Mix of Uncle Tupelo" demos.
Here's a flier from this show.
09/29/89 - Mississippi Nights, St. Louis, MO
Opened for Royal Crescent Mob
10/13/89 - Cicero's Basement Bar, St. Louis, MO
Otherside/ Sin City/ Graveyard Shift/ D.Boon/ Flatness/ Cocaine Blues/ Outdone/
Screen Door/ So Called Friend/ Baby, Please Don't Go/ Knockin' On Heaven's
Door/ Train/ Whiskey Bottle/ Fortunate Son/ Factory Belt/ Mercedes Benz/
No Matter What/ That Year/ Life Worth Livin'/ There Was A Time/ Mannish
Boy (sort of)/ A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall/ Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Incomplete soundboard recording.
10/??/89 - Continental Divide, NYC
Late October, during the CMJ Music Conference in NYC. From Mike Heidorn's liner notes to the reissue of No Depression: "...We hadn't played East of Indianapolis (a
whopping four hours from Belleville), but we were up for the challenge.
Maybe a little too up. We weren't the last band on the bill at the Divide,
but by 2 a.m., we were probably the drunkest. Somehow, we pulled it off
and were chosen the "best unsigned band" by CMJ that year."
10/31/89 - KCOU Studios, Columbia, MO
Screen Door/ There Was A Time/ I Got Drunk
10/31/89 - The Blue Note, Columbia, MO
Opened for fIREHOSE, who in honor of Halloween played their whole set wearing Mexican wrestling masks (thanks to John for the information).
11/01/89 - Furst Rock, St. Louis, MO
Factory Belt/ That Year/ Left in the Dark/ So Called Friend/ Sauget Wind/ Screen Door/
Otherside/ Life Worth Livin'/ Flatness/ Cocaine Blues/ I Got Drunk/ A Hard Rain's
a-Gonna Fall/ Graveyard Shift
Soundboard recording. Opened for fIREHOSE. Review of this show from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
11/??/89 - Exit/In, Nashville, TN
Cocaine Blues/ Graveyard Shift (Graveyard Song)
Known from an article in the St. Louis Riverfront Times.
11/25/89 - Off Broadway
Opening acts were Cordell Jackson "The Rockabilly Grandma" and a then-unknown Widespread
12/??/89 - Lounge Ax, Chicago, IL
Opened for Evan Johns.
12/??/89 - Belleville, IL
So Called Friend (several segments)/ Graveyard Shift/ Factory Belt
Segment on "Critical Mass," a St. Louis local-access cable show.
Contains interviews and live songs filmed in what looks to be their
Page last updated on May 18, 2007
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