Home > Live Recording > Hüsker Dü: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 05-12-84

Hüsker Dü: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 05-12-84

December 20th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Before we get started, I’d like to thank KJHK for making this all possible. Now the band that you’ve been waiting for! Please give a warm, Opera House welcome for, SST recording artists, Hüsker Dü!

May 12th, 1984 was the first time that I ever saw Hüsker Dü. Since I’d dutifully purchased and absorbed all of their albums (being particularly blown away by Metal Circus, easily my most played record the Fall and Winter of 1983) I thought I knew what I was in for. I knew dick.

Not only had I never experienced a band that had so mastered the art of inserting those unrelenting song blocks into their set, but an amazing 13 of the 19 songs they play here (and there were more that my tape recorder missed) were unreleased by them at the time. As a result I spent the next two months playing and replaying this tape in an unwitting prep session not just for their MegaHugeAwesomeDouble LP Zen Arcade (from which they played 7 songs), but also for their HowManyFuckingGreatTunesCanTheyWrite? followup New Day Rising (5 songs here) which was released only 6 months later.

The Lawrence Opera House (now known as Liberty Hall with a great adjacent video store — ask for Doug!) was a big boomy venue with a cool balcony and decrepit charm to spare. As a result the sound here is kind of echoey, but the mix is solid and the Hüskers are tight as hell. If you’re put off at all by the audio don’t fret; I trucked up to Kansas City for their gig the next night as well and, while the set was largely the same, I managed to capture about 6 more songs with a fuller overall sound. That recording will be coming along soon enough so, you know, watch this space for links.

No flyer, but here’s a review of the show from issue #5 of Lisa “Zero” Kelley’s local ‘zine National Priorities:

Hüsker Dü Show Review from National Priorities #5
Click to enlarge

Hüsker Dü: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 05-12-84 (192 kbps)
01 Something I Learned Today (2:06)
02 It’s Not Funny Anymore (1:47)
03 From The Gut (1:21)
04 Wheels (1:46)
05 Everything Falls Apart (1:47)
06 The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill (3:16)
07 I Apologize (3:29)
08 Books About UFOs (2:40)
09 Folklore (1:31)
10 If I Told You (2:07)
11 What’s Going On (3:19)
12 Somewhere (2:28)
13 Pink Turns To Blue (2:20)
14 Newest Industry (2:48)
15 Broken Home, Broken Heart (1:56)
16 Diane (3:53)
17 Masochism World (2:32)
18 Eight Miles High (Byrds) (5:03)
19 Statues (Incomplete) (1:59)

  1. January 14th, 2009 at 08:47 | #1

    I can hear myself talking to you between some of the songs. It’s too bad this gets cut off at the end; my tape of the show has me saying “fucking awesome, so fucking awesome” as “Helter Skelter” trailed off….if I recall correctly, I babysat both tape recorders in the balcony as you and Jack went down to the main floor. I apologize to the inattention given to your tape recorder–I thought you had a 60-minute cassette running when I thought it was a 90 minute set.

    Here’s a set list I snagged from either of the two shows–I believe it is the KC show:

  2. JL
    February 5th, 2009 at 23:49 | #2

    > http://mentalexcursions.org/wiki/images/c/c3/Huskerdu-setlist.jpg

    Cool posting, love the show. I also liked seeing the setlist, I have never heard the Russian Safari song, you wouldn’t happen to have a tape of that one?

  3. Donut Duck
    February 6th, 2009 at 00:03 | #3

    Thanks alot for the Husker show – was definately new to me. Since I know alot of fellow Husker Du fanatics who’d love to get their hands on that one, would it be possible for you to trade this show in a lossless format (.wav or flac) with me? (Same would go for Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Tom Troccoli’s Dog: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 09-29-84 – i love SST!)

    Thanks alot!


  4. February 9th, 2009 at 00:31 | #4

    “Cat”, “Old Mil” and “Russian” were not played at either here or the Lawrence show (both of which I’ve recorded in their entirities. The set list wound up to be a misleading red herring. Huskerphiles–whose handwriting is that?

    I’m sending the last part of the show to Jason tonight so everyone can have the complete set.

  5. March 11th, 2012 at 18:12 | #5


    I have seen Husker Du for the first time in LVC in Leiden in Holland at the 6th of september
    1985. LVC is a small venue where often students came for the weekend. It still excist!
    The concert I can descriped as a TWISTER and is one of the best gigs I have seen in mine live
    The band was on it’s artistic and commercial peak playing a lot of numbers from Zen Arcade
    and many songs of New Day Rising. After the gig nobody could stand on his feet because of
    the pogo dancing and the amount of beer everybody took.
    If someone has a setlist or tape of this gig please let me know.

    Greatings Peter

  6. February 16th, 2014 at 21:54 | #6

    I was onstage in the wings watching Grant & the boys knock out these tunes that night. I can’t recall how I managed it, but it was amazing watching him drumming all night, just floating on the pedals…barefoot. I was the drummer for EMF-Sinclairs at the time, so mebbe I’d slipped somebody some doobs or something. We always had some to share. What a privilege, though. Total Forest Gump. We’d played the Underground Music Fest, too, so mebbe someone from the Opera House staff remembered me. Too many years gone now to remember more than what you’ve recounted here. Great site.

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