This design began life originally as Rick's favored front cover concept for the 'Without A Net' live album, released in 1990. In this the figures are moving towards the viewer (the 'arrival' image). The band preferred the proposed similar, back cover image, incorporating a horse and lion, with the figures moving away from the viewer (the 'departure' image') and after much discussion with Rick, decided to use that for the album's front cover. Rick then had to adapt the front cover design for use as the tour poster, which meant altering the lettering in the lower panel to read 'Europe 1990' rather than the album's title. The artwork was also used for the back cover of the tour program.
The tour took place in October 1990 and included concerts in Germany, Sweden, France and England. It was the band's first European visit in nine years, and the first since the end of the Cold War. The album was the Dead's final live recording release - the first in almost a decade - its content being compiled from the best shows in the fall of 1989 and spring 1990.