Anyone that is, or ever was a Deadhead, has most likely heard the saying: “They’re not the best at what they do, they’re the only ones that do what they do.” This was obviously the truth, but I can certainly attest to the fact that Dark Star Orchestra’s should be: “They’re doing the best at what they (The Grateful Dead) did, and are the only ones that can do so now.”
Yes, I just put that out there even after seeing Furthur, Ratdog, Phil & Friends along with many other side projects that contain original members of The Grateful Dead too many times to count. While they were the ones that first played these songs and wrote them, they obviously took things to a new direction and changed some stuff up a bit in projects post Jerry Garcia. They are not trying to be The Grateful Dead, they’re just playing a lot of the same songs a bit differently, and that is not a bad thing at all as music is all about expansion and creative direction. But, Dark Star Orchestra as most of us know, recreates actual Grateful Dead shows meticulously and pretty much to perfection. As far as I’m concerned, if you want to hear something as close as one can to The Grateful Dead played live, this is the band to see. Just close your eyes and open your ears, and I believe you’ll feel the same way.
This particular night was actually pretty special to me as I was floored through mid-first set and realized they were playing one of my all time favorite shows, which happened to be from The Palladium in NYC on May 4th, 1977, and they were doing it ever so perfectly.
Dark Star Orchestra’s current lineup is made up of Jeff Matson on lead guitar & vocals, Rob Eaton on rhythm guitar & vocals, Rob Barraco on keys & vocals, Lisa Mackey on vocals, Dino English and Rob Koritz on drums, and newcomer (although he has played with them in the past) Skip Vangelas on bass guitar who just recently replaced former bassist, Kevin Rosen.
This night’s setlist, again is a recreated show from NYC’s The Palladium from 5/4/1977 and contains the following:
Set One: Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > Big River ; They Love Each Other ; New Minglewood Blues ; It Must Have Been The Roses ; Cassidy ; Deal ; Looks Like Rain ; Brown Eyed Women ; Dancing In The Street
Set Two: Estimated Prophet ; Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain ; Terrapin Station > Playing In The Band > Comes A Time > Playing In The Band