Performing to critical acclaim for over 20 years and over 2800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra (DSO) continues the Grateful Dead live concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of seven fine musicians.
On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead’s 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon.
Dark Star Orchestra isn’t a cover band. Its shows are not even meant as tributes. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra’s members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations. What Dark Star Orchestra tirelessly strives for and achieves is a continuation of the spirit of what has now become over forty years of the Grateful Dead’s timeless music. Made up of Jeff Mattson (Jerry Garcia), Lisa Mackey (Donna Jean Godchaux), Dino English (Bill Kreutzmann), Rob Koritz (Mickey Hart), Skip Vangelas (Phil Lesh), Rob Eaton (Bob Weir) and Rob Barraco (multiple keyboardists), Dark Star Orchestra does not try to match Grateful Dead live songs note for note. Anything so formulaic would quickly dispel the free spirit embodied in the music. At the end of each performance, the band announces the date and venue where the original show just covered took place. Dark Star Orchestra dips into every incarnation of the Dead, so most fans can “see” shows that happened long before they were born.