For over 16 years and reaching their 2300 show played on this tour, Dark Star Orchestra has embodied the Grateful Dead’s live experience for fans both old and too young to have ever seen their own Grateful Dead show.
Recreating historic Grateful Dead set lists, and intermittently crafting their own, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within the Grateful Dead's musical canon. Matching equipment, stage layout and even members (various eras could included female vocals or multiple drummers), Dark Star Orchestra's determined commitment to 'raising the Dead' has earned them high praise
"Quite possibly the most talented and accomplished tribute band out there." – Rolling Stone
CincyMusic.com chatted with the band prior to the show at Madison Theater about their Grateful Dead stylings.
For those not familiar with Dark Star Orchestra, what can one expect at a show?
People can expect 3 to 3 1/3 hours of good music, two sets. We play either actual Grateful Dead set lists or we play our own picks for the night but with a similar show style structure. What that means is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs....Fast songs, slow sweet songs, and improvisational jamming. The show usually raps up on a high note and then either a rockin' encore or a nice fare thee well kind of song. Basically we take people on a musical journey.
What did The Grateful Dead mean to you before being a member of Dark Star Orchestra? And after?
Before I joined DSO, the Grateful Dead represented a band that was able to play a large variety of styles of music for a large crowd and I marveled at that. Their audience were willing to go on the ride with the band. The audience made it fun. After joining the band, Grateful Dead music represents a living breathing entity that must live on and I am a willing servant for that cause.
Which song is your favorite to play?
My favorite song to play changes from night to night depending on which one happens to lift the venue off the ground.
After 16 years together, what has changed since the beginning?
Since I joined, the main thing that has changed is the players. There is not one musician on stage who is the same from my first tour. However, Lisa played with the band and came on on your for short runs and Rob Koritz joined a tour after me. I think every new member who has joined has been for the better and it seems like that band just keeps improving. However, the band from day one has always been great at doing what it does... showing old fans and new fans of this music a good time had together.