The Fox Theater in Boulder, CO was home to the final three shows of the fall Dark Star Orchestra tour. I had the pleasure of going to the first night where DSO played an inspired rendition of the Grateful Dead show from 10-20-78. The following nights they played the next successive Dead shows and busted out over 60 dead tunes throughout 3 nights.
Colorado is beautiful and so were the people in the Fox Theater. Everyone came to have a good time, the crowd was lighthearted, hollering and laughing throughout. It didn’t look like anyone had had too much too fast!
Highlights of the show were all over the place but I’ll just name a few that you can listen to by checking out the archive.org link below. My personal favorite part of the show was the transition from Half Step into Franklin’s Tower. Two of my favorite songs back to back that go so well together! The encores were both incredible, especially the first one when Mattson just came out and wailed on Johnny B Goode. The other highlights were mainly during the jam sessions which were some of the most energetic parts of the show.
My only regret is not being able to make all 3 nights…
SET LIST: Dark Star Orchestra – October 18, 2013
Set 1: Minglewood – They Love Each Other – Cassidy – Dire Wolf – El Paso – Tennessee Jed – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue – Loser – Lazy Lightnight > Supplication
Set 2: Miss Half Step > Franlins Tower – Dancin in the Streets > Drum > Space > Jam
Set 3: NFA > Black Peter > Around and Around
Encore 1: Johnny B. Goode
Encore 2: Shakedown – Warewolfs of London
My friend, Melody was celebrating her annual trip around the sun, so it was it great excuse to come down to The Ogden for a night of rowdiness with the Dang Ol’ Dark Star Orchestra. With the exodus for John K for greener pastures, Jeff Mattson has filled the void nicely with his spot on guitar tone and solid vocals. We met for some pre-show libations at The Snug before hitting The Ogden around 9 PM. The room was filling in properly, but it wasn’t overly packed. There seemed to be an abundance of Dead Family in attendance, which made me wonder if they were on DSO tour. The idea seemed silly, but if you are truly looking for authenticity and to relive the shows of a bygone era, it makes sense.
“I literally just got out of jail.” – Random Concertgoer
Dark Star took the stage just before 9:30 PM. They performed a show from October 9th, 1977 that took place just down the street at McNichols Arena. The show reads like a Greatest Hits album. Rob Barroco dedicated the show to fallen fan Joel Campbell, who passed away in a tragic car crash earlier this month.
Set 1: New Minglwood Blues, They Love Each Other, Cassidy, Dire Wolf, Looks Like Rain, Brown Eyed Women, Lazy Lightnin’> Supplication, Sugaree, The Music Never Stopped
Set 2: Samson and Delilah, Scarlet Begonias> Fire On The Mountain, Estimated Prophet> He’s Gone> Truckin’> Drums> Terrapin Station> Around And Around
Encore: Casey Jones
The original show is up on Archive, Thanks to Charlie Miller for posting. http://archive.org/details/gd1977-10-09.sbd.miller.109972.flac16
I’ve said it before, but Dark Star Orchestra is not really a cover band, they are historical re-creationists. They are more akin to the people reliving Civil War battles every weekend than say Super Diamond. Since I’m not talking about anything new here, I’ll just stick to the facts. They opened with a fiery “New Minglewood Blues” that certainly got the crowd’s attention. By now the room, while not completely sold out, was certainly at capacity. In fact it was the perfect amount of people in my opinion; enough room to maneuver, and plenty of people to fill in the gaps. The “Cassidy” was precise and made for a beautiful back and forth between Donna stand-in Lisa Mackey and Rob Eaton. “The Music Never Stopped” was executed perfectly as it became a huge peak prior to the setbreak.
They opened the second set with an astounding “Samson and Delilah” but it was the “Scarlet” “Fire” that got the crowd standing at attention. Around this time I found myself in the smoking section and heard this gem.
“Man, Jerry is so good tonight.” – Random Concertgoer
The “Terrapin” hit the mark before a huge set closing “Around and Around” that featured a stellar “Johnny B. Goode” tease that left me wanting more. They said their goodbyes with a quick “Casey Jones” to close the night. I have to say that DSO has never sounded better, and their attention to detail continues to impress. If you have a hankering for the Good Ol’ Grateful Dead, this will most definitely cure what ails you.