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Live Review Photos Dark Star Orchestra recreates 72 Dead in Redwood City

13 November 2015 No Comment

Dark Star Orchestra
10-01-2015 @ Fox Theater
Redwood City, California
Photos & Review: Jeff Longo

Dark Star Orchestra rocked the Fox Theater in Redwood City kicking off a three night run of Bay Area on their annual Fall Tour West. Located 20 miles south of San Francisco, the historic Fox Theater is a beautifully restored hall built in 1928 with excellent acoustics & the perfect setting for an amazing evening. Dark Star Orchestra is a tribute band that celebrates the Grateful Dead live experience with a faithful recreation of an exact show the Dead performed during their 30 years of touring & this evenings recreation was originally performed on September 10, 1972 at the Hollywood Palladium in California.

For all things Dark Star Orchestra including Winter Tour Dates – click here

Part 1 – 2015-09-24 – Grass Valley CA at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Part 2 – 2015-10-01 – Redwood City CA at the Fox Theater
Part 3 – 2015-10-02 and 10-03 San Francisco CA at the Regency Ballroom

The first set was packed with some of the Dead’s best songs. Guitarist Rob Eaton channeled his cosmic cowboy with impressive takes on rockers Bertha & Greatest Story, and later with Promised Land, El Paso, & Black Throated Wind. Lisa Mackey injected exquisite backing & harmonies throughout elevating each song she joined. Skip Vangelas’ vibrating bass & drummer Dino English were in the pocket all night. Especially noticeable on songs like Sugaree & Half Step that had a sweet laid back groove, which is probably due in part to the single drummer configuration the Dead employed at this time. The highlights were definitely a soaring early set Bird Song that was just outstanding and a wild Playing in the Band featuring the first extended jam of the night. A 20+ minute beast with blazing shredding that spun into deep abstract exploration till eventually the spaceship crashes headfirst into a heavy rocking Casey Jones freight train to close out the eleven song set.

Set 2 kicked off with slow burning, soulful take on He’s Gone that was all smiles. A balls to the wall Truckin’, ragtime bumper Ramble on Rose & Beat It On Down the Line keep the dance party going. A moment of reflection on an emotionally charged Black Peter slowed the pace down, then suddenly a 30 minute monster Dark Star emerges, the Dead’s ultimate improvisational launch pad for psychedelic space jamming. When we reach the other side Jack Straw comes forth, which was the only time the Dead ever paired the two together. A beautiful full length a cappella Sing Me Back Home into Sugar Magnolia along with encore One More Saturday Night brought the Dead set to an end. Lisa Mackey took the stage for one last song and it was a banger – White Rabbit. Lisa belted out the Jefferson Airplane classic with all the intensity and ferocity of a young Grace Slick in her prime, maybe better capping off an extraordinary evening.

Set list originally performed by the Grateful Dead on 09-10-1972 at the Hollywood Palladium in California

Set One: Bertha ; Greatest Story Ever Told ; Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo ; Black Throated Wind ; Bird Song ; The Promised Land ; Deal ; El Paso ; Sugaree ; Playing In The Band ; Casey Jones
Set Two: He’s Gone > Truckin’ ; Ramble On Rose ; Beat It On Down The Line ; Black Peter ; Dark Star > Jack Straw > Sing Me Back Home ; Sugar Magnolia
Encore: One More Saturday Night
Filler: White Rabbit
Dark Star Orchestra is Rob Eaton (rhythm guitar, vocals), Jeff Mattson (lead guitar, vocals), Skip Vangelas (Bass), Lisa Mackey (vocals), Rob Barraco (keyboards, vocals), Rob Koritz (drums), and Dino English (drums).

Dark Star Orchestra will kick off their Fall Tour East on Nov 12 before wrapping up with a Cosmic New Year’s celebration at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.  Jamaica Jam in the Sand is scheduled for January 19-23, 2016 DSO will headline four nights with 2 full sets each night – they will be joined by Steve Kimock and his tribute to Jerry Garcia featuring Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, Reed Mathis and Dan Leibovitz, plus the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.Winter tour will begin 2/11 hitting the southern & midwest US.  Immediately afterwards they will hit the road again for their Winter Tour 2016 starting February 11 in Orlando, FL with stops throughout the South and Midwest. For all things Dark Star Orchestra click here

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Part 1 – 2015-09-24 – Grass Valley CA at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Part 2 – 2015-10-01 – Redwood City CA at the Fox Theater
Part 3 – 2015-10-02 and 10-03 San Francisco CA at the Regency Ballroom



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Part 1 – 2015-09-24 – Grass Valley CA at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Part 2 – 2015-10-01 – Redwood City CA at the Fox Theater
Part 3 – 2015-10-02 and 10-03 San Francisco CA at the Regency Ballroom

The band includes Rob Eaton (rhythm guitar, vocals), Jeff Mattson (lead guitar, vocals), Skip Vangelas (Bass), Lisa Mackey (vocals), Rob Barraco (keyboards, vocals), Rob Koritz (drums), and Dino English (drums).

Dark Star Orchestra will kick off their Fall Tour East on Nov 12 before wrapping up with a Cosmic New Year’s celebration at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.  Jamaica Jam in the Sand is scheduled for January 19-23, 2016 DSO will headline four nights with 2 full sets each night – they will be joined by Steve Kimock and his tribute to Jerry Garcia featuring Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, Reed Mathis and Dan Leibovitz, plus the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.Winter tour will begin 2/11 hitting the southern & midwest US.  Immediately afterwards they will hit the road again for their Winter Tour 2016 starting February 11 in Orlando, FL with stops throughout the South and Midwest. For all things Dark Star Orchestra click here

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