Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

In lieu of real Dead, cover band endures

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jerry Garcia died in August 1995, basically dissolving the Grateful Dead, but by then the seeds of a musical legacy had already been sowed.

Original Dark Star Orchestra keyboardist/vocalist Scott Larned first started performing covers of Grateful Dead songs while tooling around his home base of Chicago. A self-proclaimed “Deadhead,” the now-deceased Larned hooked up with John Kadlecik (formerly of Wingnut) and the two decided to take things to another level: choose a classic Grateful Dead set list, say from the band’s Broome County Arena show in Binghamton, N.Y., in November 1977, and play it in its entirety.

It was a worthy musical endeavor indeed, but how would a legion of Deadheads take to the band when they were reeling from the death of Garcia, a figurehead for their generation?

Dark Star Orchestra
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11
WHERE: Sol Santa Fe, 37 Fire Place, Santa Fe
HOW MUCH: Advance tickets are $25 at holdmyticket.com

The weekly freakouts, beginning in November 1997 in Chicago, now number more than 1,900 performed by Dark Star Orchestra in venues all over the world. It’s a significant number considering that the Grateful Dead performed 2,350 shows total in its career, but also because Dark Star Orchestra has had to try to re-create that same number of Grateful Dead set lists with a limited musical framework from which to draw.

“There was no real formula to what they were doing,” current keyboardist/vocalist Rob Barraco said recently. “They had a blueprint for the songs, but other than that all of the notes they played were made up every night. If you saw them three nights in a row you might hear the same song three times, but it will sound different each time.”

The same can be said for the Dark Star Orchestra’s re-creation of these sets, making each of the band’s shows a unique experience.

These days, the band still does not reveal which set list it has chosen, though a visit to the band’s website (darkstarorchestra.net) does reveal the band’s recent choices.

TOP |