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Dark Star Orchestra: Life After Dead
j4fern20
j4fern20
2/26/2010 12:30 PM

I don't consider them to be a "cover band" at all...

Most artists cover other's material and make it their own (i.e. The Grateful Dead themselves)...but that fact aside I think any improvisational music *cannot* be covered per se.

DSO couldn't even "cover" their own show if they tried...we're not talking a James Taylor Tribute band here...Improvisation is what separates the two.

DSO/The Schwag are Jerry's torchbearers..."Spirit Band" seems more appropriate.

kayaker247
kayaker247
2/26/2010 01:28 PM

fun band and all, but how are they NOT a cover band?

BenjaminHuman
BenjaminHuman
2/26/2010 02:17 PM

"we're not a cover band, we're a spirit band"

bwahahahahahahaha

dirtbike1
dirtbike1
2/26/2010 03:29 PM

Wikipedia cover band Example of cover act 1st one listed DSO

Relevant
Relevant
2/26/2010 04:54 PM

#1 I would bet that 12 years ago, DSO really just wanted to be able to play good 'ol GD music at the local bars in Chicago.

#2 With Jerry being gone and the remaining members trying to "find the sound" that they wanted post-GD, it was the FANS that brought DSO to the level of touring they are at now.

#3 DSO, nor any other band playing, sets ticket prices. They are set by the venue.

#4 For 12 years, DSO gave Grateful Dead fans something that NO ONE was giving them: Dead music played in a manner that invoked memories of days gone by.

It is quite silly to rip on DSO for being a "cover band" when it was the fans of the music and the paying customer that made them as big as they are. The argument that they are simply "riding the coattails" or "cashing in" on the Dead's music is simply not accurate. If you think that these guys are raking in the cash, you really have a lot to learn about the music biz. They are playing music that they love playing for people that love hearing them play it. If you are a fan of the Grateful Dead, I find it very hard to imagine that you would not enjoy going to a DSO show. I have yet to meet anyone who was a fan of the GD who did not walk out of the venue with a huge smile on their face.

They state in the article that they have an original project in the works. All the musicians in the band are great players, not to mention Eaton's abilities as an engineer and producer. And to the poster who stated that they would rather see Cubensis (who is also really good) for $10 than DSO for $25: ask the members of Cubensis if they would like to switch place with DSO? In a freakin' heartbeat would be my guess.

nancyinthesky
nancyinthesky
2/26/2010 06:43 PM

DSO is a good cover band. Just curious when they decided to stop "recreating shows" ? Seems like they're trying to distance themselves from that concept now. Why the sudden change in marketing? Getting tired of being called a clone band? I just found the comment by the band to be contrary to what I know I've read on the DSO web site for years.

So, what is it - is DSO they really going to change it up and go for original sound or will they continue to be a really good tribute band? Can't have it both ways...

Zoso2517
Zoso2517
2/26/2010 08:00 PM

cover band. Really, most everyone appears to be in agreement here. People certainly have a lot to say about though...

NershiMadness
NershiMadness
2/26/2010 08:29 PM

Alright a lot of controversy, but the way i see it by seeing DSO many times and reading the article is yes no doubt they are a "cover band." For the new generation, it is great to see what kind of "spirit" the GD had. Its defiantly not the same but similiar in ways. I mean if you have never seen the Grateful Dead and enjoy their music then why not want to go see a band that plays the similar tunes that the Gd did. People would rather see a band like this than not being able to see Grateful Dead cover songs at all. In the end GD did start a revolution in many minds, good and bad things about DSO playing as they do.... but... Be Grateful and have a good weekend to all

magnetic7
magnetic7
2/26/2010 09:36 PM

Very interesting to read these reviews. I wonder how many of the folks who dis on the band for being a "cover band" actually ever saw the Grateful Dead. For me, the term "spirit band" fits perfectly. Think about it- Rob Eaton TAPED Grateful Dead shows in the 70's and 80's!! He should know what he is talking about! He has lived the music and continues to do so through his recreating of the spirit of the Dead's music along with the other members. My personal experiences with this band has been truly moving many times. Right after Albert Hoffman died the band played a show here in Eugene and it was so psychedelic, so raw, the audience and the band were so in sync, I was in awe of the power of this music to transport and transform us. Remember how this music was really honed- in the acid tests. The Dead were the house band for events that were a major shift in this country's consciousness. To carry that spirit through for younger generations now is a great service to today's youth, I think. One of the things that amazes me about the songs is their ability to stay so fresh and alive in the here and now. I have witnessed my non-deadhead wife totally get it at a DSO show after her mother died. The emotional impact the music had on her was so profound that it will always bring her to tears when she hears those songs. That's a Spirit Band!! The music is the Living Word that will never be outdated or insignificant. The work that this band continues to do is so important, I honor their work and will always go see them to relive and refresh the magic over and over. Can't wait to see them in Portland and Ashland!

stuckinabeat
stuckinabeat
2/27/2010 06:45 AM

^^ Very well said.

walther
walther
2/27/2010 09:46 AM

Dark Star Orchestra is an ensemble specializing in authentic interpretation of Grateful Dead works as faithful as possible to its original performance. Thus the orchestra performs in the same way that an classical interprets music of classical composers like Bach or Mozart and people in the audience applaud both the fine music of Bach or Mozart or, in the case of DSO, Grateful Dead and its authentic interpretation as well. As a matter of course there is a difference between the orchestras. DSO is a jamband and performs with plenty of room of interpretation and improvisation compared to a classical orchestra with its note for note orientation and fully written-out rather than improvised cadenzas.

The orchestra’s interpretation of Grateful Dead works is very refreshing, emotionally engaging without being sentimental or nostalgic, and technically precise. DSO makes each musical piece sound effortless as the music, the Sleeping Beauty, were kissed awake to play the band. The improvised cadenzas played or instant compositions created by all of the musicians are mindfully performed and lead to very sensitive arrangements blessed with its own identity and autonomy, which correspond perfectly to the character of the original works. The orchestra’s tone is warm, though DSO can put on the power very well whenever it's needed, and its playing exhibit then the ferocity, one is able to really appreciate the beauty and profundity of Grateful Dead works in the Now. The approach of Dark Star Orchestra to jamband music was as obvious as it was ingenious and has revealed a new route to continue with the superb music of the Grateful Dead.

walther
walther
2/27/2010 11:39 AM

It makes sense to just replace DSO by Splintered Sunlight if the musicians of both bands are identical.

77
77
2/27/2010 03:07 PM

A lot of fun and Jeff makes some really wild sounds <><>

BenjaminHuman
BenjaminHuman
2/27/2010 03:59 PM

i didn't say he was wrong, it's just a funny ass thing to say!

lovemusicfood
lovemusicfood
2/27/2010 06:40 PM

Wow! Might be the corniest article ever on jambase. People wonder why hippies aren't taken seriously.

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