Dark Star Orchestra Recreates 1977 Show, Welcomes Drummers For Capitol Theatre Run

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Over the weekend, Dark Star Orchestra hit Port Chester, New York’s historic venue, The Capitol Theatre, for two nights. Across two-show run, the band offered up two Grateful Dead-inspired shows. On Friday, the band recreated the iconic jam act’s May 17, 1977 showing at Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s Memorial Coliseum, marking 42 years exactly since the source material was performed. The next night, DSO offered an elective set, drawing from across the Dead’s vast catalog to craft and welcoming guest percussionists during the second set.

On Friday, May 17, Dark Star Orchestra opened the show with a slinky pairing of “New Minglewood Blues” and “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo,” with the latter marking the one of the longest jam of the frame at just over 11 minutes. From there, the group moved into a meandering “El Paso,” ahead of a number of fan favorites, such as “Jack Straw,” “Jack-A-Roe,” “Tennessee Jed,” and Johnny Cash’s “Big River.” To close out the set, they offered up a celebratory take on the classic pairing of “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire on the Mountain.” Watch the first three songs of the frame below, courtesy of Relix:

The second set got off to an energetic start, with the band drawing on the 1977 setlist to offer “Samson and Delilah,” “Bertha” into “Good Lovin'” and “Brown-Eyed Woman.” The band did not let up from there, working through a standalone “Estimated Prophet” before pairing a triumphant “Terrapin Station” into a jubilant “Playin’ in the Band.” Following the drums portion of the night, DSO closed the show with a mournful “Wharf Rat” into a return to “Playin’ in the Band,” with an encore of “Sugar Magnolia” wrapping up the performance in full. Watch the first three songs of the second set below, courtesy of Relix:

On the second night, Saturday, May 18, Dark Star Orchestra deviated from their common practice of recreating previously performed Grateful Dead shows. Unlike the night prior, the group developed their own setlist, opting to go less era-restrained picks and offering more exploratory transitions throughout. To open the show, the group paired “Eyes of the World” with a soaring “Corrina.” After nine-and-a-half-minute “Ramble On Rose” proceeded relatively straightforward takes on “Black-Throated Wind,” “Dire Wolf” and “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.” The band then offered Jerry Garcia solo tune “I’ll Take A Melody,” off 1977’s Reflections, and the Brent Mydland and John Perry Barlow-penned “Blow Away,” ahead of the set-closing combo of “Alabama Getaway” (perhaps a nod to the restrictive anti-abortion laws passed in the Southern state earlier in the week) and “Greatest Story Ever Told.” Watch the first three song’s of DSO’s second night at The Capitol Theatre below, courtesy of Relix:

For the second frame, the group opened with two classic pairings: first, “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider,” followed by “Lost Sailor” into “Saint of Circumstance.” Keeping in the segue-heavy theme of the set, the group moved deftly into a cover of Steve Winwood’s “Gimme Some Lovin'” before transitioning into an extended drums segment, that featured Sikiru Adepoju on the talking drum and Richie “Shakin” Nagin on percussion, rounding out the band’s existing drummer duo of Rob Koritz and Dino English. After space, the band returned to Winwood’s catalog, offering up Traffic classic “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” which boasted the reprise of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” A reflective “Stella Blue” picked up into “Goin Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” and the brief, set-closing “One More Saturday Night,” ahead of the group’s encore of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” Watch the second frame’s set-opening stretch below, courtesy of Relix:

Plus, listen to full audio from both shows below, captured by nico11104:

Full Show Audio (Taped by nico11104)

May 17, 2019

May 18, 2019

Setlist (May 17, 2019)

Set One: New Minglewood Blues, Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodeloo, El Paso, They Love Each Other, Jack Straw, Jack-A-Roe, Looks Like Rain, Tennessee Jed, Passenger, High Time, Big River, Sunrise, Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain

Set Two: Samson and Delilah, Bertha > Good Lovin’, Brown-Eyed Women, Estimated Prophet, Terrapin Station > Playin’ in the Band > Drums > Wharf Rat > Playin’ in the Band

Encore: Sugar Magnolia

Setlist (May 18, 2019)

Set One: Eyes of the World > Corrina, Ramble On Rose, Black-Throated Wind, Dire Wolf, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, I’ll Take a Melody, Blow Away, Alabama Getaway > Greatest Story Ever Told

Set Two: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance > Gimme Some Lovin’ > Drums* > Space > Dear Mr. Fantasy > Hey Jude Reprise > Stella Blue > Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad, One More Saturday Night

Encore: It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

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