Watch Dark Star Orchestra Enlist Actor Miles Teller & Drummer Chad Wackerman For ‘Drums’ In Los Angeles

Teller starred in Top Gun: Maverick and Whiplash, while Wackerman was Frank Zappa’s drummer from 1981 – 1988.

By Scott Bernstein Jan 29, 2024 1:50 pm PST

Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra brought their winter tour to Los Angeles on Saturday night for a show at The Wiltern. Special guests actor Miles Teller and renowned drummer Chad Wackerman joined DSO drumming duo Rob Koritz and Dino English for the evening’s “Drums” excursion.

Dark Star Orchestra devoted their latest visit to Los Angeles to recreating the Grateful Dead’s July 13, 1981 setlist. The original show was performed at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. Plenty of beloved classics were played by DSO at The Wiltern including “Althea,” “Deal,” “Terrapin Station” and the famed pairing of “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire On The Mountain.”


Guitarists Jeff Mattson and Rob Eaton, keyboardist Rob Barraco and bassist Skip Vangelas left Koritz and English onstage following “Terrapin” towards the middle of the second set. Rob Koritz and Dino English stuck to their main kits while Teller and Wackerman emerged to bang on the auxilliary drum setup.

36-year-old actor Miles Teller starred in such films as 2014’s Whiplash, 2015’s Fantastic Four and more recently as Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw in the 2022 flick Top Gun: Maverick. Chad Wackerman is best known for his seven-year run in Frank Zappa’s band, which made him the legendary guitarist’s longest tenured drummer. Wackerman has also toured with James Taylor, Allan Holdsworth, Men At Work and many other artists.

Check out footage of Teller and Wackerman adding to “Drums” below:

Dark Star Orchestra started the encore with a take on The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” a cover the Dead debuted on November 26, 1980. The band went back to the Dead’s formative days for the evening’s “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” filler. Next up for DSO is a Tuesday night show in San Luis Obispo, California.

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Setlist (via DSO Forums)

Set One: Feel Like A Stranger, They Love Each Other > El Paso, Jack-a-Roe > Beat It On Down The Line, It Must Have Been The Roses > C.C. Rider, Althea > Looks Like Rain > Deal

Set Two: Man Smart (Woman Smarter) > Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Estimated Prophet > Terrapin Station > drums* > space > Not Fade Away > Black Peter > Sugar Magnolia

Encore: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Filler: The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)

* – with Miles Teller (Whiplash, Top Gun actor) and Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa, James Taylor drummer)

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