Dark Star Orchestra Plays Dead In Philadelphia & Announces Cape Cod Concerts


Dark Star Orchestra concluded a weekend of drive-in style concerts on Sunday with the second of two shows as part of the Live-In/Drive-In concert series in the parking lot of Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. The band recreated the Grateful Dead’s September 6, 1980 performance on its 40th anniversary. In other DSO news, the tribute act will play two more drive-in style shows at The Yarmouth Drive-In in Yarmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod on September 25 and 26.

After Friday's drive-in style show in Canandaigua, New York, Dark Star Orchestra went the elective route in Philadelphia for their Saturday night setlist. DSO opened by pairing “Jack Straw” and “Bertha” before rolling through a series of staples. The first frame in Philly came to a close with a run of “Let It Grow” into “Eyes Of The World” into “Box Of Rain.”


A standalone “Scarlet Begonias” began the second set on Saturday. The rest of the set was heavy on jam vehicles as “Estimated Prophet” gave way to “Terrapin Station” and then DSO fit “Drums” and “Space” within “St. Stephen.” From there, DSO treated fans to a run of “The Eleven” into “Stella Blue” into “Turn On Your Love Light” to end the frame and then presented a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” as the encore.

Sunday’s concert was held on the 40th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s September 6, 1980 performance at the State Fairgrounds in Lewiston, Maine. DSO honored the occasion in Philadelphia by using the same exact setlist the Dead did 40 years prior in Maine with one change. “Far From Me” was played by the Dead in Lewiston but not by DSO on Sunday in Philadelphia. While vocalist Lisa Mackey would usually sit the show out as it wasn’t during the period Donna Jean Godchaux was in the Dead, she contributed harmony vocals to the mix since keyboardist Rob Barraco was having “vocal problems.”


Dark Star’s Sunday finale featured such beloved pairings as “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” and “Lost Sailor” into “Saint Of Circumstance.” The meat of the second set saw DSO deliver a wild “Playing In The Band” sequence that included “Uncle John’s Band,” “Drums,” “Space,” “Not Fade Away” and “The Wheel” within. “Sugar Magnolia” capped the last set of the weekend and DSO said farewell with an encore of “One More Saturday Night” and “Brokedown Palace.”

Next up for Dark Star Orchestra are the aforementioned shows on September 25 and 26 at The Yarmouth Drive-In. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Wednesday, September 9 at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster (Two-Day Pass, September 25, September 26).


Setlists (via Dark Star Orchestra)

Saturday, September 5

Set One: Jack Straw > Bertha, Black Throated Wind, Big Boss Man, Loser, Passenger, Ramble On Rose, Let It Grow > Eyes Of The World > Box Of Rain

Set Two: Scarlet Begonias, Estimated Prophet > Terrapin Station > Saint Stephen > drums > space > Saint Stephen > The Eleven > The Other One > Stella Blue > Turn On Your Lovelight (Pigpen style).

Encore: It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

Sunday, September 6

Set One: Alabama Getaway > Greatest Story Ever Told, Sugaree, Me And My Uncle > Mexicali Blues, Tennessee Jed, Feel Like A Stranger, Friend Of The Devil > Little Red Rooster, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > The Promised Land

Set Two: Shakedown Street, Lost Sailor > Saint Of Circumstance, Althea, Playing In The Band > Uncle John’s Band > Drums > Space > Not Fade Away > The Wheel > Uncle John’s Band > Playing In The Band > Sugar Magnolia

Encore: One More Saturday Night > Brokedown Palace