Dark Star Orchestra

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Dark Star Orchestra
DarkStarOrchestra.jpg
The Dark Star Orchestra performing on February 14, 2007 at Freebird Live.
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, USA
Genres Rock, psychedelic rock, jam band
Years active 1997–present
Associated acts Furthur, Zen Tricksters, JGB, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Dead
Website http://www.darkstarorchestra.net
Members Lisa Mackey
Skip Vangelas
Rob Koritz
Dino English
Rob Eaton
Rob Barraco
Jeff Mattson
Past members John Kadlecik
Scott Larned
Mike Maraat
Ahmer Nizam
Michael Hazdra
Mark Corsolini
Dave Campbell
John Sabal
Bustar
Jim Harris
David Berg
Gregg Koerner
Kevin Rosen
Tom Ryan
Dan Klepinger
Stu Allen

Dark Star Orchestra (or simply DSO) is a United States tribute band to the Grateful Dead, formed in 1997 and based in Chicago.

Overview[edit]

Dark Star Orchestra performs shows from among the nearly 2,500 shows that the Grateful Dead performed during their 30 year tenure as fathers of improvisational rock. On most, though not all their performances, Dark Star Orchestra presents the complete original set list, song by song, and in order, while adapting their phrasing, voice arrangements, and specific musical equipment for the various eras of the Grateful Dead shows in which they perform.[1]

Members of the Grateful Dead themselves, including rhythm guitarist/singer Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, drummer Bill Kreutzmann, vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux, and keyboardists Vince Welnick and Tom Constanten, have appeared on stage and performed with Dark Star Orchestra. In November 2011, the group performed its 2,000th show in Ithaca, NY.[2]

History[edit]

Dark Star Orchestra has been playing live shows together since 1997, after guitarist John Kadlecik contacted keyboardist Scott Larned with a concept (introduced by a common friend Andrew "Tiny" Dofner): performing complete Grateful Dead shows out of history. When Scott mentioned having the same idea, John knew they were on to something. Since forming, the band has performed over 2200 shows.[2]

On lead guitar and vocals, John Kadlecik used amp rigs and equipment to imitate guitar tone of Jerry Garcia from the show being recreated. When a 70s show is being performed, vocalist Lisa Mackey provides Donna Godchaux's female harmonies.

Dino English delivers the rhythmic drumming sounds of Bill Kreutzmann. On the other drum set, Rob Koritz, fills the Mickey Hart role. Kevin Rosen provides a style of bass playing similar to that of Phil Lesh. Rob Eaton performs rhythm guitar and vocals in the style of Bob Weir.

In November 1998, on the eve of their first anniversary, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish joined DSO at Martyrs' after their own show. Fishman sat in for the majority of the evening, which included a drum section with four percussionists. The ensuing buzz caused national interest in the band. That winter, their Colorado tour sold out almost every stop, and, soon after, the Washington Post declared them "the hottest Grateful Dead tribute act going"; USA Today claimed DSO was "channeling the Dead", but what they do is not just a tribute to the Grateful Dead but a testament to the enormous number of unique set lists they performed in their long career.

Continuing the growth, the band had performed up to 200 dates in a year. They have grown continually, playing at larger venues and theaters, collaborating with guests including Grateful Dead alumni Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay, Vince Welnick, and Tom Constanten.

In 2008, Dark Star Orchestra performed over 150 shows throughout the U.S. In addition to the complete Grateful Dead show selections, the band has been known to incorporate Jerry Garcia Band show setlists as well as original set lists of their own choosing.

During the band's Spring tour in 2005, co-founder Scott Larned died of a heart attack on April 24; the band reeled for a while, featuring the talents of guest keyboardists, including Dan Klepinger and Tom Ryan, until selecting Rob Barraco as a permanent replacement in 2007.

In 2009 John Kadlecik joined a new band with original Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir called Furthur. On November 16, 2009 he officially announced that he was leaving Dark Star Orchestra. His final show with the band was on December 5, 2009. For DSO's 2009–10 winter shows, he was replaced by guitarist Jeff Mattson of the Zen Tricksters and the Donna Jean Godchaux Band. Mattson now is considered the permanent guitarist for DSO.

On May 3, 2013 it was announced that bassist Kevin Rosen would be leaving the band. He was quoted as saying "After all my years of touring with Dark Star Orchestra, I find myself in need of an extended break from life on the road. In addition, my mother’s declining health makes it even more important to be home at this time." [3]

Members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Lisa Mackey - vocals (1997–present)
  • Skip Vangelas - bass, vocals (2013–present)
  • Rob Koritz - drums, percussion (1999–present)
  • Dino English - drums, percussion (1999–present)
  • Rob Eaton - rhythm guitar, vocals (2001–present)
  • Rob Barraco - keyboards, vocals (some shows in 2005 and 2006, 2007–present)
  • Jeff Mattson - lead guitar, vocals (one show in 2005, 2009–2010, 2010–present)

Former Members[edit]

  • Kevin Rosen - bass, vocals (1997-2013)
  • John Kadlecik - lead guitar, vocals (1997–2009)
  • Scott Larned - keyboards, vocals (1997–2005, deceased)
  • Mike Maraat - rhythm guitar, vocals (1997–1999)
  • Ahmer Nizam - drums (1997–1999)
  • Michael Hazdra - bass, vocals (1998–2000, some shows in 2001)
  • Mark Corsolini - drums (1998–1999)
  • Dave "Chopper" Campbell - rhythm guitar, vocals (some shows in 2000)
  • John Sabal - rhythm guitar, vocals (some shows in 2000)
  • Bustar - rhythm guitar, vocals (some shows in 2000)
  • Jim Harris - rhythm guitar, vocals (some shows in 2000 and 2001)
  • David Berg - rhythm guitar, vocals (some shows in 2000 and 2001)
  • Gregg Koerner - bass, vocals (some shows in 2001)
  • Skip Vangelas - bass, vocals (some shows in 2001)
  • Tom Ryan - keyboards, vocals (some shows in 2005)
  • Dan Klepinger - keyboards, vocals (some shows in 2005, 2006 and 2007)
  • Stu Allen - lead guitar, vocals (some shows in 2010)

Tours[edit]

2008[edit]

  • 1500 And Counting Tour
  • European Tour
  • Spring Tour
  • Road To The Roo Tour
  • All Good Vibes Tour
  • Like A Tumbleweed Tour
  • Red Caravan Tour
  • Cosmic New Year's Run

2009[edit]

  • Winter Tour
  • Spring Tour West
  • Spring Tour East
  • Summer Tour
  • Rex Caravan Tour
  • Fall Tour
  • Cosmic New Year's Run

2010[edit]

  • Southbound Winter Tour
  • One Way Or Another Tour
  • Seeds Of Light Tour
  • Rock My Soul Summer Tour
  • A Slingshot On Mars Tour
  • Wings A Mile Long Tour
  • From A City Near You Tour
  • Cosmic New Year's Run

2011[edit]

  • Southbound Winter Tour
  • Four Winds Tour
  • Into The Sun Tour
  • Hearts Of Summer Tour
  • Last Rose Of Summer Tour
  • Fall Tour
  • Cosmic New Year's Run

2012[edit]

  • Southbound Winter Tour
  • European Tour
  • Spring Tour West
  • Spring Tour East
  • Meet Me At The Jubilee Summer Tour
  • Fall Tour West
  • Fall Tour East
  • Cosmic New Year's Run

2013[edit]

  • Winter Tour
  • Spring Tour West
  • Spring Tour East
  • Summer Tour
  • Fall Tour West
  • Fall Tour East
  • Cosmic New Year's Run

2014[edit]

  • Winter Tour

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ . Dark Star Orchestra http://www.darkstarorchestra.net/NEWSITE/HTML/dso.php?sec=band. Retrieved 12 April 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b Dark Star Orchestra set lists at darkstarorchestra.net
  3. ^ . Dark Star Orchestra http://www.darkstarorchestra.net/NEWSITE/HTML/dso.php?sec=news. Retrieved 11 April 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

References[edit]

External links[edit]