Dark Star Orchestra
February 12, 2008
Journeying back to 1973, Dark Star Orchestra beckoned it’s followers on a cold and icy night on February 12 at Cincinnati’s Bogart’s with a set recreating the Grateful Dead’s July 1, ’73 performance at the Universal Theater in Los Angeles, CA.
Dark Star Orchestra always adds it’s own flourishes to the material on any given night and this time around, the band featured selections from it’s three-disc release recreating the Dead’s Ithaca 1977 concert, Ithaca 30 Years Later. Delicate versions of "Brown Eyed Woman," "Row Jimmy" and "El Paso" held sway over the Bogart’s denizens, and DSO began to build up steam towards the end of the first set.
First up came a bold and brazen cover of Johnny Cash’s "Big River" that dropped jaws, rolled eyeballs and had the twirlers circling in tandem. Then, the night’s biggest treat arrived via a scrappy and engaging "China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider." Lead guitarist John Kadlecik combined towering leads with Rob Eaton’s sparkling rhythm guitar arpeggios.
For the second set, DSO launched into a spacey 20-minute "Playing in the Band" that featured the booming bottom end of Kevin Rosen’s bass guitar and screeching howl of Lisa Mackey’s backup vocals. DSO tightened their chemistry to coalesce around a gleaming "Loose Lucy" that was followed by stellar runs on both "Truckin’" and "The Other One."
Winding up the show, Dark Star Orchestra broke away from script, and added two filler numbers, "Greatest Story Ever Told" and Jerry Garcia Band favorite "Sisters and Brothers" that beautifully embellished a glistening mid-winter night.