Performing to critical acclaim worldwide for over 13 years and more than 1800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead's extensive catalog and the talent of these 7 fine musicians. On any given night the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra's members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.
Dark Star Orchestra offers much more than the sound of the Grateful Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and the experience. It's about a sense of familiarity. It's about a feeling that grabs listeners and takes over. It's about a contagious energy ... in short, it's about the complete experience and consistent quality show that the fan receives when attending a Dark Star Orchestra show.
Dark Star Orchestra has performed throughout the United States and Europe. They continue to grow their fan base by playing at larger venues for two and even three nightstands as well as performing at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, All Good Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Mountain Jam, Summer Camp, Wakarusa and 10,000 Lakes. In addition, Dark Star Orchestra hosts its own annual gathering, Gratefulfest, where they headline three nights and are joined by a mix of established and up and coming national touring acts.
Fans and critics haven't been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and many more...
"For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Eaton explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live."
"...I can close my eyes and go back 30 years and have it be every bit as rewarding and satisfying. Dark Star is an amazingly legitimate representation of the Dead."
Dan Healy, Grateful Dead sound engineer 1966 -1994
"Channeling the Dead"
"Playing with Dark Star Orchestra is something that feels just exactly like it felt when I was playing with the Grateful Dead."
Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay, Grateful Dead vocalist 1972 - 1979
"The Dark Star Orchestra re-creates Grateful Dead shows with a flashback-inducing meticulousness."
The New Yorker
"Fanatical attention to detail."
"In fact, Dark Star Orchestra often sounds more like the Dead than the Dead sometimes did..."