Chicago’s Dark Star Orchestra has been paying homage to the legendary psychedelic rock gurus, the Grateful Dead, since the idea was conceived in 1997. On the night of DSO’s one year anniversary, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of the band Phish sat in on the majority of DSO’s performance after their own show, and the word spread quickly, sparking national interest. Their tour of Colorado within the following months proved to be beyond their expectations, and all but just a few shows were sold out entirely.
The band’s popularity continued to soar, and they have developed a dedicated following. Sound familiar? The Grateful Dead “cover band” not only replicates the sound and the music of the Dead, but they do so in full and exact set lists from any of the previous (nearly) 2500 shows and from different eras of the Dead’s thirty year history, portraying each band member and each song precisely from that particular show. Former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten, Donna Godchaux and Phil Lesh have all made guest appearances at DSO shows, over 2200 and counting.