DVD-Live at the Fillmore
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Dark Star Orchestra - The premier Grateful Dead cover band

Dark Star Orchestra - The premier Grateful Dead cover band

Dark Star Orchestra on DVD
Live At The Fillmore

Recreation of the Grateful Dead's May 5, 1977, performance at the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in New Haven, CT.
Videotaped May 8, 2004, at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium
Two DVD's

w/ Donna Jean Godchaux on several songs
Artwork by Stanley Mouse
Produced by Bob Matthews
Bonus: includes two audio CDs

Dark Star Orchestra's DVD, Live At The Fillmore
Dark Star Orchestra is arguably the best Grateful Dead cover band. Their MO is to select one of the 2500 Grateful Dead concerts and recreate that evening of history by performing the songs in the same order, as well as within the style the Grateful Dead played during that particular era. 

Live At the Fillmore is Dark Star Orchestra's recreation of the May 5, 1977, show. I am not aware of any Grateful Dead 1977 concert videos so this is next best thing, and it is definitely worthwhile. 

Dark Star Orchestra is excellent and this DVD will silence any doubters. This recreation was recorded on May 8, 2004, at the Fillmore in San Francisco, and features--flashback, the Grateful Dead's own Donna Jean Godchaux, who performs on select songs. There are more Grateful Dead connections as the art on the packaging was created by Stanley "Mouse" Miller and an original Dead sound crew member Bob Matthews is the executive producer, and more (you'll have to read the liner notes to find out). 

So far I have watched the first set. The highlights include "Sugaree," Supplication," and "The Music Never Stopped."

Live At the Fillmore includes:
the DVD of the complete concert
a four page booklet
a two-disc audio companion.
Mail Order Only

Set 1
The Promised Land 
Sugaree 
Mama Tried > 
El Paso 
Tennessee Jed 
Looks Like Rain 
Deal 
Lazy Lightnin' > 
Supplication 
Peggy-O 
The Music Never Stopped 

Set 2
Bertha 
Estimated Prophet 
Scarlet Begonias  > 
Fire On The Mountain  > 
Good Lovin' 
Saint Stephen  > 
Sugar Magnolia 

Encore Johnny B. Goode 

Dark Star Orchestra - The premier Grateful Dead cover band
One More Time At The Fillmore

To come across the ArSeaEm remote recording van parked outside the Fillmore that windy night was to enter a time warp. The live-feed cables entwined with the line of Dark Star Orchestra fans waiting patiently on the sidewalk for the doors to open was not unusual, but the sight of Bob Matthews leaning out the door instantly put me back 35 years. From 1969 to 1974, Bob was president of Alembic, the innovative San Francisco studio that provided sound system and live recording services for the Grateful Dead in that period of early experimentation. Bob also recorded and engineered many early Dead records - Aoxomoxoa, Live Dead, Europe '72, Workingman's Dead, Garcia, Ace.

Is renewal to be expected at a Dark Star Orchestra gig? The flashback was deepened when next Betty Cantor-Jackson approached along the line of cables. It was the fabled team of Bob & Betty which recorded these albums and concerts of the '60s and '70s. To find them working again in the context of the Dark Star Orchestra, itself a restatement of the past, was, in the vernacular, mind blowing. It promised a special evening, it might lay ghosts to rest or awaken them, a faint whiff of acid test filled the air, time travel could be possible, and at the very least an exceptional recording would result.

This pre-concert reverie was further stoked when next Don Pearson stepped out of the ArSeaEm van, and I realized that Bob was not relying merely on very ancient alchemy, for Don was the head of Ultra Sound, which provided the Dead's PA system from the later 70s through to the 90s. Billed as Chief Scientist to ArSeaEm, Don would bring a systems overview, an etheric certainty to the proceedings. The rest is history going forward once again, for you hold the record in your hands. DSO delivered the promise of orchestra.

There's a time signature too, a voice from the past, a way of doing things at ArSeaEm, a set of values. Bonus material on this DVD was sacrificed for the highest audio quality possible within the medium and budget's limitations. The work is cooperative, profit is shared with artists and staff. On that windy night at the Fillmore, the future was again a certain kind of past, a time of hope.

I was going in again.
by Alan Trist
from the DSOlive.com website

With a doubt, the Dark Star Orchestra is an event work experiencing. Check out their website at http://www.darkstarorchestra.net/ and see when they are coming to a venue near you.

Dark Star Orchestra - The premier Grateful Dead cover band

 

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