Douger writes (and I post here with his permission) of seeing Dark Star Orchestra at the Westbury Music Fair:
OK, I saw this band last night. A friend called yesterday afternoon with an extra ticket and I had no plans, so what the hell.
As far as the creepiness factor goes, I think I understand where people are coming from. Not sure if they played a faithful note for note 10/6/77 or not (I’m not that fluent with this show) but it was fun trying to figure it out at the start of the show. Promised Land…….hmmm, sounds like ’76. Tennessee Jed……Yeah, ’76! What? Jack Straw 3rd song? Hmmm, not so sure now…….
There was a moment during Estimated when I wasn’t paying full attention (hey, the roach fell between my legs) and suddenly “Bobby” leapt into “The Sea Will Part Before Me!!” It sounded so much like Weir when I looked up it was positively surreal. Yes, a little eerie. But it dawned on me that I have no problem watching a movie when I’ve already read the book, or seeing a play when I’ve already seen the movie, or with a documentary/biography like Walk the Line where the characters look and act exactly like Johnny Cash and June Carter. There’s nothing creepy about that, so why would this be different. What I witnessed last night was simply good theater.
All that aside, this is an outstanding cover band. Their presentation was flawless. Their energy level peaked at all the right moments. “Jerry” was crisp, both vocals and guitar. “Donna’s” face lit up at times during the solos, adding to the fun of the evening. Her duet with the “Bobby” character during the last segment of Looks Like Rain brought the sought after goosebumps. I mean shit, they were tight, loud, and perfectly harmonious. What’s not to like?
So, while I’m not about to drop out and go on tour, I’d go see them again for sure. Jerry said it should be fun, and in a word, yes, fun. I flashed on once hearing Weir when asked about a Grateful Dead concert, “I’ve never seen them.” Too bad he wasn’t there last night. Hey, maybe he could find the roach :)