first off, this was an awesome dark star orchestra show! the entire evening, from the start minutes after 8 until the finish just before midnight, clocked in at just under 4 hours! this was my second dso show; may, 2006, at the nokia theatre in nyc was my first. the nokia show was an original dso setlist. last night dso recreated the november 1, 1973, dead show at mcgraw memorial hall in evanston, illinois.
part of the fun of a dso show is to guess which dead show they recreate that particular night. the very first clue i had was the one drummer on stage - so that was either a pre-mickey hart show (1960's) or a show from 1972-75 when mickey had left the band. since dso rarely recreates dead shows from the 60's, the 72-75 period was the better bet. that was a momentary downer since, if it wasn't an original dso setlist, the song selection would preclude "terrapin" or "help > slipknot > franklin's tower!"
but there were plenty of good tunes to be heard! after starting w/"promised land" and "sugaree," they swung into "me and bobby mcgee" - sweet! when emmy, rob, and i saw ratdog in peekskill last winter, bobby opened his second set w/an acoustic version - also sweet! but, last night turned into an all bobby first set for me - after "brown eyed women," dso rolled into "black throated wind" - my all time favorite weir song. "bt wind" was followed by an amazingly tight "china > rider!" having gone to some recent phil shows where he played "rider" as a stand alone tune, it was great hearing it put back together again ;)
that stretch of tunes already made for a great first set! but the treat was yet to come - namely an off the wall "weather report suite!" i'll fess up right now and state for the record, i've never taken "wrs" seriously! at least not until last night, when i heard dso completely tear up "let it grow!!" it was such a powerful jam that i hardly recognized the tune! it made me want to pull out my "wrs" tapes and revisit the dead performances - for a sound check!
the second set opened w/"morning dew" and went into an "amazing playin' > uncle john's band > playing" improvisational block that just rocked! but i couldn't get into "mississippi half step" as the follow-up, which probably tainted my view of "he's gone > truckin" which i thought were okay, but nothing special. gotta hand it dso, however, they roared back with a tough "wharf rat" and ended the show with and upbeat "sugar magnolia > sunshine daydream!!"
but the real surprise was the encore! they played a jerry garcia band standard, "my sisters and brothers," which i don't think the dead ever played as a band! sweet way to close out the night!
here is the complete setlist:
first set: the promised land, sugaree, me and bobby mcgee, brown eyed women, black throated wind, china cat sunflower > i know you rider, mexicali blues, brokedown palace, beat it on down the line, loose lucy, el paso, they love each other, weather report suite prelude > wrs part 1 > let it grow
second set: morning dew > playing in the band > uncle john's band > playing in the band, mississippi half-step uptown toodeloo > he's gone > truckin' > wharf rat, sugar magnolia > sunset daydream
encore: my sisters and brothers (jerry garcia band).
concert photos, page two.