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Published: 2013/04/10

Phil Lesh Joins Dark Star Orchestra at Terrapin Crossroads

Photo by Matt Reynolds via DSO’s Facebook page

Phil Lesh sat in with Dark Star Orchestra at his own San Rafael, CA venue Terrapin Crossroads last night. The bassist emerged at the start of Dark Star Orchestra’s set for a run from “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider.” He remained onstage as the group launched into a version of “Cryptical Envelopment” that morphed into “The Other One” and the rest of “Cryptical Envelopment.”

The Grateful Dead bassist sat in with Dark Star Orchestra for the first time at San Francisco, CA’s The Fillmore this past October. DSO guitarist John Kadlecik currently plays with Lesh in Furthur while DSO keyboardist Rob Barraco and guitarist Jeff Mattson are former members of Phil & Friends. Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux, Vince Welnick and Tom Constanten have all joined the Dead tribute act at various shows over the years.

Dark Star Orchestra will perform at Weir’s Sweetwater Music Hall this evening.

Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via Dark Star Orchestra’s homepage

Tuesday, April 9, Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA

Set I: Dancing In The Street, Till The Morning Comes, Easy Wind, High Time, Not Fade Away > New Orleans > Not Fade AWay > Death Don’t Have No Mercy > Viola Lee Blues

Set Ii: China Cat Sunflower(*) >I Know You Rider (*) Cryptical Envelopment (*) > The Other One (*) > Cryptical Envelopment (*), Hard To Handle, Alligator > Drums > Alligator > The Eleven > Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad

E: Brokedown Palace

*Phil Lesh On Bass


There are 19 comments associated with this post

Oracle April 10, 2013, 14:53:28

Eaton is a real dick. True. Almost tarnishes Dead’s reputation. DSO success = idiocy of the masses…..

JP76 April 10, 2013, 15:08:26

To be fair, that New Yorker article was from a couple of months ago, based on reporting from several months before that. Obviously Eaton was pissed at Kadlecik’s departure (understandably, considering that Mattson doesn’t have as much range as Kadlecik – he can’t really seem to play outside of the early ’70’s, no matter what setlist date they’re recreating), but clearly fences have been mended with a couple of Phil sit-ins, the Chimenti-Barraco trade at the end of fall tour, and invitations to play at Terrapin and Sweetwater. I bet none of those things would’ve happened if Phil and Bobby didn’t feel a little bit guilty, which indicates that it probably wasn’t totally unreasonable for Eaton to be pissed off for a while.

Dan April 10, 2013, 15:27:54

“considering that Mattson doesn’t have as much range as Kadlecik – he can’t really seem to play outside of the early ’70’s, no matter what setlist date they’re recreating” Ooo, nope. Jeff is a much better guitar player than John, much grittier and more energetic, although I liked John’s work with DSO too. John’s quicker on the midi effects. When this switch happened, I thought it was a hysterical swap because DSO got the better lead guitar, no question. That New Yorker article isn’t so great anyway. Every positive statement is qualified with, mostly the Dead sucked though. Pretty lame.

Cleeet April 10, 2013, 15:44:48

I can totally understand Rob being pissed about John’s departure, though is there any doubt Rob would have left DSO if called up to the majors to replace Bobby? I’m taking issue with his claim that DSO is truer to the Dead, and a better show, than Furthur. Among other things, in my (admittedly limited) experience, DSO doesn’t jam at all. They noodle between songs, staying in the same key, basically group solos. During Space they all make odd noises. But I didn’t see anything approaching the kind of exploration the Dead, and since then Furthur, have always attempted. Maybe that’s changed for DSO lately, though.

Herbie April 10, 2013, 16:31:48

john k had been approached to join various other projects that were much bigger acts than dso. he turned those down. how do you say no to bob and phil who cares what anyone else thinks heh.

Roger April 10, 2013, 16:49:56

@Cleeet: I was at the DSO show last night. It shifted my thinking about Rob Eaton’s quotes in the New Yorker. I previously thought he came off sounding like an entitled ungrateful prick. Of course he would ditch DSO for Furthur if he had the chance. But last night’s songs with Phil – it was simply some of the best Dead music Ive heard since Jerry died, and then some. DSO brought out a fierceness in Phil’s playing that emerges sometimes in Furthur, but not often enough. (e.g. As a bandleader, Phil likes Furthur to play much quieter then the old days. And why must Furthur’s renditions of songs be so slow?) DSO plays with a ferocity that ventures into dangerous territory, that which is a defining aspect of Grateful Dead music at its best. DSO really does bring the energy that “shows the kids what it was like.”

Lafoo April 10, 2013, 17:17:18

Please stop quoting that lame New Yorker article. It is painfully obvious the author is a hater when it comes to DSO. Don’t be suckers. Eaton is a good guy. Glad to hear Phil played with these guys

Yossarian April 10, 2013, 17:21:11

When bands break up there’s inevitably going to be some resentment there. If you caught Rob in a good mood, he’d probably say he was happy for John. Looking too far into band politics is a good way to make music less fun, but I guess we jam band fans like to gossip as much as anyone. All I know is I’m hitting 6 DSO shows this year- I think they’re sounding better than ever.

Cleeet April 10, 2013, 14:41:39

Meanwhile, out of the other side of his (stolen) face … Eaton and the others in D.S.O., though professedly happier playing with Mattson, are also bitter over Kadlecik’s departure. “I haven’t gone to see Furthur,” Eaton said. “It’s like going to see your ex-girlfriend fucking your best friend.” Eaton, who is fifty-one and grew up in Vermont, treats the band (or its remnants) that has given him a living, a body of work, a style, and some measure of transcendence as a kind of adversary. “If you want to get off, you come see us,” he said. “We have a bigger repertoire than the Dead ever had, at any one time.” They have the whole career in rotation. “We’re showing the kids what it was like.”

norma stitz April 10, 2013, 19:57:04

all this talk over essentially a cover band? original? nope

Sean April 10, 2013, 22:09:48

DSO carries the torch, period. John K made a very bad career choice IMO. Rob is just showing a little well deserved hubris.

Phil Diamond April 11, 2013, 01:36:50

John K is seriously one of the very best we’ve got. I would really like to see him jam with Phish. Seriously. That might be something to hear…DSO is always great. The Zen Tricksters were a great band too. Mattson was a perfect replacement. If Bob and Phil come knocking…how could it be better than that? Can’t get any closer to Jerry. The only thing I’d really like to see is Bruce Hornsby join Furthur for a tour. PLEASE!!! Bobby, I know youre reading this. Make it happen brother! The Other Ones 98 was my favorite before Furthur came along.

adks12020 April 11, 2013, 12:17:49

I don’t understand why people think they need to choose DSO or Furthur. I’ve seen both many, many times and I thoroughly enjoy both. I think DSO gets a little closer to the classic GD sound of whatever year they are recreating; I also think Furthur isn’t trying to “recreate” that sound. They are creating their own so of course it will be different. Both bands are fun and I’ll see either one when possible because I know they will both provide me with an enjoyable evening of music.

Grizz April 11, 2013, 12:34:35

DSO kills it everytime, hands down… I don’t care if they aren’t the Dead, they are on point and play some of the greatest songs ever written… I love when any band breaks out a Dead song (given that they play well of course lol)... I haven’t had the chance to see Furthur, usually cuz they play bigger venues farther away from my hometown and usually the ticket prices are pretty steep, but I would love to see two legends and everyone else is the band… there’s no need to go DSO vs. Furthur though… John K. vs Jeff M., understandable lol… both are great, i think John is better for DSO than Jeff, but I can’t picture any other guitarist in Furthur really… I don’t like Hayes, Kimock is really good, but not a good fit I don’t think… John K is the closest to playing Jerry’s style… I think DSO should have gotten Stu Allen instead of Jeff…

Healing Bear April 11, 2013, 14:58:34

I don’t know about all the nay sayers but….I started seeing the dead in 94 when it was winding down. I toured from Fall 94 until Jerry (RIP) passed from this earth. Then I did Further Fest, The other ones, Phil and Friends(and Family : ) and more than a few Further shows. The shows I saw and scene I experienced made me a whole person. They changed my life. They gave me new direction and let me climb out of the deeeeeep depression that I garnered through miss treatment in public high school. Now that I have access to them to re-listen, I know that they were not the greatest shows The Boys ever played. That being said.
I love tribute bands of all colors and esp DSO. These guys (and gal) are so full of love and respect for us and the music they play. They help me to relive the best times of my life. They have always treated me sooooo well, including gifting me their hotel rooms and free entry into any show I choose to ask for. Lots of love there. If you have a problem with them please don’t go but please don’t shit on my parade because you have become a bitter hipster. I have had some of the most amazing times and met some of the most amazing people that I have ever had or met at DSO shows. I guess in your worlds you would just prefer to let the whole scene die off so you can remember “the good ole days” in peace. The reason they work their asses off to do this is not just money( money is good no doubt) but because they want to share the experiences they had at Grateful Dead shows with a new generation that has never had a chance to experience it. That is honorable and super kind in my book. The Boys have given their blessing to this cause and I sure Jerry would have too. It is about good time and Family and love of the music. Hell there are people that travel allover the country at great expense to recreate wars…...this is much better. Might as well might as well… Let go of the past and embrace the now. Stop being bitter and just have a good time. Love the music you came from, don’t hate on it.
I have so much love for all of you out there. Keep your Family values and never give up hope for a better day and heartfelt joy.
Healing Bear
P.S. I have to wonder about all the people on here that say these guys(and gal) are not inspired or don’t jam…..Do you do more than one show at a time? I do mini tours them and I see great diversity in their playing styles from night to night and during shows.

Charles Brown April 11, 2013, 19:02:05

DSO sucks…..JK Sucks…and Jerry is rolling over in his grave every time one of his former bandmates joins these turds onstage…..I cant imagine paying over $1 to go see this band. Give me a break.

Healing Bear April 11, 2013, 20:00:15

Oooook Chuck. You sure do know what you’re talking about. Go listen to some Emo music to go along with your emo attitude. I sure am glad I will never run into you at a show. Have fun in your “everything sucks” world.

Healing Bear April 11, 2013, 20:42:45

I have a feeling some of the negative Nellie’s are just jealous that the rest of us can still have a good time enjoying the music we grew up to being played live. I hope that you one day find a way to let go of your bitterness and with it comes a measure of joy and happiness. I miss Jerry too but it has not ruined my ability to enjoy the music.
There is a band over in Sweden that is 115 years old. It is a town organized band that plays the same tunes, plus quite few newer ones. It’s a revolving door where the elders teach the next generation how to carry on the tradition. I think I was trying to make a point with this story but i seem to have forgotten what it is….....Oh well, I will remember at some point. Cheers!

Mike May 14, 2013, 14:18:53

I saw over 50 grateful dead and JGB shows from 87 to 95 and love the dead and JGB yada yada. DSO in my opinion kicks so much ass… I am a player (Jerry & Phil) and have always wanted to put a band like DSO together but alas… I don’t see Jerry rolling over in his grave. He said on more than one occasion that he hoped that the music would go on after him. DSO succeeds, not because JK or JM is as good as Jerry (they are not), but the ensemble is quite powerful. When they jam it’s as amazing, and as powerful as anything i saw in spring or summer of 89,90,91….also even when recreating a 90s show DSO is consistent…i don’t regret a single dead show I saw, but some (Highgate) were terrible.

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