Sunday Night Dead: Dark Star Orchestra at Waterstreet Music Hall, May 19th

A show on a Sunday? Ordinarily it’s a no for me but the universe had been aligned in just the right way. Dark Star Orchestra (DSO) had no plans of stopping in Upstate NY on their way to the Jubilee in Ohio until a previous gig at Mighty High Mountain Festival was cancelled and they chose to come shake their bones with us at Waterstreet Music Hall on May 19th.

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DSO shows are always built upon the extensive Grateful Dead catalog – the band has a knack for hand picking all the right shows and I’ve yet to be disappointed with any of their shows, in 10 years of seeing them play out the masterful sounds of what so many of us hold dear to our hearts, a lifestyle formed around the music of the Dead. It only took a few songs into the show for me to realize they had chosen a show from 1979 – once the notes of “Jack A Roe” hit my ears I knew with certainty that it was 2/7/1979 – the setlist immediately played out in my head and I envisioned the night ahead was going to be a good one.

Shows like this are far and few between for me these days but this night was one for the scrapbooks for sure. Friends and co-workers were in every corner of the music hall side of the venue and the band was putting down some heavy tunes. The energy was flowing and the band looked like they were enjoying playing for us as much as we loved having them play. By the time
Peggy-O” came on, it was time to put down the pen and paper and get out on the dance floor with the others.

Original Grateful Dead Show Setlist:

2/7/79 (Wed) University of Southern Illinois – SIU Arena – Carbondale, IL
Set 1: Don’t Ease Me In, Mama Tried > Mexicali Blues, Jack A Roe, Looks Like Rain, They Love Each Other, Minglewood Blues, Stagger Lee, Cassidy, Peggy-O, Music Never Stopped
Set 2: Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Dancing In The Streets > Drums > Black Peter > I Need A Miracle > Bertha > Good Lovin’
Encore: U.S. Blues