Over the weekend, the eighth annual Dark Star Jubilee returned to Legend Valley Music Center (formerly known as Buckeye Lake Music Center, home to some of the largest outdoor Grateful Dead concerts) in Thornville, Ohio. Dark Star Orchestra, the festival host band, performed three full, two-set shows over the course of the Memorial Day weekend event.
On Friday, the Grateful Dead tribute act chose to offer up an “elective” set, as Dark Star Orchestra generally recreates exact setlists from the past. The band opened up their show with “Jack Straw”, followed by “Cold Rain and Snow” and “Broken Arrow”. DSO then invited up young guitar virtuoso Marcus King to lend a helping hand on the traditional blues number “Walkin’ Blues”. King had performed with The Marcus King Band at the festival earlier in the day, and delighted the crowd with some explosive blues guitar solos he was trading off with DSO’s Jeff Mattson. “Walkin’ Blues” was first covered by the Grateful Dead in 1966, then was shelved until 1982 and stayed in the band’s rotation through their final summer 1995 tour.
Sans Marcus King, Dark Star Orchestra continued on with “Loose Lucy”, “Black Throated”, “West L.A. Fadeaway” “Hard To Handle”, which was followed Bob Dylan‘s “Visions of Johanna” and “Tangled Up In Blues” in honor of lighting director Dave Quinn and Dylan’s birthdays.
DSO opened up their second set with “Not Fadeaway”, followed by an electric, seamless segue of “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire On The Mountain”. The band continued on with an “Unbroken Chain” > “Drums” > “Space” segment before launching into “St. Stephen”. “St. Stephen” flowed perfectly into “The Eleven”, which was followed up by “Comes A Time” and a reprise of “Not Fade Away” to close out the second set. On Friday, the band offered up a cover of The Band‘s “The Weight” as their lone encore.
Luckily for fans who were unable to attend, you can listen to a great audio recording courtesy of taper Toaste below:
Dark Star Orchestra – Dark Star Jubilee – 5/24/2019
Head to Dark Star Orchestra’s website for a full list of their upcoming tour dates and ticketing information.
Setlist: Dark Star Orchestra | Dark Star Jubilee | Thornville, OH | 5/24/2019
Set One: Jack Straw, Cold Rain And Snow, Broken Arrow, Walkin’ Blues (w/ Marcus King), Loose Lucy, Black Throated Wind, West L.A. Fadeaway, Hard To Handle, Visions Of Johanna (Happy Birthday to lighting director Dave Quinn and Bob Dylan) > Tangled Up In Blue
Set Two: Not Fade Away > Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Unbroken Chain > drums > space > Dark Star > Saint Stephen (w/ William Tell) > The Eleven > Comes A Time > Not Fade Away (reprise)
Encore: The Weight