Words/Pictures/Videos by Brad Darby

2/11/2012 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO

Saturday marked the return of the famed Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra, to St. Louis and The Pageant for their 2028th show (they number them on their website). Dark Star is not like other bands attempting to channel their inner Jerry, but they typically choose a show from the bands 30 year history and perform the show as it was intended. Sometimes, however, they choose to just come up with an original set… tonight was one of those nights.

The first set started off right on time at 8 and seemed to be kind of dragging on for the first half. The band seemed very laid back and casual on stage taking extended breaks between songs and just kind of taking their time to hit their stride. The healthy turnout of Deadheads seemed to be growing restless but DSO picked it up with a Bob Dylan cover thrown into the mix, and ended the first set with “To Lay Me Down” and “Don’t Let the Deal Go Down.”

After a short break Dark Star went onto a tangent with a hour long medley of songs thrown together including a ten minute drum solo, “Scarlet Begonias” and the rarely played “If I Had The World to Give” which was only performed by the Grateful Dead three times.The set ended right around 11:30 and after a short break, DSO came back out and closed the night out with a tribute to a St. Louis legend, and a man who’s legacy will live on forever just 1 mile up the street from The Pageant in the form of a statue, “Johnny B. Goode” written by the great Chuck Berry, often performed by the Dead.


This was my first non-festival Dark Star Orchestra show and I was happy to have gone, but would have certainly preferred a set that was a recreation of a historic Dead show. The crowd certainly got into the show as it went on and it was just crowded enough that you were left room to dance and maneuver as you wished which made for a great atmosphere. I would certainly take another voyage with the Dark Star Orchestra on their tribute to the legacy of one of the most iconic bands ever.

Set 1 : New Minglewood Blues, Might as Well, Passenger, Blow Away, Waiting For A Miracle, Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues, Mister Charlie, To Lay Me Down, Cassidy > Don’t Let the Deal Go Down

Set 2 : Feel Like A Stranger, Believe It or Not, Let It Grow > Saint Stephen > The Eleven > Drums > Space > Scarlet Begonias > Not Fade Away > If I Had the World to Give > Going Down the Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away

E: Johnny B. Goode

View all posts by DarbySTL
Brads website
Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive