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Dark Star Orchestra 

When: Sun., Oct. 31, 9 p.m. 2010
Price: $22-$25
Just as Tim "Ripper" Owens went from a Judas Priest tribute band to the actual Judas Priest, Dark Star Orchestra guitarist John Kadlecik now performs with Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh in Furthur. Furthermore, his DSO replacement, Jeff Mattson, also played with Lesh and another Dead veteran, Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay -- not to mention that DSO keyboardist Rob Barraco has played with a couple of post-Garcia Dead incarnations. You get the point: These folks know how to do the live Dead thing, and they take it mighty seriously, re-creating song-by-song set lists from the Dead's more than 2,000 live performances, even adjusting stage plots, equipment, attire and such to accurately reflect the period. This may sound extreme, but Deadheads are notoriously obsessive and appreciate the attention to detail, and have made DSO a consistently strong draw for 13 years now. And unlike most of the original material by the current crop of jam bands, at least the songs are good, an opinion shared by this week's Scene cover boy, Elvis Costello. If you like the Dead and never got to see them, or if you want to relive your hazy tour days, DSO are definitely worth the, uh, trip. And what better way to celebrate Halloween than with a night of the living Dead?
— Jack Silverman

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