Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Feb 13th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Power Outage

music_darkstarDark Star Orchestra lights up a rare acoustic show
Formed in 1997 as a Chicago bar band that played Grateful Dead tunes, Dark Star Orchestra (DSO) soon began touring upwards of 200 nights a year. With an increasing number of people hungry to see DSO, the band now plays the same large concert halls at which the original 1960s iconic band used to perform. DSO lead guitarist John Kadlecik—talking from the road in Seattle—reflects on the early years. “I had been initially playing with another Dead cover band, but my idea was to recreate shows in their entirety,” he reminisces. “When DSO caught on, we all quit our day jobs.”

Rolling Stone magazine hails DSO’s fanatical attention to detail. Famous for playing Dead shows from different decades—song for song, including onstage banter and era equipment—DSO has earned its reputation by being fastidiously dedicated to the music and the feel-good spirit of the experience. When the tribute band perfectionist is asked about the upcoming rare acoustic show at the Rio Theatre, Thursday, Oct. 8, he’s as funny and slightly mysterious as Garcia ever was. “We don’t do it enough for there to be any generalization to make,” Kadlecik says. “I may be bringing a new piece of gear in or a new acoustic sound. Acoustic shows use different tones—the drummers play more with the congas and brushes. Everything could change when we get there and see what the limitations of the room are. Everything that I tell you right now might go right out the window.”

The Washington D.C. native is still reeling from his recent inclusion, alongside Grateful Dead founders Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, in a new conglomerate called Further. While the rest of DSO just had their first time off in years, the reprieve wasn’t much of a rest for Kadlecik. “Rehearsals for Further were intense,” he says. The multi-instrumentalist may have spent a lifetime walking in the shoes of the bearded one, but he says that playing alongside the originators of the sound was unusual. “I was a little bit nervous. It was weird and exciting.” With more Further shows just announced, this could be the beginning of a bigger stage for the Jerry clone.

The DSO online forum was buzzing with comments leading up to the Further show in Oakland, as loyal fans were anxious that Kadlecik wouldn’t be allowed to shred the guitar solos. He comments, “From my perspective of intent, I was pulling out all my influences. Really just letting the Garcia fall naturally here and there.” At the helm, Bob Weir took the lead, and Kadlecik adjusted his playing to the rhythm guitarist’s instrument choices. “I would dial in tones based on what Weir would play—not so much for the song, but if he picked up the Gibson 335, I’d go for more of those early ’70s Strat tones, using a thinner pick and different choice of pick-ups not to necessarily play in that style, but just to match up guitar tone with guitar tone.”

DSO’s West Coast tour is working in conjunction with the Rex Foundation, formed in 1984 by members of the Grateful Dead and Bill Graham as the giving-arm of the Dead’s large family. The Rex Foundation has funneled $10 million dollars into charitable nonprofits that further humanity through the arts, science or education, and DSO has been a vital part of helping raise money. On this leg of the tour, all tickets sold have one dollar going to benefit the foundation.

Kadlecik leaves the door wide open when asked if the show at the Rio is going to be an epic evening of entertainment. “Every time we do an acoustic show it’s a special event. I think people will hear what they want to hear.”


Dark Star Orchestra performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 at The Rio, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $25. For more information, go to ticketweb.com or call 423-8209.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster