It's perfectly normal to admit you enjoy a small dose of the Grateful Dead. One need not be a hippie or a ponytail enthusiast in his 60s to enjoy the Dead, as the popular — and painfully accurate — stereotype dictates. For example, I enjoy putting on American Beauty and taking in the folksy charm of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and the rest of the band at their peak. But it takes a special kind of Dead fan to launch a music career based on the band's influence, as the members of Chicago's Dark Star Orchestra have done. The band stakes its reputation on faithfully re-creating the varied set lists the Grateful Dead played during their celebrated 30-year career. The Dark Star Orchestra announce which set they will be playing every night and do their best to re-create the magic produced decades ago by their muses, the Grateful Dead. It's a pretty unique concept — one that pays due respect to one of the most influential, celebrated, and hard-working American rock bands of all time.
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