Dark Star Orchestra at McDowell Mountain Music Festival

See also: A Look at the Creamy Radio Stage at McDowell Mountain Music Festival See also: Galactic's Robert Mercurio on Carnivale Electricos See also: Ozomatli, Galactic, and More at McDowell Mountain Music Festival

Dark Star Orchestra McDowell Mountain Music Festival at Compound Grill Saturday, April 14

A good part of the fun of a Dark Star Orchestra concert is trying to figure out what original Grateful Dead concert the band is attempting to emulate. That's what DSO does--pay tribute to the Dead by playing their music, but not in the way the average cover, or tribute, band does. DSO goes to great lengths to understand the phrasing, tone, intonation and direction of the Grateful Dead during the different eras of its existence. Even the instruments change out to represent a time period. I mean, they get it right--or pretty damn close--when they choose a concert to perform.

But what I only realized on the drive home was that given the 90-minute time constraint of their McDowell Mountain Musical Festival set, DSO couldn't replicate an entire Dead concert. There just wasn't time. However, blissfully unaware, I went into the concert determined to guess the show--or at the very least the particular tour--before the show was over.