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Dark Star to play end-of-season party in Vail Valley

Kris Sabel
Director's Chair
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily/Brett HowellVail Valley Music: Dark Star Orchestra will perform a show at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek on April 8.
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VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –On April 8, the Vilar Center in Colorado’s Vail Valley presents the final concert of the winter season: Dark Star Orchestra. This is the third annual spring concert featuring the Grateful Dead tribute band at the Beaver Creek theater, so come prepared to celebrate and help the band “raise the Dead.”

The April Dark Star concert has become a highly anticipated end-of-the-season ritual, a time for friends and colleagues to spend a great evening together – dancing, twirling and listening to great music – before the mountain closes and everyone takes that break into spring.

I doubt there are many unfamiliar with Dark Star Orchestra but just in case, here is a quick primer. Dark Star Orchestra shows are built off the extensive catalog of the Grateful Dead. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Dead’s 30 years of extensive touring or use the catalog of original songs and often-played covers to create a unique set list for the show.



Touring since 1997, Dark Star Orchestra has performed close to 2,000 shows. Precision is king as the musicians perform each show song for song, note for note, to match the original concert. The band adapts their stage positioning, vocal arrangements, specific musical equipment and instruments to fit the era of the show they are performing. Following each performance, the band announces the date and venue of the original performance.

Over the years, many members of the original Grateful Dead have performed with Dark Star Orchestra. “Playing with Dark Star Orchestra is something that feels just exactly like it felt when I was playing with the Grateful Dead,” said Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay, Grateful Dead vocalist and frequent guest.



Ultimately the audience gets to re-live the Grateful Dead experience with fans from all walks of life. It’s nostalgia trip to be sure, but most importantly, it’s just a lot of fun.

This week we host a number of films and events from the Vail Film Festival. And it’s not too early to think summer: tickets went on sale this week for several of our summer concerts including Natalie Cole, The Music of Abba, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Keb’ Mo’ and Ani DiFranco. The rest of the season will be announced in coming weeks. For more information, visit http://www.vilarpac.org.


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