In space with Dark Star Orchestra |

In space with Dark Star Orchestra

Caramie Schnell

Dark Star Orchestra will be descending on State Bridge Lodge for a three-day marathon of shows beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13. In preparation for the weekend of music (Aug. 14 and 15, too) from the Grateful Dead cover band, we got in touch with drummer Rob Koritz to find out what’s going on with one of the best Jerry lovin’ bands around.Q: What is the significance of recreating an entire show, set list intact, of a Grateful Dead show?A: Since we’re trying to keep the music as pure and as close to the original sounds as we can, it makes sense and it’s logical for us to continue down that ‘original’ path and perform the sets in the order and style and spirit they were originally performed, in order.Q: Why is it important for the band to perform in that manner?A: To stay true to the form – and to perform the music and songs and styles of the different Grateful Dead eras. Keeping it the same by playing the original show (we do not do note for note recreations!) is as close as we can get by altering and adjusting playing styles, stage setups, arrangements, playing styles, vocal emulations, instrument effects used, drum gear used it’s similar to having a chamber orchestra perform a sonata or movement of Bach or another famous composer. They are recreating the notes on the page – Dark Star Orchestra is recreating the energy/spirit/music of the original Grateful Dead performance. The ‘orchestra’ analogy is when it sinks in with a lot of folks – we’re not copying, we’re giving the body of work the respect it deserves.Q: When did you guys start playing together?A: I joined the band in July 1999. The band started Nov. 11, 1997. The first gig was at Marty’s in Chicago.Q: Have you played State Bridge before, and if so, what did you think of the venue?A: State Bridge is a great place. It’s always been fun – now that they’ve made some improvements it should make it even better. You can’t beat playing outdoors and seeing the river and the mountains, it’s really amazing. I’m glad we’re there for an entire weekend.Q: Tell me more about your involvement with HeadCount and what that organization is attempting to do.A: HeadCount ( is an all volunteer organization that sends their volunteers to staff tables at shows and festivals of bands performing improvisational music. I found this page useful: http://www.headcount. org/images/about.htm We’re really glad that we can provide another outlet to allow citizens to register to vote: at our shows (most, not all of the shows we play are staffed with volunteers). Music fans have voices, too, and we just want to make sure their voices are heard. VTAfter State Bridge, Dark Star will be heading to Denver to play Quixote’s on Aug. 20. Then it’s on to the Mishawaka Inn in Bellvue Aug. 21, and then Boulder’s Fox Theater Aug. 22.

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