Dark Star Orchestra Brings Classics to Wellmont

Dark Star Orchestra, America’s premier Grateful Dead cover band, comes to celebrate 19 years of shows at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair on Nov. 11.

Dark Star Orchestra comes to the Wellmont Theater.

dark star orchestra
Photo courtesy of LiveNation.

Since 1997, the timeless energy that The Grateful Dead created with their music in the 1960’s has been carried by Dark Star Orchestra. A band formed primarily on the idea of recreating historic Grateful Dead shows down to the set list, Dark Star Orchestra has set the standard for cover bands and brought joy to faithful Grateful Dead listeners for decades.

The band was formed after original guitarist John Kadlecik contact keyboardist Scott Larned in 1997 with the concept of recreating Grateful Dead shows. The excitement for the idea grew and after a string of successful shows in 1998 and an appearance with Jon Fishman and Mike Gordon of the band Phish, Dark Star Orchestra created national buzz about their approach.

The band is not just simply a way for band members to act like The Grateful Dead because they enjoy their music. Every member of the band has an enormous amount of respect for the Grateful Dead, and the band is a tribute to the huge number of unique shows that the Grateful Dead performed throughout their monumental career.

Erin Banes, a musician and long-time fan of the Grateful Dead, said, “It’s a miracle someone decided to try and recreate the Grateful Dead’s magic. I went to see the Grateful Dead in 1974, and I saw the show redone beautifully by Dark Star Orchestra in 2005. To me, that is what music is about.”

Dark Star Orchestra’s attention to detail is the driving point of their popularity. The band uses a wide array of equipment and techniques to fully encapsulate the diversity of sounds that the Grateful Dead produced over 30 years. Even the equipment the band practices and uses daily is as close to identical to the Grateful Dead’s as you can get. Each guitar is wired and built as the Grateful Dead’s were, and the keyboard even contains a piece of equipment formerly owned by Brent Mydland – The Grateful Dead’s keyboardist for over 10 years.

The band has performed over 2,500 shows since starting in 1997. This is a testament not only to the everlasting quality of the Grateful Dead’s music – but to the ceaseless energy and love for music that it takes to create that quality time and time again.

Their show at The Wellmont Theater on Friday, Nov. 11 will be one to remember. The band is celebrating 19 years performing the Grateful Dead’s music, and are sure to play some well-loved classics. Tickets for this event can be bought online at wellmonttheater.com or by calling their ticket office at 973-783-9500. The show starts at 8pm. The Wellmont Theatre is located at 5 Seymour Street in Montclair, N.J.

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