01 June 2006
DSO and a Bunch of 9th Graders
The pack of dirty hippies included Pete, Mike D., James N., my cousin Mike M., his girlfriend Kim, James and me. The occasion that brought us to Avalon on a Wednesday night was the Dark Star Orchestra a truly smashing Grateful Dead cover band that even non-Deadheads like myself can get into.
For each of its live shows, the band picks an old Dead show from yesteryear and replicates it. However, they don't announce which show it is until the very end so throughout the entire performance you hear the constant buzzy murmuring of Deadheads trying to guess which year it's from based on the subtlest of nuances -- be it Donna's presence on stage or Touch of Grey's absence from the setlist. Last night's set was a goodie -- except for those endless jams that can only be appreciated if you're on the kind of hallucinogens that make you believe you're dancing inside a giant rhododendrun.
Instead of hallucinations, we experienced the harsh reality that we're too old to be out late on a school night. To compensate, we let our inner 14 year olds take over for the evening. It started off innocently enough on the ride into town. James started harrassing Stevie B who was stuck at work, promising him he'd call him after each song and write down the setlist for him on his hand -- a common concert practice in 1985. Then, when I noted James' giddiness over meeting my cousin's new girlfriend, I assigned him the 8th grade label: "Girlcrazy." He retorted with the most scathing insult dished out by any 9th grader in the 80s: "You're wicked conceited." I could almost see his purple polo shirt and rope chain materialize before my very eyes.
At the show, in true 14 year old fashion, we proceeded to snap goofy pictures of each other and drink super-fruity drinks like Mike D's very manly mangorita. It's too bad Avalon doesn't make Pearl Harbors and Woo Woos. What a bunch of gleppers. Good times, though.
And as everyone (except me) guessed, the setlist was indeed a show from the late 80s:
August, 4, 1989 at the Cal-Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento, CA.
Here is the setlist, especially for you, Stevie B:
Set 1:Bertha> Greatest, Althea, Mama Tried> Mexicali, Good Times,Built To Last, Queen Jane, Jack A Roe, Cassidy, Deal
Set 2:Truckin> Wang Dang Doodle> Crazy Fingers> Cumberland> Eyes> Drumz>Wheel> Miracle> Stella Blue> Sugar Magnolia
Encore: Baby Blue
Filler: On The Road Again