You can feel it in the air, with the birds chirping and the flowers blossoming, spring is here. On Thursday evening, Dark Star Orchestra, known for their spot on renditions of Grateful Dead tunes, began their Spring 2022 Tour at The Sherman Theatre. 

The six piece group has been paying their respects to The Grateful Dead for two plus decades, and have gained the same type of following with fans traveling show to show across the country. Rob Eaton, playing the part of Bob Weir to a tee, started off the evening with the Chuck Berry tune, “Promised Land”. The energy keep flowing with a beautiful rendition of the classic “Brown Eyed Women”. Every time I hear certain Grateful Dead numbers I well up a little bit, one of those songs is “Peggy-O”. Playing the part of Jerry Garcia (a spot on rendition), made me well up a little. All night long lending his harmonies was bassist, Skip Vangelas, one of the numbers that he really stood out on was the “Highway 61 Revisited” (Bob Dylan cover), “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”. A mix of slow and up tempo was the theme to the first set, and highlighting it was Rob Barracco, sitting side stage on his keyboards, wearing his staple bandana, belting out lyrics to “Passenger”. 

As the house lights went down for the second set, “Gimme Some Lovin”, made famous by Spencer Davis Group, really set the tone. Everyone was smiling ear to ear, and we’re zoned into the music. The jams of the night came midway through the set as Eaton belted out a rousing rendition of the Weir penned number, a beautiful Robert Hunter number “Dark Star”. When the song was no longer played between 10/18/1974 – 12/31/1978, longtime DeadHeads wondered if the song would ever come back into rotation. It finally did (after being teased) a number of shows. It’s a pure joy to see fans immersed in the song. The classic “drums” was the time for the rhythm section to shine, Dino English and Rob Kortiz, did just that, as they smiled with each beat and were in total sync. “Space” is the time for the band to improvise, as the band members came back to the stage the “space” turned into a instrumental rendition of “Imagine” (The Beatles).  The perfect ending to the night was a howling rendition of “Werewolves Of London” by Warren Zevon.

After twenty five plus years of touring, Dark Star Orchestra always treats their dedicated fans to a live music experience never to be missed. This rang true at The Sherman Theatre on Thursday evening. 

Dark Star Orchestra:

Skip Vangelas (Bass)

Rob Koritz (Drums)

Dino English (Drums)

Rob Eaton (Guitar/Vocals)

Rob Barraco (Keyboards/Vocals)

Jeff Mattson (Guitar/Vocals)

Dark Star Orchestra


Set I:

Promised Land #

Brown Eyed Women

It’s All Over Now


Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues %

Dire Wolf

Brother Esau

Row Jimmy



Feel Like A Stranger

Set II:

Gimme Some Lovin’ ^

Ship Of Fools

Estimated Prophet

Dark Star

Drums >

Space ##

Rubin & Cherise 

All Along The Watchtower %

If I Had The World To Give

Johnny B. Goode #


Werewolves Of London $

# Chuck Berry

% Bob Dylan

^ Spencer Davis Group

## “Imagine” (The Beatles)

$ Warren Zevon

Dark Star Orchestra: 5/12/2022

(Recording By: Keith Litzenberger)