Friday, May 31, 2013

DSO in 2013, part 1

We'd had such a great time seeing Dark Star Orchestra on June 1 2012, and then had missed the opportunity to see them last Fall, so we were chomping at the bit to see them a year later, last night (5/30) at the House of Blues Boston.

Quick notes here since we're seeing them again at Hampton Beach tomorrow:

  • got into Boston in good time even though traffic's been horrible lately, thank Dog the Sox weren't playing
  • got a parking space immediately on Van Ness and a cop's approval
  • I was 30 minutes before time to meet Sarah, so hung out on the sidewalk across from Fenway, talking to some serious DSO heads from VT while RobE, RobB, Lisa, and then RobK straggled out from the soundcheck to their (air-conditioned, suddenly in the 90s in Boston) bus
  • had a fine dinner (mushroom and arugula pizza) at the HOB, and then waited in the "bought an entree" line and were some of the first people into the hall after getting thoroughly searched (rock concerts can be so much fun)
  • the place we wanted was roped off for "VIPs" who never showed (anarchy ruled there eventually), but put our backs to a pole, 25 feet to the right of the stage and were happy; it got crowded, especially in the second set, but we defended our space
  • the band and the show was awesome; they did an original set list and (though it was filled with an over-abundance of 80s songs to my taste), this was what you want from a band: to play the songs they're feeling that night and just ride with them playing them at their best
  • highlights were opening with Might As Well, some great vocals by Jeff including a masterly job on the incredible To Lay Me Down, Lisa just tearing down the house with her soulful-but-spacey alto on Music Never Stopped (end of first set), as good a drums/space/feedback second-set interval as you could ask for,  a 10-minute romp at the end of the second set on Let It Rock (which I believe the Dead did only once, which shows the benefit of DSO not being bound by historical accuracy), and a closing Golden Road which had *everyone* jumping
  • Kevin Rosen (DSO bass player) is retiring from the road and this was his last show "with the full band" according to Lisa and Dino (though his official last show is supposedly tomorrow in NH); I joined a sidewalk conversation with him and the aforementioned DSO heads before the show and was very glad to be able to thank him for his years of service
  • rock concerts can be such a pain in the ass: they searched us, they wouldn't let us stand where we wanted to, they wouldn't let our friends sit on the floor an hour before the show (for security reasons?!?), the hall reeked of spilled beer halfway through the second set (it was a sticky mess after everyone left), and worst of all I yelled at some people who were shouting their conversation DURING To Lay Me Down, which is like farting during the sermon (luckily I talked later with one of them and we both apologized)
  • here's the setlist: Set 1 - Might As Well, New Minglewood Blues, Candyman, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (sung by Kevin), Hell In a Bucket, When Push Comes to Shove, Hey Pocky Way, It's All Over Now, To Lay Me Down, The Music Never Stopped; Set 2 - Cats Under the Stars, Estimated Prophet, Touch of Grey, Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Drums, Feedback, Dear Mr. Fantasy, I Need a Miracle, Standing On the Moon, Throwing Stones, Let It Rock; Encore - The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion
  • paused to catch our breath (Kevin was lingering on stage), and then straggled out ourselves at a few minutes before midnight and had a quick drive home, getting to bed by 12:45 or so on a work night

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