ALBANY — Dark Star Orchestra will play the Palace Theatre to celebrate its 20th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m.
One day in 1997, two Dead Head musicians were ruminating about life without Jerry Garcia and simultaneously came up with the same idea: “Let’s recreate a Grateful Dead show.” Around forty people came down to Martyrs’ in Chicago on November 11, 1997, to hear the brand-new Dark Star Orchestra’s rendition of the Dead’s show of 10/8/81. They’d planned it as a four-week experiment; ninety folks showed up the second week, then two hundred, then a 400-person sell-out, so it seemed like a good idea to keep going.
The idea behind the “Orchestra” part of Dark Star Orchestra was to pay tribute to a body of music. Lots of people have come and gone over the years — co-founder Scott Larned died in 2005, and John Kadlecik plays with the Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in Furthur. But DSO keeps rolling to the point that it has played more than 2,600 shows.
Like the Dead, DSO has developed an extraordinary relationship with its audience, and to honor the long, strange trip it has shared, DSO will offer for the first time at regular shows a VIP sound check and poster signing package. Participants will get exclusive pre-show access to the venue, a chance to hear the sound check, meet the band and get their 20th anniversary posters signed, a souvenir laminate and sticker and more.
Tickets go on sale Thursday, Aug. 24, at 10 a.m. Tickets are $35.50 in advance, and $38.50 on the day of the show. For tickets and more information, go to the Palace Theatre Box Office, call Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (800) 745-3000 or visit online at ticketmaster.com.