For all intents and porpoises, the gigging juggernaut known as the Dark Star Orchestra has but one basic fancy: to simulate, perchance to replicate, ENTIRE GRATEFUL DEAD SHOWS. Two-set shows of record . . . complete set lists!

They have a guy who "does" Jerry, a guy who "does" Weir, a guy who "does" Lesh. Depending on the year they're doin', they've got a guy for one-drum shows who "plays" Bill Kreutzmann and a guy who sometimes joins in "as" Mickey Hart. They also have a dame who impersonates Donna Godchaux and a keyboarder whose self-proclaimed SPECIALTY is aping Brent Mydland (presumably, when duty calls, he can even do Vince Welnick).

Though they usually refrain from tipping their hand re a given night's tunes and such, an insider tells me the set list for Seattle will be drawn from the Dead's whatsit of 7/11/77, Sam Houston Theater, Patchoque, N.Y. "An ELEVEN show, man," . . . like wow. Check this:

Set 1: Friend of the Devil, Morning Dew > Bird Song > Morning Dew, Mama Tried, Ripple, Idiot Wind, Playing in the Band > Mason's Children > Playing in the Band, What's Become of the Baby, Peggy-O, New Minglewood Blues > The Eleven, Good Lovin'.

Set 2: Eleven Jam > Franklin's Tower, Dire Wolf, Loser, Eyes of the World > The Eleven > Eyes of the World > Stella Blue > Cryptical Envelopment > Terrapin Station, By the Time I Get to Phoenix.

Encore: Not Fade Away > The Eleven.

They've announced, by the by, that "Looks like Rain" has been removed from the repertoire, and no Dead sets containing this Weir-Barlow toss-off will any longer be performed . . . good news!

Richard Meltzer's The Aesthetics of Rock and A Whore Just Like the Rest are available from DaCapo Press.

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