Monday, March 20, 2006

Tonight: A solstice jam?

From the AspenTimes:

Tonight: A solstice jam?
By Aspen Times Staff

Among the things the Grateful Dead did very well was to mark the passage of time and seasons in their songs.

"Wake of the Flood," from 1973, one of their better studio albums, closed with a pair of tunes — "Weather Report Suite" and "Eyes of the World" — devoted to the changing of seasons: "Winter rain, now tell me why / Summers fade and roses die?" wondered Bob Weir in the former. "The night comes so quiet, it's close on the heels of the day," observed Jerry Garcia in the latter.

The Dead's late-era hit "Touch of Grey" opened with a twisted take on time: "Must be getting early / Clocks are running late." In their time, the Dead often pulled out something special for shows that landed on the solstice; somewhere out there are bootleg tapes with a particularly hot instrumental segment labeled "Solstice Jam."

So it is fortuitous that Dark Star Orchestra, the ultimate Dead tribute band, opens its two-night stand at the Belly Up today, the first day of spring. Dark Star can pull out almost anything; recently, they have been making up their own set lists as often as re-creating actual Dead shows from the past. But don't expect to hear "Equinox": The song was never played live, and only was released as an outtake from the 1977 "Terrapin Station" sessions.

The Dark Star Orchestra plays at 10 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $22 the day of the show and $20 in advance. (Hint: get your ticket for Tuesday tonight today.) The Belly Up is at 450 S. Galena St. 544-9800.


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