“Tennessee Jed” was a raucous riot, as it indubitably should be. The instrumental breaks showcased JRAD’s proclivity for shaking fresh ideas out of well-worn material. Benevento dropped a stanky, Dr. John crossed with Dave Brubeck piano piece. Metzger and Dreiwitz slipped into a parallel, Bizarro “Jed.” The entire unit tilted and started to spin ecstatically. It was like putting a Ferris wheel on top of a roller coaster. JRAD increasingly infused the Dead’s material with their own creative energy. They weren’t out to simply play these cherished songs; they sought to possess them and make them their own.
Cuthbert Amphitheater on a beautiful early fall evening, a waxing moon shining through low scattered clouds, and Dark Star Orchestra kicking off the Fall Tour West...Nope, doesn't get much better than that. Although known for their awesome recreations of historic Grateful Dead shows, every now and then DSO will roll their own set lists at their audience like a pair of loaded dice and tonight was one of those shows.