Photographs by Steven Philips, Story by Lillymaura Lamour

Thank you Dark Star Orchestra! When a tribute band like DSO recreates individual Grateful Dead shows with such amazing musical facility, who could ask for anything more funtabulous! The crowd, most of whom would consider the Grateful Dead their favorite band ever, loved them. They started with “Jack Straw” and ended the second set with “Shakedown Street.” Of course the audience begged for an encore and the band came back with “Black Muddy River.”

There was plenty of room to dance to the sides and in the back and if you wanted to see them up close and personal, you could jam up front and you were only a few feet away. It was an awesome show and the unstoppable dancing was full of fancy and creative moves. There was tremendous group energy and appreciation – everyone counts!

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I feel like Jerry would have been laughing and dancing and ecstatic watching the scene. The Grateful Dead lives on! The show couldn’t have been in a more perfect venue. The magnificent Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the Poconos in panoramic view, especially from the upper deck leading from the venue’s exquisite restaurant Roadie’s. The open-air deck on the first floor behind the venue provided an enjoyable respite during set break. The lot after the show had delicious smelling cool mountain air to breathe and was a perfect time for people to relax, commune with their friends and network with others. The people were extremely peaceful, kind, sharing and caring, colorful, creative, lively and highly conscious. There were vendors selling all sorts of wares, some original works from as far away as Nepal, combined with music, traveling vans and busses, outrageous costumes, goodies, drinks, water, homemade food, cupcakes, glassware, tie-dyed clothes, jewelry, friendly pets, and all sorts of fascinating fans to engage in conversation.
Everything was perfect from beginning to end. The healing music seemed spiritual to me, as I hope it did for everyone else. The sounds were so luscious as to seem supernatural.

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