As we approach the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Grateful Dead, many deadheads and music lovers alike have been coming together to remember their favorite jam band of all time. Having booked the “Fare The Well” shows in Chicago, the fear of possibly never hearing those sweet tunes in person again has become ever more of a reality for many.
The connection between music and the human soul is a story as old as time itself. The universal connection is something that binds people and their relationships with each other, so to say that music influences our lives is an understatement.
Though they are considered a cover band, Dark Star Orchestra (DSO) looks to bend the mold, change the circumstances and be more than just a cover band. Many loyal followers of the music have tried, from day one, to pursue their dreams of covering their favorite band of all time. However none are as acclaimed or accredited as Dark Star Orchestra.
DSO is known for performing shows based on the original set lists of actual Grateful Dead concerts, citing the date and venue at the end of their performance. For steadfast fans, this is a fun opportunity to discover a new favorite Grateful Dead show they might not have known about.
Dark Star Orchestra doesn’t just play the specific set list though; they cater each and every show specifically to the era in which they are recreating. From changing their arrangement to musical structure and even instruments, accuracy is a highly-regarded element of every performance.
DSO is also known for the fact that five members of the original Grateful Dead have occasionally sat in on their shows throughout their nearly 15 years and over 2,200 shows on the road. Band members include Rob Eaton on rhythm guitar and vocals, Dino English and Rob Koritz on drums, Skip Vangelas on bass, Lisa Mackey on vocals, Rob Barraco on keyboards and vocals, and Jeff Mattson on lead guitar.
Thursday February 12, 8 PM
Old National Center
Can’t make it to DSO and not sure if you’ll get the farewell tour tickets you mailed in for? We can’t recommend The Dark Star Jubilee enough. Named Favorite Longstanding Festival in our 2014 Year in Review, The Dark Star Jubilee is your best bet for a family-friendly Midwestern festival free from digitally produced music.
This summer, The Mousetrap is celebrating 50 years of The Grateful Dead by bringing you two great weekends of some of the best Grateful Dead Tribute Bands around.
Recognized by locals as the hippie hangout in town, it comes as no surprise that The Mousetrap is paying homage to the band Rolling Stone ranked #57 on their 100 Greatest Artists list. With no shortage of Steal Your Face imagery found in and around The Mousetrap, as well as a reputation for the best live jam concerts in town, I asked owner Michael Quatro how his bar came to be so commonly-associated with The Grateful Dead.
We’re not completely a “Dead Bar” as much as a “jam band” bar. We started doing live music 10 years ago, concentrating on Jam Bands. By definition, Jam Bands are a derivative of the Grateful Dead scene. Their use of improvisation and extended jams has directly influenced a generation of new bands, “jam bands”. Phish, Widespread Panic, Umphreys, String Cheese and more. Most all of these bands pay tribute in some way to the influence of The Grateful Dead, thereby making us a Dead Bar. With the growth of the festival scene, and the diverse musical genres these festivals now include, our stage has also become very eclectic. To call it a “Dead Bar” now wouldn’t be quite accurate, but our roots will always be Dead.
Stop by The Mousetrap this Saturday July 19th for Texas-based FORGOTTEN SPACE.
Staying true to form, the instrumentation of two guitars, bass, keyboards, two drummers, and strong three and four part vocal harmonies creates an incredibly accurate representation of the real enchilada. Add to that a willingness to explore arrangements from all eras of the Dead’s body of work (1965-1995), and you end up with an all out, explosive mixture of good vibes, endless dance party, and deep space musical exploration which engages Deadheads and non-Deadheads alike. (via band bio)
Jerry Garcia’s 72nd Birthday Bash
In two weeks, The Mousetrap will proudly present Jerry Garcia’s 72nd Birthday Bash over the first weekend of August.
Hyryder and The Whistle Stop Revue will kick off the weekend on Friday August 1st, followed by an all-day party on Saturday August 2nd featuring Hyryder, Flatland Harmony Experiment, The Spirtles and more.
Also expect a shakedown parking lot populated with food & goods vendors. The celebration begins at 5pm.
SCREENING: The Grateful Dead LIVE at Beat Club TV
And for the truest of true Deadheads: this Thursday fans across the nation will gather for the 4th Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies: Beat Club 4/21/72.
Never officially released or seen in its entirety, fans will be treated to a complete, rare Beat Club TV live studio performance of the Grateful Dead captured during their legendary European tour in 1972.
The Beat Club TV performance in Bremen, West Germany is one of the last known videos of band member, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and features stand-out versions of set staples like “Bertha,” “Sugaree,” “Playing In The Band” and “Truckin’>Drums>The Other One” with all audio re-mastered from the original analog tapes.
To purchase advance tickets, follow this link and click the orange, square “Buy Tickets” button on the right side of the screen. Enter your zip code and select the appropriate theater from the map. If you have problems reserving tickets online in advance, call the theater and inquire about reserving seats for the showing.
Date: Thursday, July 17
Time: 7:30 p.m. (local time)
Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (approximate)
Cost: $12.50 per ticket/$2.50 processing fee per order
It may have been Tuesday evening outside of Old National Center, but inside it felt like a full blown Friday. Bob Weir and his outfit, Ratdog, gave concert goers a phenomenal performance. Say what you will about old rockers, but Weir could’ve given any young, professional guitarist a run for their money last night.
They ignited the night with an old Grateful Dead classic, “Bertha”, and moved straight into “Mississippi Two-Step”. “New Speedway Boogie” was up next, and at this point the concert felt more like a sing-a-long than a traditional show. There wasn’t a soul sitting down for those first twenty minutes. Dead-heads old enough to have toured with the band in the 60s, and teenagers who learned of the Dead through their parents all shimmied and jumped in their seats to the music.
This writer was accompanied to the show by her father, who has been listening to the Dead since the 70s. Bringing people together to celebrate music is exactly what the Dead did, and still do. The cross-generational fandom of the Grateful Dead, and their related acts, is one of the most remarkable aspects of their music. Speaking of cross-generational, Ratdog also played some other timeless tunes.
After set break, Weir whipped out his acoustic and serenaded the crowd with a beautiful rendition of “Blackbird”. Once again, fans both long in the tooth and high-school age rejoiced by signing along with this Beatles classic.
Weir broke out into several dazzling jams that, despite Garcia and his marked differences in guitar playing, sounded very Jerry-esque. Additionally, throughout the night his instrumentation was backed up by some seriously skilled musicians. Ratdog packs a double bass combo along with another guitarist, a drummer, and a keyboardist.
From old Grateful Dead favorites, to cross-generational grooving, Tuesday night with Ratdog was nothing less than glorious. Thank you Bobby and crew.
The Weir is here. Indy has hosted some of the nation’s premiere Grateful Dead influenced bands over the past few months: Terrappin Flyer and Dark Star Orechestra, to name a few. You’ve seen the rest, now see the best. The irreplaceable Bob Weir, longtime rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead, will be performing at Old National Center on Tuesday March 11th with his band Ratdog.
Ratdog was officially founded following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. Bob Weir, guitarist, and Rob Wasserman, bassist, had toured together under the name “Weir and Wasserman” and “Scaring the Children” sporadically prior to Garcia’s death, but the passing of Garcia really got the wheels spinning on the project.
Needless to say, the group has garnered a large fan base. Aside from hashing out Grateful Dead classics, the band notably performs Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and other influential classic rock artists, too. Ratdog has hosted a slew of talented musicians in the lineup over the years. Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead percussionist), Bill Kreutzman (Grateful Dead keyboardist), Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio are among the smattering of musicians that have graced the stage alongside Ratdog. Current touring members include Bob Weir, Jeff Chimenti, Steve Kimock, Jay Lane, Robin Sylvester and Rob Wasserman.
If you haven’t had your good old fashioned Dead fix this year, are aching for more, or simply want to start preparing for the upcoming festie season (yay!) mosey on down to Old National to witness Ratdog where you can catch a glimpse of good, old Bobby “playin’ in the band”.
The perfect way to bring in the looming colder seasons is with good music, good people and good beer. Fountain Square Brewery is an Indiana brewery that began in 2010 and is dedicated to supporting local arts. This weekend they are hosting the second-annual Hop Your Face Festival in Fountain Square in Indianapolis. Hop Your Face is an all day music festival to kick off fall, tap their imperial IPA for the season and celebrate local arts.
This year, the headlining act is a jam band from Carmel, Ind. called Funky Junk. Funky Junk is a four-piece collaboration of Jake Dugan and Andrew Trefny on the electric guitars, Troy Wingert on the bass guitar and Chandler Pickard on the drums. Funky Junk are dedicated to giving the crowd a fun and rowdy show anywhere they go– just be prepared to drink their whiskey with them!
What is Hop Your Face?
Chandler Pickard: It’s a celebration of Fountain Square Brewery tapping their fall beer, the imperial IPA Hop Your Face. It’s the second year they are doing the Hop Your Face festival and it’s christening of the season of fall. It’s called Hops Your Face as a play on words from the Grateful Dead. There are some other bands playing before like El Guapo. We’re headlining the event and it’s all day. It’s outside Fountain Square Brewery and we go on at 9pm. Last year Strange Arrangement played. They were the headliner and they killed it. There was a great turn out. This year they expect to have more. It is a really local thing. It is all about keeping your beer drinking local.
The beer is great there; it is delicious craft beer. They are bringing Fountain Square back. It has really gotten nice in the last few years. The area of Fountain Square had been a little run down but within the past five years they have made a huge effort restoring what Fountain Square once was. Now it has become a really cool hip little place to come down and have a fun time. They have a lot of good local restaurants, a lot of good local beer at Fountain Square Brewery. It is a really homegrown feel, nothing corporate in that area; it is just all local stuff. I love that about it.
We (Funky Junk) are Indianapolis natives. We want to support Indianapolis in any way possible. It is our hometown and we will always love it. I would much rather play for Fountain Square at a local festival that is all about keeping everything local. I love having the locals that drink there come out for some fun. It’s all of our friends, rather than some corporate shit.
Do you guys have anything special planned?
Pickard: The coordinator asked every band to play a Grateful Dead tune because Grateful Dead’s Steal Your Face is where they got Hops Your Face. So we are going to learn a few new Dead tunes for the festival and it will make it really special and obviously bring our own jest of band that is Funky Junk too!
How did Funky Junk first begin?
Pickard: I have known Trefny since I was five years old. One day we just realized we should stop playing Sega and start putting songs together and we realized were missing that part of our lives. So we wrote some songs and Dugan ended up calling me up about playing a Phish cover band party in Bloomington. He wanted me to play drums for him. So a few weeks later we met up in Bloomington and played this gig and Trefny was with me. We asked him, “Hey would you want to check out some of our songs?” and he jumped on board. Then a week later we got Troy boy on board, as Dugan insisted that he was a good bass player. And that is how we all got together. We started playing from there and then started booking gigs and ever since then we have been doing what we are doing. That was early spring of last year, so it has only been a little over a year and a half now.
Reflecting back on this past year and a half, how have you guys grown?
Pickard: It has been nothing but happiness and love. This has really shown me that if you really put your love into something, give love to everyone around you and be a positive person, that positivity will come back to you. It has even brought me and my immediate family closer together, it has brought me and my friends closer together and obviously my band the closest together. I have watched so many people be so happy and it is a great thing to see that–we want to bring people happiness.
I really love watching people be happy when they get a drink or dance around and have some fun for the night when they’re off work and they want to go out and do something. We want them to be able to come out, enjoy a few drinks, see their friends, dance around and have fun. That is what we are here for.
When was your realization of, “Wow- this is actually going somewhere”?
Pickard: This summer is when I realized it. It has always been my dream to play music for a living. But I really felt like this past summer, instead of me calling places, places started calling me about gigs and I started getting gigs by other people calling me. I started realizing there is a demand for what we’re doing.
What is your favorite place to play?
Pickard: The coolest place I have ever gotten play was The Vogue in Broad Ripple because it is a beautiful room to play and it’s big. The sound is like a mile wide and playing on that stage is really nice. But I have to give love to the Mousetrap for giving us our platform and also Plumps. I have mad love for all of them.I also really loved the festivals we played at this summer. But everywhere in Indianapolis are places that really hone in on the music that we’re doing and show us nothing but love and support. They are all super caring and treat us well.
How did you become a drummer?
Pickard: I became a drummer when I was a really young boy and I heard John Fishman of Phish and Jon Bonham of Led Zeppelin play and started thinking, man I really want to do that! I remember when I was a kid and the first time I listened to Zeppelin ‘s Black Dog on my headphones laying in bed, and I was like, “Wow this is crazy. I want to be able to do that.” It seemed fun to me and ever since then my family has never been anything but supportive. I thank them so much because having a nine-year-old kid wanting to play the drums is going to have a time that’s a little obnoxious. So I appreciate them toughing it out.
What future plans do you guys have for your music?
Pickard: We are going to have our EP coming out this month–Mashed Up Vol. 1. We actually recorded it at Ball State. We are really excited about that. Then we are going to keep on doing what we are doing- keep booking gigs and hopefully more festivals for next summer.
Why are you naming the EP Mashed Up Vol. 1?
Pickard: Well you know, that is just for our friends. Our family of friends is all equally mashed up. They have been so supportive of us and have helped us get where we are at and been so far. It’s to them and how much we care about them.
For more information visit: http://fountainsquarebrewery.com/