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 past Tuesday, Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela took the stage of the Egyptian Room at the Old National Center. Performing in Indy for their first time in four years, Rodrigo Y Gabriela is currently on tour in support of their newest album “9 Dead Alive.” The sound of Rodrigo Y Gabriela is one that is very difficult to describe, with expertly mixed elements of rock, flamenco and jazz. With just the two of them on stage, they blend the sounds of their individual guitars in ways that sound like a full band is present.
Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero grew up together in Mexico where, meeting as teenagers, they began a journey of playing music together that spans over 25 years. Their roots can be seen in covers of Metallica and Led Zeppelin, music that drew them in as kids. They mastered covers to play to tourists, but eventually decided it was time to move. They headed to Dublin, Ireland and as street performers they caught the attention of Damien Rice who helped the duo get a manager and begin booking shows.
What is most notably important about Rodrigo Y Gabriela is their unique style of playing music. With roots in megadeath and rock, they wanted to create a sound that felt like a full band was performing, while keeping their talent to just the two of them.
What stands out as most unique and expressive is the way that Gabriela plays her guitar, not as just a string instrument but also as a percussion instrument. Extremely tight and fast hand movements allow her to simultaneously strum the guitar while plucking at its wooden walls with her fingers, generating a popping sound like a drum. This, when paired with Rodrigo’s intricate guitar playing makes them sound much fuller, richer in sound.
When Rodrigo Y Gabriela took the stage at the Egyptian Room, everybody’s faces lit up. They were last in town about four years ago to play the Vogue and, from what I hear, that show was amazing, but nothing compares to the acoustics at the Egyptian Room. Their sound was so full and unyielding for just two performers.
Scanning the crowd, I noticed that hardly anybody was dancing, but rather standing with their mouth open in complete awe at the skill of these two performers. At several points throughout the show they stopped to talk to the audience, telling us about the tour they have been on and discussing the music they were playing. At the end Gabriela joked about how she has never had time to record lessons on her unique style of playing, something she wished she had the time to do. That being said, she then gave us all a quick demo on one of her signature moves.
At the end of the show, the overall feel from the crowd was much different from any other show I have been too. People often exit with some kind of discontent because the band was off or they didn’t play a favorite song or they played too short of a set. This time, there was nothing but smiles for miles from every fan in attendance, and with good cause.
Though Rodrigo Y Gabriela may not have as big of a US following as they should, their sound is never underappreciated. Considering the duo can fill 50,000 person-capacity soccer stadiums in Mexico, the Wembley arena in London and the Hollywood Bowl in LA, getting the chance to be five rows from the stage in our very own Egyptian Room was a very humbling experience. I certainly hope to catch them again in the near future.
On the heels of losing founding member David Murphy, nationally renowned electronic jam band STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) sets forth on its first full tour in almost a year. The tour opener is set to take place in our very own Egyptian Room at the Old National Center on Oct. 9th 2014 at 8PM.
When founding member and bassist David Murphy announced his permanent departure from the band, STS9 canceled their winter tour and circled the horses. After what we can only assume was a necessary, but planned break, STS9 formally invited Alana Rocklin to replace Murphy as lead bassist.
Her first appearance took place at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival where they debuted two new songs “New Dawn, New Day” and “World Go Round.” Fans seem to love the new addition and reinvigorated spirit STS9 now has and life begins to flow back into songs that previously seemed dead.
Worth noting is that this was not the first time Rocklin performed with STS9; she sat in on December 28th during the band’s 2013 NYE run at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. Rocklin has previously worked with singer-songwriter Ben Sollee, as well as Jim James and his solo band.
Many fans are very excited to see where this new spirit, style and line-up will take the band as they embark on this tour. In previous shows, the band has had a style that lent itself to be much darker, exploring the depths of jam-rock “spaceyness.” Word on the street is the new STS9 is much more funky, less spacey and more of a dance party. I know I speak for many die-hard fans when I say that this show cannot come fast enough.
The last time STS9 was in Indy was around this time last year, but they opened for Umphrey’s McGee and their show took place while the sun was still up. The band is said to be featuring the biggest lighting rig ever, guaranteeing that they set a precedent for what to expect over the next few months of touring.
Thursday October 9th, 8 pm
Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Tickets: $32.50 – buy now!
Known for stimulating live performances since their formal debut in 2011, Grouplove is a surprisingly appealing hybrid of poppy male falsettos, experimental ambient music, and rousing rock’n’roll.
Fronted by quirky couple Hanna Hooper (keys,vocals) and Christian Zucconi (guitar, vocals), the band’s onstage chemistry is at once infectious and alluring. Supported by Sean Gadd (bass, vocals), Andrew Wessen (guitar, vocals), and Ryan Rabin (drums)- Grouplove’s upbeat jams dabble in indie pop to progressive rock and everywhere in between.
The band’s background is as eclectic as its sound; all five members met in 2009 at an artist residency in Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek Islands. Drawn to each other by an inexplicable spiritual attraction, Hooper, Zucconi, Gadd, Wessen, and Rabin didn’t initially intend to form a band but immediately knew they had entered each other’s lives for a reason.
A year later they started performing as a band and went on tour as the supporting act for Florence and The Machine. By 2011, they released their debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song; you might recognize the album’s second single, “Tongue Tied”, from a popular iPod Touch commercial.
In less than three years as an active, touring band Grouplove has:
- Made appearances at Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Glastonbury, Coachella, Sasquatch! And Bonnaroo
- Toured as the supporting act for Florence and The Machine, The Joy Formidable, Foster The People, and Young The Giant
- Been supported on tour by Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-J and MS MR
- Appeared three times on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, twicse on Conan, and once each on Jimmy Kimmel, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Today Show
Currently, Grouplove are touring in support of their 2013 release, Spreading Rumors. Decidedly more psychedelic and alt rock than their indie folk debut, the band’s sophomore album simultaneously channels the obscurity of MGMT, the exuberance of My Morning Jacket, and the jovial spirit of Passion Pit.
Expect to see lots of happy jumping and vigorous dancing- both on stage and in the crowd- when Grouplove hit The Egyptian Room this Friday at Old National Center.
Hear and watch all the intimate details of the band’s unique history in this special documentary titled “I’m With You.”
GROUPLOVE with Alex Winston
Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Friday March 21st, 2014; 08:00 PM
Tickets via Livenation
The music of the Grateful Dead has been an iconic staple in the fabric of the jam band community, spanning over three decades and more then 35 million albums sold. They have been ranked as the greatest band of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine as well as having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though some would say it’s hard, nay impossible, to recreate the music of the dead, that has not stopped hundreds of bands, many loyal followers of the music 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).
DSO is known for performing shows based on the original set lists of Grateful Dead concerts, citing the date and venue at the end of their performance. For fans this is a fun opportunity to discover a new favorite Grateful Dead show they didn’t know about. On any given night they will draw from the Dead’s catalog and play an original show, something to appeal to new and old heads alike. This Friday in the Egyptian Room at the Old National Center in Downtown Indy, DSO will take the stage to give us their annual show, while staying true to the bands commitment of “raising the dead.”
DSO 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, they hold precision accuracy as a key element to every show played. 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 2200 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.
The show is set to take place this Friday, February 7th; doors open at 8PM. Tickets will all be general admission standing room as is traditional with all shows in the Egyptian Room. Ticket prices are set at $23.50 for the show and can be purchased at the door.
For those of you who don’t want to wait in line for will call or to get tickets the night of, you can purchase tickets online here. To try to connect with other fans going, check out one of the many Facebook pages for the event.
I look forward to seeing you out for what is sure to be a wonderful evening full of great music and great people.