Dark Star Orchestra @ House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH [01.27.11]

The Hot Like Sauce crew got to catch a great show from Dark Star Orchestra this week as they stopped at the Cleveland House Of Blues on their Winter Southbound Tour.

Dark Star took the stage and eased into things with the wandering “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo” as people made their way stage before taking things up a notch with an energetic “Wang Dang Doodle.”

Next we’d experience a bit of an 80’s flashback as DSO broke out “Blow Away” which was followed by a rockin’ version of “When Push Comes To Shove.”

Next, things got ‘a little bit country’ as they played “Mama Tried” and jammed right into “Big Iron.” The highlight of the first set would follow as they played “Waiting For A Miracle” and “Queen Jane Approximately.”

Dark Star would round out the first set with “Big Boss Man” and a rockin’ “Greatest Story Ever Told” with a truly excellent jam.

After a short set break a high energy version of “Iko Iko” kicked off the second set as everyone in attendance sang along.

My favorite highlight of the show would follow as they pulled out a funky version of “Feel Like A Stranger” that sent the energy in the House Of Blues over the edge. As they jammed through the classic tune the place began to swell with energy as everyone was grooving back and forth.

Things would calm down a bit as they played “Here Comes Sunshine” and “Jack Straw” before playing the fan favorite “He’s Gone.”

“Drums > Space” would follow and go directly into “Weather Report Suite” that would give way to “Let It Grow.” DSO would flawlessly continue the lengthy slow jam straight into “China Doll” before they would round out the set with a personal favorite of mine, “Viola Lee Blues.”

As an encore they jammed out the old blues classic “Goodnight Irene,” first recorded by Ledbelly in 1932.

Even though the sets weren’t stuffed full of popular hits Dark Star Orchestra’s energy, accuracy, and chemistry made for a truly great night of Grateful Dead music.