Dark Star Orchestra made a stop at Alabama’s Avondale Brewing Company on Sunday, April 8, recreating a 3/6/76 Jerry Garcia Band show and welcoming former Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay for several songs.
Godchaux-MacKay made her first appearance midway through the first set, adding her voice to the tender ballad “They Love Each Other.” Then, after a departure into “Mystery Train,” the singer returned for “Who Was John.”
Set two featured Godchaux-MacKay heavily, singing on set opener “The Harder They Come” and “Friend of the Devil.”
Dark Star Orchestra also played their first-ever rendition of the Rolling Stones original and JGB favorite “Moonlight Mile.” Another rarity came a couple of songs later, when DSO played “I Want To Tell You.” Interestingly Donna and then-husband Keith Godchaux joined JGB for the same tune in 1976. This April 8th performance marks the second time it had ever been performed by DSO (last heard 12/1/01).
After joining DSO singer Lisa Mackey on “My Sisters and Brothers,” Donna stepped away from the stage for the set closing “How Sweet It Is.” She returned for the tail end of the encore, singing on the two-song jam of “I’ll Be With Thee”> “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad.”
The evening also acted as a mini-reunion of Donna Jean and the Tricksters, the singer’s short lived band featuring Dark Star Orchestra guitarist Jeff Mattson.
See the full setlist below:
Dark Star Orchestra
April 8, 2018
Avondale Brewing Company
Set One: Tore Up Over You, Catfish John, Russian Lullaby, They Love Each Other^, Mystery Train, Who Was John^, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Lonesome and A Long Way From Home
Set Two: The Harder They Come^, Friend Of The Devil^, After Midnight, Moonlight Mile%, Strange Man, I Want To Tell [email protected] > My Sisters and Brothers^^; How Sweet It Is
Enc: Mister Charlie, I’ll Be With Thee^^ > Going Down The Road Feeling Bad^^
^ : with Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay
%: first time played by DSO
@: only played by DSO once before, 12/1/01.
^^: with Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay and Lisa Mackey