Rather than merely performing the legendary group’s material, Dark Star Orchestra seek to recreate the Dead experience as closely as possible.

Not only do they stick to the original set lists, but stage positioning and instruments are given equal consideration as well. For example, if Dark Star Orchestra do a show from 1974, Rob Eaton, who fills the role of Bob Weir, will use the same type of amp that Weir did in 1974.

“What we offer is sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985 or 1978 or whatever,” said keyboardist Scott Larned. “Even for Deadheads who say they’ve been to a hundred shows in the ‘90s, we offer something they never got to see live, like ‘Here Comes Sunshine’ performed with one drummer and a Donna [Godchaux] vocal.”

As part of the experience, Dark Star Orchestra don’t reveal the show date they’re recreating until the end, giving audience members the chance to hazard a guess. Clues are available through keen observation – placement and number of microphones, keyboard setup, and guitar types – all of which mean something to diehard Deadheads.