Tribute bands typically face some creative constraints. After all, people go to see the tribute group to hear live music that sounds exactly like the band of honor. In the case of the Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue, that presents a bit of a quandary, because the Dead were known for their improvisational shows. And it leads to the question of whether they should try to mimic spontaneity through dutiful reproduction of the music or the style. Since the Revue brings together some of the best players from the best tribute bands, there are likely some different interpretations. Dark Star Orchestra (which has some members performing tonight), adapts the phrasing, voice arrangements and specific musical equipment for the various eras in which they perform, even announcing the date and venue where the original show took place, while the Shakedown Street Band (which has also contributed musicians) never repeats a show or plays a song the same way twice and does original songs in the Deadhead style. The originals dont seem to mind: Shakedown has played numerous times with former Dead members Vince Welnick (keyboards), Tom Constanten (Keyboards), and Bob Bralove (the Dead's longtime sound designer). Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $12; the concert is at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder. For information, call 303-786-7030 or log on to www.bouldertheater.com.
Fri., Jan. 9, 9 p.m., 2009