4. 12/2/73 – Check out this Dark Star for an example of how quickly the Dead can move jams from jazzy to spacey to rockin’ thanks to the incredible drumming of Billy Kreutzmann. This jam from Boston’s Music Hall is great, and the segue into Morning Dew is absolutely mind blowing.
5. 11/11/73 – I know, I know I just can’t get enough of ’73 Dead. The band was firing on ALL cylinders on this night
6. 2/13/70 – One of the most triumphant versions of the tune ever laid down took place during the band’s 1970 run at the Fillmore East. A Deadbase readers poll in 1993 listed this version as the best Dark Star ever, and I’m not sure I could argue with that assessment
7. 8/27/72 – The Dead tear Dark Star a new asshole during mind melting 90 degree plus conditions at the Creamery in Springfield, OR. Many of the best Dark Stars are about group improvisation, but this one is all about Jerry letting it rip
8. 10/31/91 – A mature version of the classic tune with special guest Gary Duncan [Quicksilver Messenger Service] that gets ultra emotional when Ken Kesey comes out at the 7:30 mark to riff on death a few short days after Bill Graham passes away
9. 10/18/74 – A jazzy Dark Star that comes out of Phil Lesh and Ned Lagin’s crazy Seastone segment
10. 3/29/90 – On March 29th, 1990 Branford Marsalis joined the band at Nassau Coliseum for the beginning of what would be a beautiful friendship. Marsalis added beautiful horn lines which spiced up the tune
Obviously we haven’t heard ’em all, so if you have a favorite, feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below..