Grateful Dead Tribute Band ‘Dark Star Orchestra’ Takes Over NJ’s Wellmont Theater for NYE Extravaganza

Dark Star will appear at North Jersey’s premier live entertainment venue on Dec. 30 – 31, in two-day New Year’s celebration

Photo courtesy of the Wellmont Theater.
Dark Star Orchestra will appear at the Wellmont Theater, North Jersey's premier live entertainment venue, from Dec. 30-31. (Photo courtesy of the Wellmont Theater.)

Ready to ring in the New Year with North Jersey’s premier live entertainment venue? The Wellmont Theater will be hosting famed Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra, for its two-day New Year’s Extravaganza, Dec. 30-31 in Montclair, with showtimes at 8 p.m. and doors at 7.

Playing to decades of acclaim, Dark Star Orchestra offers more than the sound of The Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and experience. On New Year’s Eve, the DSO show will also feature holiday décor and an exciting balloon drop.

At any DSO show, it’s about a sense of familiarity; it’s about a feeling that immediately grabs listeners or a contagious energy. The fan experience is unrivaled and continues to excite Deadheads around the country. This will be magnified as the band ushers in the New Year in North Jersey.

Photo courtesy of the Wellmont Theater
Dark Star Orchestra will take over Montclair, N.J.’s Wellmont Theater from Dec. 30-31, in a tribute to the Grateful Dead. (Photo courtesy of the Wellmont Theater.)

The band, which has performed to critical acclaim for more than 20 years and 2,600 shows, continues the Grateful Dead legacy – with shows built off the Dead’s extensive catalog. The band will perform sets from The Dead’s 30-year songbook, allowing fans both young and old to share in the experience. Dark Star offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon.

“For us it’s a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created over the years,” rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Eaton explains. “We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they’ve been to a hundred shows in the ’90s, we offer something they never got to see live.”

Fans and critics haven’t been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from six original Grateful Dead members: Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, Vince Welnick and Tom Constanten, and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and more.

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In addition to appearing at some of the nation’s top festivals, Dark Star Orchestra also hosts its own annual music festival, called the “Dark Star Jubilee,” currently in its sixth year, where DSO headlines all three nights and is joined by a mix of established and up-and-coming national touring acts.

For more information on Dark Star Orchestra’s two-day stint at the Wellmont, head to:

The Wellmont Theater is located at 5 Seymour St., Montclair, NJ, 07042.

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Dan has a knack for in-depth news coverage and storytelling and comes from a journalistic and creative background. He is a former staff writer and critic for the New York Daily News, where he covered entertainment, politics, lifestyle and hard news. He is also the former editor of the Cyber Security Hub, a B2B media site covering the enterprise security vertical. Dan holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, where he focused in historical fiction. He also holds a BA in Communication (Journalism/Public Relations) and a Minor in History from Monmouth University. He has also worked as a municipal reporter and freelance writer/critic for numerous outlets, including, The Cheat Sheet, Critical Movie Critics and more.