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A decade for Dark Star

Local Deadheads celebrate the big ten at Monday show

Who: Dark Star

Where: Boot Pub

When: Monday, March 14

Brace yourselves.

What follows is likely going to incite exclamations along the lines of "holy crap, where does the time go?"

Beloved Whistler jam band Dark Star celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a show at the Boot Pub on Monday night.

Founding Star Douglas Kerr can hardly believe it himself.

But there it is. Kerr and the band’s other original member Todd Taylor started Dark Star in 1995, making their first show of 2005 a good time as any to celebrate their decade mark.

Over the years the band has shapeshifted through what Kerr estimates to be "a dozen revolving players or so." Joining the core duo on stage for Monday’s milestone performance will be journeyman organ master Jordan White, Brennan Saul on drums and Dave McPeake on bass. Several guest players are also expected to drop by and pay their respects possibly joining in the classic Star set covering jam greats such as the Dead, String Cheese Incident and Garaj Mahal along with well-known originals from the two Dark Star albums Smoke’s Gettin’ Thick and Mountain Sites .

A decade allows for sentimentality and Kerr waxes nostalgic about gigs past at the Boot – the venue that has hosted more Dark Star shows than any other.

One show stands out in his mind, back in what he estimates to be the year 2000, one of the last shows he remembers seeing old-school ski-bum and Whistler legend John "Rabbit" Hare.

"Everybody was out, all the old ski-bum crowd, and he (Hare) just danced until he just literally could not stand up anymore," Kerr recalls. "It was just packed in there. A Dark Star gig that turned out to be one of those magical nights. It seemed like everybody in Whistler was there."

Dark Star is one of those bands, like contemporaries She Stole My Beer, whose infrequent gigs are a good place to see "everybody in Whistler." Shows become fan reunions, drawing a seasoned crowd to show the young jam enthusiasts new to the area–and to Dark Star–how it’s done.

Married with children and settled in Brackendale, Kerr acknowledges that Dark Star’s gigging has slowed to a rate whereby he can count the number of shows per year on one hand. The 2003 sale and impending demolition of the Boot means the venue may not be around next year and Kerr is considering that Monday’s show could be their last at the Whistler institution.

"It’s sad," Kerr says. "You can’t really replace something like that."

But never fear. The Dark Star will not fall from the sky should the Boot get kicked off the earth.

Says Kerr: "we’ll have to create a new vibe somewhere else, I guess."

For more information on shows at the Boot Pub call 604-932-3338.