The Mann Center, tilting ever pop-ward, opened its orchestral season Tuesday night with a Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration. Was there really a symphony in the house? At least some of the 4,400 listeners tossing lighted hoops - and lighting up - might have noticed the incredibly polished orchestra on stage: the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under its newly minted assistant conductor, Fawzi Haimor.
The orchestral backups didn't give the same chance to marvel at Pittsburgh's blended brass and winds as last summer's Tchaikovsky/Dvorak concert with music director Manfred Honeck. Guitarist Warren Haynes was the clear center of gravity in this tribute to the Grateful Dead. Still, with the Joshua Light Show swirling in psychedelic wonder above, you could casually ponder which of the cultural anachronisms on stage might run its course first.