Mickey Hart Band – 1st night of Winter Tour 2011
Mickey Hart, Gawain Matthews, Tim Hockenberry, Ian INKX Herman
Crystal Monee Hall, Sikiru Adepoju, Ben Yonas, and Dave Schools
Yoshi’s Jazz Club
November 28, 2011
Let There Be Light
Cut the Deck
Time Never Ends
Endless Skies >
Drums n Dave >
Endless Skies >
Fire On the Mountain
Encore: Brokedown Palace
The band started pretty close to the 8pm time – Yoshi’s does not allow shows to go late so it had to be. I was outside, waiting for my friend Adrienna to arrive – she had one 2 tickets on the radio!
As the door within the club creaked open I could here a few sounds begin, and I made out what sounded like “Let There be Light”, one of the newish Robert Hunter/Mickey Hart tunes. Several people in and out the doors of the club, so I could hear enough to confirm it, and also that the song was jamming. I stepped outside to enjoy some of the local harvest, and there were a handful of ticketless hopefuls, waiting for a miracle, of some sort, for this sold out show. I stepped back in… still LTBL (close to a 15 minute version).
As I waited, it seemed a number of the ticket-less did find a way in.. and when she did arrive, we were only into the beginning of the second song, “Supersonic”. As with all the Mickey Hart band songs, it was lush and dripping with sounds. The band has a very fresh approach, combining the instruments, and voices. It’s the best synthesis of all Mickey has done over the years, groove and rhythm, sound textures and moods, vibration and intention.
Very small club, Yoshi’s, usually for Jazz and other artists, where people politely sit at tables, small dance floor jammed with people! Groovin’ and movin’ this space was gettin’ hot as the band moved into “Cut the Deck” (which I tweeted as “Build this House” -oops! When you hear the song, you’ll know why). This song has Tim Hockenberry singing with a Peter-Gabrielesque flare.
“Time Never End’s” and “Starlight”, “Slow Joe” and “Endless Skies” – the songs all had a cosmic-ness about them, magical lyrics, galactic jams, and spacey moods. And always that groove. Laid down in all nimble heaviness by Dave Schools (from Widespread Panic) on bass, Sikiru Adepoju on talking drum and djembe, Ian INKX Herman at the kit, and of course Mickey Hart on percussion of every sort, including the Beam. The short break during “Slow Joe” I have dubbed “Drumz N Dave” and I hope they expand upon this jam every night of the tour!
Most of the set was new material, I know Mickey wants to share it, and it is all worth sharing. No complaint either, for $20 (okay, my friend won free radio tickets, but still, it woulda been worth the $20…) it’s a great show, worth seeing. Of course, Deadheads would love a escond set, and more Grateful Dead songs, and other Mickey Hart material could fill out the set. The band did have a short time to play at Yoshi’s; hopefully they will explore more at their other dates.
“Endless Skies” goes into “Fire On the Mountain” with Tim singing the leads. Set over, Mickey thanked us. He semmed really happy all night. The band came out for an ancore, a lovely BrokeDown Palace, with Crystal Monee Hall taking the lead, Quite beautiful.
Crystal was sweet after the show, she said she wanted to do well by such a beloved standard, and we told her her version was beautiful (it is!), and we were glad she made it her own. I think most Deadheads will like it, very sweet, and heartfelt rendition of the Grateful Dead’s treasured song.
Fun after the show, hanging out we got to thank and say hello to most of the band (where was Mickey?) Dave is always a great guy, he took a moment for a picture with Andrienna – even though his wife was waiting for him.
So the suggestion from me for most deadheads is… go see the Mickey Hart Band! It’s a great little show, fun to dance too, great musicians (leads from Gawain Matthews were swirling melts of sound!) – and most of the shows are pretty inexpensive.
Get your tickets fast though, small venues sell out quick. Mickey Hart Band Tour Dates.