GRATE STUFF!  Mickey’s new band is fresh from the studio, their album is coming on April 10th.  This was the first show of their tour, and they felt a little tentative… for about 45 seconds!  Then they kicked it in, opening with a rousing “Not Fade Away”.   Then most of the 1st set was filled with their new material, though since they have been playing some of these songs now since August 211, the grooves are deeper and richer than before.  The set closed with a “Fire On The Mountain” with some very fresh phrasing from Tim Hockenberry.  The band was on fire, and not even a whole pail of water could have cooled them down.

The second set opened with some of Mickey’s outer space sonifications, bringing “the sound of the Sun” to our ears and bodies… the vibes of “Heartbeat” washed over us and into us, and the 2nd set took us all on a deeper voyage.   Again, mostly new grooves, with a very different “The Other One” in the middle, with Dave Schools dropping the bombs on us!  The set wrapped up with “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad” > a sweet sing along “And We Bid You Goodnight”.  Gawain Matthews gave us some thrilling lead guitar all night, and his riffs on this last number were gorgeous.

Two debuts (for this band) for the encore, “Franklin’s Tower”, and a touching “Stella Blue” sung by Crystal Hall to close the show.

What I love with this band is that they are doing something different.   Mostly new songs, mostly with Robert hunter lyrics.  Enough Dead tunes to keep it friendly, but even those have a whole new way of sounding.   The Mickey Hart Band is a very fresh and innovative group, shedding some new light, dusting off the rust, and making it shine!

Mickey Hart Band
Mickey Hart, Dave Schools, Gawain Matthews, Tim Hockenberry, Crystal Monee Hall, Ben Yonas, Sikiru Adepoju, Ian “INKX” Herman
Rio Theatre
Santa Cruz, California
March 1, 2012

Opening:  Lenka Dusilova

Mickey Hart Band – 1st set:
Not Fade Away
Time Never Ends
Slo Jo Rain
Djinn Djinn >
Let There Be Light >
Fire On The Mountain

2nd set:
Heartbeat >
Supersonic >
I Can Tell You More >
The Other One >
Drumz >
The Other One >
Cut The Deck >Going Down The Road Feeling Bad >
And We Bid You Good Night

Franklin’s Tower >
Stella Blue