by Andy Harrison
Photos by Tim Demoucelle

Sometimes you have those days wheen everything just simply works out. You know those days I’m talking about, the ones when there’s this perfect balance between what you anticipate will happen and the hidden surprises yet to come. Think about it.

Well the day of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th Birthday was one of those days.

The Bay Area turned out in droves…families with their kites and their dogs, fitness enthusiasts in spandex, pretty young things in yoga pants lining up at the food trucks, and sailboats dotting the Bay waters like a watercolor in motion. It was perfect weather no matter the warnings of the local news channels. Sun, friends, excitement, and room to celebrate. We waded into the crowd vibrating with an appetite to share smiles. As the sun dropped from the sky and energy arose in the crowd antsy with want for fireworks to astound us and music to move us.

We watched, we listened, we laughed, and we waited for events to unfold and delight us. Those of us who follow these things knew that The Mickey Hart Band was going to be the finale after ‘the finale’.

Pomp and circumstance rolled to and fro, then it was time! BOOM! SPARKLE! FLASH! Okay…now! We ARE ready!

Mickey was going to play the Bridge came the whispered secrets. Oh my. Oh my goodness!

Families packed up volleyball nets, frisbees, and pups and ruched into traffic going nowhere.

We got right up into the music loving crowd and saw the replica of the Golden Gate Bridge at the front of the stage. The band and Mickey emerged to the delight of the Faithful, the Grateful, and the willing. We roared politely!

The night went by from the first note to the last with perfect incantation and dance. Mickey had us! He really HAD us! We were amazed and entertained.

Mickey’s playing of “Bridgette” was nothing less than performance art. It was interpretive art at its finest. I could not look away as our favorite Rhythm Devil pushed, and prodded, pulled, and tweeked our favorite local landmark into exquisite tones and vibration.

It was dance, it was sound, it was air and water in sonic vibration. It was our shaman’s song. I closed my eyes and moved feeling the soundwaves move through me when I wasn’t staring at the ballet of Mickey’s performance.

It was everything they had promised, and MORE!

I cannot leave out the songs that this band gave us after the Bridge music. One of the most fun and talented ensembles this year, I couldn’t help loving them. Mickey and Ian “Inkx” Herman on rhythm stole my heart being a lover of drums. Crystal Hall’s vocals left me breathless one moment and singing along the very next. Gawain Matthews night of lead guitar lifted my spirit into the sky as much or more than any shimmering fountain of the fireworks.

Dave Schools on bass guitar is as important as my heart beating in my chest. Lively, funky, thudding and reeling; happy one moment and pushing my boundries the next I could not stand still with that mind-filling bassline.

I loved every moment of this music and this band. I thank Mickey and his band for the most beautiful ending to a day filled with fun and laughter.

“The Brokedown Palace” closer was a slow tribute to the Bridge, the City, the community, and the music lovers swaying to the slow emotion embodied in our collective soul.

Thank you, again, thank you.
~ Andy Harrison