I don’t like to write reviews, describing music for me is difficult. The recordings and photos tell the story better than I could.
I said I’d try, so here goes.
Last fall when we heard that Mickey Hart had a new band and was playing a small club in Seattle called the Tractor Tavern, we jumped on it, got our tickets early and enjoyed a sold out show. The band played well, my recording of the night is one of my favorites and I still listen to it often. Until now. Flash forward to May 2012, the band has been together for over 6 months with a strong touring schedule. They’ve grown. They’ve learned more about each other, and it shows.
Last night’s show at the Neptune Theater was brilliant.
From the first guitar lead of Samson and Delilah I knew it was going to be a rocking show. The Tractor show focused heavily on the new material and had a more trance vibe. Last night Gawain showed a strength and confidence in the material that was hinted at last December.
The second set kicked it into overdrive, starting with Heartbeat of The Sun. Mickey has been taking astronomy data and turning it into sonic representations, these textures were used throughout the show. This set is when Schools took off. The Other One was a facemelting rhythmfest. On the setlist the previous night but not played, Vancouver’s loss was our gain. The transition into Slow Joe Rain had a sweet pulse and groove. Groove, the classic Buddy Holly song Not Fade Away ended the set with the traditional Deadhead pulses of chant and clap until the band came back, and continued the groove with West LA Fadeaway flowing into a Friend of the Devil with Gawain picking up a Mandolin for the tune.
Groove, Tim and Crystal’s vocals of Hunter lyrics on top, add in great keyboard textures and a guitarist that isn’t afraid to let his Gilmour influences shine through, and you’ve got a great vehicle for Mickey’s concepts. The new record Mysterium Tremendum is on iTunes as well in local record stores. Vinyl too.
Listen and download the show on the Live Music Archive. Lossless FLAC or MP3 downloads and streaming are available. For those who prefer a torrent, here’s the bt.etree.org listing.
Samson and Delilah
Cut The Deck
Time Never Ends
Who Stole The Show
Let There Be Light
Fire On The Mountain
This One Hour
The Other One
Slow Joe Rain
Not Fade Away
West LA Fadeaway
Friend of the Devil
Mickey Hart – Drums, Percussion, Beam, Vocals
Tim Hockenberry- Vocals, Keyboard, Trombone
Crystal Monee Hall – Vocals, Guitar
Ian “Inx” Herman – Drums
Gawain Mathews – Guitar, Vocals,
Sikiru Adepoju – Talking Drum, Vocals
Ben Yonas – Keyboards
Dave Schools – Bass