Mickey Hart Band ~ Concert Review ~ 2/16/13 @ The Historic Rogue Theatre

Mickey Hart Band

On February 16th, the second night of the Worlds Within Tour 2013, Mickey Hart Band performed to an energetic and thankful crowd at an intimate venue called The Historic Rogue Theatre in Grants Pass, Oregon.

The evening of beautiful rhythms started out with a short set by The African Showboyz. Decked out in tribal wear with Rasta colors blazing, these original musicians took the audience by storm. Showcasing the music of their homeland with authentic handmade instruments, The African Showboyz danced with smiles of joy, chanted and sang with melodies of love, and performed the most intense version I have ever witnessed of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”. Their act was a perfect fit, fun to watch, and definitely sparked the fuse on a night to remember.

Opening the show with what use to be considered a common encore song from the Grateful Dead days, Mickey Hart Band burst into a rocking “Not Fade Away” shortly after The African Showboyz concluded their performance. I watched in fascination as Mickey lead the band with precision and passion, distinctly voicing out those familiar beats and grooves we all know and love.

As if to tell the crowd “I began by bringing you back home. Now, I’m going to take you back out to space…” Mickey proceeded to lead the way into “Let There Be Light”. I listen to all kinds of music, a lot of it being electronic music, and it’s hard to make something sound truly organic and real within this electronic realm. One of the things I marveled at last Saturday night was how easy everything seemed for Mickey as he continually combined organic with electronic and manipulated the intricate nuances of his band’s sound to produce the throbbing pulsations and rhythmic sensations my ears, mind, and body received. It was completely out of this world, beyond experimental, and utterly breathtaking.

From that point on, I indulged myself completely in the moment and the positive vibes that surrounded us all that night.  Because of this, I don’t remember every song Mickey Hart Band played, but I do know they performed two beautiful sets including quite a few Grateful Dead classics such as “Playing In The Band“, “Bird Song”, “West LA Fadeaway”, “Ramble On Rose”, and “Shakedown Street”.

Crystal Monee Hall and Joe Bagale both provided strong, sweet, and sassy vocals throughout the show with Joe setting fire to the keyboards the entire evening. Dave Schools jammed out booming bass lines, holding that bottom end down nice and tight. Complimenting Mickey Hart’s spectacular grooves and percussion, Greg Schutte managed things on the trap set while Sikiru Adepoju, described by Mickey as “the Mozart of the talking drum”, worked his magical rhythms.  Jonah Sharp, a master in electronic arts, also lent his global ambient knowledge to the sound while Gawain Mathews consistently sent shivers up my spine with the powerful fretwork he displayed on his electric guitar. The essence of the Dead filled the air, but I felt it was about more than that. It was like a transformation to the next level. I felt Jerry’s smile a few times that night and know for sure he would have been more than proud.

In the end, it was a wonderful and mind blowing event that Rogue Agent Photo was very honored and happy to be part of. Mickey Hart Band closed out the evening with an encore of “Brokedown Palace”, one of my personal favorites.

Please check out the complete gallery of images from the show here: Mickey Hart Band Live at The Historic Rogue Theatre on 2/16/13

It makes my heart ache and my eyes water when I think about Jerry not being here anymore…and they probably always will…but, getting to witness Mickey Hart Band live and in the flesh brings me back to the family and music I have been a solid part of for a very long time…and I give thanks for that…BIG TIME!!!

Sincerely sending Much Love, More Strength, & Massive Respect!!!!

Joe McLaren

Rogue Agent Photo


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