Sammy Hagar Celebrates Green Apple with Bob Weir (and 25,000 Fans)
Over the weekend, San Francisco hosted the West Coast edition of the second annual Green Apple Music and Arts Festival. While the festivals lineup veered towards the eclectic, including appearances by everyone from reggae royalty like Stephen Marley featuring Jr. Gong to rising indie stars Electric Six, to newgrass sensations Yonder Mountain String Band to recently reunited jazz/funk supergroup Greyboy Allstars, the weekends offerings had a decidedly Grateful Dead feel.
Yesterday, Bob Weir and RatDog headlined a free, six-hour, multi-band show at Golden Gate Park, which drew an estimated 25,000 fans, including Van Halen singer and San Francisco resident, Sammy Hagar. Unlike most in attendance, however, Hager scored a chance to jam with RatDog onstage when Weir invited him up for the Dead chestnut Loose Lucy. Weir, who has a pair of young daughters, also gave a shout out to the children in attendance before the song, saying, Heres something for the kids. Todays a very special day. Today the Red Rocker turns green. Former Spearhead MC Radioactive emerged for a jam before RatDogs cover of the Beatles Dear Prudence. The free event also boasted performances by the Marleys, the Greyboy Allstars, Martin Sexton and Relix recording artist Jonah Smith.
Earlier in the weekend, the members of RatDog also gigged in a variety of other incarnations throughout San Franciscos maze of clubs and pubs. Of particular note, on Friday RatDog guitarist Mark Karan, Phil Lesh drummer John Molo, Bruce Hornsby keyboardist J.T. Thomas, and Bob Gross played two sets of music at Mill Valley, CAs Sweetwater as Jemimah Puddleduck. During the groups set, RatDog bassist Robin Sylvester made a surprise appearance, emerging for versions of Lazin’ on a Sunny Afternoon and Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. Our newest Jambands.com columnist, Annabel Lukins, served as the events emcee.
Another performer who remained busy throughout Green Apple was rising Bay Area star, and ALO guitarist, Dan Lebowitz. On Friday the guitarist led an all-star jam session at San Franciscos 12 Galaxies. The event opened with a set by DJ Motion Potion and later featured three hours of improvisational music. At 2AM, Lebowitz took the stage and brought on a varied cast which included keyboardist Eric Levy (Garaj Mahal), drummer Inx (Hamsa Lila), bassist Mark Calderon (Zigaboo Modeliste), keyboardist Jordan Feinstein (The Ritual) and guitarist Sean Leahy. The group performed a number of Lebowitz originals, including Try, Mission Street Hustle, Bark of a Tree and Westward, wrapping up at around 5AM. Lebowitz also jammed with the New Mastersounds at San Franciscos 12 Galaxies and joined Tea Leaf Green at the Fillmore for Taught To Be Proud and, fittingly, Planet of Green Love. During Tea Leaf Greens show, guitarist Eric McFadden performed on Freedom, while Sean Leahy riffed on a cover of Pink Floyds Young Lust.
We were overwhelmed and blown away by the turnout across the three cities, Green Apple founder Pete Shapiro says. I think it says something about peoples desire to be part of a global effort to reduce the impact we are having on the environment.
In total, Green Apple had a presence at over 20 San Francisco shows from Thursday through Saturday. For more on Green Apple, please visit www.greenapplefestival.com