Mickey Hart Honors Nelson Mandela at Rex Foundation Benefit
Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart opened the Rex Foundation Benefit show last night at San Francisco’s Fillmore with a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. Hart sampled some of Mandela’s famous speeches and quotes while he shaped music, movements and other sounds within the context.
Following Hart’s short set, guitarist Keller Williams took the stage for an acoustic set, performing Grateful Dead originals “Box of Rain” and “Attics of My Life” before being joined by Tim and Nicki Bluhm for the remainder of the set which featured “Brown Eyed Woman,” “Peggy O,” “Cassidy,” “Little Too Late,” “Bird Song,” “Brokedown Palace” and “Scarlet Begonias.” The trio exited the stage for a brief setbreak.
The finale of the Rex Foundation Benefit show featured Grateful Grass, a bluegrass supergroup with Keller Williams, Jeff Austin and String Cheese Incident’s Keith Moseley and Michael Kang. The quartet played classic Grateful Dead tunes like “Bertha,” “Jack Straw,” “Althea” and “Tennessee Jed” during the set. Tim and Nicki Bluhm returned for the encore that included “Deal,” “Friend of the Devil,” “Eyes of the World” and the closer “Don’t Let Go.”
The Rex Foundation is a charitable non-profit that was founded by members of the Grateful Dead and friends in 1983. According to their Mission Statement, the organization aims to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere.