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Reviews > Shows

Published: 2011/08/22
by Glenn H Roth

Mickey Hart Band, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY – 8/18

Photo by Kelsey Winterkorn

Mickey Hart – sporting long hair, glasses, a black T-shirt, and red-white-and-blue wristbands – orchestrated music like a mad-drumming scientist as his new band made its East Coast debut.

The lineup, featuring keyboardist/trombonist Tim Hockenberry, vocalist Crystal Monee Hall, guitarist Gawain Mathews, bassist Vir McCoy and percussionists Greg Ellis, Ian “Inkx” Herman, Sikiru Adepoju, played two sets of original compositions and Grateful Dead tunes. An intimate crowd of tie-dye fans filled the floor at the carnival-like venue that has a bowling alley adjacent to the stage and TVs broadcasting multiple sporting events.

Hart began the evening with two new songs “Let There Be Light,” and “Cut the Deck.” “Let There Be Light,” had Hockenberry and Hall trading lead vocals and Hart pounding away with his magic tongs. Later, the song switched gears to a more electronica feel behind the trombone playing of Hockenberry and the guitar playing of Mathews. “Cut the Deck,” began with spacey rainforest sounds reminiscent of the Grateful Dead 1990 tour. And once Hockenberry began singing, the tune took on a Bruce Hornsby feel with the refraining chorus, “All I ever wanted was to show me your love.” The band got rock ‘n’ rolling with the back-to-back beloved combination of “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire on the Mountain,” as the crowd was moving and shaking while Mathews recreated Jerry Garcia’s familiar wa-wa sound. Mickey and the gang appeared to be full steam ahead but the next number “Supersonic,” – a world music tune – erased much of the momentum built up from the Dead songs. Next came “Time Never Ends,” which took about 7 minutes to take an interesting turn behind crunchy guitar playing, a variety of percussion sounds, and harmonizing vocals. At the conclusion of the song, the band departed the stage and took a 15-minute break.

Hart returned to the stage by himself and announced he was going to let the audience hear what the sun sounds like. However, the scientific music presentation was cut short by technical difficulty.

The rest of the band then rejoined Hart on stage for “Heartbeat,” an instrumental that began with a “Throwing Stones,” tease before moving into a spacey alien-like jam accompanied by sounds of nature. The band then segued into “Slow Jo Rain,” that began with fast-paced drumming. The cool crisp playing of eight musicians melted all together to produce a rich, full sound. Following Hockenberry’s chorus refrain of “Circle of Rain,” which sounded very much like Peter Gabriel, the pace picked up again as Hart’s time with Particle (as Hydra) was revisited as the three percussionists produced an EOTO-like jam. At the end, the crowd cheered and applauded but again the momentum slacked a bit with the next numbers: “Djinn, Djinn,” and “What Stole the Show.” The familiar “Brokedown Place,” resuscitated life back into the audience as they swayed and sang along with Hall’s soulful voice. The band closed out the second set with “Starlight, Starbright,” which featured a high-energy jam that was well received.

Hart thanked all the fans for coming to see the band and introduced all of his bandmates. They all returned for an encore of the high-spirited tune “Iko, Iko,” that had Hart on lead vocals and got the crowd grooving and singing.

“Take this feeling home and do something good with it,” Hart shouted to end the evening’s festivities.


There are 11 comments associated with this post

Shaugn August 24, 2011, 11:30:33

While I love the spirit of Mickey’s final statement, and always have a good time at Brooklyn Bowl, this show was weak and the band isn’t ready to hit the road yet. They performed their new songs well enough, but “Scarlet Begonias” was an abomination, particularly Hockenberry’s singing. He stared down at the lyrics, delivering the text devoid of emotive content and apparently without understanding. Forget about his phrasing! If it was my project, he would’ve lost the gig that night. The guitarist is young, but has some potential, and Hall should sing everything. And they definitely shouldn’t revisit the Dead catalog unless they’re going to take it seriously!

John "PURPLE BEAR" August 24, 2011, 14:06:34

I caught the end f this show on live net broadcast at who stole the show. I loved it! I will never stroke the devil the way the1st commentor did.that person needs a break from the dead catalog themself Mickey & these gus are COOL & the only thing REALLY?disappointing about this show to the performance is probably the technical dfficulties that interrupted Micky& the sun sounds. I WISH I could find a copy of this show so I could apprecate it better than the lucky duck that got to go to it & then call it an abomination at any point.

John "PURPLE BEAR" August 24, 2011, 14:14:40

WOW! Look at the typos! I couldn’t type faster & the computer CANNOT keep up me.

PURPLE BEAR August 24, 2011, 14:17:38

time for the ballgame…GO! Cardinals!

Dancestodrumz August 24, 2011, 14:50:46

Bear, Zman taped this show. It’s out there somewhere.

boudica August 24, 2011, 23:40:11

Shaugn- Is that really your name? You sound more like a gilted ex. If you’re going to be so critical of other people, you should include your last name..
Hockenberry was great.

Willard August 25, 2011, 12:30:06

Have to agree with Shaugn here .. If Hall had sung Scarlet and Fire there would actually be something new happening with the music. I found Hockenberry’s singing to be seriously overreaching and disrespectful to the music. Worse than Warren believe it or not. And that guitarist seemed to be plucked out of an indie / emo band .. really weird hearing sparse, distorted Fire on the Mountain licks .. Mickey’s energy was great but compared with the Rhythm Devils performance at Vibes, this show was just silly. I’m sure with Steve Kimock on guitar, it would be a much different story, however.

boudica August 26, 2011, 01:10:29

You guys seem transfixed on the Dead covers the band did and seem to have missed the whole point of Mickey’s band. And that is that they are NOT just another stupid Jerry cover band. I am sure the only reason they even played those tired ass songs was to cater to people like yourselves who are stuck in another era and are about as capable of “moving on” artistically as Bob Weir is capable of singing in tune. But I hardly think Mickey Hart is worried about what a couple of tired assed hippies think about his new music, so I guess it is for the best that you managed to miss everything else that surrounded your little Dead zone. And it is also obvious that your appreciation for Crystal Hall is misguided as well since you only mention what she should have sung rather than what she DID sing…you guys are just mean spirited and should probably just go on youtube and listen to some really awesome versions of the Dead butchering their own music.

zman August 28, 2011, 00:37:39

Here is the show:

Ultimately who gives a F#CK August 29, 2011, 19:48:29

Weirdos listening to weirdos listening to weirdos…Why didnt jerry let mickey have a mic 4 30 yrs?..Anyone hear “down the road”? Dude is freaky creepy..sound of thunder yes,sound of the sun? fuck ..need some good shit 4 that one

steve b September 9, 2011, 16:55:04

The show was awesome and there is absolutely something wrong if you did not enjoy it. Maybe, just maybe Mickey played “Fire” cause its his (and Hunter’s) song and he still enjoys playing it??? Do you guys ever just let yourself have a good time and listen? Try being like a musician when they are onstage and just listen. Shut your eyes, don’t think, just listen for the sake of listening.

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