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Published: 2012/05/16
by Karly Bilsky

Mickey Hart Band, Vogue Theater, Vancouver B.C – 5/8

The Mickey Hart Band was welcomed in Vancouver BC this past Tuesday night, by a crowd of eager Deadheads at a local favorite venue, the Vogue Theatre. While prior to the show, the security attempted to keep the crowd back from the reserved dance floor space up front, it became apparent when the band started that nothing was going to keep the enthusiastic fans from the front of the stage. They came to dance, and any member of the Grateful Dead in Vancouver is a rare opportunity for Canadian fans to get their groove on.

The night began with Mickey Hart expressing to the crowd that ``he knew this was going to be a good night” and the audience responded with loud hooting and hollering. Within seconds of hitting the stage, the band opened with Grateful Dead favorite, “Samson and Delilah,” which brought the energy in the room to a high where it remained throughout the night. Soon to follow was a fine of “Bertha, with the dynamic singer Crystal Monee Hall front and center holding down appropriate tone and great vocal rhythms. A bit later, an unexpected yet perfectly recreated rendition of Santana’s “Jingo“ soon emerged from a percussion jam and the group went on to complete the song. Another pleasant surprise was keyboard player Tim Hockenberry pulling out a well-timed trombone to complement a mid-song band jam. The talented Hockenberry also plays saxophone and does back-up vocals for the band.

Dave Schools, who is best known for his work with Widespread Panic, held down the bass with ease throughout the entire night, although kept to the back of the stage and was not easily viewed by the Panic fans in the audience.

The band left the stage just before 10:00pm to end this early Tuesday night event, only to return at 10:05 with a typically slow, yet pleasing to the ears version of “Brokedown Palace” – a great way to end the night and leaving the Canadian fans both satisfied and disappointed to see the evening come to an end.

As Mickey left the stage, he left the crowd with an encouraging comment that he would definitely be back in Vancouver soon.

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