Written by: Meredith Berke
Photos by: Allison Murphy
reCAP :: Mickey Hart :: 2013.09.21
Mar 14 / Tuesday
Mickey Hart’s brain explodes at The Capitol Theatre
Mickey Hart started his show at The Capitol Theatre by saying something to the effect of, “We are going to go here, we are going to go there, we are going to go all over the map tonight!!” With that statement, which ended up being an understatement, we were off into the depths of Mickey Hart’s brain and into the Superorganism tour.
The Mickey Hart Band opened up with “Cripple Creek,” and went into a new song, deep with heavy beats and haunting vocals from Crystal Monee Hall, called “The Sermon.”
Obviously this band is all about rhythm, with Hart’s percussion beats driving the songs, but there was also a rhythm to the show, the ups and downs, the highs and the lows. We went on a trip with Mickey Hart, and at some points it felt as we were really in Mickey’s brain.
The spacing of the musicians on the stage, all eight of them, is something to stare and marvel at. There was a cohesion of sound, including the improvisation and manipulation of sounds. Although there were Grateful Dead covers, this was not another Grateful Dead cover band. This was Hart’s rendition of the songs we all love, turned upside or 3/4ths of the way around.
The fourth song “Playing in the Band,” an obvious nod to The Dead was actually so unrecognizable at times that you didn’t realize what it was even as it was being “spelled out” by the instruments. This was one of the Dead’s most thunderous songs, with Hart leading the pace, and for this night, the audience was shown over and over again who lead this song. Interspersed within “Playing” was “Ghost Rider,” another new song from Superorganism. This was the hauntingly odd, almost space like middle that became unrecognizable in between the beloved “Playing in the Band.” It’s just another piece of showmanship that distinguishes Mr. Hart from the others.
Mickey said he felt the spirit here, at The Capitol. I have to admit, I think the whole audience felt the spirit too. There was a beautiful energy, coming off the stage from Mickey and his incredible band, to the audience, which took it and filled the theater. It was so reminiscent of the old Grateful Dead shows, yet, obviously not – different but beautiful just the same.
With a rousing Scarlet>Fire, and a spacey lightshow on the walls and ceiling of The Capitol Theatre, we were treated to more songs from the new Superorganism. “Mind Your Head” felt trippy/electronica/loungy – in an outerspace type of way, where the first lyrics were, “A happy brain is a good brain.”
Above Hart’s percussions was a screen with a brain, rotating, becoming electrified and twirling around. This was actually Mickey Hart’s brain – and it was beautiful, and…there is a lot going on in Mickey Hart’s brain. The new album is probably only a glimpse.
Crystal Monee Hall (vocals)
Joe Bagale (vocals/keys/guitar)
Gawain Matthews (Guitar/vocals)
Reed Mathis (Bass)
Sikiru Adepolu (Talking Drum + Misc Percussion)
Greg Schutte (Drums)
Jonah Sharp (Sound Design + Keyboards)
1. Cripple Creek
2. The Sermon
3. Let There Be Light
4. The Main Ten (Playing In The Band)
5. Ghost Rider
6. The Main Ten (Playing In The Band)
7. Don't Let Your God Down
8. Scarlet Begonias
9. Fire On The Mountain
10. Mind Your Head
11. Heartbeat of the Sun
12. Djinn Djinn
13. West L.A. Fadeaway
14. I Can Tell You More
15. Supersonic Vision
16. Stella Blue
17. Shakedown Street
18. Cut the Deck
The Capitol Theatre Photo Gallery
Photos by: Allison Murphy