Wavy Gravy’s 75th Birthday Boogie ~ 05/14/2011

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Bob Weir, Chris Robinson, Craneway Pavilion, GD-related, Jamband, Photos, Review, Seva

Wavy Gravy’s 75th Birthday Boogie–Seva benefit
05/14/2011
Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA

Bobby Vega with Zero

Bobby Vega with Zero. Click for more photos.

Wavy’s annual Seva benefit had a great line up this year:

  • Bob Weir
  • Mickey Hart
  • Chris Robinson Brotherhood
  • Zero
  • Ace of Cups (!!!)
  • Hot Buttered Rum String Band

I’d never been to Craneway Pavilion before and it was interesting. On the plus side it’s a beautiful location as you have great views of downtown Oakland and SF. On the downside it is cavernous converted warehouse and the sound is awful in back. That, and there were no seats. Some of the people that bought the VIP dinner tickets went back to the eating area and
brought their chairs out to the main floor. This was a fun but long show that lasted from just before 8:00 to nearly 2:30.

The real problem, however, was the logistics were absolutely horrible.  I arrived early and it took me  over 45 minutes to get through the will call line; I understand that people who arrived later stood in a nearly half-mile long line for well over 90 minutes. Once inside they only had too understaffed bars at each end of the venue and the lines were so long they merged in the middle.

Hot Buttered Rum String Band

I always enjoy seeing HBR but I got in late and missed most of their set.

Set List:
Mountain Song
Way Back When
Fruit Of The Vine (with Nicki Bluhm)
Blackberry Pie (with Nicki Bluhm)
Bertha (with Matt Butler)
Busted In Utah

Line up:
Aaron Redner –  fiddle
Bryan Horne –  bass
Erik Yate –  guitar, banjo
Nat Keefe – guitar,  vocals
Lucas Carlton – drums

Ace of Cups

I’ve always heard of the Ace of Cups (the first all-girl band in SF) but I know very little about them and don’t know any of their music so it was great to see them. Apparently the last original member of the band left in the early 70s and all five original members haven’t played together since the late 60s. Played about 45 minutes.

Set list:
I don’t know, I’m not familiar with their music.

Line-up:
Mary Gannon – bass
Marla Hunt – keyboards
Mary Ellen Simpson – guitar
Diane Vitalich – drums
Denise Kaufman – guitar

Zero

Zero (plus Barry Sless and Pete Sears but no) came on next and they really nailed it. By far the best jamming of the night but my Deadhead pedigree notwithstanding, I’m not a big jamband fan.   Enjoyable but the shortened 45 minute set was just perfect for me.

Set list:
Golden Road
Catalina
Friday’s Child
Home on the Range

Line-up:
Steve Kimock – guitar
Bobby Vega – bass
Judge Murphy – vocals
Barry Sless – pedal steel guitar
Pete Sears – keyboards
Chip Roland – keyboards, guitar
Greg Anton – drums

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

This was the second time I’ve seen Chris Robinson Brotherhood and I liked them more this time. Weir joined for TLEO. Played about an hour.

Set list:
Tulsa Yesterday
Tumbleweed In Eden
Tomorrow Blues
They Love Each Other (with Bob Weir)
Sunday Sound
Rosalee

Line-up:
Chris Robinson – guitar, vocals
Neal Casal – guitar
Adam MacDougall – keyboards
Mark “Muddy” Dutton, bass
George Sluppick, drums

Mickey Hart

Mickey was next and I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of drum-centric music. He ended the set with “Baba Jing” that bled into a “Go Wavy” chat at which point he was joined on stage by a few dozen other drummers including Tipper Gore and they played along to a parade and balloon drop. Played about 45 minutes.

Set list:
?
?
?
Baba Jing -> “Go Wavy chant”

Partial Line-up:
Mickey Hart – drums
Steve Kimock – guitar
Dave Schools – bass
Dave Brogan – drums
Sikiru Adepoju   – talking drum

Bob Weir

Bob didn’t come on until 1:00 am and I was pretty spent by then. Rather than just being a Bob Weir set, this really was more like a closing jam. The core of his band was Jeff Chimenti, John Molo, and Robin Sylvester and then Steve Kimock, Henry Kaiser, Mark Karen, Chris Robinson, Neal Casa, Niki Bluhm, Barry Sless, Barry Melton, and Snooky Flowers all cycled through. The highlights for me were New Speedway which Chris sang and Sugaree which Bob, Niki and Chris traded verses and included a blistering solo by Mark. Snooky came out for the Other One and it featured a nice extended intro which reminded me of the Mardi Gras show in 1993 with Ornette Coleman where the band kept trying to reel him in during the Space -> Other One jam and he kept doing whatever he could to break down the structure. Played nearly 90 minutes.

Set list:
Playin’ In The Band
New Speedway Boogie
Tennessee Jed
Sugaree
Brown-Eyed Women
The Other One
Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad

Line-up, various combinations of:
Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
Steve Kimock – guitar
Henry Kaiser – guitar
Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
John Molo – drums
Robin Sylvester – bass
Mark Karan – guitar
Chris Robinson – guitar, vocals
Neal Casal – guitar
Niki Bluhm – vocals
Barry Sless – pedal steel guitar
Barry Melton – guitar
Snooky Flowers – sax

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