Great American Music Hall

Last weekend, the legendary jam band Zero concluded a prolific 35th anniversary run aptly named “Back to Zero.” Core members Steve Kimock, Greg Anton, Pete Sears, Melvin Seals, and Hadi Al-Saddoon were joined by friends and family for an invigorating reunion that pleased newer fans and decade-spanning devotees alike.

Thirty-five years ago, having met when Steve Kimock auditioned for former Grateful Dead members Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux’s Heart of Gold Band (which already had Greg Anton as its drummer), Greg and Steve recorded an album, Greg on drums and piano, Steve on guitars and bass.  Then they started a band to play the music.

Classically trained DJ and Producer Douglas Appling, better known as Emancipator played a cleansing set to a sold-out house at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall that was nothing short of hypnotizing. His music, if not genuinely describable as trance, was certainly trance-esque, and highlighted electronic music’s evolution and maturity in recent years.

Cellarmaker Brewing Company out of San Francisco has built a stellar reputation for their consistent artisanal brews. As evidenced from their fifth-anniversary celebration hosted at Great American Music Hall last Saturday night, they sure know how to treat their community. Foremost the evening’s entertainment was a fine progressive bluegrass lineup of Billy Strings with Cold and in the Bay supporting.

There are three key fundamental elements to a superior live music experience. The band, the crowd, and the space. Sure, there are factors from the outside like weather, parking, a potential Shakedown Street, and maybe even lame small-town cops. But it’s the first three that bring it all together. Two veteran acts co-billed a doubleheader at San Francisco’s legendary Great American Music Hall last Thursday and Friday.

Though the winter ahead may be icy, at least we can celebrate the days becoming longer! The big news around here is the first onsale announcement for the Golden Gate Wingmen Spring Tour 2018! More announcements are on the way through the first week of January. 

Golden Gate Wingmen: April 13, 2018 at the Great American Music Hall. Tickets go on sale December 22.

While art will always be a progressive process and reflect the changes of the people in our evolving world, some things are best kept preserved. Music is the perfect example of this. Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion, Post Punk, New Wave, an echo of the culture and climate that influenced these musicians.

For a band that excels in the live music setting, Umphrey’s McGee have not really released a whole lot of live material in the past, at least not when compared to a lot of their jamband counterparts.  Outside of Live at the Murat and a few Hall of Fame releases, most of their official projects have come out of the studio lately.  Now with the band working to spotlight their standalone streaming platform on the UMLive App released less than a year ago, the demand for live performances has become greater than ever before.

Certain bonds never fade away. It has been quite a while since guitar icon Steve Kimock and legendary drummer Greg Anton have performed together as their original band, Zero. They were the originators of “jam band” before that was even coined or acknowledged. Back then there was a variety of genres. Rock, soul, jazz, blues, on and on, Zero encompassed them all.

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