Sing Out for Seva feat. Mickey Hart and Friends, Tea Leaf Green, and Chris Robinson's Wooden Family
What happens when San Francisco’s finest pay tribute to infamous activist and hippie extraordinaire Wavy Gravy on his 71st birthday? Psychedelic insanity...
Sing Out for Seva feat. Mickey Hart and Friends, Tea Leaf Green, and Chris Robinson's Wooden FamilyCity: San Francisco, CA
Venue: The Grand Ballroom
Taking its name from the Sanskrit word for service, the Seva (pronounced say-va) Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been raising and distributing funds for a variety of altruistic deeds since 1978. The group helps the blind gain access to affordable cataract surgeries in countries such as Tibet, India, Nepal, and other regions throughout Asia and Africa; brings healthcare, clean water, and educational support to poor indigenous communities in Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico; and provides health and wellness programs for Native Americans. Proving that no good deed goes unnoticed, musicians gathered at the Grand Ballroom for the annual Sing Out for Seva benefit show in honor of hippie activist Wavy Gravy’s 71st birthday -- an event which doubled as a fundraiser for the Berkeley-based foundation. Seva’s co-founder, Gravy made a fitting MC for the proceedings, bringing a dose of '60s vibrations along with the flat-out joy that comes from still being here on this mudball after a full life’s worth of activism and adventure. For his part, Gravy and a variety of mime-like comic cohorts provided Merry Prankster-like entertainment between acts. Though the show has taken place at the Berkeley Community Theater in recent years, San Francisco’s Grand Ballroom turned out to be quite a classy alternate venue: the room blends the intimacy of the Great American Music Hall with psychedelicized chandeliers that recall the Fillmore. The venue was just the right size -- it seemed fairly full but not totally jammed -- and the blend of old and new acts brought in a diverse crowd whose ages spanned the spectrum. Local up-and-comers Tea Leaf Green got things cooking with a signature blend of jam rock that borrows equally from '60s and '90s acts. Gravy invoked the names of no less than Jerry Garcia, Bill Graham, and Janis Joplin when introducing Tea Leaf Green as San Francisco’s heirs to the city’s jam-rock throne. Coming off of their scintillating April 20th show at the Fillmore, TLG did not disappoint. While the set was relatively unique, with guitarist Josh Clark and bassist Ben C. donning acoustic instruments, the band still rocked: Clark ripped off the same hot leads he does on the electric guitar, and keyboardist Trevor Garrod stole the show with soulful vocals and piano plunking. One got the sense that the older fans in attendance were pleasantly surprised at the quality and depth of the young guns.