Show Preview: Mickey Hart at the Englert Theatre

The Mickey Hart Band
The Mickey Hart Band — photo by George Burrows

The Mickey Hart Band

Englert Theatre – August 8 at 8:00 p.m.

You may know Mickey Hart as having been a percussionist for the Grateful Dead for over 30 years, but don’t expect his show at the Englert Thursday to be a series of Dead covers. Hart has spent his long career traveling the world and learning different cultures’ musical styles, and this global influence is very apparent in the music the Mickey Hart Band plays.

Most recently, Hart has been pushing the boundaries of music through his explorations of the human mind. Hart has long been a supporter of music therapy. As the name suggests, music therapy uses sound and music to address the physical, cognitive and social needs of individuals. In 1991, he spoke alongside UCSF neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzalay to the US Senate Committee on Aging about the positive effects sound and rhythm can have on the brain.

For the band’s soon-to-be-released record, Superorganism, Hart once again teamed up with Dr. Gazzalay, and the results seem like the stuff of science fiction.


“This time we journey into the micro, the hidden worlds of rhythm within us, within our bodies,” says Hart. “My brain wave signals are reimagined in sound using a cap with electrodes that can read the throbs and signals of the brain. I have also sonified the sounds of stem cells, and heart rhythms for this recording.”

At each concert on the tour, Hart performs one piece using this electrode-cap, and his brainwaves are projected so that the audience can see which parts of his brain the sounds are actually coming from, in real-time.

The Mickey Hart Band is made up of well-established, award-winning musicians. They’ve been touring together for some time now, and by all accounts they put on amazing live shows.

There will be a Founders Brewery beer sampling upstairs an hour before the show, too.

From the Englert:

Before you see the Mickey Hart Band, join us for a free pre-show beer sampling hosted by Founders Brewing Co. The fast-growing Grand Rapids, Michigan based brewery has produced three of Beer Advocate’s Top 25 Beers in the World and is the 2nd Best Brewery in the World according to The sampling will be held in the Englert’s second floor gallery. Please provide a valid ID to sample.

So to recap, there will be crazy, hyper-experimental folk/electronic world music made out of human brainwaves, and a beer sampling hosted by a top U.S. brewery at the Englert Theatre Thursday, August 8.

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Ticket information is available via the Englert Theatre.

The Mickey Hart Band performing “Let There Be Light”