Jay Allen Sanford 2 p.m., March 21
Circles Around the Sun
Two different types of psychedelic jam bands seem to fancy themselves heir to the devotional horde of Deadheads still willing, even anxious, to rejoin their tie-dyed and squinty-eyed brethren at the electric altar: those who are inspired by, and those who aspire to. The “inspired by” crowd includes locals like Electric Waste Band and Travel Agents, who approach the music of the Dead as a blueprint to follow, sometimes for decades at a time, with little or no deviation. Circles Around the Sun instead aspires to create something new from the basic elements of the Dead sound, using it more as an unfinished roadmap than a blueprint, leading to musical explorations that allow for expansion and improvisation that even actual members of the Dead might find too far-out to fathom.
The group was originally founded by Chris Robinson Brotherhood guitarist Neal Casal in order to create an instrumental soundtrack for a short film being created to screen at 2015 concerts by surviving Dead members, directed by the son of Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. Casal, who also toured with Dead bassist Phil Lesh, brought in Brotherhood/Lesh keyboardist Adam MacDougall, Beachwood Sparks bassist Dan Horne, and drummer Mark Levy, and the result is a band that, in concert and on their debut album, Interludes For the Dead, is more akin to jazzy prog bands with classical leanings like Spirit and Love than to groups more inclined toward endless note noodling like Phish. With less than two dozen live performances notched to date, the April 6 appearance of Circles Around the Sun at the Belly Up will be an opportunity to catch an adventurous new ensemble right out of the wildest fever dreams of Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and the late head Deadhead himself, Jerry Garcia.
- Age limit: 21+
- When: Friday, April 6, 2018, 8 p.m.
- Cost: $18 - $20 | Get tickets