U2 at the SAP Pavilion, by Kate Haley
U2 (photo: Kate Haley)

Words by Kate Haley

2018 was an incredible year for live music and there was no better place to experience it all than in the Bay Area. TBB sent me to cover my larger bucket-list acts like Dead and Company and U2, but I also got to carve out time for benefits like Sammy Hagar and Bob Weir’s cohosted Acoustic-4-A-Cure show at the Fillmore and the hometown heroes at Jerry Day 2018.

If I was going to list the can’t-miss up-and-coming acts of the year, there is no doubt that Larkin Poe and the Family Crest top it. Not only do both share a family angle, but they also have the same level of high energy and attention to every detail, while clearly having a great time on stage, which pulls the audience in all the way. I have learned, it is fully possible to dance and shoot with a couple of telephotos out of necessity thanks to these two bands; they’re that good.

I caught a lot of Ani DiFranco this year and her Rise Up tour resonates with the times. 2018 brought so many milestones of note: Taj Mahal celebrated his 76th birthday; the Family Crest released The War: Act 2; and I think I hit a personal best with the number of times I could cover Bob Weir in a short period of time — he’s so wonderful about all the time and energy he gives to charity each and every year.

2019 looks even more promising with Larkin Poe playing with Dead and Company in Mexico and some impressive charity events that are in the pipe. Clearly we’ll be at the right place, right time, all over again. Thanks to The Bay Bridged family for making all this possible.