Acoustic-4-A-Cure 2018 at the Fillmore, by Kate Haley
Acoustic-4-A-Cure (photo: Kate Haley)

Words by Kate Haley

Well, that rocked. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more enthusiastic crowd…or a more worthy cause.

The fifth annual Acoustic-4-A-Cure show, which benefits the Pediatric Cancer Program at UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital, took place last Tuesday. Bob Weir and Sammy Hagar co-hosted this event, featuring a very special 76th birthday celebration for blues legend Taj Mahal.

Being a very longtime fan of Bob Weir and Taj Mahal, this was a dream assignment. Sammy Hagar’s addition of Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith, Kevin Cronin, Eddie Money, and Vic Johnson into the mix had the fans singing, hooting, and laughing all night long in the ultimate immersive music experience.

I knew it was going to be great, but didn’t anticipate the subtle sweetness of the event. One moment especially stands out for me as Hagar gave Weir a kiss on the cheek when he walked on the stage, eliciting a not entirely common smile from Weir. It was impossible to not get caught up in the energy of the performers who were clearly having the time of their lives up there.

Taj Mahal pulled off a brilliant “Dust My Broom” and just filled the place with his no-nonsense presence — he’s absolutely rocking his 76th, and I made a mental note to be sure to check him and Keb Mo out at the Mountain Winery this summer; they were amazing last year.

Bob Weir played an intimate “Friend of the Devil” with his hallmark thoughtful inflection. This photographer can neither confirm nor deny that she kept dancing in the pit, involuntarily, with amazingly little camera shake.

If you want the full rundown of the set lists, look no further than here. It’s broken out by artist.

I hope to catch the sixth Acoustic-4-A-Cure show next year. Until then I’ll be dancing in the streets — I mean pit — in awe of all they accomplished. As I was packing up my gear at the end of the night a line of people formed, asking the roadies for found guitar picks and set lists. After seeing Hagar and team in action, I totally get it. While I’m not sure that I will go so far as to tattoo Hagar’s face on my chest, I applaud the woman behind me that did.

Weir is taking to the stage with Dead and Co July 2 and 3 at Shoreline. See you there?