Circles Around the Sun take us on a long, strange trip back to 1967 at Terrapin Crossroads

Circles Around the SunBy Gina Lopez //

Circles Around the Sun with Mapache //
Terrapin Crossroads – San Rafael, CA
July 29th, 2017 //

Psychedelic rock, a liquid light show and tie-dye-clad fans … “Was this the ‘Summer of Love?'” I asked myself last Saturday night at Terrapin Crossroads.

After all, it has been 50 years since the summer of 1967, when San Francisco turned into the epicenter for America’s counterculture movement, but that was the scene at the well-known San Rafael restaurant and music venue founded by former Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh, where headliner Circles Around the Sun turned up the heat for a stellar performance.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Mapache kicked things off with an opening set reminiscent of the great folk-rock bands from the 60’s. Using just steel and acoustic guitars and delivering some earnest vocals, the long-haired duo successfully set the tone for the night.



Fronted by Neal Casal, who serves as the lead guitarist for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Phil Lesh, Circles Around the Sun appear to be setting out on their own orbital path as they passed through the zodiac of Terrapin Crossroads. The quartet took the sold-out crowd on a far-out trip around the sun and back with its extended, wah-inflected and entrancingly rhythmic jams.

It was as though Circles’ sound encapsulated the universe, with the soundwaves of distant galaxies reverberating within the intimate venue, all while fans swayed and grooved to the music’s gravitational pull and splashes of color swirled, pulsated and amalgamated across the stage in patterns as unique and unrepeatable as your fingerprint. The atmosphere was so groovy that it felt like we had actually time-traveled back to 1967, circling around the distant sun and back.

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