With a weird anticipation, we call out, “5 minutes till the Live Stream begins, let’s do this!” as we settle onto the lawn to see what happens in this unprecedented situation. Amid some technical cell phone wack, (because this is all new to us), Tomas Dessle, frontman for the SF Bay Area indie-rock band Sunhunter sits by himself on a bench and plays us some tunes on his guitar and keyboard, culling from his own songs as well as covers from Bowie, Nirvana, and Radiohead.
We honored Rock & Rose alumni Rahman D’Amato and Michael Angelo Mannheimer, both of whom passed on to the Great Unknown in recent months, and this year’s party was to be a memorial for them both. Both men were integral in Rock and Rose, Michael Angelo was one of the founders of the party, and Rahman had played most of the parties with his various bands and brought the true spirit of “sex, drugs and rock & rock & roll” to the event. Fire dancer Kimi Keating tossed hoops of flames in the twilight of early evening, once again honoring Rahman and Michael Angelo with her joyful performance.
“At first, I was skeptical of how the virtual gigs with work and feel, I didn’t really expect them to hold a candle to playing live. After my first live stream, I was surprised that I got a fair amount of juice from knowing that people were actually watching and commenting, I was happy to get some energy back,” states Tom Finch. “As far as Rock and Rose, it was an extra nice bonus to be able to come out to Lucy‘s place and play outside with Kimi, Dave, and Rob and have a small but enthusiastic audience. It was great to be able to play to some people and play with a band. It was also good to be holding space for the huge party that usually happens. It was great to be there, representing the local music community, and do what I’m here to do. It’s very clear to me this is my reason for being on this planet, to play music spread, love, and joy. Music for medicine!”
The interesting thing I discovered for myself is that even though there was just a handful of us present to add to the vibe of the event, the bands had a live audience, and they played off that. We still danced, we still laughed, and we still enjoyed the sun beaming through the oaks in Lucy’s backyard. In many ways, it was our own personal, intimate version of Rock & Rose, which was truly magical.