, attached to 2013-10-26

Review by n00b100

n00b100 First set - easily my favorite out of the mini-run. PYITE is full of fire, Gin (with an odd mini-vocal jam) hits a "Classic Gin" groove at about the 8 minute mark and hits a nice peak about 2 minutes later, both Stash and Bowie are reasonable versions (Bowie threatens to break out a few times, but never quite does), and Simple shows up to charm us for the only time all tour. A very fine 1st frame.

Second set - another surprise set opener with Drowned, and this time it's a winner all on its own. The jam starts out pushing towards something more classic-rockish, like the 12/29/95 Real Me jam, but instead gets more downbeat and contemplative, Fish going octopus-style with Mike and Page leading the music downwards, Trey playing more upbeat chords as counterpoint. They stay in this realm for a little bit, Page playing a repetitive chords sequence with loops swirling and Trey matching him with his chord playing, then things open up as Trey switches to riffing as Page goes to the piano, Fish and Mike holding everything together. Things then shift into a dreamier, more relaxed zone, Mike flipping on one of his filters, as Page and Trey continue to balance each other quite nicely. This is beautiful, sweet music, and it all adds up to one of the jams of the year.

Light rolls in next, and the jam starts out in typical big expansive Light fashion before dropping into a minor chord jam, Fish again wailing away, and then things get funky. Page does some damage on the clavinet as Fish latches onto a hip-hop inflected breakbeat, with everyone else creating a dark soundscape and giving the drummer some. Trey starts playing some tropical-sounding notes and Mike begins to really make his presence felt, then (in the coolest moment of the show) Fish starts shouting "hey" into his mic as Mike goes to the envelope filter and Trey alternates between alien notes and weird loops. This is why I think the grooves of fall tour are not simply the ambient era redux - there's more going on here, more to latch onto as a listener, and that makes a huge difference.

Sand gets the call, a very good choice to keep momentum going after that funky jam, and this is a fine Type I jam that serves as a Trey showcase, before Theme enters and gives everyone a breather. The Mike's Groove that closes the set, with some atypically funky jamming in Mike's (I saw the term "anti-solo" used, which I enjoy) and sprightly playing in Weekapaug, makes for a nifty closer to the set (although No Quarter really is butchered, which only means that they need to play that song more than they have been). The encore, with Kenwood Dennard bringing a much tighter (if not as loose and wild) attack to the drums, makes for very interesting listening - Possum, for sure, benefits from a different approach to the rhythm.

Final thoughts - top to bottom, the best show of the run. I'm not sure if it's the best second set, but with 40 minutes of great jamming on one end and a good-for-3.0 Groove on the other, that's certainly nothing to scoff at. One of the contenders for the best of 2013.


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