, attached to 2013-10-27

Review by n00b100

n00b100 The first set is bookended by its highlights - a closing Walls of the Cave with a nice peak, and the opening Rock & Roll, their tribute to Lou Reed (who passed this night, for future generations), which features an extended post-song segment that doesn't really step out (other than a darker chord segment near the end) but is played with energy and passion through and through. Pretty standard stuff otherwise.

Set 2 starts with a ferocious CDT, then they pull out the first Tweezer since Hampton, and this one almost *immediately* rolls into funk land, Fish tapping away on his wood block, Page going upbeat on the clavinet. Trey then starts bending out some rock god notes as the jam stays meaty and funky, then takes over with trills as it gets more melodic and beautiful (Rob Mitchum, phishcrit on Twitter, compared it to the 8/1/98 Tweezer, and I believe he's right). Things almost get Weekapaug-ish, but a much more relaxed Weekapaug-ish, a float-in-the-clouds groove if there ever was one. Page also has a very fine moment in the sun on piano, but this is Trey's chance to shine. The jam tweedles out, and they go into almost a reprise of the jam they just played, before cutting loose and firing up Birds. All in all, it's a lovely Tweezer and a fine companion piece to Hampton's abyss-exploring darkness (although @Icculus's jam chart description does give me a chuckle).

Birds is Birds, then Golden Age makes it 2 for 2 on songs played on consecutive Sundays, and this is another fantastic version as well. This time the jam out of the turn is jazzy as opposed to funky, Trey hitting upon a repeating chord sequence for a few measures, and Page really giving the jam a classier feeling (oh, btw, Fish's work here is *ridiculous*). Page switches to sustained notes, building up a fog of noise, as Mike pushes forward and Trey begins to take his stop-start chording to another level. The band is just ridiculously in the pocket in this jam, as much a dance machine as they were 16 years ago. We get an almost obligatory woo sequence, then Trey starts climbing the ladder and the jam builds into a darker, more foreboding sequence. Page switches to the clavinet, Mike starts building up energy, and the groove comes to a gentle, elvish-Page-notes-and-buzzing-Mike-bomb conclusion. It's not quite the equal of the demon-summoning Hampton version, but it's another very strong jam and the highlight of the evening.

Halley's gives the band a little breather, then 2001 brings us back into the world of grooving, before the band makes a surprise call and pulls out Fluffhead. I've always liked Fluffhead, but wondered in the past why people are okay with a 16-minute song without a jam taking up 2nd set real estate; thanks to some friendly explanations in the show thread, I've come around on 2nd set Fluffheads as more of an experience, one of Phish's oldest and most beloved songs, a fiendishly complex exploration of music that is almost impossible not to get into live (and, if the mood is right, listening on tape). Fluffhead is nice (if flubbed in parts), and another super Slave closes a 3rd straight strong second set, almost a mirror image of 10/20/13 II (a lighter Tweezer/Golden Age combo, 2001 mid-set, Slave to close), more uplifting if not quite as strong musically.

Final thoughts: the 3rd best show of the run, but a show full of great highlights and nice flow (the 2nd set is constructed very strongly, with two separate suites of music). At the very least, the Tweezer/Golden Age 1-2 demands listening to as much as anything else from this wonderful tour.


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