, attached to 2015-01-03

Review by n00b100

n00b100 This will almost certainly be the consensus choice as the show of the run, and it's not a hard argument to make. It's certainly got the best first set of the run, benefiting from great song selection, some inspired playing (and a few fugly moments, like Melt being butchered in a few spots), and an always welcome Divided Sky as the centerpiece. But the second set is what's going to bolster this baby's rep, and it's a gigantic second set indeed, right up there with 12/31's magnificent second set.

STFTFP opens the set and injects some instant energy (the way Birds did on 12/31), and then we get an utterly epic and marvelous Disease. The regular Type I Disease jam feels more inspired, thanks to Trey really pouring it on, and then just when it seems like it might be coming to a premature close they switch to a new jam segment on a dime, Page going to the clavinet, Trey flipping on one of his fancy effects. Mike pushes forward in the mix with some thick notes, and things enter a quieter and dreamier space as the meatball effect gets fired off. This is a pure 3.0 jam, blissful and melodic, but with Trey playing more lead than he usually does. The band luxuriates in this space as Mike fires off the drill and Fish starts really going off, then Trey moves to chords and the intensity picks up (making one think a DWD reprise a la 12/29/13 might be in the offing), but instead Trey decides "it's rock god time" and the band blasts off into purely thrilling hose instead. Trey moves to a repeating pattern of notes as the hose dies away, Page moves to the electric piano, and Mike flips on a filter to really add some bottom to a very laid-back 70s-rock jam, before things turn plinko-y and Trey decides to move into Light.

It doesn't take too long for the Light jam to move into something funkier and meatier, not unlike the brilliant 10/26/13 version, as Lil' Punkin makes its presence felt once again and Fish dances around the rhythm*. The jam gets even thicker as Mike really starts to shine, Trey hangs back and lets Mike and Page do their thing, and Fish goes to the toms to add to the stew. It sounds like Trey might be returning to the Light theme, but he gets a better idea and we get a nifty segue into Sally instead (the 3rd of 3.0, and all 3 segues were quite nice). Sally gives us the typical vocal jam, then briefly breaks into another Type II jam, Page going off on the ivories as the tempo really rises, then dies away as the band kicks into Sand. The Sand here is a very nice version that occasionally threatens to break free of its structure but never quite does, but still does some things differently (for example, Trey hitting on some really nice chords) that make it feel like part of a whole jam sequence that started with the opening burbling notes of Disease. A nice enough Hood and Suzy close out a really big set.

* aside: I watched that video from NYE 2012 (?) of Fish at his kit, and it really gave me a stronger appreciation of what he does and how he does it. The man is a drumming genius.

Final thoughts: Probably the best top-to-bottom show of the run; I'd still give the "best set" honors to 12/31 II, but the second set here is well worth multiple listens. Can't wait for 2015 proper to begin!


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