, attached to 2014-10-28

Review by n00b100

n00b100 The first sets this tour have been getting better as the tour goes on, and this is no exception, both in terms of song selection (hard to sneeze at a Classic Groove, even if - horrors! - that second Mike's jam still eludes us, Plasma, and a nifty segue out of the usual Gumbo jam into Sanity), and the playing overall (nice and tight, and the Gumbo in particular turns into an It's Ice-like Page showcase before said nifty segue). Wingsuit continues to impress as it builds Skynyrd-style to its big peak at the end, and Antelope is as good as it always is. Lots to like here, if nothing quite stands out the way, say, that really cool Destiny Unbound from Chula Vista does.

Set 2 starts off with Kill Devil Falls, which you easily could have assumed would be a nice energy boost to kick things off (like the next night, for instance), but instead the band moves into a nice groove at Mike's insistence, with Page going dark on the piano and Trey moving to the effects. Fish turns on the Bunson burners and things kick into higher gear, with Trey switching to chords and Mike firing off his meatball effect, then Page switches back to electric piano and Trey moving into a spacey realm. Mike switches to a droning note as loops fly and Fish switches up his beat, and the jam comes to a relaxed close before Mountains in the Mist come in. So that's a pretty good start, right there.

A nice and muscular Type I Fuego is next, then a surprise call with Julius (which I like as a second set energy boost, as it was back in the day), then the highlight of the night in an unbelievable Twist. Out of the usual Twist jam (and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Smoke on the Water tease), Mike starts going to *his* effects as Trey fires off sharp wah-wahed notes...then the band suddenly find themselves in a different kind of jam space, Mike taking the lead with a contemplative bass line, Trey adding sympathetic notes with Page going back to the electric piano and Fish dancing around the rhythm as he so often does in the best 3.0 jams. Trey nearrrrrly teases Long Tall Glasses, but this isn't the place for it; the jam rolls forward with the inevitability of the tides, with Trey's gorgeous playing melding seamlessly with Page's also-gorgeous playing and Mike (who has entered a 5/22/00 Ghost-like zone of serenity) underpinning everything. This is just unbelievable music, one of the most truly unique jams the band has played in this era, and all the more so because they trend towards upbeat and melodic and not this kind of "groove out of the 10/31/98 Wolfman's" downbeat and dark that they would have reveled in during 2.0. I wouldn't say it's the jam of the year, not in a year where the 7/13 CDT exists, but it's real high up there and demands hearing.

Trey kicks into Runaway Jim next (adhering to his usual "take 'em down and bring 'em up" 3.0 policy), and it's kind of weird with Fish taking a bit of a break at the start, a few kick drum shots and cymbal taps aside, and it's a fine version with Trey on point once again. And then, just to cap off a brilliant set, Hood almost immediately moves into a fierce rocking groove (again thanks to Mike), with Trey machine-gunning chords and Page tickling the ivories, then shifts into a nifty dance rhythm as Page goes to the organ and Fish brings the woodblock into the mix. This is some truly feel-good music, Page really having a ball Billy Preston-ing it up, and then as though a switch has been flipped the band slides back into Ye Olde Hood Jam and comes to a nice finish. Loving Cup is Loving Cup, but who really cares at this point?

Final thoughts: a thoroughly enjoyable show, easily the best of the Fall run pre-Vegas. The second set, in particular, is built like a Swiss watch and features two very good jams and a "slap headphones on your head like Natalie Portman in Garden State" Twist. Find you some spare cash, and head to LivePhish tout suite.


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