, attached to 1996-11-23

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito I tend to think of 1996 as an often overlooked and underrated year between the amazingness of 1995 and the funkified 1997. 11.2.96 is a prime example, as is the one show I caught that fall, 10.23.96, which features Bob Gulotti on drums. But I digress. Here, we get one of those shows where both sets feel complete and everything seems to click.

Chalk Dust Torture is an always welcome opener, setting an upbeat tone for the show. This is a fairly short, adequate version. Next up is Guelah Papyrus. I love this tune, and would take it in any show, in any slot. A very nice version.

Cars Trucks Buses is one of those tunes that I would love to see back in regular rotation. A welcome addition here, and then we get an awesome, well-executed Divided Sky. This version deserves multiple listens.

Following up with PYITE is a bold move, as the band clearly didn't need a breather at this point. The band is on fire, but we do get our breather during Midnight on the Highway. The Melt that follows is a set highlight - it's of the mean and nasty variety, my favorite kind of Melt. This version builds and builds, like the best of them.

With Rift and Funky Bitch closing out the set, it's clear the band is enjoying themselves. Both are enjoyable. Overall this is a fantastic set that could be tough to top if the second set wasn't so strong.

Opening up Set II is The Curtain. This is an always-welcome opener as it sets the tone for the set and it did so here admirably. While the version itself wasn't extraordinary, the set itself is excellent, leading all the way through the encore.

I'm a huge fan of Mike's Song and this version doesn't disappoint. I've always been a fan of the transitions into Simple too and this one is fairly smooth, with nice fills from Page on organ. Before going there, however, they take their time jamming Mike's for a bit. And the Simple is a decent but not particularly special version. This drops quietly into Makisupa, where Trey makes reference to a border crossing incident.

As Makisupa dissipates, Trey counts it off and the band jolts us into Axilla. And then comes one of the set highlights, Weekapaug, which is phenomenal. The Catapult is really just stuck in the end. But it works here and it's unclear when this is over whether they're closing out Catapult or Weekapaug. But it doesn't matter. It was an awesome combo.

The Hood that closes the set is magnificent as the band reaches a huge peak, and makes for a fitting end to an overall excellent show. This is one of my favorite versions that I've heard in a while. Overall, this is a very good show with some real highlights.


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