, attached to 2014-07-30

Review by n00b100

n00b100 My pick for the best non-Sunday show of the tour; you could probably talk me into putting it over 7/20 without too much trouble. The first set is one of the better ones of the tour, thanks to some interesting song choices, fine playing all throughout, and yet another great 2013-14 It's Ice (a tune having a quiet renaissance because it's always a first set tune that doesn't break the 10 minute mark) that gets down and dirty just like the glorious 12/29/13 version (and maybe foreshadows one of the big Set 2 jams a bit...). Song selection isn't the be all end all of a 1st set for me, but song selection plus good playing always helps matters.

Set 2 opens with the last of the Big Jam Fuego Trilogy, and it's my favorite of the bunch, even without 7/4's majesty or 7/8's restlessness; it slides into a dark, churning groove not too far away from the final years of 1.0, with Trey sticking to chords, then Page moves to the clavinet and Mike and Trey link up as Fish goes with the 10/27/13 Light snappy rhythms. The jam just slithers forward with a relentless momentum, Trey firing off tasty licks as Page and Mike take center stage, then goes upbeat and tropical (shades of the Randall's Chalk Dust) as Fish gently suggests Golden Age with his beat and Page switches to electric piano before coming to a slightly off-beat close. This is probably the most pure fun of the Big Fuegos, and very much worth your time.

Jibboo comes next, then Meatstick, and then things really take a turn. They sing the Japanese lyrics, then the band break into a really solid groove, not far from the usual song, but with some really nice wah-wah out of Trey. Mike plays some great basslines and Page returns to his trusty clavinet, and they really start leaning into the groove a la the Reading 20YL as Mike hits on a repeating pattern and Trey cycles through his effects. Fish moves to a different beat and the jam goes dark and muscular (Mike really kills this jam - so much easier to tell when you're listening on headphones), and it peters out and Piper drifts in. And this is a very fine Piper, a match for the 7/5 version, sliding from a quicksilver Page-driven groove to a darker and more alien-sounding jam space (it sounds like something from 2.0, only without that guitar tone) and then building to a great anthemic finish and dropping beautifully into Billy a Breathes. Both of these jams are damn nice (especially Meatstick, which I usually dislike), and the rest of the set closes in fine energetic fashion. Hard to be bothered with a Number Line that's longer than a -7 if the Number Line is played that well, I say. A really fine Lizards closes out a heck of a set.

Final verdict - nice first set plus well-constructed second set packed with exciting jams equals a show you should seek out. Summer 2014 has had some real winners, and this is one of them for sure.


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