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Permalink Posted by dscott on , attached to 2012-06-10
dscottThis was an interesting little show! Polarized opinions abound, as was the case with the 2011 MSG NYE run when numerous phans were attentively watching the webcast in the comfort of their own homes...and, in some cases, the discomfort of their own expectations. The numerous repeats from Worcester were puzzling, to say the least, and I have to wonder whether the band was deliberately messing with the setlist-watchers.

Set 1 is basically split into 2 distinct parts, framing the Kenny Rogers guest appearance for The Gambler. The first 5 songs are solid enough, with some extra mustard applied to Sample and Axilla, but overall somewhat rote in execution and lacking flow. The Gambler is a routine version, as it should be, but a treat nonetheless. Such a great song! Things get flowy and inventive from here: Possum is a tease-filled firecracker, Wilson rages, and then Tweezer goes to some interesting places. Free is so-so, but Number Line friggin' explodes with emotion and creativity. Cavern is Cavern, and it brings the set to a solid finish.

Set 2 kicks off with a particularly inspired version of Golden Age, both vocally and instrumentally. 2001 and Chalkdust are intense. Carini -> Shafty > Rock & Roll is the highlight for many listeners, combining rarity and enthusiasm with a touch of exploratory jamming. Alaska is harmless fun, as usual. Hood is tight and patient, but the transition to Light is jarring. Good recovery, though, and Light concludes with a couple minutes of deep-space noise before dropping into a suitably rocking Character Zero > Rocky Top finale.

The triple encore is solid enough: Show Of Life is what it is, Julius opens up to a bit of jazzy thematic improv in the middle (similar to other versions since Essex 9/14/11), and Tweezer reprise is solid enough but they've done better.

All in all, an enjoyable but mostly unremarkable show. The Carini -> Shafty > Rock & Roll is a keeper, as is The Gambler for those who like that song. (I happen to like it a lot!)
Score: 7

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