Some of the playing in the beginning of set 1 (Reba) either seemed to lack inspiration or the boys were simply a bit tired. Nonetheless, listen to this set for some above average playing on Jibboo and Bowie. For instance, the phab four hit a beautiful, mellow space at the beginning of the Bowie jam and then move into some sonically dissonant, murkier waters.
Set two started with perhaps the most thoughtfully played Crosseyed and Painless. Tonight’s version was definitely on par with the absolute face-melter-of 11/2/96. If you’re looking for an exploratory vision quest, check out vids of tonight’s Crosseyed. Page took Light out to funky horizons on the theremin. When Sneakin’ Sally started, I could hear that the guys were in the pocket—relaxed, in a state of fluid experimenation, yet focused. The best shows of 3.0 have involved Trey sitting back a bit and allowing Mike, Page, and Fish to bring their vision quests to center stage, and tonight’s show is certainly an example of this type of full-band, empathetic (listening and) playing. I’m ambivalent about YEM, but tonight’s exorcism of a vocal jam left me shaken to my musical core.