February 7th kicks things up a notch. This show is of a significantly higher caliber than anything else thus far on the tour. Suzy > Buried Alive > Poor Heart is a phenomenally energetic start to the show. Ice has another nice, though truncated, jam. This Forbin's narration is absolutely ridiculous. Trey is really a pretty damn good story teller. He doesn't let his stories get to static and there's always a child-like sense of interest on his part that really draws you in. It's a wonderful thing. I won't spoil the story for you, but it's totally odd and awesome. A tight Rift, "virtuosic" trombone-ing from tubs in I Didn't Know, a good Melt, tight Fee, and fun Jim wrap up frame one. I'm not sure why, but I really enjoyed Fee. It wasn't particularly abnormal. Perhaps it was the placement... I dunno, it was super cool regardless.
Llama always opens well. Fast Enough For You seems to be a little early in the set, but it's a great song and the flow isn't interrupted at all. Reba is a serious highlight. The jam departs Reba's normal fare foreshadowing the type II greatness the song would reach in August. Don't sleep on the non-departed sections either. Trey is playing wonderful lines that sound like they were plucked right out of one of the Fall '95 greats. Tweezer is quite good and the Big Ball Jam to follow is perhaps the only BBJ I've ever even slightly enjoyed from a musical standpoint. The craziness of BBJ is a good yin to Tweezer's yang. Glide is Glide. Who doesn't like that song? YEM is awesome. The ambient vamp in the beginning is really nice. Page really plays well on his solo in this one. Some of the best YEM organ soloing I've heard from him. Trey's solo reaches a great peak; Fish goes over the top! Confession time: I know I called 2.5's bass and drums awesome, but that was before I'd heard this one. Mike and Fish really tear it up. Seriously tear it up. Blows 2.5's out of the water. The vocal jam continues to conclude with drone-y singing. It'll be interesting listening to the rest of the tour's YEMs to see if they continue to mess around with actual harmony in the vocal jams. Page proceeds to purvey a prime performance in Coil. Mike also plays some wonderful lines when Trey has the melody on guitar; listen for him at those points. If I Only Had A Brain sans HYHU is nice. As far as I'm concerned, the most annoying part about Fishman songs is HYHU, so it was nice to hear one without. The Mike penned songs Contact and BBFCFM close this very strong show in style.
Must-hear highlights: Forbin narration, Reba, YEM
PS: I haven't been looking at any current reviews before I write my own, but after I'm done writing I like taking a look to see where my opinion falls. This show has a much lower rating than I was expecting and the other reviewers seem to think it's pretty meh. I'm actually quite shocked. For me, this is a clear highlight so far in this tour and holds up against other great shows from later in the tour. I'm still strongly recommending this show; hidden gem comes to mind when I think about it.