looking back to my travels in the pre hiatus days, i would have really poo poo'ed the golgi, chalkdust, batr opener, but being my first show back, it was great to see/hear these songs again. all three songs were well executed, but not really stand out performances. things picked up a notch in wolfman's. outside of a solid chalkdust trey solo, this was our first real display of improvisation this evening. while this was not a ground breaking wolfman's, which is pretty tough to pull off at this point in their career, the boys bounced off each other well. fish and gordon got into a nice little groove before this jam ended. then the boys hammered home a really nice divided sky. i think they out did both the wolfman's and divided sky at alpine valley a couple of nights later. heavy things was standard, but right as it ended they start cranking something up... whammo walk away!! this was such an unusual slot for this song. there was no jam leading into walk away, just bam- there it is. wonderful choice here. keeping the momentum rolling, they pulled out a nice fiery version of wilson. after walk away, this pumped the crowd right up. coming out of the back end of wilson, the boys slam in to tube. they found a nice funky groove with page and trey bouncing off of each other very well before bringing this one back home. it is really nice to see trey sticking to the guitar on this one. i hated to see him drift to the key board in 99/00. you got a great key board player and a great guitar player; why switch to a great keyboard player and a dude being a boner on a mini board. while it wasn't as good as the one i saw at deer creek in 04, it paid the bill. next, we got our only new song of the night. alaska was a pleasant surprise. i heard some diss it, but i thought it was a nice little first set type song. pairing with bowie was an interesting choice, but it worked well. bowie did not go out too far, but it was well executed.
after enjoying a quick bowl and a beer, the second set was ready to start. down with disease kept that late first set momentum rolling. like bowie, this one was not all that exploratory. they came out of the back section rocking pretty hard, but this one petered out relatively quickly. right before they dipped into a spacier jam, trey and fish start up the dun dun dun intro to free, as they have many times before. like dwd and bowie, this free was not all that exploratory, but it was still very well executed. this free was more of the rocking variety. they did not mess with funking out the middle.... straight rock. now speaking of execution, they buried guyute. i have seen them play this song about 20-25 times, but this one blew my socks off. probably my favorite one that i've seen in person since nashville 99. trey did flub the "irish jig" section a bit, but he recovered quickly. piper, like most of the tour, provided the boys a nice chance to really cut loose after playing pretty tight for a set and a half. it wandered nicely into circus. this is my favorite of the "slow" songs they do, so i especially enjoyed this selection in the "breather" slot. now, this harry hood might be my favorite of the tour. this was the jam of the night. they really dropped it down before storming back to feel good about hood. i had a hunch that coil wouldnt' close this one down, and i found my instincts were correct when no one left the stage for the piano solo. then yem tore this crowd up. the "composed" section was well executed. they came out of the drum/bass section spitting hot fire, but the ending jam was not overwhelming. it was good, not great.
after botching some accepella work, they cranked up hyhu. this, surprise surprise, led to a badly botched version of bike. now only phish could botch 3 songs in a row and i will still say it was the best encore i saw in four shows. hilarious!
free, guyute, harry hood