From the opening notes of Soul Shakedown I knew that this would be something special, I was not prepared for the masterpiece to follow. The Runaway Jim was fairly standard and a good warmup for Jesus Left Chicago who's blues licks and piano backup got the hair on the back of my neck standing up. I hope the guy that dressed as Jesus for the Charlottesville show was in attendance. Dixie Cannonball was fun, but wasn't really sure what it was until getting back to the hotel. Continuing the 12 bar blues a Stealing Time seemed to fit into the set well and resonated off the walls of the venue with the sound that many where anticipating when the tune moved to an indoor venue. Corrina was simply special, an amazing harmony from the boys. As the roar of the crowd quelled a bit, Trey heard someone screaming a request from behind him and obliged by busting out What's The Use! Dark, beautiful, amazing. Then to continue with the mind-f$*# of a first set, Tela. Always requested, rarely played, the solo soared and the energy in the crowd was palpable. Rocky Top worked everyone into a fervor and then a specially placed Chalkdust that I thought would end the first set was nailed, with everyone wanting to live while they were young. Thinking that I had never heard Chalkdust close a set, I was pleasantly surprised with a Bowie money shot to close out the first frame.
Sand, first and last heard 6 years ago to the day, got everyone dancing as Mike layed down the law on how to groove. Next, a fully electric Curtain that wound down into With and Lifeboy was special and a nice hand hold to the insane, tempo gone, structure gone Jam that would be Back On The Train. Not usually a vehicle I expect to launch us into space but this version was out of this world sick. Next my girlfriend got her Velvet Sea, which has always been special for us and her excitement for the beauty of this song is contagious, even with a straight forward rendition. Now the shennanigans started up with Trey taking over on Drums for HYHU and Fishman taking center stage to....not play his vacuum as stated during Monday's show, which was Fishman's last. So as Fish started singing Love You (which he didn't have to scat through like in `03) and got to the vacuum solo part, he pulled Rich from the crowd because he was dressed as Jon. Holy crap, Rich must have been practicing with his vacuum at home because he was able to stay in 'tune' and on rhythm while at the same time pumping up the crowd, who ate up every minute of it. Rich was so good and Fishman so impressed with his performance he gave the electrolux away as a sign of gratitude. I love this shit. Next a huge, arena shaking, Free brought down the house with Trey and Mike trading licks. This playful back and forth continued through a bombastic Boogie. Trey kept pushing Mike to not bring the song to a conclusion so quickly and Mike obliged with some heavy synth that 'enveloped' the arena. To close out the second set the always high energy Antelope was FILLED with Boogie on Teases throughout the entire opening section and at one point it sounded like they went back into Boogie completely only to switch back in only one or two bars. Closet thing to a mashup I've heard in a while.
Two incredibly long sets made for a quick Encore that brought Page front and center on the Keytar to rip up Frankenstein.
Overall this show melted my face off and it's one I won't soon forget.