, attached to 2011-05-31

Review by Aknells

Aknells Good Lord in heaven, this was a truly righteous showpiece ladies and gents!! Hope you were there with me. The funk was en masse, you could hear Page better than at Bethel, and rhythm section was on point. Preface: I hit up night 2 at Bethel and was pretty underwhelmed...even though the first several songs were choice and well done. Just didn't feel like they "had it" that night, and I think they knew it too...so I was really hoping for a strong comeback and would never doubt their ability to do so. So for 5/31...Trey just stood there and smiled at the audience before they started, grinning ear to ear for maybe 30sec, obviously happy to be there. I really think they weren't satisfied with the Bethel run, and just said "screw it," we can do soooo much better than that. Chalkdust kicked into gear and Trey was playing forcefully, and with presence. The band was right with him. He started to comp the chords here and there, giving it that funky feel...a bit of exploration, totally rocked all pieces. Going from that to Roggae wouldn't always work, but this fit the mood so perfectly, sun was just starting to go down, and I thought to myself "yes, this is the way to go." It was really pretty, great feel and as I recall they wove in and out of a number of different themes before finding their way back to the riff...seemed effortless. PYITE was my first, and I was dancing like a mad fool, completely nailed it, you can basically never go wrong with that song if you ask me. Have always loved the Moma, it was right where it needed to be...great jams into R&R. My first show was in 1999 so it seems like I've seen Sand at every show I've been to, and sometimes it lacks, but I was not ready to dismiss it given the first 30 min. Quite a nice version, kind of a mellow feel at times, diving out and back again...and then a Tube to boot? Come on, I was in heaven...they were totally firing on all cylinders and enjoying themselves. As previous posts have noted, Trey flubbed the difficult middle to Divided Sky, and I felt bad for him, but jeez, we've heard him play it amazingly 1000 times, he can obviously do it, sometimes it just happens on a super intricate song like that. I forgave him this morning. They took a minute to regroup and finished it off admirably. Glad they threw in a Zero rather than end on a tough note. Set 2: No need to be as wordy here...let's just say it was very well done with Mike just loading that low end and Fish picking up the pace a little. Well placed cover to get started then Possom-Drowned-Maze segment was rockin' loud and full of tangents...I remember Trey kept pulling them into build ups then they would circle back...nicely constructed in real time and totally off the cuff as it should be. Anytime they whip out something from Rift I'm paying attention...and the Maze was great and unexpected for me. Dirt brought us the time to sit, bob our heads gently, and talk to our girls. YEM was nice except for a slight rough patch. Had a long drive to CT, so didn't stay for Fire...I'll just download that. For me, best show I've seen personally since Deer Creek 7/11/2000. Yes, that second set with 2001>Down w/Disease>Jim>Hood mixed with like 5 visits to Moby Dick in between might hold top spot with me forever. This night, especially the first set was every bit as good.


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