, attached to 2012-12-28

Review by mattyb5000

mattyb5000 I rated this show a 4 overall.

1st set they were clearly dusting off the cobwebs, and it felt to me like they were just going through the motions for the first 5 songs. "Army of One" was a surprise, but its placement was odd because that song is such a down kind of tune. They hadn't hit any kind of momentum yet and then they play that song which put the skids on any chance of the 1st set taking off. Fortunately, Stash was a fairly standard but good one, with evil sounding elements going on in the short but good jam. Nellie Kane was good but forgettable.

Momentum really picked up with Kill Devil Falls. The song itself was pretty much note for note as it was recorded on "Joy", and then the jam was very nice. Mellow jam at first, then a nice build up picking up energy toward the end. The 1st set needed a jolt and this song was it. After that, an excellent version of "Free" with an extended intro which I always like, followed by a set-closing Wolfman's Brother.

This version of Wolfman's was outstanding, and probably one of the best I've heard them play. The jam went into lots of new territory, and the guys were clearly having fun at this point. Many new ideas were introduced during the jam, and I'll have to give it a listen again but I recall at least 4 different "sections" to the jam with well developed interplay between band members.

2nd set carried on the momentum of Wolfman's, with each of the 6 pre-encore songs having extended jams. Everyone loves a 2nd set opening Tweezer, and this one was superb. The jam moved "outside the box" pretty quickly, eventually taking a beautiful, blissful turn before becoming more of a spacey, mellow jam. Seemed like they got stuck in a few spots where ideas fizzled out, but being the pros they are, they simply moved on to the next idea and the next until they reached an end of jam peak that brought up the energy. I appreciate this Tweezer because it went into quiet territory for much of the jam. This is definitely a top Tweezer of the 3.0 era.

Maze was a real throwdown, with a wild, frenetic, energetic jam that got my pulse going. Trey lit up the place toward the end of the jam with some insane fingering on his guitar.

Twist, and then Theme from the Bottom, were both well-above-average with enjoyable jams.

Fluffhead was solid too -- and it's normally a song I get bored with -- but it was well executed.

Set-closing David Bowie was a blast. I may have been imagining it and I'm going to have to give the webcast a 2nd viewing (I hope I can re-watch it if its downloadable) because I think I saw the lights above the stage spell out B-I-E-B-E-R at one point during the jam. That aside, it was a song filled with inspired jamming; another venture into spacey/mellow territory, then a cacophony-like crescendo to finish it off.

Encore: Bouncing around the Room - always solidly played, and tonight's was no exception. Someday I'd love to see them jam this one out.

Finished off the show with Good Times Bad Times, which appeared numerous times during their summer tour and was always a highlight and tonight was also a good one.

Highlights: Wolfman's Brother, Tweezer
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