, attached to 2013-07-12

Review by AlbanyYEM

AlbanyYEM Well it rained. Hard. And an extremely cold wind. That's about all I'll say about the weather. A caveat is that I haven't listened back to the show yet.

Show started at around 8:30 so yeah that was more than the standard 45 minutes late. They sounded pretty tight throughout the first set without too much flubbery, but things weren't really heating up either until the set closers. ASIHTOS was decent but pretty mellow. Water in the sky was actually an excellent version with some extra pep rhythmically. Beauty of a Broken Heart had some nice energy and 46 Days tore the roof off as usual. An innocuous Number Line went down and then came the Reba/Bowie section.

Fantastic versions of both. One of my main complaints with 3.0 is the seeming absence of the mastery of dynamics that makes the build songs so effective. This Reba paid a whole hell of a lot more attention to that than we are used to hearing. Gorgeous and patient in attack, this is certainly progress towards the locked-in, pin drop -> crescendo volume control. Certainly no rushing towards the ending here.

Bowie was probably the highlight of the set for me. Both Bowie and Reba composed sections had no obvious flubs. Notes that need to be emphasized sometimes are not but they are definitely at least *played*. Much like the Reba, Bowie took its time getting there. To my memory, the major key jam that unusually unfolded out of it was not a highly melodic theme, nor was it intended to be. More like stepping back from the tension to get a bit of light and then flirting with darkness again. I'm probably not describing this well but it definitely was not blissfull melody. The point is it was a major key jam, and worked extremely well resulting in a truly unique Bowie.

The first set was extremely long. I kept expecting it to be over and it just kept going. Which I'm grateful for because of the abovementioned jams.

Rock and Roll was a very good jam that I'll frankly have to listen back to to describe in much detail. Fresh themes would find their way to the surface, be explored for 2-4 minutes, and then another would arise. Trey seemed very focused on the rhythm while still pushing things melodically (a hint of the tweezer to come). Yet it did not sound meandering--each motif was a pastiche blended seemlessy. They were not searching for something and then abandoning things that didn't work; they were giving full elaboration on minimalist modifications. This was cerebrally pleasing, but to my ears was not as aurally pleasing as a money jam completely explored (a la Crosseyed at PNC).

Eventually this segued into 2001 which had a little extra sauce than usual, but certainly not the elaborate funk of yore. A mid set Tweezer appeared and the challenge was set. Many times in this era when the band launches into a warhorse midset, the results are thoroughly type I. Frankly, I find it to be a waste of a jam vehicle in the rotation most of the time. This was not one of those times. As great as the RnR was, I have to say that this Tweezer was the highlight of the night for me. It could perhaps be due to the fact that it was incredibly rhythmically engaging and I was getting towards some nice hypothermia at that point, so it was nice to keep the groove going. Yet there is no denying that this tweezer is a full on groove throwdown AND a highly melodically themed jam. Combine those and you probably have a hell of a nice little jam even by consensus objective standards.

The segue to Cities was buttery smooth and jaw droppingly nice. They were flirting with Cities (definitely Trey at least) for a solid two minutes before the segue occurred. Truly an archetypical '->.' Cities itself was jammed further than any so far in 3.0. It entered plinko land for a bit and was just freshly played funk. Which actually segued fairly well (somehow) into the Wedge. This one in 3.0 reminds me a lot of the Dead's 'Deal' in terms of it taking decades to develop into a show stopper powerhouse. I'm also a huge fun of the Jerry fanning (strumming furiously a la Morning Dew). Seeing Trey employ this power move yet in his own style is a moving experience. Velvet and Character. One mellow one rocking. The Sleeping Monkey shenaningans were definitely hilarious and fit perfectly as a cap to such a hugely jammed show. Dear lord I was tired, Trey must have been exhausted at this point. Page got a dig in on Trey which was extra nice because he seems like such an easy going guy.

Best jam of the year might still go to Crosseyed, but I think we have a new winner for best show.
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