, attached to 2016-06-29

Review by spinkle

spinkle This is was an interesting show with a lot of highlights, but not the overall rocker that I expected after the fairly chill first night.

Llama was a pleasant surprise, but its speed/style shift was definitely a surprise unto itself that I both loved and found disappointing (I love a good special version, but I also love a crispy well-done Llama). The much slower tempo for for the first half of Reba was less welcome, but it did pick up during the composed sections--only to drop back to quiet and slow.

At which point, Trey reveals the gag and wonders aloud what else they can play slow (I was hoping for Ha Ha Ha), jumping into a stilted half-a-vamp of the intro for Mike's before the band finally decided to drop the joke and going into it full bore. Then back to the (extra-)slow with Horn and Farmhouse before closing the set out in style (and speed) with Weekapaug. I expected Mike's would be orphaned, so that sat fine with me.

Cross-eyed and the jam that eventually became Friends was fantastic and as always a hell of a second set opener. A great DwD was made even better by the transition to (a now-appropriately-slow) What's The Use? and then a solid (heh) Meatstick. The big surprise was closing a capella with Dem Bones, which seemed both an odd choice and the capstone for two very short sets.

With the stage now firmly set for a hugely disappointing encore, they went for the gusto with Dear Prudence (which was quite good on its own, and given the crowd reaction probably would have sufficed), but they really nailed the show home with Hood. Probably not the best Hood I've ever heard, but great, and I left with a huge smile.

I won't comment on the new material as I need to listen back to it, but Waking Up Dead reminded me of the debut of Spock's Brain--very much WTF Are They Doing?, but could be a welcome surprise if it reappears better rehearsed down the road.

All in all, a great night but a bit too much downtime to call a great show. Still definitely worth a listen.
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