, attached to 2021-08-06

Review by andrewrose

andrewrose Up from hell the answer blew


Good ol' early August, what is this, the 6th? The band loves these fiery Leo Days Between. I love them too; I was born on the 5th, and the really last top-shelf show I saw was on 8/6/17 at MSG, after catching the two prior, including a Boston Cream in the face on the ol’ day of birth, and a lemon-sucking scare at the airport on the 4th. Travel has gotten even more complicated since then. I’m wiring this in from Canada. Vermont basically (er, Montreal), but you know how it is these days with borders and passports. What a time to be alive huh? What a time to die. Lots of both since we last tuned in, but yeah sending a wire in to say this ol’ amphibious polymorph still writhes out there in the ether doing the Lord’s work—and Wilson’s—to wake us up and lay me down. Holy intergalactic reincarnation, Batman! Is Adam West still alive? Is the Joker? What the hell just happened here?

But I digress. It’s been an emotional road these last months. The stomp choreography outro to the Beacon shows made me cry, man, I don’t know about you. The Rescue Squad, that Slave. Tony. I’ve missed these guys and love these guys. Chess ’95 redux over New Years was fun. I’d put that promo vid up there with some of the gems of this show as pandemic highlights. Anyone else catch Fish go full 91 bonkers and victory-shave his head as the match came to a close after we crashed Chess.com? No? Just me? My first Schvice had a photo of Page holding the Queen aloft. The internet was a newborn, and I was green. What a gambit.

But here I am listening to this Blaze On for a third time, just out of my gourde grooving and laughing that this miraculous music came out of the wreck of this whole last couple years in a steamy, fiery, burning to the ground kind of way. The Blaze On just wraps all that was best about the last decade+ (3.0+) and all the grief and energy and love of all the pain we’ve all had to endure these additional last months, and shoots it through a Greased up Fizeek. That’s what music’s for, folks. That’s why I’ve been coming back going on 30 years. Anyway just tuning in to say there’s as much here to sink your teeth into as any show from any era. Again.

The trifecta to open? Outstanding. Efficient, inspired, jaw dropping synthesis. The best of 99-esque vibes emerging from the space and delay of that Sand jam. The precision and confidence of a shift in Wolfman’s rarely seen since the 90s, and then a cathartic tight release to finish. The Carini! We’ve seen a few fabulous first set Carinis under 15 minutes since 2010 and this among the best. Yeah the opening 40 minutes of this show goes toe-to-toe with 8/31/12, imho, and maybe 8/3/98, too ;)

I can’t say enough about the tight and glorious Blaze On, in which Trey, as he’s done many times before, just finds a pocket and rides 3-4 themes to perfection. The whole band responds, constantly. Page is a beast this tour, it’s ungodly. They are making everything of playing together again and I’m here for all of it. The Blaze On has shades of the Amsterdam 97 Stash in Trey’s melodic threads towards the end, the party-bounce of the Baker’s Dozen Simple, and the everglades-calypso-grooves of the the Cypress Split->Catapult and the Blossom Birds of ’19. As if that wasn’t enough, it was made even hotter (or cooler?) by the Simple that then countered in completely different, dark, fresh fashion. The broody yin to the sunny Blazed On yang.

You’ve got one life /
Keep it simple.

If folks like the Simple more than the Blaze On it could be because the Blaze perfectly executes tropes that we’ve had around for a while now (the bliss-bounty of the Everything’s Right from 12/30/98 comes to mind), while the Simple here is gnarly, scary and new. (Is it better than Chicago 17? Not sure. But it’s deeeeep.) What’s more, the short and sweet Wilson between them is a reminder of the fire literally burning all around us, of these end-times, of hope, of the redemption of music, of vanity, authority, and the futility of guarding gold like dragons. All the heavy sand-Dune Beetljuice junk that keeps the source pumping, ya know? Sorry, have I lost you? Wilson was a nice energetic, political gate for the rush and inversion from one jam to the other. What a trip.

The Hood clocks, too. Trey goes off, bluesy, Chalk Dust-like. And he says something later about having been thinking about Limb by Limb.

Anyway that’s about all l got in the tank. Hope it’s worth something. Apparently these old guys still have something in the quadrophonic tank too. Who knew?


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