, attached to 2021-09-03

Review by smaine

smaine Dick's is a special run. Everyone from the fans to the staff to the band is just super happy to be here at our annual Phamily reunion. This year is personally special for me because I was able to make the whole Gorge -> Shoreline -> Dicks run for my first multistate run in a very long time. I've had such a blast that at those previous five shows and I'm really excited to see what they have in store for the end of tour.

Opening with 46 Days should go a long way towards easing the setlist FOMO that people might have coming out the previous two stops given that this had already appeared in the #3 slot at the Gorge on Saturday night. While there were plenty of excellent songs that hadn't been played yet on this leg (including Reba, Ghost, YEM, Bowie, and Antelope), resolving the question of "will there be repeats" early and making it clear that they are going to play what they want to play was much appreciated. This run will have something for everyone.

Steam and Timber got things going with some nice little microjams. While neither of these were particularly long, they locked in quickly and grooved easily to make the most of their relatively short durations.

Vultures, and Pebbles and Marbles are the personal collector's items in this set. I love both of these songs deeply, and it's been multiple decades since I've seen either. So grateful to catch them back-to-back.

I was very surprised to hear Carini make a reappearance, given the face melting sunset opener we got at the Gorge. This version did not disappoint; who cares if they repeat songs when they play amazing versions each time out. This time around, it ended with a stunning bliss jam to end the set. To my ear, this jam resolved out of the minor-key evil into the same major-key progression that sits underneath Slave to the Traffic Light. The result was a bliss peak that was harmonically and structurally evocative of a Slave, but was still its own unique variation. We've never heard a Carini set closer before, but if this is what happens when Carini closes a set then I'm all in on it.

ASHITOS typically isn't my jam, although this version was starting to make me rethink this. There was an interested interplay between Fishman and Trey when Trey wanted to take the offramp but Fish rejected with a pretty forceful snare fill to keep things in ASHITOS for a few more bars. Ultimately, the TreyDD energy was too strong and we ended up in Chalkdust, which is what Trey clearly wanted to play. Chalkdust has been really strong this tour (Alpharetta 1, anyone?) and the next 20 minutes did not disappoint. Somehow we landed in Beneath a Sea of Stars for about 10 minutes of free jazz featuring CK5's light rig. From the Stars came Light and Plasma (very astronomical!), with Plasma proving that "you always end up where you start" in by recapping the entire show in tease form to put an whimsical end on a stellar 40+ minutes of music that formed the meat of the second set.

Any show where the second set breather song is...Runaway Jim is probably going to be pretty fun, just saying...

There is nothing like the opening notes of a Slave at Dicks. Big hugs all around as we settled in for the end of a fantastic evening. After the way Carini ended the first set, I would have not have predicted it but apparently a full set is enough of a refactory period for the band to fully recharge the bliss batteries. By the end, everyone is utterly spent.

Cavern and Waste were lovely in the encore slots, but the shout out goes to the first appearance of Good Times, Bad Times at Dicks. This version seemed to kick into a bit of higher gear at the end, closing out the first night of Dick's with an energy that bodes well for the next two nights.

Happy Dicksmas y'all. See you on the Grassy Knoll.


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