, attached to 2021-07-31

Review by heathen

heathen 7/31/2021 Alpharetta

Set 1: Sand was thoroughly decent but not a "can't miss" version. Everything's Right is a terrible song. Just awful. Corny, cliche lyrics and nothing interesting musically. Just when you think it can't be more cliche, they throw in a bunch of "yeah na na na" refrains. Punctuate that with the awful new samples and this song has gone from barely tolerable to downright despicable. The jam in this version, though, is pretty great. It's not enough for me to listen to the song itself though...I'd more likely fade it in after the song proper ends. This jam is an example of how Fish can really contribute to a great group improvisation (ignoring the terrible samples though). It's a shame Trey pulled the ripcord on this jam because I would've liked to hear them develop it for at least another 10 minutes or so. Thoroughly decent version of Maze here. Nice version of Stash. All in all this is a solid first set. No all-time great versions of any of the songs, but pretty much every song was performed well. The Everything's Right jam (not the song itself, obviously) was probably the highlight of the set.

Set 2/e: It's still weird to me that Chalkdust has become a jam vehicle. Not weird in a bad way, just something that never ceases to surprise me. Around 12 minutes in I could swear Trey was on the verge of an I Know You Rider tease. They spend a lot of time just spinning their wheels during this Chalkdust jam. Towards the end Trey seems to try to bring it to a typical MDMA crescendo, but then he backs off that line and it gets interesting. The last four minutes or so are the best part of the Chalkdust jam IMO. The rest of the second set is unremarkable, other than noting that the annoying new samples are enough to take an otherwise okay version of a song and make it something to be avoided (the Weekapaug in this set is a perfect example). I feel like a broken record ragging on these samples, but they're that bad. The fact that people are cheering it in Cavern is not a good sign.

Overall I'd say the second set didn't live up to the promise of the first set. The highlight of the show is definitely the Everything's Right jam (avoid the song itself though at all costs). The Chalkdust jam did get interesting for a little while at the end, but the bulk of it isn't anything to write home about.


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