, attached to 2021-08-11

Review by SplitOpenAndMalt

SplitOpenAndMalt Night two was a fun one. After recovering from the late-night partying the night prior, me and my buddy hit Hersheypark durinig a scorching hot day that was interrupted by the incoming rain. We met up with a few of our other buddies in the park and took shelter in our car before it started downpouring. When it subsided, it was showtime and the group of the six of us headed into the venue.

Definitely did not have a You Sexy Thing opener predicted but it definitely let us know that we were in for a funky night. I can't hear Wombat without thinking about Abe Vigoda coming out on Halloween but it's a perfect balance between a light, fun song and an impressive jam instrument. At about three minutes, a nice jam session led by Trey took off. The vocal fusion between 'Wombat' and 'You Sexy Thing' was absolutely awesome-- if you'd had told me these two songs would lift the crowd's vibes beyond the extent of N1 S2 before the show, I would've thought you were crazy. Free's an awesome tune generally, and about four minutes in, they start to let loose on a funky jam that Mike sounds really defined in. I'm not a big ASIHTOS fan, but Trey takes off in this one too at about 2:30 in-- what a start to a jamming first set! Near the end of the jam I was sure that they were going to go into Sand, but instead, they went into my highlight of Summer Tour's first set, a blazing Halley's Comet. At 4:55 the band lifts off and Trey and Page are obviously locked-in, in sync right now. The jam gets really experimental and departs from the theme after a few more minutes thanks to Fish's control of pace. Lonely Trip gave the band a chance to cool down, but it was definitely nice hearing some stuff from Quarantine Trey. Gotta Jibboo even gave Trey some time to jam out for a little bit as they built up to close the set strong. Meat gave us another callback to You Sexy Thing and this is one of my favorite songs that you can hear all four of their vocals on. Maze is a sweet ass closer as well, and this is a pretty traditional one to close out one of the most jammed out first sets I've seen. Trey gives us one last 'You Sexy.... Thing!' before heading back for break.

Set two we got up to maybe five rows back, right at center stage. The sun set and the guys come back with Theme. I thought that they were going to absolutely bust it open after Trey started scaling succeeding the vocal section, but they wrap it up pretty nicely to give us a concise warmup jam. The BOAF, though, is a whole different story. They essentially immediately jump into heavy riffing before fully departing the atmosphere-- I saw the '19 BOAF at Blossom and, while less deep and spacey, this was a substantially more chronological jam that continued to build on the feel of the band. Each of the four members had no trouble feeding off of eachother and nobody hesitated to give another member lead for a few minutes-- the 4.0 guitar sounds great in this one. On Instagram before N1, Mike showed a picture of a butterfly on his mic, and me and my buddy guessed that Bug was gonna make its appearance in Hershey-- here it is. Page has just generally sounded really good tonight, kind of a mystical feel to the keys. To build off this lightheartedness, the band segues into Light. The vocal section leads into a contemporary, alternative, smooth jam for about five minutes that almost fully engulfs Party Time and its succeeding jam as well. Ruby Waves is the other monster jam in this set, getting right into it and getting much darker than this set's complementing jams. This jam is high-paced and definitely worth a listen (definitely not an Alpine Ruby Waves but a solid version nonetheless). Chalk Dust was used as the culminating point of the set to burn off the remaining energy prior to encore.

Show of Life into SANTOS couldn't be any more opposite end of the spectrum, but, at the end of SANTOS, everyone was high-fiving eachother and the energy in the place was palpable. What a fun show-- everyone was on (CK5's rig looked absolutely unbelievable) and this was easily the better night of the two. Probably a 4/5 given the tour's relative performance, definitely earning some replays in my book.


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