, attached to 2021-08-29

Review by InsectEffect

InsectEffect 1st set highlights: How Many People > Gin > Back on the Train, the latter of which is a miniature wind-up jam so tight that it was deemed worthy of official video release. Then My Friend and Rift both bring a uniquely Phishy menace that’s oddly perfect for the middle-of-nowhere Gorge.

2nd set: The jam out of Mr. Completely is textured and fluid but ultimately somewhat meandering, perhaps because the rest of the band does little more that lay a canvas for Trey to paint on. There’s a deft nod to Friday’s Camel Walk before an absolutely butter segue into Meat, which is flame-broiled and full of flavor. Pregnant pause before a similarly-energetic Xeyed that Trey soon tries to take back into Mr. Completely. His bandmates (Fishman) resist, and instead there’s another effortless and surprising segue, this time into a raging Saw It Again. Head’s up to all the “Let Fishman Sing” people out there—this is your set right here. Trey seems to organically discover Mango Song’s lick amidst his trills, and the whole band then patiently transitions. It’s a beautiful call, full of light and levity after the manic dark that precedes.

Everything's Right tries to keep this momentum and then flirts with more darkness before giving way to Sea of Stars—a tune, to my ears, whose lyrics are undermined by a strangely slow and somber tone. But out there at The Gorge, with Trey calling for lights out, it offered a really lovely reflective moment. Your mileage may vary on re-listen, though. Then Always Wanted It comes swirling in and… seriously, what is this song? Dad Disco? Fortunately Trey has a riff to work with, and soon steers the tune into an Xeyed-inflected Mr. Completely reprise that very nicely bookends the set and damn-near qualifies for a proper segue.

A great encore brings this gorgeous weekend to a close, one that saw an abundance of patient, spacious playing, unique and dynamic sets, and music momentously amplified by the magic of The Gorge’s incredible natural setting.


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