, attached to 1993-08-07

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Another excellent gem from summer '93, this show features two sets fairly dense with songs, musicianship, and improvisation--though the last of which is not taken to the same extreme as it is by some of the other landmark shows that take place later in the month.

Set 1 gives us plenty to chew on. Llama opens with a particular ferocity and displays some some sweet comping from the backing band during Trey's solo. The Stash jam explores a few different modal and dissonant spaces, all the while Trey soaring as Mike, Page, and Fishman maintain course and facilitate a subtle ascent in intensity. The transition into Makisupa is as unexpected as it is flawless and marks one of my favorite moments of the first set (the whole Makisupa intro and jam are excellent, as well). Reba and Maze pair quite nicely with the latter neatly fitting in the former's reprisal whistling. The Colonel Forbin's and Mockingbird performance is one of the tunes' more venerable due in part both to Trey's enthralling storytelling and the especially regal outro the band pulls off with Mike's solo. Cavern closes Set 1 with the gusto early Cavern usually displays (a note: I love when Trey finishes the verses' stanzas by moaning along with his guitar, as he does in this version and some others I've heard).

Anytime I see a ~4-minute Also Sprach open Set 2, I gear up for some good shit to follow. The extended ambient intro on this performance is utterly brooding and serves well to foreshadow a crazy Mike's -> Kung -> Mike's. The Mike's jam is pretty representative of summer 83's inventive nature. Some moments that sound like confusion between the band on whether to stick in F or resolve to F# end up serving as fodder to develop dissonance, but eventually the groove cools off to a slower waltz. An extremely tense Kung leads us right back to the close of Mike's song, the anticipated resolution of which pays off incredibly well. Also noteworthy from this set are MFMF and McGrupp. While both tunes are typically performed in a pretty straightforward manner, MFMF gets a delicate and plinky Pink Panther-esque outro jam, and McGrupp boasts uniquely swanky solo section between Page and Mike (with Fishman on some tasty percussion) plus a subtle transition into Purple Rain. Closing the second set, Antelope serves as the final high point for the show, displaying blazing hot chops, empathetic jamming, and an improvisational nature exemplary of the period.
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