, attached to 2023-04-19

Review by The_Good_Doctor

The_Good_Doctor Berkeley night three punctuates the band’s first Greek appearance since 2010 and provided the band an opportunity to add an exclamation point to their much anticipated spring 2023 run. Night one’s massive Tweezer -> Simple jam set expectations sky high — a lofty bar to clear indeed. While night two’s sequence of Don’t Doubt Me through Fuego offered full-throttle jamming, Set II’s conclusion with the pairing of Farmhouse and Backwards Down the Numberline left a few phanners grumbling — or so I overheard while exiting the venue. I personally enjoy Numberline quite a lot, especially once Trey's solo kicks off. It nearly always delivers scalding guitar licks.

For Night Three, the band wasted no time establishing a boisterous mood with a spirited version of I Never Needed You Like This Before. Aside from INNYLTB, the balance of Set I leaned heavily on evergreen favs, including a nicely jammed AC/DC Bag, a cleanly played Rift, and a Runaway Jim that featured some particularly sparkling piano work from Page. The band then walked Jim into a dark, brisk jam that blossomed triumphantly as it returned to the chorus. Lawn Boy followed and provided an opportunity to showcase the rich, organic texture of Mike’s new Serek bass. Fish drives a brief Halley’s that cruises until it pivots abruptly into Timber. At least in my experience (e.g., 12/07/97, 07/26/13) Timber is often a harbinger of a top shelf show. This Timber plies its typical interstellar territory before settling back to earth with Winterqueen, which provides the night’s first real cool down (no pun intended) before the band closed Set II with a soaring, bombastic 46 Days.

Set II opens with Mike’s Song and then Beneath a Sea of Stars — the latter providing one of two jam highlights in the second set. The loping pace of BASOS has proven favorable for improvisation. The Berkeley BASOS is a meditative tiptoe through the cosmos that affords moments of introspection where music, fans, and venue felt untethered from time and space. Weekapaug Groove bookends Mike’s Song as expected. Weekapaug was the probably only moment of Greek run where I missed the assertive tone of Mike’s Modulus bass. Cool it Down was a welcomed surprise and inspired a rousing singalong at the top of the Greek’s steep lawn where I was perched. Next, Set Your Soul Free provided the second deep dive of Set II and it lurched and churned through a murky psychedelic haze. The jam collapses into an amorphous throb pierced by pitchy guitar stabs. The chaos surrenders to the glistening elegance of What’s the Use? leading to speculation about the pairing of these two song titles. Set II wraps up with a routine, if spirited, Loving Cup and a standard two-song encore of Waste and Tweeprise, the latter providing logical conclusion to arguably highlight of the Greek run — night one’s mammoth Tweezer. Night three has a lot of replay value, especially AC/DC Bag, Runaway Jim, Beneath a Sea of Stars, and Set Your Soul Free.


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