SET 1: Steam > Runaway Jim, Tela, Kill Devil Falls > Theme From the Bottom > Birds of a Feather, I Didn't Know, Funky Bitch, Split Open and Melt
SET 2: AC/DC Bag > Soul Planet > Simple -> Light -> Party Time, Lonely Trip, David Bowie
ENCORE: Waste > Loving Cup
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Review by PhillyPhilly
Let me pause to say that I find it unspeakably satisfying to see this band, at this stage in their career, playing songs like Funky Bitch and Theme from the Bottom, songs that are war horses with hundreds of appearances under their belts, and playing them *excellently*, with swagger. It is truly a pleasure and a privilege.
Steam was appropriate to the sticky swampiness of yet another oppressively hot and humid day in Philly. The Steam jam brought some opening dirty funk, and the crowd eats it up and gets down through the stanky haze. Jim then provides the first highlight with a searching jam that emerges through to the familiar peak. Tela as the sun is going down with a light breeze picking up ok the lawn - divine. KDF picks up where Jim left off, with a brief but powerful and varied jamming segment. Theme exerted its power, and then a brief tightly played Birds goes into IDK, and Trey gives us some A+ shit eating grins as he takes a turn on the drums and spends a full minute hitting the “YEAH” button. Trey then follows this up by ripping into Funky Bitch, some great straight-ahead shredding. Melt, another heatwave appropriate call, reaches dissonant heights, melting into metal and drill screeching, a magnificent controlled chaos. Great S1.
S2 was a study in well-distributed full-band improvisation. AC/DC Bag was a sing along opportunity and then set the tone for the inventive jamming that would be present throughout the set. Im sure there were people bothered by the boppy Soul Planet in the S2 2nd slot, but i did not see any of them in my section of the lawn, instead i saw and experienced nothing but celebratory dancing and rejoicing. Simple’s improv was beautiful and varied, a multi-movement piece that featured both spacey abstraction and funky grooves. Let me put in a word here about Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman - our bands rythym section can *get it*. These men were on their game tonight, their vibrations pushing and pulling the jamming with concussive funk engines. Simple gives way to Light, which showcases yet more improv until Trey maneuvers us into Party Time, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Finally we have a cool down with the pretty Lonely Trip, and then the band offers an excellently played Bowie closer with a ripping peak, exclamation point achieved.
Waste is its normal beautiful self, and Loving Cup is yet another opportunity for the band to slay a song theyve played seemingly a million times - the Philly crowd eats it up, as theyve done all night.
I expect we are in for much more magic this summer. See you in AC.