This performance was part of the inaugural Vertex Festival.
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Show Reviews

, attached to 2016-08-07

Review by Ejfrank2001

Ejfrank2001 (This review provided by COjam: The Colorado Jam Scene) />
This was an all around great performance! The return of Cyro Baptista on percussion and Jeff Cressman brought a mostly old-school TAB set, with songs like Firt Tube, Cayman Review, Money Love & Change, Drifting, Simple Twist Up Dave.... well, you get the idea.


"First Tube" was a rowdy opener and immediately one could see that Trey was visibly excited. A solid "Cayman Review" followed by Bob Marley's "Soul Rebel" made a nice one-two punch and featured a very competent solo from Natalie "Chainsaw" Cressman. At this point, Trey introduced the return of Natalie's father, Jeff Cressman, and joked about Jen Hartswick being in a 'Cressman sandwich'. This prompted another "Chainsaw" heavy tune, "Mozambique" which was expertly played.

"Money, Love and Change" would come next and embodied the hardest jam of the night so far. Trey was firing on all cylinders and the crowd matched his enthusiasm.

A beautiful "Drifting" calmed things down and reminded me of why this song has long been a TAB favorite for me. But the respite was short-lived and it was time to crank the energy levels right back upward for "Burlap Sack and Pumps", a jam in which Ray Paczkowski was the most prominent soloist, but in which seemed to be led by Trey's dissonant and demented chords. This combination produced an exemplary jam; dark and dissonant awesomeness, albeit rather succinct.

"Chainsaw" got some more love with "1977" and the audience gobbled up every second of it. "Valentine" came as the first newer TAB tune of the set and was ultimately well-received (although a few blasé groans could be heard at the onset). "Dark & Down" was sheer nastiness with Trey showcasing his dirtiest tones. The horn section would leave the stage for the jam, allowing Trey to dig a halfway to China. His rage faces during this tune were perhaps raunchier than I've ever witnessed.

Next was a very welcomed "Sand". This jam saw some heavy improvisation that culminated in a beautiful and perfectly punctuated climax. Closing out the set was a high-energy "Tuesday" which brought smiles from the band and straight onto the audience's collective face. Trey was absolutely giddy by the end of the tune!

As lightning flashed in the distance, the crowd wondered about the second set... will it downpour? Or is the rain isolated in a tight pocket, never to spill onto the inaugural Vertex Festival? A light sprinkle was all that ever fell, and the aforementioned tight pocket coalesced with the band rather than the weather.

A slightly shaky beginning to "Curlew's Call" found its groove and from then on, the band never strayed. A playful "Gotta Jibbo" saw Trey teasing the girls of the band with some alternate chords, which brought audible laughter. This jam too would get down and dirty, again showcasing Trey's best John Scofield impersonation of facial expressions.

A VERY tight "Magilla" followed, one which saw Trey hitting rhythmic accents in perfect unison with the rhythm section. A fist-pump at the end meant Trey nailed it. Next came a well-placed and slightly down-tempo "Alaska" (at least, compared to the Phish version). A sturdy jam featuring plenty of The Milkman ensued and wonderfully prepped us for...

"Simple Twist Up Dave". HOLY SHIT. I don't exactly know how to describe the energy of this one. My notes simply read, "FIRE". I recall an increasingly up-tempo jam that again, got pretty dark - definitely nasty - and featured a seemingly endless build that eventually climaxed and spewed all over the crowd. Hands were raised, feet left the ground,lights flashed and Trey just kept BUILDING!! If this show is in circulation, be sure to give this STUD a listen.

Next came some fun for percussionist Cyro Baptista as he showcased a wide variety of (sometimes comical) percussion instruments. This lead into "Plasma, the eery and sometimes ominous march that reminds us that "you always end up where you start."

"Shine" is a fun tune and is most often received well. The harmonies between Trey and the girls is beautiful and they know it. The Gorillaz cover, "Clint Eastwood" was the first true spotlight for Jen Hartswick and, per usual, she absolutely nails it. The perfect closer that is "Push On 'till the Day" closed the set. A flawless rendition saw tight execution of the composed section and an energetic jam. One would never know that this lineup hasn't played together in a while...

Encore: "Show of Life" was a welcome treat for me as I've never seen TAB perform this increasingly popular closer. Buzz began, however... "Would this be the period to a show that deserved an exclamation point?!" The answer, of course, was 'no'.

A killer "Dazed and Confused" was that exclamation point, and what an exclamation point it was! Jen absolutely crushed it as the band summoned their innermost Zeppelin.

All in all, a fantastic TAB show. One of the best I've seen in years. I meant to give this a 5-star rating but accidentally click 4 and don't know how to change it. Give it a listen, if possible. That being said...

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