, attached to 2013-10-29

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: Perfectly fine for the Fall tour; Wolfman's has a ridiculous sustained note by Trey, Walk Away makes an appearance (which always bumps a set up a notch in my book), the Divided Sky is cool if a bit wanting compared to Hampton's, and SOAM wallows in atonal weirdness (maybe a bit too long) before resolving into a neat major-key jam and then (for reasons only Trey can really answer) sliding into Julius. Ah well, can't win 'em all.

Set 2: DWD leads things off, and it starts off as the typical hot-fire DWD jam before cooling down (while still retaining the DWD jam shape) and patiently searching for a theme. About halfway through things get a bit more minor-chord based, then shifts into an upbeat Sparks-esque jam, not quite rocking out but still being propelled forward by Fish as Page goes to his Mellotron-sounding organ and things get nice and mellow. Then, with about five minutes or so to go, the band enters the Tahoe Tweezer rock space (you know the one I'm talking about), but instead of searching for audience participation Trey hits upon a riff that (like so many have pointed out) sounds like an Allman Brothers riff, and the guys roll through the most unique hose jam of a tour with no shortage of uplifting hose jams. This segment really gives what was a perfectly fine Disease beforehand a push into the upper echelon, and it perfectly winds down and transitions (I suppose not segues) into Taste.

Taste is a nice enough version (I do like hearing it, even though I don't really miss it when it's not played regularly), and then 20 Years Later comes in, and I'm expecting the usual nice intense version, but what we get instead is the nicest surprise of the tour (either this or Theme from the Shaft in the tour closer). The version IS nice and intense, but rather than come to its usual close the band the band cranks even harder into the usual jam, Trey's riffs coming close to Heartbreaker without actually becoming Heartbreaker, then mellowing out and getting more '97-ish as the jam suddenly strips away and Page takes over on the organ. Mike steps to the forefront, as he so often does when things get this minimal, and they really lean into this funky jam, Page modulating the mood by switching keys, before Trey jumps back in front and churns out a riff that reminds me a little of American Woman (tell me if I'm wrong on this one). Fish picks up the pace, and we get a really beautiful upbeat jam before Trey finds something that sounds like Piper, says "that sounds like a good idea", and into Piper they go. Given both the fact that 20YL finally harnessed its potential as a jam vehicle, and the jam itself was quite good to boot, this is already one of my favorites of the tour.

Piper rips for a couple minutes, then (in a sign the band's feeling it) morphs into another quicksilver jam, Page cranking away on the organ, Mike and Fish keeping up with him, before Fish goes double-time and the jam roars to a close. #L actually fits here as a breather (another sign of a good set, when #L feels organic and not like "oh, hey, Trey wants to play #L"), then comes a YEM that redeems the painful version from Rochester, slinky and stripped-back yet still capable of hitting a pretty good peak at the end. An extended encore (with a pretty nice Reba in the middle!) is a tremendous way to close out the show.

Final thoughts: The best second set of the run - everything just *works* from top to bottom, and I'd take that YEM in a set any day. If the first set was any better, it'd be the best show, but second best in a group of shows this good is nothing to sneeze at.


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