, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by Franklin

Franklin A very interestingly constructed show.

Camel Walk opener is some people's thing, so I'm happy for those people. 555 and Rift are both great choices for the first set, really gets the energy going.

Then this first set gets really good. Cities is simply astounding -- one of those compact, type 2 jams that you can really sink your teeth into. Very highly recommended listening. Light is another great pick, very rare in the first set, and the playing was tight.

I love Simple to death, but this one followed the tradition of the first set Simple (a la 12/30/15) where everything just fizzles out. Timber is a GREAT first set song, so exciting to hear, it was played with a lot of gusto. Wading was an appropriate cool-down, although Trey was really pushing it during the solo.

A really tight Reba, with a wonderful composed section and a super cohesive jam, follows. Very outstanding. Chalk Dust is fast and furious and the whistling over the intro is probably even more hilarious than it was during Gin in Atlanta, and the band is clearly fired up.

All told, a high-energy first set with great song selection, tight playing, and a lot of fun. You can't expect much more from a first set that still sounds like a first set.

***

Second set: Golden Age opener is AWESOME. Some really exciting playing from Mike and Page in the main section, then we peter out into space for a little bit before revving back up to a wonderfully cohesive, exciting jam. This is one to listen to a few more times and, along with Cities, is probably one of the bigger takeaways from this show.

Prince Caspian has now, post-Magnaball, become hella exciting to hear, and this version does not disappoint. The Webcast shots of people jumping in the water was honestly one of the more beautiful things I've ever seen. I'm very happy for the people who got to experience it.
In terms of relisten value, this is a strong Caspian, and even though it doesn't get all Tweezerpantsy, there's a solid peak and enough meandering to keep things interesting.

Then Halfway to the Moon and Joy happened. HTTM, for what it's worth, was played -incredibly- well. The band was visibly stoked. While the songs were done well, they were also not really in the right place at the right time. I think we were all expecting some other large jam vehicle to come in, and this is what happened instead. Both songs were played well, but they did interrupt the flow of the set.

46 Days was also really solidly played (save some miscommunication in the intro) and put a little pep in everyone's step. This is one of those songs that can go anywhere and wipe the slate clean, like a funky musical lemon sorbet.

20 Years Later, which now seems to be cursed since it last appeared 1/1/15, makes another appearance. Julius is still Julius, unfortunately, and so I can understand why people would be frustrated with this second set. Hood, however, is -marvelous-, a return to form and bringing about a wonderful peak. I think it's very funny that we all love when every song goes Type II, but then when Hood shows up, many people just say "No, that's okay, just play the regular Hood jam." Such a wonderful piece of music.

I sense (and read some) frustration with this set, so lemme put this out there...

A wonderful jam out of Golden Age, two more pretty good, somewhat exploratory jams (one of them belonging to Prince Caspian, no less) 20YL in your cool-down spot (maybe not everyone's favorite cool-down, but many sets put something here that isn't a monstrous jam vehicle), and a really well-played Hood to end things. Really, the only truly questionable parts of this set are Julius, HTTM (which is played much better than usual), and Joy (which is a great song -- just never really placed well). Just because there isn't a 20-minute jam doesn't mean that this set was bad. There were two songs strangely placed, and that's really it. Is it a set for the ages? No, and I'm not expecting it to be recommended to too many people. But it was all played well and there was still some nice, compact jamming. Certainly not a clunker.


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