, attached to 1995-12-01

Review by ledzepmaster

ledzepmaster December 1st, 1995 and the band is on fire at the Hershey Park Arena “Land of Chocolate” in Pennsylvania and now in the final stretch of the fall ’95 tour. Set one starts off with a proper Buried Alive opener and Mike takes it right into Disease following the same shape jazz chord Trey uses in both of those songs. Chalk Dust Torture rips its way through the set and is well played minus a slight hiccup of Trey falling out of time with the band and nearly botching the ending lick of the Chalk Dust solo; however the band lands together and finishes the song. The band then drops Forbin’s and includes some narration about philosophy, science, religion, and of course chocolate. Following Fly Famous Mockingbird is a favorite Stash of mine. Brief compared to the monster in Orlando a couple weeks before, but still gets dark and reaches climax. Cavern closes the set.

Set two kicks off with a short Halley’s (after the audience chess move of course) with a tight segue into Mike’s Song. One thing that’s gets me every time with this Mike’s (before we even reach the jam) is Trey raking the strings as the verse starts. By 2:40 we are in the key of F# minor and the band is ready to drive this baby. At 4:27 Trey is bouncing around a few notes lends to a nice little peak. From minutes 5 to 6 is when we know this Mike’s will be special. Relentless tastiness from sir Trey and the peak at 6:33 reassures of the mind meltage.

Seven minutes and eight seconds transports us to this time, F minor. Trey kicks on the Black Cat Vibe immediately providing the jam with the warble that keeps Fishman fastened into the groove. Bang that head (or just nod) you know you want to. By 9:03 Trey is ready to play some rhythm but not time for the percussion kit just yet and we can notice Page start to get ready. Still under ten minutes, @ 9:42 Trey takes advantage of the uni-vibe and spaces out for a bit with Page’s first wah-wah chords on the clavinet of the jam. At 10:10 Trey plays another descending lick that gives the feeling that we are diving under water. Uni-vibe: off. Jonny B gets back into the groove from earlier on and keeps that kick drum pounding us in the chest. The tastiness ensues and at 12:43 Trey teases what I perceived ever since the first time I heard this jam as Disease tease in the form of minor. By 14:30, Page is hammering away on the grand and Trey brings it back to the rhythm chords from a few minutes ago while Fishman returns to the hi-hat. At 14:55 Page is ready to take charge of this jam and lead the way… Trey is on the percussion kit by 15:10. Page rages on the ivory and tickles all the notes. When we reach 16:22 Page stops in his tracks and moves his hand to the clavinet again; this time for some lead work. And away he goes!! You like them trills at 17:10? You better!

Fishman then moves the quarter notes over the wood block. Mike is laying it down in the background providing the low lows with that 5th string. 17:53 Page brings the synthesizer into play. Now I don’t think he was using the Moog Source yet, but whatever synth he was using for this period I wish he never took out of the rig. He would play this particular synth as if Page himself was Edgar Winter. Between the work shown with this synth in this jam and the Albany YEM a few days later, I don’t know why he would change it out. Perhaps he only liked one sound patch?

Anyways... Page starts bouncing back and forth between the clav and the synth while Fishman keeps the woodblock going. Gordon gets a little slappy and by 18:50 Page settles back on the piano. Nineteen minutes thirty seconds we can start to hear this jam morph into Weekapaug Groove with Trey lending the rhythm.

Twenty seconds into the track labeled Weekapaug Groove Trey gets his last licks of F minor out before droning until the first peak (0:43) of this Weekapaug Groove prior to the song even really beginning.

With that bending peak brings us to F major and this is when the chords to Weekapaug are played. At 1:40 the lyrics to Paug are sang and the boys realize they are not used to singing this song up three semitones. Trey says something but I can’t quite make it out. I personally like the song in F over D and this is one of the main reasons why I prefer this groove over the Niagara Falls Convention Center version (and the fact that they abruptly change keys to D for Paug).

I really have no words for this Weekapaug… Trey simply hits all the right notes and uses his effects properly. However, I will continue. Delicious playing by all especially Trey and by 4:11 we arrive at the theme that I must always play whenever I play Weekapaug Groove. Because it is so awesome and joyous! Fishman picks up on the accents but Trey keeps going because this riff is that good. This is another reason why I have learned so much about guitar playing from Trey Anastasio… Around five minutes, Trey builds off of the theme and subtly changes his landing note making his playing that much tastier. By 5:34 he returns and by 6:15, we dive under again. 6:28 Trey engages the wah pedal and Mike follows with some bass galloping which fills in nicely. The audience participates even by clapping in time. 7:06 the build up begins. 7:33 Trey starts abusing the wah pedal (in a good way). By the eight minute mark this buildup sequence is straight up bleeding positive energy. Trey is still abusing the wah and engaged the uni-vibe as well giving this phasey wah-wah mayhem.

8:11. THE BEND… and we are soaring with Trey. Tempo noticeably increased we return to the main melody of Weekapaug with closing lyrics and coda ending nailed tight as can be. Crowd roars with satisfaction.


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