, attached to 2013-07-05

Review by whatstheuse324

whatstheuse324 I was waiting for my friend Kevin at the Saratoga Springs Train Station since 4:30 when I got to town for the 7/5/2013 SPAC show. He was supposed to arrive on a 6:50 train from NYC, but at 6:40 he called to inform me that his train was stopped in Schenectady and would not be leaving for another half hour. Schenectady, for those that don't know, is about 22 miles from Saratoga Springs. I had to hustle.

As I was driving down Route 50, I saw the lines for parking and signs announcing that lots were already closed. This was not going to be good. I was able to find the Schenectady Station, get Kevin, and get back to the SPAC entrance by 7:50. Good fortune provided us a parking spot in the Peerless Pool Lot, which is the one lot I can always find my way back to without getting completely turned around in the vastness of SPAC. After a really heavy and thorough security check, I put my pants back on and made it inside three minutes before the start of Kill Devil Falls.

For those of you that have not been to SPAC, it is a beautiful place, but the sound and view to the stage are not good if you are towards the back of the lawn. The second tier seating blocks all of the lights and cuts the sound in half. Knowing this ahead of time, I wanted to get a good spot on the lawn early, but circumstances had it otherwise. Although the first set was fun, it was hard to hear because of the commotion of people constantly walking and talking.

It was nice to hear Yarmouth Road, I was hoping that they would debut some new songs that were mentioned from the Bangor soundcheck. Birds was solid, Cities had a little extra dark groove to insulate the end, and Bowie had a deviating tangent in the middle of the outro jam that found its way to a major key. The highlight of the first set was Bathtub Gin. It was type-1 all the way, but carried energy and built to the biggest peak of the set.

For the second set, we were able to meet up with my cousins that had a nice spot right-center-front on the lawn. I could actually see the stage and hear the band! Set two opened with the song Energy. In my opinion, this sounded like a song that should be reserved for TAB. That's all I will say about it. Light continued its outward reaching trend and went in some interesting type-2 directions. I was very happy to have Mango Song magically appear from the Light jam. It started to jam out a little and I instantly thought of the 6/30/2000 Mango-jam from Hartford. This was quickly over though and 46 Days emerged. This song had it going on from square 1, the playing was great, the crowd was totally into it, and the outtro jam was top notch. Steam did not have the floating instruments or audience members to accompany this version, but the playing was fantastic. The band was totally having fun playing this song and it seems like it will begin to stick around more setlists in the near future. I felt like Fishman really was the MVP of 46 Days> Steam, he was crushing it.

I had a feeling about Drowned appearing on this night because of the on and off rain all day, and sure enough it did. The sky lit up with lightning for the whole fourth quarter of the show, and it was additional lighting for a superb Drowned jam. It doesn't compare to the SPAC Drowned from 2004, but it was a raging dance party on the lawn for a while. Slave was a great closer, well played and heartfelt as always. Character Zer0 was a great encore because it was played with power and precision. We felt it for sure.

Luckily the rain held out until the show was over. However, I was completely drenched by the time I reached my car in the Peerless Pool lot. Great times.


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