, attached to 1996-08-04

Review by Mikesgroover

Mikesgroover The only show on the summer '96 tour with no reviews? Well let's have a listen some 17 years later and see what's cooking. I didn't attend this show, but I do remember what a tough ticket the Red Rocks run was at the time. Anticipation of this run was riding high and the band delivers a satisfying performance on night one.

Trey's voice is a little hoarse in spots at this show, but the energy level is extremely high. In fact, Trey is so possessed that it feels in spots like the band is playing catch up. The SOAM in the first set is a good example of this, a boisterous and frenzied version that never strays from the theme. Mango is spiffy, but Sloth suffers a bit from Trey's hoarseness. Maze is the other first set highlight, a blistering tour-de-force that's all Trey shred and little nuance. No complaints.

The energy levels stay elevated with the Bag second-set opener, again with Trey racing out ahead of the band. It's barely over before the opening notes of Reba kick in.

This Reba has about 3 minutes of an outstanding ascending jamming, a great exploration, wiith Trey getting stuck on a single lick as the band builds behind him. Unfortunately, it cuts off a little abruptly-- no whistling, just blam! Done. I'd still rate it higher than the jamming chart on this site.

Mule doesn't move me on recordings -- I believe it's a song best appreciated in person so you get the visual accompaniment of the duel. Page's soloing is melodious here, however.

The Bowie is the highlight of the show, another energetic, rocking version. It doesn't get deep and dark or really far out there, but brings the thunder with a rock and roll vibe. Stunningly fierce, a joy to listen to.

The quiet section of Slave has Trey repeating the same lick over and over, but some feedback on the buildup mars a solid version. Page’s stab at the Star Trek Theme on the theramin before the encore is interesting, but not quite there. I don’t think many in the audience knew what he was playing.

A very energetic night, with lots of great moments and a song selection with almost no slow selections. The Maze, the last few minutes of Reba and the Bowie in particular will remind you that this is a well-oiled band clearly approaching a pinnacle. That zenith came two weeks later at the Clifford Ball, an unforgettable weekend that I feel privileged to have attended.


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