, attached to 2013-12-28

Review by solargarlic78

solargarlic78 In 2013, if the highlight of the show occurs in the first set, I think it is safe to say it was a weak show. Such was the case with 12/28/2013. That highlight was an inventive Wolfman's Brother. The standard 3.0 'funk' breakdown straight out of the final "broth-a-ha-a" chorus was particularly thick - showcasing the excellent rhythmic interplay the band has displayed all year long; Trey's use of chord comping in particular. Then the jam took a spacey turn and Trey indulged his new toy: apparently an echoplex device (according to Tom Marshall on twitter). Trey would play a riff, set his guitar aside and manipulate the riff via echos on the device. This is reminiscent of other NON GUITAR Trey diversions of 1995-1999 - the drumkit and keyboard. While this effect created an amazing space-texture to the Wolfman's jam, it is concerning because, in the past, such NON GUITAR Based diversions often become distracting to Trey and jams loose momentum. It appeared to me (webcasting) that for the rest of set 1 Trey was considering moving back to the echoplex on 7 Below and Tube - and this hesitance lead the jams overall to remain stagnant and uncertain.

Regardless, the echoplex made for an interesting and unique Wolfman's jam - the echo texture allowed Page and Mike to go off - and Mike employed the fight bell in satisfaction. As Trey moved back to his guitar, he laid down a simply nasty line that the band began a start-stop jamming pattern around. This led to the final (and apparently inevitable) return to the Wolfman's peak that has been the destiny of nearly every 3.0 Wolfman's (I can only think of 2011 MPP2 Wolfman's that did not 'resolve' into the final peak).

This came in the context of a rather unremarkable set 1 - but such has been the case for MOST set 1s in 2013 (something the 2013 fluffers never seem to want to confront). Wedge was teeming in rust. It seemed like Trey needed to take extra rounds of solos on the changes to (a) warm up his hands and (b) relearn the chord progression to solo over. Birds had some really nice quiet jamming at the beginning. Monica was a welcome treat electrified - and showed the Wingsuit songs would indeed be in the rotation at MSG. Seven Below was oddly placed and uninspired. Tube was 3.0'd.

Set II was disappointing overall. Sand's jam demonstrated a typical 3.0 progression of funk soloing by Trey into all out wankfest (i.e. peak-based soloing). The hard rock/space riff that emerged from the peak was enlivening type ii stuff, but it petered out only after a couple minutes in 2011-fashion. Same story for Piper - nice melodic type i jamming into a blissful type ii section that had tremendous potential, but was ripchorded. Tweezer's jam went straight into melodic, ambient, full band textures common to 2013, but before it could "go anywhere" was mercilessly ripchorded in favor of BDTNL - and the set never recovered despite the exciting, if not jammed out, return of "Waiting All Night" (a favorite among many from 10/31/13 II).

Overall, this felt like 2011 MSG - not 2013. The band was clearly rusty out of the gate and the jams showed potential but few went places. Good thing they have three nights to recover!


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