, attached to 2013-12-30

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: A step down from the last two shows' quite good first sets, but not unworthy of your time. Gin (as it does in its current incarnation) stays in the Gin envelope but builds to a very satisfactory peak, much the same way the version from Dick's this year did, Wombat shows even more potential with the realization that there's room to stretch out without being tethered to a dance routine, and Lawn Boy is particularly amusing this time around. Liked the PYITE call later in the set as well, even if the version wasn't the strongest they've ever played.

Set 2: Interesting, to say the least. CDT lobbed its hat into the ring as one of the jams of the year, starting off at a lower boil (as Trey wrung some really fugly notes out of his guitar) before Page moves to the forefront and the energy level picks up and they build towards a darker jam space with Trey firing off minor chords and Mike pushing things forward. We then get a bevy of effects as Trey switches to the Echoplex (one of the MVPs of this run, for sure) and the jam gets heavy pretty fast, then the heaviness strips away and we enter a more contemplative space. Trey hits upon a cool repeating pattern as Page goes to the clavinet, and the band blasts off yet again, with Fish adding some nice cymbal accompaniment. A vicious stop-start segment comes next (so vicious they leave no room for woos), then they gun the engines for one final rock blast before coming to a bubbling close. There's a lot to chew on in here, and it may not always be to your liking, but in my mind it covered nearly as much ground as the AC Carini and thus should be considered a success.

A surprisingly early Mike's comes next, and it's a nice 3.0 version, then they break out Devotion to a Dream (an odd choice, and something of a misstep to my ears), which is followed by a Ghost that straddles the edge between funkiness and rock (it almost sounds like Guy Forget at times) and foregoing Type II for a propulsive energy that builds to an exciting hose-laden climax. Then rather amusingly, Trey starts the concluding chords to Ghost, but Fish (who is a real champion this entire set) has other ideas, and we get a true segue into a laid-back Weekapaug. Simple is next, a surprise call given how often it's *in* a Groove as opposed to right outside it, and it brings a dreamy bliss jam at the end as buzzing effects enter the fray and Page steps to the forefront (with a Mike bomb for good measure). Fish then leads them into Hood, a neat version that builds a great deal of tension by nearly breaking out LA-style but never getting there (by design or not, who knows), which makes the usual Hood peak all the more satisfying. Cavern and First Tube close the set in energetic fashion, and a truncated but still good Slave ends the night.

Final thoughts: Very close (if not right there) with last night's fantastic effort. CDT is a tremendous jam, and there's as much improv all throughout this set as there was in last night's affair (though the setlist is not as tightly constructed). Ho hum, another damn good show in 2013.


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