, attached to 2013-10-27

Review by Fathership

Fathership Another rock solid show from this wonderful tour. Truly blessed we are to have the band playing this well at this point in their career.

The inevitable Lou Reed tribute is first on the agenda this night, with a good, high energy Rock & Roll opener. Trey shreds it as usual and Page sounds especially good as he dances around the lead. There's a quick reprise of the "it's alright" vocals before the jam winds down and the crowd turns silent in memoriam.

Ocelot comes next and does its thing (isn't it a little early for this one?) before Tube brings the energy back up. This is a reaaaal nice Tube despite its length. I really enjoy Trey's little rhythmic contributions here. Halfway To The Moon is one of my favorite new tunes, I love to see it here, mid first set.

Fee > Maze is great, Page really conjures up some demons in Maze. Always a thriller. Lawn Boy is the required breather, and the solo is given to Mike as he parades across the stage. Nellie Kane gives way to a very nice NICU, the first of the tour. Another tour debut comes next in ASIHTOS. It's a real treat, with Trey making some wicked sounds to accompany the brief, dark jam. Walls Of The Cave is a perfect set closer. This one absolutely rages too. Fishman's lightning fast drumming is the perfect compliment to Page's slamming and Trey's machine gun licks. Really high energy set closer to a decent first set, giving tons of reason to look forward to set two.

A mid tempo Chalk Dust starts us off at a brisk walk. It's forgotten regardless the moment Tweezer begins. Immediately the boys turn to the funk and Page vamps on a nice, repeated riff on the clav. This leads to a great little groove with everyone on board. Fish plays around with the cowbell a bit (a heavy theme during this set), and then returns to the Tweezer high hat beat while Trey plays some soaring licks. Cow bell again. Then high hat. Fishman really is driving the jam here. Page stays killing it on the clav before experimenting a bit with the grand. The jam drops off and gets a little spacey while Trey plays some distant melodic notes. Drifting. Page sprinkles some beautiful notes on top of this lazy river ride. Really love the pretty jams lately, like the Drowned from Worcester. The jam starts to pick up and become more blissful, more positive as the boys find a really nice, thumping groove. Trey repeats a lick a few times and plays around with a few different chord progressions while Mike lays down some very sweet lines. The jam drops off again (I assume this is where the jam chart starts to consider it "aimless") and everyone plays muted versions of what they have been. It sounds GORGEOUS. This is a very delicate, pretty jam that really differs from the Hampton's dark version. A fantastic trip into the freezer...

...until Birds, an odd call, shakes us from our listless ride and plunges us into a pretty average reading of the tune. I don't really like to see this one in a second set. But Phish is Phish! That Tweezer alone was worth the price of admission. Golden Age is next, and we get taken straight to funkytown. After some expected Trey soloing the typical jam halts and a thoroughly funky groove attacks, with several group buildups and Page really adding some wonderful rhythm with the organ. Like something out of a glorious Tube this continues for a while longer. Fish adds a new layer when he really starts to ride the cowbell. Sweet stuff here. An off-kilter "Dun-Dun" rhythm emerges and it's hard not to wince when the woos try to keep up with the relative complexity of the groove. Some alien noises begin to overlap and the jam is briefly overtaken by them. Really solid work from Page at this point. Mike, of course, is holding it down and just killing it. The music turns gorgeously ambient, reminiscent of the Hampton Tweezer earlier in the month. A very simple but very enjoyable funk laden Golden Age.

Halley's > 2001 keeps the dance party going. A very abrupt slam into the 2001 that I liked quite a bit. I would have preferred that the 2001 emerge from a little longer ambiance out of Golden Age, however. This is a very strong 2001 that features a dense groove with more cowbell(!!). A very nice Fluffhead (another tour first) sets up a SOARING Slave closer. Is there any better way to do it? An especially rocking Loving Cup > Tweeprise caps off another spectacular night of Fall Tour 2013.

Highlights for me are Tube, NICU, ASIHTOS, Walls of the Cave, Tweezer, Golden Age, 2001, and Slave. That's an awful lot, and more than enough to award this show with four stars.


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