, attached to 2016-09-02

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Even a few days removed from the Dick's 2016 run, it seems apparent that most people consider this the run of the year, possibly the Dick's run closest to the legendary Dick's 2012, and three shows that could easily contend for favorite show of 2016. Let's revisit all three shows, shall we?

Set 1: Kicking off with Ghost is a fine idea, and this opener is a nice version that doesn't quite traverse the same ground of the last few very strong versions. But the NMINML follows totally upsets the apple cart for expectations regarding this run, as Mike opens up the door to darker terrain, Trey hits up his Echoplex-esque effects, and the band delves into a churning and *nasty* jam that I compared in the setlist discussion thread to being locked in a boiler room (on relisten, it reminds me a lot of the killer and semi-forgotten 7/20/14 Ghost). This is a jam of runaway freight train power, Trey and Page firing off squealing laser-like effects as Mike and Fish shove the damn thing forward, and a worthy start to the run. The rest of the set is more fun than improv-laden, although the "swingin'" version of Ass Handed is worth a laugh and 46 Days nearly breaks free of its restraints while offering some great guitar heroics from ol' Red.

Set 2: A fine relaxed Antelope kicks off the proceedings, and then Mercury makes its much-anticipated return in the same venue where it really cemented itself as a fan favorite. This version isn't quite as strong as 9/5/15's is (as you'd expect, given the year layoff between versions), but it's nice to know the band hasn't forgotten about it and the flubs and forgotten lyrics don't *really* detract from the song's musical power. -7 > BOAF come next, and both of them travail some interesting ground beyond their usual arrangements (a murky swampy zone in the former and some spaciness in the latter), helping the opening segment feel more of a piece than just four songs they happened to play (gotta love Page remembering the "they attack!" sample just at the end of BOAF, too).

Wombat pops up (because why not?), and then comes the real meat of the set with a Tweezer > Jim > Suzy combo that refuses to quit. Tweezer has kind of laid low after its All-World 2015, but this version shows that the Jam Vehicle King isn't ready to cede its crown just yet. There's no sun-kissed blissful upbeat hose or weirdness here, just heavy jamming with Trey taking center stage throughout as the band shifts tempos with ease and Mike really does some damn fine work (check him out right when they pick up the pace again around the 12 minute mark). Jim is a nice enough version, with a -7 full-band tease between verses so pronounced it could well be Jim -> -7 -> Jim (it goes on for damn near half a minute!), and Suzy gets a nice percussion-based breakdown in the middle (both in line with the rest of the tour, and foreshadowing for what's to come) to add some spice to the usual proceedings. Bug > Tweezer Reprise makes for a solid encore.

Final thoughts: My second favorite night of the run. Tweezer > Jim > Suzy is a mighty duo, the rest of the second set is well worth the listen if not quite as strong improvisationally, and NMINML is an absolutely killer Set 1 jam.


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