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Published: 2010/12/13
by Charlie Dirksen

Phish’s October Tour In Review

10/20 UTICA

I wrote plenty about this Guyutica show back in October, a show where “Guyute” teases show up all over the place, and it can be found here in the Phish.net Forum. I still stand by every word. This is one of the best shows of 2009-2010, and it would probably — though not definitely — make my Top 200 Phish Shows were I to bother compiling such a thing. Download with extreme prejudice. If you haven’t heard this show yet, I can’t believe you’ve read this far into my two cents on this tour. Your time would have been much better spent downloading and listening to this gig. You should be ashamed of yourself. Seriously, though, don’t go into it expecting hear the best-version-ever of anything — except perhaps “Have Mercy” (compare only with the also must-hear 11/12/94 Kent State version). I love the entrancing jam segment of this “Have Mercy” and, although short, consider it one of the musical highlights of recent years. It is certainly one of the peak jams of October.

10/22 PROVIDENCE

The first set is through the motions (musically speaking, of course, which is all I can speak to since I wasn’t there), but it’s still fun and well-played. The jams in the “Rock and Roll” and “Carini” to open the second set, however, are quite good (I love Fish’s “Tweezer-esque” rhythm at the end of the jam segment of “Carini”). This set also features what is the only known “Type 2” version of “Sanity,” because it contains a “jam segment” so-to-speak, with a lot of sustained chording from Trey and some funking-around from Mike and Fish for a bit. There’s a good “Weekapaug” in this set, but I dislike the version of “Light” that comes soon thereafter (following “Suzy”) — I think Trey sounds awful at times. (If you’re a fan of this “Light,” what Phish don’t you like!?) But whatever, the show closes strongly with “Character Zero > 2001 > Loving Cup” and “First Tube.” An above-average show, but not by much.

10/23 AMHERST

What can I say, this is a very fun Phish show, what with “Meatstick” and “Party Time” openers, a mid-first-set “Tweezer” and a “TweePrise” to close the FIRST set, “Down with Disease > My Friend” to open the second set, and a second-set-closing “YEM” and “Shine A Light” encore. It’s well-played with a very entertaining setlist (take a look!), but there are no versions I’d recommend listening to. Average-great at best, which is an odious and cowardly way of saying “below-average, but I don’t want you Amherst-loving noobs to flame the crap out of me.” I kid, I kid. If you’re inspired by this setlist, definitely check it out, but please don’t ask me to listen to it again.

10/24 AMHERST

I am a sucker for “Camel Walk” and “Ride Captain Ride,” and I even like “Time Turns Elastic.” (Really, I like it — just not at a show, unless it is perfectly played.) But this first set does little for me. The “Stash” is a mixed-bag, with a few misses from Trey, but it’s beautiful overall and one of the best versions of the last few years (and Trey even briefly teases “Dave’s Energy Guide” in it at 8:32-8:40 of the LivePhish version). I also really like Mike’s, Page’s and Fish’s accompaniment. “Stash” fans should check it out, especially if you haven’t been very happy with versions of “Stash” since the bewilderingly insane Coventry version, even though I prefer the 10/31/10 version to this one by a long shot. On the other hand, the second set has a lot of good energy (which Phish sets typically do, on average), not just in the “Seven Below” opener, but throughout. And I can’t complain too loudly about a set with back-to-back songs like “Roggae” and “Brother” in it (two of my favorite songs, even though these are not above-average versions). The show closes very well with “Bowie” and then a “Quinn the Eskimo, Chalk Dust” encore. Nevertheless, no recommended versions. “Average-great at best,” he said, while making the sign of the cross and sighing.

10/26 MANCHESTER

WOW! Check out the setlist! Opens with “After Midnight, Sloth, Alumni > Letter > Alumni,” which made me wonder whether Trey had discovered the random fantasy setlist generator on Phish.net and started putting it to its Greatest and Most Inspiring Use. A sure-fire way to a veteran Phish fan’s heart is to surprise him or her with set-openers like these (and a “Runaway Jim” or “Chalk Dust” set opener will never be a surprise, unless you go back in time to Hampton 8/9/04 in the case of “Chalk Dust” or Walnut Creek 6/16/95 in the case of “Jim,” both of which are must-hear).

The music of this show is usually, though not always, well-played (the obviously unrehearsed “Access Me” is quite enjoyable nevertheless), and I love the “Curtain With” in the first, but this show’s strength lies in the second set, which is up there with the best sets of the year. It’s played expertly well, and features electrifying improv in the “Light” in particular. “Night Nurse” shows up in the “Makisupa,” no doubt in homage to Gregory Isaacs, who sadly had just died on October 25. The “Ghost” is short but pretty damn sweet, with very few mishits from Trey. The “Weekapaug” in this set is also the most appealing version since 6/29/10 Canandaigua, with a “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” jam, lyrics from “Ghost” and “Night Nurse,” and a real segue -> into a “Llama Reprise,” taboot. Whatever you think about the merit of “Show of Life” (I enjoy it), encoring with it still took the fire out of this show, given the power of the second set. So, notwithstanding the poor encore call, this is still one of the best shows of the last two years, and I recommend checking it out. (And I bet I’m not the first to recommend this show to you!)

10/29 ATLANTIC CITY

In case you haven’t heard or weren’t there, this show opened with our nation’s “Star Spangled Banner” presumably because of the ENORMOUS AMERICAN FLAG above the crowd on the venue’s wall straight out from the stage and the band. HUGE flag. In any event, while I love this opener, the first set of this show wasn’t that sharp overall. (“Solid,” in the parlance of our time.) It was played fine, but the only musical highlight was the mighty “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” jam segment (the composed section of the version wasn’t clean, though). For example, the “Cities” jam could have been something stellar, and I was hoping for a gorgeous groove at least half as sweet as the Greek’s “Cities” jam from August. Nope. It just meandered around, but I still enjoyed dancing to it, and I love this cover, and wouldn’t be upset if I got it at every show I saw. And of course I still enjoyed the set, because that’s what we do at Phish shows — we enjoy ourselves. And even a below-average Phish set is “great”, like the first set-closing “46 Days.”

I’d like to say that the second set of this show was “one for the ages,” or “a must-hear, trail-blazing barn-burner,” but it was not. It was just well-played, typically-awesome Phish, with no versions to recommend. Well, ok. Check out the “Carini,” because while it arguably isn’t as moving as the other versions in October, it’s still pretty cool when compared with those in Phish history. And christ, the show ended with “Slave,” “Fluffhead” and “Loving Cup.” This may not mean much to you, but it sure as hell meant a lot to me. It’s a sensational show-closing triumvirate. So I have no trouble calling this a “somewhat above-average great” Phish show. And as always, if you look at this show’s setlist and like it a lot, then check it out. If you’re a vet, you won’t hear anything especially new (except in “Carini”), but it’s hard to be too disappointed hearing Phish play your favorite songs again, and play them well, in a new venue.

And THANK YOU ATLANTIC CITY, for making us feel welcome! I really hope Phish plays there again. And I am not just saying this so Cameron Parker has a chance to defend his hold ‘em poker victory at the Tropicana — a victory that occurred Halloween weekend in the first-ever Phamily Poker Classic poker tournament. You can read the names of the other fans who made the final table here. These names include Robert Goad, who finished in second, and promptly made a large cash donation to The Mockingbird Foundation. How cool is that?

10/30 ATLANTIC CITY

Although well-intentioned, a lot of fans have probably overrated this show. Yes, you and I had a blast at the show. That’s what we do at Phish shows. And the “Zeppeleezer” madness — or whatever you want to call the Zeppelin-Tweezer (5/7/94 Bomb-Factory-Tweezeresque-ish) medley in the second set — was extraordinary to behold. I LOVED this show and am so thankful I was there. But musically? It’s a mixed-bag. I’m sure some @jadedvet‘s who weren’t present at the show saw the “MonkeyPrise” encore (which I am embarrassed to admit that I called) in the setlist and thought, “Well, it couldn’t have been THAT great a show.”

Seriously, though, the “Chalk Dust Torture -> Whole Lotta Love -> Chalk Dust Torture” in the first set is wonderful, to be sure, and I really like the “Wolfman’s Brother -> Undermind” combo, because their spellbinding jams do IT for me. (And a few measures of this “Wolfman’s” reminded me of the Greek “Cities” jam from August.) The “Gin” may also be the most sublime version of October, tough to say. So, I think this first set is at least as good as any other first set in October, musically speaking. ( Guyutica’s first set is excellent, too, of course, but I prefer the music of this one.) However, the second set was a mixed-bag musically. I can appreciate why some folks have been relatively unimpressed upon hearing the music of this show, particularly the Zeppelin covers, which I do not think were rehearsed that, uhm, much (as the released, partial 10/30 soundcheck seems to attest). But don’t forget all of the pre-show hype about Phish covering Led Zeppelin for their “costume” on Halloween. I thought it was hysterical that they ransacked several Zeppelin tunes in and out of “Tweezer” the night before Halloween.

So, in sum, Phish played one of the best first sets of the year, and a bunch of Zeppelin tunes in a half-assed, highly entertaining way (“Heartbreaker,” “Ramble On,” “Thank you,” “Stairway”) in and out of “Tweezer” in the second set, and if you were there you had a phenomenal time. And the “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (aka “2001”) at this show is glorious! Not only is it the finest version since 6/25/10 Camden (which paid homage to Michael Jackson), but “2001” is also the cover that helped give me IT with Phish back in ‘93 at Wolf Trap. “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” as performed by Deodata, is also the background music during a pivotal point in a remarkable film, Being There, starring Peter Sellers (a “must-rent“). And geeesh, listen to the goofiness in the “Bowie” hi-hat opening segment in this set! Oh yeah, and a “GTBT” second set closer!? So, it’s a no-brainer. I’m going to overrate this show, too, ok? “Well above ‘average-great.’ Hear at all costs. Download with extreme prejudice.”

Comments

There are 25 comments associated with this post

Alex December 28, 2010, 16:50:33

Charlie, As always, these columns are much appreciated. Please keep up the good work. I consider myself a very serious fan, but rarely have time to listen to every show. I appreciate being pushed in the right direction in terms of recommended listening. Finally, while I agree with you on Utica, Manchester and this year’s fantastic costume selection, I was sad to see Stash->Makisupa from 8/7/93 not mentioned amongst all time Stash renditions. I might suggest you give that another listen my phriend. Hope to see more of these in 2011!

Jay M December 21, 2010, 23:58:10

Great reviews of all the shows. Having heard all the shows already, I still found it very informative and interesting to read your “2 cents” although I was surprised by some of the things you said, but I won’t get into that. I just wanted to mention a error I noticed. Under the review of the 10/19 Augusta show in the short explanation of Type 2 jams, you mention a Chalk Dust from 8/9/94 (no show on this date), and I’m sure you meant the one from Hampton on 8/9/04. Just wanted to clear that up b/c that version was my first Phish song I ever witnessed, and I love that version. Everyone should hear it. Keep up the good work though.

Blooby December 18, 2010, 06:40:46

You are this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62T9ESyOtJo

kyle December 20, 2010, 11:28:20

Charlie, Pretty much spot on. Im an old timer too I guess (1994) and it was just different back then. They were younger we were younger but it seems like since their return almost every tour has got consistantly better. We cant expect the Boys to be the same in 2010 as they were in 1993. I mean come on I was 13 then and I am 31 now if I havent changed since then please shoot me now. My fav set and again like you this is just my 2 cents was set 2 of Manchester the Makisupa into night nurse was amazing and the first set although choppy was bust out city at the start then kinda faded a bit. My gf is a 3.0’er and she hates it when I act Jaded like oh man YEm closer again to her it is all good and she has only been to 12 shows. So I have stopped being Jaded and started seeing it through her eyes. Not every show is great or even good but it sure as hell beats seeing green day do a75 min set including the encore. To me Dead Heads have become so Jaded it is tough to even see a show with them anymore. Just Look at Phil and Jill going after fans. Not that I approve but he is 70 for christ sake. If someone can do their job the same at 70 as they did when they were 25 I will give them a ticket to NYE

Wes T December 14, 2010, 13:55:55

Charlie,
I appreciate your review and I think you were mostly spot on. I’d say that Mr. Minor has a tendency to fluff every show regardless of how good it is, so it’s nice to see an honest critique from such an informed fan. With that being said, I’d have to argue that you missed the glory of night two in Charleston. I don’t know exactly what shows you attended, but your review in Charleston definitely comes off as a “I wasn’t in Charleston, it sounded ok on tape, but man the shows that I saw in person up North were way better”. We will always be guilty of considering the shows we attended to be superior or at least more memorable that those that we missed, but I expect better from you, regardless of if you made the show. So leaving out the excellent venue, beautiful weather, friendly crowd, and the GA seating that made waltzing down to the 10th row easy, I’d have to say Charleston holds up exceptionally well when compared to the remainder of the tour and Phish history as a whole. First off the setlist is fantastic, and I’d say that’s pretty important when reviewing a show. You can pick highlights, but if you’re going to give it an overall rating, it would seem odd to ignore that this show is filled to the brim with songs that most fans love. I also realize that you’re pretty stingy when it comes to recommending highlights, and I’m certainly fine with that, but I think a good deal of fans would consider the Crosseyed and Painless to easily be one of the best performances of the tour, if not the best. I’m not sure if you are for or against the ambient dissidence before the composed lyrical reprise, but I’d have to say that it was perfectly placed, and had the entire crowd grinning at the sneaky return of the “still waiting” refrain. From there the entire second set flowed exceptionally well. In my opinion the You Enjoy Myself was significantly better than most 3.0 versions, with a number of licks that remind me of the incredible 6/11/94 version. In any case I appreciate the honest and thoughtful review, and I enjoyed reading it, I guess I was just a bit disappointed that you seemed to skim over such an exceptional show. One more thing, not sure you gave enough note to the excellent David Bowie performances. I assume it’s because they do not stack up to performances of yesteryear. But compared to 2009, I’d say the song has gone from consistently underwhelming to potentially great once again.

jumanji December 14, 2010, 12:42:06

Been following them since Hampton 96’, when I attended University of Maryland. Fall 2010 was the first time i did an entire tour. I agree with much of this article, ie(Colorado was just blah, and the final 9 shows cranked up in intensity)
Many people were complaining about tickets,travel, and song rotation, and I’m just glad its not 2006, and they are touring!!!

Earlytimes December 15, 2010, 15:19:09

Thanks you for pointing out the highlight of the Utica show. The last minute and a half of Have Mercy is one of the greatest things I’ve heard out of the band in years. I may be jaded as well, but I can remember a time when stuff like that was a possibility from the band on a nightly basis. Hopefully we’ll hear more

Tagalong December 15, 2010, 16:39:59

Nice article Charlie! I didn’t catch any of this falls shows but have seen 11 shows since the reunion and am enjoying seeing the band again. Honestly, I stopped delving so deeply into analyzing the music and the playing so thanks for taking up the cause. While I do think the band has changed, so have I. It;s been a long good road from where my car was parked on the interstate after Coventry to where I/we are today. Things had to change….isn’t that just a part of life? So I may not be able to catch as many shows as before and I do have more personal obligations, but when I can I go and dance and listen and enjoy the moment. If you don’t like a Phish show you are at ask yourself “Who is better tonight and where are they playing?” if you have an answer, you are better off not seeing phish again. I didnt see the Dead until the 90’s out of choice. And as much as friends who were heads said “They use to be better” My answer was I liked tonights show…....dont know what they did in 77 (at the time I didnt) but a Tuesday night in 93? It was a damn good time!

Steve December 15, 2010, 19:46:20

I give your reviews of the October Phish shows, average but not by much. I caught Providence, Umass and Manchvegas. Floor for all 3. Highlights include Providence Rift, Julius, and the spooky Sanity that built up the run for Halloween. Umass was a good time. Manchester had some gems but the 1st set was
up and down temp wise. 2nd set got the crowd fistpumping. Good to hear alot of songs you don’t always catch. Show of Life encore was appropiate from my standpoint. “Its been perfectly planned
Its completely insane
Its a revolving cast
But its the same old game”

Charlie Dirksen December 16, 2010, 23:25:03

Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to comment on my two cents on the tour! I’ve responded to some of you in the comments on this site, but I’ve responded to more of you at this link (http://charliedirksen.blogspot.com/). I hope you find my comments helpful in clarifying my opinions on this tour and on Phish’s music in general. I also hope you all have a safe and happy holiday… and that you’re able to see some PHISH in a few weeks, either via the webcasts or in Worcester or NYC!!

Fluffhead December 13, 2010, 12:34:06

thank you very much for responding, i would agree that each show specially for those in attendance is great, at the same time there have definitely been shows as of recent that had incredible setlists with a lot of songs played but with little extended improvisational sections (like 10/15/10 for example), if you had to recommed a show or two (for phish 3.0) where the band took more risks and there was a good amount of improvisation which would those be.

Charlie December 13, 2010, 18:03:13

@JohnJWood: Is it really you?? It must be! What a pleasant surprise, thanks for reading any part of my two cents. I am astonished that you thought a typically great version of “Fluffhead” was the musical highlight of the 10/11 show, though. Man, I thought I could be jaded. But I don’t think you’re being fair to me about the second-set opening Golden Age Piper Camel Walk, since, as I put it, the jamming in them “wasn’t so inventive as to warrant a recommendation.” You really expected me to call an average version of “Fluffhead,” that ALWAYS consists at most of like a minute or two of Trey improvising in a solo, the musical highlight? In any event, as you say, mileage varies, and it looks like we agree that it wasn’t a show with anything worth recommending, eh? I have to ask whether you’ve listened to anything that I’ve recommended from any tour in the last two years, though. It’s easy to be highly critical of Phish these days when you’ve only heard a show or two, but I think that’s unfair to a band who changes the setlist every night and improvises in quite a large number of songs. If you don’t want to make the time to listen to more, understood… and I hear where jadedvets are coming from in criticizing Phish these days and share some of those gripes, but on the other hand, I disagree strongly that “Phish has a serious weakness at songwriting.” They certainly don’t have the lyrics of Robert Hunter and The Grateful Dead (of which I am very fond as well, as you know), but the lyrics of many of Phish’s songs are still wonderful in my view. Sure, the lyrics of some of their songs are silly, I find them entertaining (at least most of them), and the music is and has always been more fundamental to me than the lyrics anyway. I am digging what Phish is doing now, thank you, and will enjoy it to the fullest. Best regards to you, John.

djcampfirepants December 13, 2010, 15:39:59

Thanks for doing this Charlie. I always enjoy your two cents on Phish past, present, and future.

andrew December 13, 2010, 15:37:41

While I agree with the overall gist of this Fall review, what I feel might be missing is the sense of a sea-change in the band’s playing; maybe not so much as something that came to fruition in terms of fully executed shows, but as a pontential sign of things to come. I’m thinking of Trey’s playing in particular, and especially on 10/30 and his work in the Bowie and BDTNL jams (neither of which were really mentioned here). He seems genuinely inspired, innovative, and technically more sound than he’s been in over a decade. The encouraging signs from this past tour should be enough to get any vet going. I caught a smoker of a Reba at my first show that Charlie mentions here (7/6/94), and I can say without reservation that the 10/19/10 encore is certainly a contender amongst the best. That’s more than enough to get any vet going as far as I’m concerned. Not because we’re necessarily talking all-time take-no-prisoners start to finish shows yet, but because the possibility is at least there. Tune in in a fortnight; the Centrum rarely disappoints.

Rudy December 13, 2010, 15:54:03

I don’t envy your efforts to review an entire tour of Phish shows. The difficulty is seperating the uniqueness of the event from the listening experience the fans are left with. There simply isn’t enough time to listen to every show from opener to encore. Even if you could, certain performances of songs, sets, or shows percolate above the others and become legends. I think that is the struggle in performing a tour review. The purpose is not to denigrate those performances that were genuinely enjoyable, but ultimately unspectacular, but to put a spotlight on the special performances…the ones that will ultimately define Phish at its very best. Nice work.

chriscalarco December 13, 2010, 11:35:16

The Sands played in october were the most creative versions ever-first time with full band improv – other than a few of course in 99, but really?

Fluffhead December 13, 2010, 11:51:06

Since every show you review seems to either be an average or an average-great show, I was wondering in your opinion has the band played an outright Great show since the reunion?

Charlie December 13, 2010, 12:18:14

@chriscalarco: I assure you the recent versions of “Sand” were not the “first” versions with improvisation involving the entire band and not just Trey. See, e.g., Phish’s 12/13/99 Providence, 12/16/99 Raleigh, Cypress, 7/14/2000 Polaris, 9/9/2000 Albany, and particularly TAB’s 10/24/06 Fox Theater… and heck, even the TAB version on PLASMA. Most TAB versions of “Sand” feature excellent accompaniment, and aren’t necessarily “Trey-led” the entire time. Also, frankly, if someone is a big fan of “Sand,” they should check out every version in my view. They shouldn’t give a damn if someone recommends it or not. The versions of “Sand” from October are certainly worth hearing, but I listen to everything and tend to think of all Phish as worth hearing at least once or twice — so what do I know. @Fluffhead: I apologize for once again failing to be clear. PHISH PLAYS GREAT SHOWS. That’s what they do. An “average” Phish show is an “average-Great” Phish show. As for Phish shows that are absolutely “above-average” — or “outright Great” if you prefer — from October in my view, see, e.g., Guyutica, Manchester, Augusta and 10/30. Thank you for commenting.

Anonymous December 13, 2010, 14:20:06

I’m probably the “some” who have “contended” that Phish was not fully “back” until the recent run, and have to respectfully dissent from the heroic, but wrong, defense of 3.0 Phish. It probably goes back to YMMV, but an “average great” Phish show which is one of the forgettable shows doesn’t really count for much in my book. Yeah, it’s a fun time, I see my friends, it’s a good night out and a good entertainment value, but having a few minutes of the flawless execution and jaming in many eh shows prior to this summer is not the Phish of 1993 or 1997 or Big Cypress or the Worcester Jim or any of the other superior pre-hiatus shows. I went to Hampton and about 15 other shows from 3/09 to 6/10 on top of my ~70 pre-Hampton shows and was starting to feel the deja vu of 90s Dead after being a Deadhead since the 70s, a certain kind of notional, paint by numbers, phone it in nodding to their previous greatness. Where maybe one in five shows would be “really good” instead of the predictable “Good ol Grateful Dead” singalong. Before this summer’s SPAC, Utica and AC, I was resigned to “the world is still a better place that Phish is playing again” and you would get about an hour per tour of good old crunchy off the hooks improvisation. So, I’m one of the people who say “Phish is back” in their full glory, and yes Virginia (and new fans), there was something missing prior to this late summer and fall. I don’t give much credit to a band competently playing their songs in public. I want a show. I want rock and roll and jamming. And Charlie, I’m sure you told people over the years, “you can’t judge Phish from their studio albums, you need the live show experience”. That does not sound like the many apologists last year and early this year who would attempt to convince themselves and the rest of us that a show chockablock with Trey’s introspective adult ballads like Joy, TTE, Friday etc. wasn’t “fun” and we were there to see Phish, not James Taylor.

reiley clark December 13, 2010, 14:31:33

“email me for a list of 50+ versions I can recommend” – Here’s my recommendation: Respin 10/16 with a head full of the quality fluff going around and a small LED light show in your living room and get back to us. :)

sumodie December 13, 2010, 14:50:55

That was your best 3.0 tour summary yet -glad to see you’re still on the bus. Fall tour was gloriously fun and the best 3.0 Phish yet. P.S. The 10/30 & 10/31 entries of your Recommended Listening list look screwed up -may want to fix that.

Dogoneblog December 13, 2010, 16:20:19

Great review Charlie, as always.

John J. Wood December 13, 2010, 16:56:43

Charlie, if you call “Golden Age -> Piper -> Camel Walk” the highlight of the 10/11 show, as far as I am concerned you are not listening carefully. However, this is from a person who is simply not into the band anymore — and the first hour of the second set was a good reason. YMWV, but most of the songs in that second set — as songs themselves — are painfully mediocre material. Most of the jamming was repetitive and went nowhere fast. “Fluffhead” saved that set from being a total waste, and had more energy than anything that the preceding hour. This was my first Phish 3.0 show, and I left not needing to see another one for a long time. I have long felt that Phish has a serious weakness at songwriting, and many of the songs I have simply outgrown. To me, the best music is the type you grow with, and that starts with great lyrics instead of cute catch phrases which eventually lose their shelf life. YMWV, and if you are digging what this band is doing now, enjoy to the fullest. I wish Phish the best on their third chapter.

Mike December 13, 2010, 19:18:24

Was at all 3 AC shows. My thoughts: 10/29 – Agree with the first set being kind of inconsistent (although My Soul and Axilla >Rift were sublime and I dug the Cities jam), but the second set, Prince F’erpants notwithstanding, was top notch. Sand was one of the top jams of the run, Piper, though short, packed quite a punch in its 6+ minutes, and the Theme was sweet as well. The Slave/Fluffhead/Loving Cup three-pack that closed the night was undoubtedly the high point, but there was some great stuff elsewhere as well. 10/30: Completely agree about the TweeZeppelin being overrated. I’m surprised you didn’t give much thought to the Tube because I felt it was the best 3.0 version thus far. The songs that have held up best on tape for me are: Foam, CDT>WLL>CDT, Ha Ha Ha, Walk Away, Wolfman’s > Undermind, Tube, and David Bowie. Everything else is decent to good but doesn’t particularly stand out to me. 10/31: Agree about almost everything, but the third set seemed kind of mailed in to me, which is understandable because they were probably tired. BOTT, Jibboo, Wilson, and of course Julius are all worth hearing, but the Hood peaked way too early without any buildup. Incidentally, my favorite performance from the tour seems to be the 10/16 Curtain With. Possibly the best-ever version of that song, and it has gotten quite a bit of play on my iTunes.

Raydog December 14, 2010, 08:35:17

pretty spot on review of fall tour. I felt the band turned a corner the second nite of SC. The band is getting tigher and tighter. Next year should be a hummer.

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