, attached to 2019-06-29

Review by fukuoka_gumbo

fukuoka_gumbo Obviously the first set was really strong. They started quite early so we missed Mike's and Hydrogen (including a buddy of mine who was at his 49th show and hadn't ever seen hydrogen - yikes). We were in the bathroom and you can't even hear the band from inside that concessions area on the east side of the venue! But we came in to Weekapaug and it worked well as a start for our show. Divided Sky, especially given the weather that day, was amazing. Everything's Right was a perfect call next as a gigantic, dark black storm cloud loomed in the early sunset. Guelah is one of my favorite songs of all time, and I got my first one 39 shows after its last appearance. Definitely feeling lucky at that point. Sparkle, I assumed, was somewhat of a nod to the fireworks that came at set break. The song isn't about fireworks but we've all had bigger mental leaps about song placement before. Roggae is always welcome during a great sunset - and really felt like another homage to the present moment. There was a huge ferris wheel lit up seemingly in sync with the music across the water, and the "shiny music that descends from overhead" lyric was cheeky. The 46 days closer was hot fire, as it tends to be. That black cloud had engulfed the entire lawn by the end of the song, and my friends and I got prepared for the worst. Had my stuff in a drybag, ready to get wet and dance in the rain. Next, the fireworks show came and it was brilliant and perfectly timed with the early setbreak. We only wished that there had been some fireworks in the background during 46 days.

After the fireworks, we settled in for set 2. Blaze on to start - for me, and I'm sure many, this is a pretty lukewarm S2 opener. But I think the vibe of the song in that moment was perfect. "The band plays on" a day after a massive rain delay when the whole crowd was nervous it might happen again. "The storm is passing through". etc. Trey has clearly been feeling the cheeky references this tour and that weekend. After a few minutes of Trey tugging at NICU the band finally concedes. I love NICU and it was the last song I expected in the 2 slot of the second set. I was really hoping they'd take it out for a long walk this time, but no dice. We get another Play it Leo (Leo Leo Leo!) and the crowd is wondering if this set is somehow going to start with Blaze On -> NICU -> Ya Mar -> Rocky Top. As NICU fades out, Trey kicks up Golden Age. (I now wonder if Trey put this here with the lyric "And your arms in the air stir a sea of stars and oh here it comes and it's not so far" knowing they'd debut Sea Of Stars later in the set.) I'm actually not usually a huge fan of their take on Golden Age, for a few reasons - one, they don't do the vocals in the chorus right (coming rou-ah-ah-ah-ound!), and two, Page usually inexplicably decides to put the emphasis on the grand piano in the intro and verses. Personally, I'd love to hear him throw some meaty synths in there, y'know, like how TV On The Radio does it. But this time he seamed to be leaning into the clav a lot more, which was a welcome change of pace. I really enjoyed this version quite a bit and the jam gets off to a hot start with Page working the synths, then quickly dissolves to where we're thinking it might be What's The Use. I heard a little subtle chugging build from Trey and thought they might be diving into Free, which I would have loved, then I heard what I thought was the intro to BDTNL (dammit). Then I realized it's the new tune Ruby Waves. I don't really like this song at all. I actually like a lot of the new material but this song is Soul Planet Pt 2 and this was a bad ripcord. They start jamming in literally under 3 minutes though, and pick up right where the Golden Age jam left off, Page rocking synths, and Trey doing some nice bluesy licks. I couldn't help but feel like they basically interrupted a great 18-20 minute Golden Age with 3 minutes of the composed section of Ruby Waves. This jam is really pretty cool. Gets real dark at the end and then a rough transition > DDHVL. This is a great tune but they really came into it weird here. Next is Rift. I'll take Rift wherever the fuck they want to play it. (The passion that sparked me one terrible night and shocked and persuaded my soul to ignite; another nod to the lightning we all expected to come?) At the end of Rift we hear some light guitar and I'm literally thinking HOLY SHIT THEY'RE PLAYING TERRAPIN STATION. Then I realize it's a new song I'm not familiar with. Dammit. But I ended up loving it. AGAIN - the lyrics here are a direct reference to what's happening around us "we're all here together and the weather's fine" "the lights are flashin and the waves are crashin". Beautiful. Next is Waiting All Night. I get it, people don't like this song. I actually do, and thought it was brilliantly placed after we had been out on the lawn expecting a huge rainstorm for hours. I was 100% fully convinced that we were going to get a Crosseyed closer to this set at this point ("still waiting"). Yeah, Trey forgets how to play this one again. But he does so in a less obtrusive way than usual. Otherwise it was well played and carried the vibe of Sea Of Stars very well. Ghost next. This is a welcome surprise! They get a nice jam going and we're thinking it's gonna be a big fiery Ghost to close the set, and then....ripcord city to SANTOS. I love this song. It's dumb and this was a bad ripcord (I suspect there will be many more awful ripcords into this song), but this was a solid, albeit short set closer. I'd generally love for this song to replace Character Zero entirely.

After the second set ended it was still quite early. I'm still thinking they are going to play Crosseyed and Painless, even though they had just played it a few shows prior. For context here, this was my 27th show and I'd never seen YEM - so my friends turned and said "hey you're about to get a YEM" and I'm thinking "nahhh no way". Sure enough, it's YEM. This version is pretty solid but nothing totally outrageous. The Vocal Jam was really fun - having never seen YEM live, I don't think I had grasped just how crazy it sounds when you're there. The recordings just don't do it justice. Fish was playing with some of his drum pads in this one too, giving it a bit of a unique feel. Then they step up to the mics and we're sure they will do "in the good ol' summertime". But it's Grind! Great way to cap off a show.

All in all, I get that this show isn't exactly a killer listen on the couch and doesn't have all that much relisten value, but I do think that some of the song placement made a lot more sense in the context of being at the show and given the circumstances of ominous weather and a great fireworks show, and I definitely appreciate that it was unique in a lot of ways. I got a few debuts I was really happy about, and the band was clearly having fun. The show is also sandwiched between two of the best shows of the tour, both of which were stacked with rarities and bustouts, so I think it kind of goes to show that when you have that sort of attitude and willingness to go out on a limb, it's not going to be perfect every time.
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