It's been a great time down here in the desert. Everything through Sunday T&M had some really nice peaks. Better music here than at Wakarusa and I didn't think that would be possible.
Wow the Mike Gordon Happy Fun Band. It's Mike, Steve Kimock, the drummers from the Grateful Dead, the singer from Deep Banana Blackout - who is INCREDIBLE - and a talking drum player. They played GD songs, a Phish song ("The Wedge!") and these happy calypso originals that were fun and light and a blast. God they'd be perfect for Jam Cruise, but they'd also be perfect pretty much anywhere.
If their SF show were on Saturday instead of Friday, I think we'd be trying to find a
way to go to this. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tour next year. I think
these guys might be my current favorite band.
Sat night Phil & Trey
Great in spots, a bit slow in others, might sound better on tape, but the Rider was up there with the 6/30 St. Steven, at least live. How can you go wrong with Ghost->Cryptical to start a show? No, it wasn't as consistent as 6/30 was, but it went on forever and was powerful.
Second set was very noodly until Wharf Rat but it ended VERY strong. When you play for four hours, you can try things for a while to see how they come out.
...and how can you not be amused saying, "Mountains of the Moon into 46 Days back into Mountains of the Moon back into 46 Days?"
The one problem with the Ghost was that I kept expecting more Phish songs that didn't come. I kept hearing Slave teases but no dice, sigh. Still though, Ghost into Cryptical! That's worth going to Vegas right there. W00T!
Keller Williams Incident.
I think that Keller is better when he has a backing band and SCI is best when they perform Keller's songs, so I had reasonably high expectations here. They actually exceeded them despite playing hardly anything off of Breathe. Reminded me of the shows I saw on 99 fall tour when Keller opened for them and came out for a song or two. I would have liked a Best Pudding (or as other people call it "Best Feeling") but great times. Early contender for set of the weekend but I knew it wouldn't make it through the whole time.
I still can't believe they managed to pull off a credible cover of "Bargain." I need to listen to Who's Next again.
Yonder Mountain String Band.
Hey, when did they get good? I'm usually bored by them, but this set was really really good. I love it when that happens.
Sunday Phil and Trey
Note - was very very very tired and went into this weird Coventry-esque headspace after Trey fucked up and restarted the Row Jimmy. After the show I got confirmation that that was mostly in my head, NOT a realistic reflection to Trey's state of mind.
I also was annoyed at the meathead who decided it was ok to suddenly stand right in front of our space that we waited for hours to be in, in order to double fist Bud Lights, text message his friends, and carefully move to block any view either Mel or I could have. I was quite glad when he moved on because he saw people smoking and wanted them to give him some. All of that is to say that the show might have
been better than my tired brain was able to process... If you've ever seen me when I'm exhausted, you'll know what I was like here.
OTOH, people who weren't exhausted have confirmed that this wasn't the all time great Phil and Trey set.
Still though, the Shakedown, the Mike section - Mike can rage on the guitar by the way; is there anything he can't do? - and the Slipknot! were pretty damn good. Nowhere near summer tour, but the sign of me loving a band is when I think they're having a off night because there were only 2 or 3 times when I was all blown away by the show.
Definitely could have benefited from better playing - it was pretty sloppy - and a better song selection. I still think these guys could morph into a force of nature if they toured and got the rust out (and stayed OUT of Las Vegas perhaps), because even these warmup shows were pretty incredible at times.
Oh and Trey, playing with the riff from the quiet part of The Divided Sky but playing mostly solo stuff is just mean.
Funny bit from the beginning of the set - Mel screamed out, "Yay for Phil," and Phil turned towards her and laughed. Yay for Phil indeed.
See above comment for my state of mind re tiredness only then I was cold too. Ran into Mike and talked for a bit which woke me up. He thought that Sunday Trey was better than Saturday because Saturday was too noodly for him. I could see that but he's still
wrong because the Ghost->Cryptical and the Rider were far hotter than anything that Sunday produced. It was an amusing conversation because I wanted to talk about his show and he wanted to talk about Trey.
Panic weren't playing poorly by any means, but they were mostly playing my least favorite songs until the Little Wing, Porch Song section. Mel decided that she finally wanted to go because she was freezing but that part kept us there because it was REALLY good.
Friday Trey Band
Didn't convert me. It had a few moments such as the First Tube jam, the end of Plasma, the Jibboo and the VERY COOL post Jibboo jam, and the excellent Miister Completely. Still though there were a lot of spots where he lost me. Not horrid, but just not
to my taste, mainly due to song selections. Fun if you can get in for free and hang out with your friends but for $50, I think I'd rather see a bunch of TLG and P Groove shows instead.
Fun for a couple of songs, and then we got bored. Nothing amazing but I'm glad I checked them out. I had heard legends about how horrible she was as a live performer but she was having fun and emoting and I got some great photos. Stupid me forgot to bring my USB converter, so they won't be posted until I get home.
Every band I didn't see
SCREAMS, "Not to my taste." We lasted for about 5-10 minutes before running away to find a spot where we couldn't hear them- which is largely the reason why we saw Cat Power.
Again, a great time, easily worth what we paid for it, and we get to play in the desert today followed by a Panic show tonight. W00T!