Set 1 :
Music never stopped
Jack straw (nice intro) - absolutely incendiary
New speedway (what a set)
Set 2 :
Saint (of course)
Crazy fingers (hooray)
She came in through the bathroom window
Eyes (very funky and different intro)
Very nice jam into
Terrapin Suite (nice caution jam in Lady with a fan) - Russo is a beast
Going down the road
Encore : Johnny be goode (fast for curfew)
first set thoughts :
I was a little concerned given what I had read about last night's show in Vegas and I thought my fears were confirmed as they opened with a Music that was a little rough around the edges (though I'll admit to comparing it to the smokin' 2nd set opener the first night in Eugene). The sound mix was a bit muddy from where I was sitting as well, but they started working it out towards the end of the song.
They continued to get their mojo working with a great first set (song-wise) with the interplay between Jeff and John on Bertha being a highlight along with a jaunty Peggy-O and an absolutely smoking Jack Straw, a rollicking Cumberland, and a very funky, bluesy New speedway with Bob taking all the vocals. Based on song choice and execution combined I'd give it a solid B+ overall with a few A+ moments.
second set thoughts :
Very nice second set with a lot of scintillating moments, the Sailor -> Saint was fairly standard on the whole but there were some great moments of interplay in the "outtro" jam. It seemed like either Bobby's voice was a little weaker or the vocals, in general, were too far down in the mix. Crazy Fingers was great and the crowd was loving it. I really enjoy the subtleties of this song and again the closing jam was quite nice. The transition into "Bathroom Window" was great here as well, though the song itself was just okay, not bad, but sort of abbreviated and nothing special ... you can't hit a home run in every at bat (unless you're the Diamonbacks tonight, much to my chagrin).
As if intent on proving me wrong the transition/intro into Eyes was breathtaking, a jaunty jazzy, trip around the barest of melodies teasing and hinting but perhaps not fully showing their hand. Eyes itself was just off the charts and Jeff Chimenti dominated the keys in a torrent of dissonant prestidigitation. Not to be outdone Joe took them hither and yon with a variety of jams and signature changes laying the groundwork for some really great solo and ensemble work as they jammed very sweetly, very slyly, and very appropriately into He's Gone. He's Gone was a very nice vocal effort and the solos therein were solid, though they seemed to not quite reach the peak. The vocal scat to lead out was exceptional though and Bobby let it all hang out here as did Sunshine and Jeff and John.
The Terrapin was outstanding, I'm not a huge fan of Bobby's take on "inspiration" as it sort of brings the song to a screeching halt for me more often than not, but he acquitted himself admirably tonight and any shortcomings were soon forgotten by the Russo, Chimenti, and Kadlicek madness that followed. They were the centerpiece of the rest of the suite, to be sure, but Bobby, as is his wont, had some nice rhythm work underneath and Phil had the radar dialed in and the bombs were hitting home.
Days was mellow, some nice jamming toasted the end, Going down the road was solid, but I've definitely heard better both live and on "tape" from these guys. Still a "solid" going down the road is something to shake your bones
. Johnny be good was the cliff notes version as they tried to sneak it in under the curfew, no solos, no jams, just 2 minutes of straightforward old timey rock and roll.