made it down there with a few hours to spare. picked up a half price GA ticket from a fellow zoner, went to meet rockinbob and the crew at the hotel. had a great time hanging out chatting it up. had a couple beers, couple shots of whiskey, plenty of vapes/bingers. made it down to the lot for a bit, was very cold out. nice vending scene, full blown actually. got in about 6:45 the bathroom line was OUTRAGEOUS downstairs it had 3 urinals and 2 stalls, for the entire floor...they were really strict about where people could walk and i am pretty sure several easy access routes were closed off. anyways, got great floor space down by phil.
called the bucket opener, it was raging, sound was dialed in right from the get go it seemed, bob was in tip top shape, looked a little disheveled, but almost like "yeah, i napped for an hour before this, i'm ready to fuckin' go" phil's bass was thumping my body was electric (from the bass). excellent jam and transition into half step, was secretly hoping for this but i thought it'd be saved for later in the tour like they usually do...very fun, chimenti and jk sounded great bobs vocals were on..jeff and sunshine were providing angelic harmonies, phil was ready to go, some type of saturday night energy bouncing around the room..another really great first set transition slides into big bad blues, another tune i had called for the night, really hoping to hear. i think it's great, bob had a firm grip on the song both instrumentally and vocally, rest of the band utilizing their skill of dynamics to really make this tune stand out from being just another boring blues number, and chimenti's church like wailing on the B3...a digression leads us to althea. a real smooth hot groove, phil just liquifying the sound, JK's guitar work was exploratory, this jam, and all the others had a lot of direction. a pre-song chord tipped off my buzzer to a big river, but it started out a lot slower than usual, leading me to believe they were gonna play maggies farm for a second, but bob started singing big river. it was a great version, and i loved how different it was from the others. it almost had a ratdog feel to it. it was good. when they started that little noodle/jam in E i thought we were getting loose lucy, and all of a sudden, MEAN MR. MUSTARD. i couldn't fucking believe it. the other day i was wondering if they'd ever play it again. i was at phil's birthday when they played it, and thought it was so funny phil was singing it. this made my night, phil was in great spirits, bob was playing with demeanor, and it reassured me is okay right now, and taking it seriously. music never stopped is welcome any day..jam was great but the one transition out the waltz was not spectacular, the load was blown too early on it..casey jones to wrap things up. not my favorite, or even a want but they did a great job with it. it (along with every version, but...) will never hold a stick to the version from ames iowa..phils knees were buckling, end of story.
getting around the place was a huge hassle, especially out for a smoke. was a lot smaller than i remembered it from 2 years ago..but i also think the entire arena was open for that show. saw many familiar faces and had an awesome time chatting with folks. i was never able to return to my spot where all my friends were at. too crowded, and i wasn't gonna deal with it. found a nice spot on phils side next to the soundboard, it was perfect. tons of room.
saturday night to open set 2 was absolutely ripping. they fired right out of the gate for this set. my rockin shoes were on and they were getting a workout. the weight was a complete curveball. if i'm not mistaken, this was only played one other time, and it was the encore at the manchester show of 2010. i'll never forget the collective cheer when they busted it out that night..but tonights was good, but only JK and bob were singing verses. phil did not take one
estimated>eyes was a mindbender...the prophet was just cohesively together, weir barking and cheesing ever so gracefully, phil was playing his nautical basslines while jk dove through the deep sea, the transition to eyes was great, and the jams in eyes were awesome. chimenti as usual going off the deep end in the land of dissonance but just machine like jams..earlier during setbreak i was calling a scarlet>fire>estimated>eyes 2nd set opener but after they did the E>E i thought maybe a scarlet fire and it sounded possible and then a stand alone fire. it was great, JK was charging and leading the way. he seemed to be doing it quite a bit on this particular night. like he's not some punk filling a role. he's acting like a member of the band, and he's playing like one, unrestricted. a nice shift to viola. not my favorite but when they're on, it doesn't matter what they play, it's that good. they took this one in a completely new direction before jumping to the third verse...they completely slowed things down, explored the hell out of it, and aggressively brought us back..i was impressed with the musicianship from everyone...dearprudence, another "rare" tune i just happen to always catch..but this was a little more uptempo than usual, bob was delivering with stern emotion, jeff and sunshine were absolutely beautiful. this ended up being a highlight of the night for me. played so well. a big help>slip>franklins to close the set was just what i wanted. phil delivered a GIGTANTIC bomb, my heart skipped a beat for sure. interesting jam, and great move into franklins. the venue was out of control not a single body standing still.
this show was REALLY GREAT. they sounded fantastic. better than most (but not all) of the most recent west coast tour. i was delighted by bob's performance. phil looked younger, he had some sort of vigor, looked like a bird with his feathers all ruffled. JK's step with leadership was awesome to see. sunshine looked great she had a nice lookin hat on that sexy mama
i love the new stage setup. phil has tons of room to move around (as a bassist i totally get it) and he's utilizing it. he is interacting with everyone a lot more, especially weir. also, we are now getting a view of his side playing bass that we previously didn't get. really interesting. JK and jeff like the setup, JK designed little signals like the guitar drop for jeff to come in. they will be able to tap into a force together very soon.
i'm really glad i was able to hit this show. stayed with rockinbob and his crew it was an excellent time had by all. see ya'll in cuse