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Review by DividedSkywalkerNYC
I'm allergic to most felines but I will make an exception for Your Pet Cat as I dig screeching, oddly. Blaze On didn't burn as bright as MSG but it didn't disappoint. Too early to tell on Waking Up Dead (a Mike original?), but I can say that the half-tempo Llama was a revelation. Devotion to a Dream has a tent preacher vibe that isn't for everyone (I say “Amen”) but the subsequent Reba, while also at a slower tempo, delivered. A few band-sync issues marred the opening of a Mike-Horn(!)-Farmhouse-Weekapaug set closer and there were no MSG 12-31-95-style flourishes, but the spirited playing sent me happily up the hill for another round of $8 meatballs.
Hard to top the choice of Crosseyed to lead off the second half and the Type II jam was electric, sequeing into...a new song! Okay...If you like Fishman on lead vocals back-to-back, this was the transition for you. Another jerky opening threatened to derail Disease but it relaunched intact and also morphed into Type II territory. Then, in the most inspired transition of the night, DWD landed perfectly into a lugubrious What's The Use => Meatstick (more beef for me). A little touch of group Japanese singing can enliven any gathering of 10,000+ people! 4th Quarter was a bit of a downshift to The Line and Trey's new R&B pleaser Tide Turns, and an above-average Backwards with TAB-Betts overtones. Dem Bones Set 2 closer was a quirky, delightful denouement.
Beatles tunes are always welcome in the encore and Dear Prudence proved stirring, although not as a turbocharged an ending as a scorching Harry Hood to dispatch us into the dark Philly night. A few intro hiccups and clunky new song debuts aside, high energy interspersed with much shredding.