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Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ
Set 1 opens with a fun warm-up Sloth (some excusable flubs here and there, but otherwise a great crowd pleaser) and a nice Dogs Stole Things. The Piper jam here is spiritually akin to the previous night's DwD: excellent within the bounds of a largely Type I space. Here though we get some nice dynamic variation and a great chance to hear more Mike / Page magic as Trey takes a more backseat approach for much of the time. The major point of note is a smooth segue -> Weekapaug (allegedly the first Mike-less Weekapaug, but I think there's another one out there somewhere...). Weekapaug jam starts out similarly to many of the mid 90s versions with a nice percussive upbeat jam, but turns a bit dark for a bit where Page shines on the distorted clav. The segue back to Weekapaug is great. Dirt is a pretty breather, and the outro is played with a bit more gusto than typical (listen to the way the band sways along with Trey's solo). Page does great on Mule, but Trey is a little hesitant to really let it rip, presumably because it's a tough-to-pull-off part. WotC gives us another hot type I jam before Mountains and Sample take us home.
Set 2 is really where this show stands above the previous night. Tube features some really excellent play from Trey and Page, and I especially love how Fishman drops out here and there to give Page's piano a little more emphasis on the turnaround. Bathtub Gin gets its second February 2003 appearance and again delivers phenomenally. The jam turns dark early on as Trey inspires a descending jam that provides a nice harmonic deviation from the typical Gin jam. Later, the band picks up the pace to a rocking groove that eventually recedes to an ambient, Page/Trey-led space where Trey plays with altered variations of the Gin theme layered with tone shifting effects. Eventually the rhythmic divide between Trey and the band becomes more pronounced, but make sure to listen to the underlying groove because Fishman and Mike are putting in some great work here. I'm a Friday fan, so I like this choice as a cooldown before heading into another killer jam on Bowie. Doesn't stray too far from the beaten path, but the work done here is great, especially on Fishman's part. Some awesome dynamic variance as well. Bug is a spirited closer, and the Suzy encore delivers a final little blast of energy with an especially groovy jam and moments where Mike/Fishman just let Trey/Page work their stuff.