Michael G. McClure
The boys always play great shows at the Pageant; without a bad spot in the house, and lots of rules, it’s always interesting to observe the situation as a whole. The too fucked up kids chilling in the back, and people getting kicked out left and right, lying low and having a good time is how to play it. If you made it through both nights, congrats - we had a great time…and if not, maybe next year folks.
The first night was where it was at; the real show started after “Grizzly” even though we all loved that “STS9” but “Frequencies” into “Gobnugget” killed it. The funk was in the air, didn’t even mind the “Oil and Water” and “New New” afterward. The second set had so much energy, by far one of the best “What is Love’s!” The tension just kept building and building, and when they released it; even the 17-year-old E-tards knew it was something special. “Mobsters Surr/EB” is always amazing, bringing the energy back to a moderate level just so they could drop “By the Morning Sun”, one of everyone’s favs from Artifact…straight beautiful. “Tokyo” started off great then Hunters mac was having technical issues to the point that they couldn’t continue to the second half(the best half!) Then it felt like they were going to go into some improv, but Murph quickly called a “Hi-Key”, which is never a disappointment. “Instantly” got switched for “Kamuy” which was the perfect way to finish off the first night.
Night two. This was a great set to show up late to, as hard as that is to say, it seems as though all of the real fans did anyway. But those of us who made it in time for “Somesing”…AH! If only we knew what was coming next! “Music, Us” which everyone has still been high from since the NYE run, was oh-so-nice. It was one of the best “ABCees” played in a while, and the “Breathe In” led into the closure of the first set perfectly. The first sets flow was unforgettable. After hearing that they dropped “Scheme” in Georgia, I thought we wouldn’t be getting one, but evidently they are working into their rotation with style; making it better by bringing in some break downs, and laying the foundation for the second set. Once the second set started, it was an entirely different Soundtribe, one I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this year. I hope everyone else noticed when they would get two thirds of the way through a song, especially “TUSON” and “Instantly”, they would go into this dance beat and hold on to it for two minutes. You can tell Saxton was having a blast messing up all the kiddies in the pit! After “Lion”, the biggest breath of fresh air came with “MONKEY MUSIC”. Feeling everyone’s heart heat up was truly unforgettable. The entire time they were playing it, I was like “how can they possibly top this?” and BOOM they go straight into the best part of “R&E”…Phipps’ solo! He was fire the entire weekend BTW. “When the Dust Settles” has been worked on a bit and is getting to be more tolerable…but I really wished they traded that out for a “Firewall”, but I can tell why they didn’t with the crowd that showed that night.
Right when “Arigato” hit, “Tokyo” came to mind, if they brought in part II, the entire Pageant would’ve lost their shit. But it was a great encore nonetheless.
Just seeing the boys back in action and knowing how big of a summer they have lined up, 2011 will surely be a year to look forward to. You can tell they were ecstatic to be on stage playing their hearts out with a healthy Murph. Just catching those moments where Murph and Hunter close in on Phipps, smirkin’ at one another and laughing inside, it was all I could have asked for in this run. They were sincerely enjoying themselves, and the entire crowd could feel their warmth. This was only a warm up round, let’s see how summer builds up to ReGen, see everyone there!