Simply put - a great show by a band that to me is continuing to get better as they go along. The Led Zeppelin Second Set was great on many levels but the show as a whole was spectacular. Muscular and tight at times but also loose and wild as well as very trippy during The Other One jam and during The Rain Song and No Quarter. I really like how Danny Louis and Andy Hess have locked into their roles and add new depth to their parts each time I've seen them over the last 4 years. Danny's array of keyboards and tones really add some nice touches to the songs and Matt and Andy seem to be playing great together in the rhythm section.
We missed Grace Potter's set as we were enjoying some pre-show cheers at one of St. Paul's many fine watering holes and then had a couple puffers in the courtyard outside the Auditorium before we went in. When we got to our seats they were showing classic horror movies on a giant movie screen and then the band began to tune up as the movie ended. The Mule came out in a reggae beat and I was thinking the new version of Soulshine but they slowed it down and Warren started singing
Play With Fire by The Stones. This was a tasty opener but the band really hit their stride with Time To Confess; Warren really putting alot into both his guitar playing and singing. I like how he stands up on his tippy toes when he throws himself fully into a song and then really pushes the lead break. Rocking Horse and Birth of the Mule were both very well played with nice solos by both Warren and Danny. Larger Than Life and Fallen Down slow the momentum down a little but when they went into the beginning of The Other One jam the place went full blown nuts for the first of many times during the rest of the night. Blind Man in the Dark had some more great solos and some great Zep teases including Dazed and Confused and Heartbreaker. We went outside for some air and ran into some old Dead tour buddies whom we shared a little pufferrino with and came back in to see they had decorated the stage with the Greek symbols for the original arts and sciences - math, architecture, philosophy, and music. I also noticed some different guitars in Warren's rack including an electric 12 string and the one that looks like an old Gibson Firebird. Audley Freed's amp was now turned on and he played a Gibson as well as a Tele for a couple of tunes.
Warren looked at Matt and then counted off the start and they just charged right into Song Remains the Same. Those great Jimmy Page chord changes ringing out loud and clear, " I had a dream, crazy dream..." Warren's vocals were great as were the guitars by him and Audley. The Rain Song featured just Audley on guitar and Warren onm vocals - really sweet version, very touching and moving. Over the Hills and Far Away really got the crowd lathered up into a frenzy and then The Crunge got everybody dancing with that great James Brown groove and Warren and the band really locking the funk down hard. The picture of Farmer(on Happydave's great thread) with the banner is from the extended vocal coda of this song. Dancing Days brought back many keg party memories of a deserted field or quarry drinking and partying and led into a cool Matt Abts drum solo. Dyer Maker brought back the reggae beat they played with in the opening set before the night's main highlight for me, No Quarter and The Ocean. Played with superb dynamics and control in the former, it erupted into a full blown onslaught during The Ocean, wild and carrening all over the place this was a tsunami of sound they were wrestling with, and the crowd was responding in kind. Undoubtedly the best moment of live music I've seen since Phil's carpet bombing of 10,000 Lakes Fest during Shakedown Street last summer.
For the encore, they wrapped verses of Robert Johnson's Come Into My Kitchen around a brutally hard version of 32.20. Warren's vocals on this one were great as was the guitar playing - I was really impressed how well Warren and Audley Freed played together, very simpatico and in tune with what the other was doing with their part. All in all a great Halloween treat and a great warmup for next week's Neil Young and Meat Puppets shows here in Minneapolis. Thanks so much for Warren and the band and crew for going the extra mile and making this a Halloween to remember!
Great review, Craybee!! Way to go, Warren.
Graet review Cray, spot on.
gave me goosebumps just reading it. What a night!