Just wanted to find out what everyone thinks were the best two or three shows of this tour. I only made it to the Tower shows. The Sunday night show was just sick. Probably one of the best shows I have ever seen by anyone. I have the first four nights of the tour on disc and don't think they are anywhere near as strong as the tower run. Just looking to get everyone's opinions (especially from those who made it to multiple shows in mutliple cities) and find out which shows to really try and get.
I only saw 2 shows, Tues and Friday at the Beacon, and I thought that Tuesday was great. Friday had some great moments, but I think they were just tired out.
Well, it certainly wasn't Friday at the Beacon....
Here's what I went to, on a 1-10 scale:
Philly Fri: 8
Philly Sat: 10
Philly Sun: 10
Beacon Fri: 6 (take away Dark Star, 4)
Of those 2 Philly's, I'd say the Sunday was a bit better than Sat. However, they were both MONSTEROUS.
I've heard a Chicago & Denver & they weren't that great, so on the basis of that, the last 2 Philly's are the best of the 7 I've heard.....
Big Heart, Big Shoulders
Mountains of the Moon>Keep on Growin>Unbroken Chain> Comes A Time!! Tom Thumb's encore
Dancin in the Streets>New Potato..Alligator (w/Caution jam)
Mtn "Joy" Jam> Blue sky
Comes a Time>Tomorrow Never Knows>Mason's Children
Help>Slip>Space>Jam>GDTRFB>AWBYG reprise>Golden Road
...and I only saw 2 of 3 in both cities. The 2 shows I missed were BLOWOUTS!!
FLAMe On. HAve fun with this thread. We all know The Q is mega every night!!
2 best out of the 7 i saw were last night of boston and last night of philly. they were all great. This is the best band in the world i cant wait until their next tour
Saw Boston thru NYC. Here's how I'd rank the shows:
Boston 11/23: 9.5 Up there amongst the best shows I've seen. AMAZING first set - nary a dull moment - played the crap out of every song, amazing inter-song jamming, Wheel-Low Spark-Wheel very well executed. 2nd set starts w/a strong Mr Fantasy (best one I've seen since Camden 7/28/01), gets very crowd-pleasing for NFA-Bertha, Wharf Rat decent but not amongst best ever, then they step it back up for the Help-Slip-11-slip-Frank's - FINALLY a well jammed out Slipknot - last one being 11/26/01 - nicely morphed Millenium Jam - not a start/stop version - then the dual-lead-vocals on Franklins tops it off - then a double encore Into the Mystic to top it way off - show clocks in way over 3 hours of music.
Boston 11/24: 8.8 Another mostly amazing effort, but a little uneven in the 2nd set. 1st set is mostly slow, jazzy material - my kind of stuff - comes across MUCH better on tape than at the show - still, great pacing, topped off w/Cumby. 2nd set starts w/VERY strong Scarlet-Fire - way jammed out. Just A Lil Lite gives me a chance to chug a 16-oz Red Hook beer - back in my seat & surly for Cucamonga, Hard 2 Handle - both amazing versions (WARREN IS THE MAN on Hard 2 Handle - no one else save Pig and Otis comes close!) - then an uneven Alabama - besides Deal my least favorite song to see the "Q" perform - oh well, had to piss anyway. Then Viola Lee - pretty decent version - 14 min's, 2-1/2 verses, spacey parts in middle, nice buildup into Golden Rd - but they blow the intro then recover - decent version of Golden Rd ending. Ag & Ag encore - glad to have it out of the way to not mess up tomorrow's 2nd set. Another show just under the 3 hours of music mark. Nice!
Boston 11/25: 9.7 My all around favorite show of tour. Amazing setlist, amazingly well played, amazing jamming, some of the best versions of everything they played. About as close to perfection as I've ever experienced at a show by this band or any other band, as a matter of fact. Over 3 hours of music, too. Amazing too that they were able to sustain this kind of intensity after the last 2 shows had been so good.
Oakdale 11/26: 7.5 Loads of bathroom songs. More of a drinkin', camel-smokin', party show. OK, well, they're entitled to one of these once in a while. Still well played, decent jamming between songs here and there, solid core of 2nd set, nice debut of Warren-sung 'Dew (yes, it was kinda weak but they sure made up for that at the Beacon). This venue sucks, though! I doubt any decent tapes exist of this show - they were really pricks about that.
more later . . .
I think some folks have overlooked the Philmore 11/15. The guys took off from the start and didn't let up. This was a smokin' show
The 11/25 show was the total package. Grateful that my choice and destiny put me in attendance.
saw the last night of the tower and the last three of the beacon.
The sunday night tower was the best show I have seen all year.
Saw Chicago, Oakdale, Tower (minus first night), Beacon. Hard to choose, but obvious choice is Sunday Tower; sometimes a great setlist does matter.
well i only saw three, but from the looks of things they might have been the best of the tour, and it went right down the line
friday in filthy(i mean philly) score 9.5
sat in filthy score 10
and SUNDAY a whooping 10.5 best show ever in my life out of 106! IMMHO
maybe that had something to do with being pretty sober, but i was totally crushed on sat nite and even though i dont rememeber as much i suspect that when you are spinning a 50 yr old security lady (shes was really into it!) in the front row during FT, that show is pretty freaking good!
I hit all the Warfield, first two at the Philmore, all the Tower and the last two at the Beacon -
Here's my top 5:
11/30 - Philly
11/15 - Denver
9/27 - San Fran.
9/26 - San Fran.
9/25 - San Fran.
And the first two listed were really the cream of the crop of the 10 I hit.
Thanks again Phil for the great ride!
Of the Phil Related I've seen this year;3 atWarfield, 3 at The Riv, 2 at The Tower, I'll even throw in the 7 Dead shows (including 3 atRedRocks, Joliet thru Columbus)...my favorite show, overall, is 3rd night in Chicago...but I missed the 3rd night in Philly, or that likely would be my fav. show.
Phila 11/28: 9.3 Despite the presence of "the whistler" and the nazi-like state of security, this show ranks up amongst the best - right off the bat with great jamming around all the 1st set songs - mostly vintage GD selections - Alligator slightly different than the Boston version - instead of coming back to the vocals (first time since the '60's they came back to the vocals in the Boston version) they go into an AWESOME Caution jam - who needs the vocals when they JAM this well! Tons being the only downer but I had to piss. Back to more jamming into C Charlie. 2nd set more routine song selection but still great jamming thruout - nice buildup in intensity - I love this sequence of songs leading to Terrapin - almost tells a story - woulda liked something in the middle of Terrapin but then again was glad it wasn't Again & Again or Stella (somehow the east coast rarely gets split-up Terrapin's). Terrapin was short but well done (usually length = quality for me but here was a rare exception). Nice transition to Sugaree, good version, then topped off with an unexpected 'Rider (the show would STILL have been long - 3 hr's plus - w/o Rider). It was touching to see Phil's son do Sugar Mag but once is enough, please!
Phila 11/29: 9.4 Another strong performance - nice Playin' jamming surrounding China Cat, glad they got Ag & Ag out of the way early, ditto w/Ramble (I like those 2-bathroom-songs-in-a-row). The serious stuff starts w/the post-Ramble jamming, great Comes A Time, TNK, Mason's, all up to par w/the Boston versions. 2nd set, as w/11/28, starts w/ more common songs, but again, well placed, nicely thought out setlist, the song selection making more of each individual song - again, a new song placed well (No More Do I). Another suprisingly well jammed out Slipknot - heavy Blues for Allah space jazz - nice GDRFB, then back to a morph of Slipknot, Bid U Goodnight, suprising buildup to Golden Rd - strong version. Another pleasant suprise when the return to Slipknot for the encore ensues more jamming, not just a direct run to Franklin's. Very strong Franklin's - again w/the dual lead vocals - this was one of the strongest show endings I've ever seen - right up there w/7/27/01. Another 3-hour-plus show too!
Phila 11/30: 9.5 Many others have voted this show "best of tour" if not "best of all time", but the 3rd Boston show is a bit stronger, if only 'cause the end is better, and it's a bit longer. This show is just under the 3 hr mark. Nonetheless, one of my top 10 shows of all time. 1st set a jam-fest, more of a mini-1st set. Scarlet-Fire and Viola were a bit more jammed out and intense in Boston (well, they were in the 2nd set), but this was the best Wharf Rat I'd seen. The 2nd set, individually, may be the best set of the tour. Certainly a rare "morphing" of The Other One and Dark Star is top notch. Add in top notch versions of St Stephen, The 11, Watchtower, etc. And Stella to close was very appropriate. Cumberland as an encore capped an enormous show. I know there were a lot of teases of different songs and such in this show - have to listen to the tapes to pick them all out. It was also very nice that the 3 shows started great and just got better - a very rare occurrence. The 3 Phila shows were a little better overall than the 3 Boston shows because of this consistency.
more later . . .
only saw two...
but i'de rank them
both were amazing and some of the best plq shows i've seen! thanks for the tour guys! can't wait to see you again!
Is it true Phil said 11/30 is one of the best shows hes ever played?
>>>>>> Is it true Phil said 11/30 is one of the best shows hes ever played?
Maybe he meant 11/30/01. That and about another half-dozen shows from '01 I would consider to all be better than anything they did this tour (7/6 & 7/01, 7/27 & 28/01, 11/12/01, 11/23 & 24/01, 11/30/01)
One thing they did this tour better than in previous tours was transition jamming into songs. Too often in the past, especially in the summer of '02, the jams just wound down to a full stop and they'd just count off the time to intro. to the next song. This tour was chock full of GREAT transition jamming into all kinds of different songs, FAR more than in past tours.
im not knocking what you think bud, but if in fact he DID say that he wasnt refering to 11/30/01 and my huge beef with 01 was some of thier singing, i heard Phil sound really tired in a lot of 01 shows (but im not knocking warren or rob). I think thier jams are outrageous now and most DEFINATELY thier singing IS better. One thing to remember is the fact that since they are playing less shows they can keep thier energy up and inspiration as well. I never felt a sense of "stale" music which is what can happen when you play night after night. You could just tell how happy they were to play together again, inspiration moved them brightly.
One thing about reviews is everyones opinion is subjective because everyone is looking for something different in a Phil show. Some people want songs and singing, some just want sick jams, some dont want any jams but prefer good solos. And i think one of the most universal things about the 11/30/03 show is besides the monster setlist, there was a little of everything for the all Phil phreaks. Just have a listen and you will hear it. First set you have space and syncopated free-form improv (a personal fav for me), the whole show has great vocals, the "songs" in second set are played superb, it has punch you in the face intense jams in stephen>cryptical>11, it has slow songs with pure lyrical delivery, it has rediculous "solos" (i hate that word) and most of all... <<~~phlow~~>> rediculous flow man. Even the slow songs are perfectly placed which are so dangerous for momentum with this band sometimes. Everyone got thier rocks off. Good times man good times.
Oh yea, not to mention how many genre's of music they covered in a single night! They even tapped into some reggea!!
Thurs Beacon, Fri Tower, Oakdale of the ones I heard.Egypto-Moorish part of Terrapin in NYC, Mountain Jam/Blue Sky in Phila, Milestones in CT.Still waiting for 'Blues for Allah'
Warfield was more excitement than music.
Denver is the same for me everytime...I love it there, so much, and then I see the band in another state.
Philadelphia was fun as all get out...but Sunday was a snoozefest according to the posse whose reviews are consider the cream of the crop...a been there done that evening, no matter how well played.
Philly also had way too many Jam repeats for my taste.
Beacon was outstanding across the board. Every show had a yummy something for everyone; as a "best of" P&F career, well, that about done it. Great four shows.
I only saw 11 and 1/2 shows, leaving after the first set of Sat. Phillly, and skipping that show...I blew off Boston because of hatred for the venue, and I skipped Oakdale because of hatred for Thanksgiving/Conneticut traffic so no comment.
One of my all time favorite shows was in Boston with the worst sound ever and a crappy setlist, so go figure.
Gotta give it to the hometown, but there wasn't a show that was "better" than another in NYC, and there was a Dark Star that was killer...all 2 minutes of it.
I went Wed & Friday at the beacon, think I actually liked Friday much better, lots of new stuff & jamming had more direction.
To this day 10-14-00 is still my favorite, one ragin Saturday night at the beacon!
Saw 8 in a row starting with Wallingford. Here's how I see it:
1) Sun. 11/30 Philly
2) Weds. 12/3 Beacon
3) Sat. 11/29 Philly
4) Tues. 12/2 Beacon
5) Fri. 11/28 Philly
6) Thurs. 12/4 Beacon
7) Weds. 11/26 Oakdale & Fri. 12/5 Beacon Tied (Both first sets SUCKED)
They are definately doing better transitions this tour in my opinion, as well.
This is kinda late & irrelevant but figured I'd post it nonetheless - my review of the Beacon run, written last week:
Beacon NYC 12/2: 8.3 The initial jam is over 12’ long – shades of early ’01! Shakedown an early repeat from Phila – great version tho – jams into Casey Jones – nice that all the Shakedowns I’ve seen jam out into the next song instead of ending. A rare stop, then the 2nd east coast Hard to Handle – as in Boston, a smokin’ hot, fully explored version – Warren proves once again he’s THE MAN on this one – nice jam into another early repeat – Mason’s – odd that it’s in the middle of the set – not quite up to the Boston/Phila versions but I never tire of this one – then Built To Last – the intro sounds like Rubin & Cherise (also noticed this in Boston) – another one I really like – then Passenger immediately follows w/no jam – another good version – very long 1st set – 88’. 2nd set starts w/mellow jamming into Lucy In the Sky – much more welcome now that it’s not played that often – what happened to Strawberry Fields this tour? That was getting overplayed the last few tours. The jam builds in intensity to a mini-drum solo obviously leading into King Solomon’s – another strong version. The sound tonight is probably the best I’ve ever hear at the Beacon. Morning Dew by itself next – sung by Warren – as expected, MUCH stronger, more explored version than the 1st one at Oakdale. After another stop – well, they’re really pacing themselves tonight after the breakneck pace of the Boston/ Phila shows – a rare-this-tour Unbroken, jams into – Sugaree? WTF? OK version, but oddly placed – then a stop – is the show over? No – Midnight Hour – OK, tonight’s a crowd-pleaser like Oakdale, still a good effort – then the jamming in Mid Hr goes out there – OK, maybe a sandwich – then GDRFB – OK, they got the length thing going again – then, unexpectedly, NFA – wow! Interesting – better than the Boston version. This caps off the set – curiously, no Mid Hr reprise. US Blues encore a throwaway – I think even Rob thought so – Phil was scolding him before it, then he seemed unwilling to sing the verses – totally blowing off the 1st verse. No harm done – longest show of the tour – 3 hr’s, 20 min’s of music! Overall a nice 1st night of 4 – nothing “heavy” but well conceived and paced.
Beacon NYC 12/3: 6.8 1st set is very very good for the most part, although run through pretty quickly – just looking at the setlist, reads like a dream – China Cat – Box – Low Spark – No More Do I – UJB – Doin’ that Rag!!! Only Doin’ That Rag of the east coast leg. Low Spark is 2 verses. But the jamming does not seem to have the length or intensity of last night or the previous shows. 2nd set pretty much the same – jams are run through pretty quickly – shades of the summer of ’02 – nothing much before or after Blue Sky – a little before St Stephen, then a routine 11, nothing near the Boston version, quickly into Cryptical – again, great setlist, but rushed through the execution – they meander for awhile before Tomorrow Never Knows – teasing a bunch of different things – including most painfully Mtns of the Moon and the obligatory Blues for Allah, but the TNK is way short and not explored – same w/The Other One – as with The Dead at Holmdel this summer – almost embarassingly short and straightforward – then into Rider then it’s over – REALLY! – WTF?!?!?!?! Certainly the WEAKEST set I’ve seen this tour and possibly all year – and my opinion differs with almost everyone – most folks are absolutely GUSHING over this set – not me – seemed really weak to me – like they’d just run into a brick wall of illness and exhaustion and tour burnout. The Stella encore hardly helps or matters – 2nd set easily fits on an 80 min disc – 1st set about 79’. Couple this disappointing 2nd set w/the taping shenanigans that went down this night (tapers got kicked out of the loge at direction of the board crew w/the help of the “in” taper) – not a good night all around.
Beacon NYC 12/4: 8.0 Well, my expectations are WAY reduced after last night’s trainwreck of a 2nd set – again me crying in the wilderness it seems – well, if they are even HALF as sick as I am at this point, I’d certainly not want to be out there on stage trying to give it my all – well, this 1st set ends up being pretty good – mellower versions of all songs than in Boston or Phila but good nonetheless – Wheel is so mellow there are disgruntled peeps in the Loge yelling “C’mon, let’s go – let’s ROCK” – only in NYC! A special treat for me is a rare Tastes Like Wine – my favorite slow Warren song – amusing to me as it’s a bathroom song for most. 1st set tops out at 87’. 2nd set starts w/Rob acknowledging the presence of “The Whistler” – “Hey Whistle Boy, where are you?” – 1000 Stars and She Said done in quick succession, then the only thorough jam of the night – another deep Blues for Allah tease/space jam – although by now I’m pretty convinced it ain’t happenin’ – then into Terrapin – very similar to Phila’s, no lingering here – not even a hint of a sandwich in the middle – oh, well, woulda been Again & Again w/my luck – rather have none than THAT – then Watchtower and Help-Slip-Franklin’s in VERY quick succession – can’t even really say they even did Slipknot – SHORTEST EVER – oh, well, just makes the Boston/Phila versions that much SWEETER – yes, I realize there are folks out there that actually WANT a 2’ Slipknot – damn, go see DSO! They do PLENTY of crappy mid-‘80’s GD! This is also proof that length usually equals quality – the Franklin’s is nowhere near the intensity of the Boston/Phila versions w/o the long jam buildup to it. Sunshine of Your Love encore is about the best-played version of the night – the mellow groove of this show really works well on this one – it almost melts down to space then ends w/Zep tune tease. Overall a very mellow show – their tour exhaustion/burnout is glaring through very hard – although from how much the NYC folks are digging these shows, you’d hardly know it – not to me after those energized Boston/Phila shows, though. Hell, I’m burnt after merely attending 9 shows, let alone performing 14. Not to mention Warren had just come off a full Mule tour the night before Denver – AND played a set of Mule each night there! Gotta give it to him! Oh, and gotta mention that once Rob mentioned “The Whistler” at the beginning of the 2nd set, The Whistler started doin’ his thing in a new/different way – it was like he was jamming with the band – ugh! Then, during Watchtower, I SWEAR I heard Warren dueling with him on slide!
Beacon NYC 12/5: 6.5 Final night of tour – and of course a freakin’ BLIZZARD has to hit!!!! Luckily we are taking the train in – otherwise all highways are gridlocked with spinouts – welcome to the east coast! Exhaustion seems to be as contagious as the ubiquous flu tonight – even amongst the NYC faithful – though there’s the usual high last-tour-of-show hype. 1st set starts out promisingly enough with about 7’ of solid jamming then diverges into Again & Again – this sends the hordes streaming to the bars – but OK by me, as it GETS IT OUT OF THE WAY!! Once again – was SO dreading the Dark Star – Again & Again sandwich tonight. Boo Hoo – not to be! They move quickly into Midnight Train – I normally really like this song but this version is PATHETIC – same w/the immediately following Loose Lucy, although it gets the party drunks up & rockin’ after MULTIPLE trips to the bar enabled by the opening couplet. Nice! Vintage NYC! Wharf Rat next – uh, oh, MORE trips to the bar! What are they – IN with Beacon management to push their $8 drinks? It is FRIDAY after all! I’m thinkin’ – what’s the least damaging way they can end this set – well, Scarlet-‘Fire went w/W Rat in Phila – lo & behold! VERY WEAK Scarlet – Fire, though, I’m really feeling sorry for them – most of the crowd basically a cocktail party, babbling, not much x-factor at all. After such a disappointing 1st set, well, 2nd set HAS to be better – they DID get Again & Again out of the way, after all – after another promising opening jam – BAM – Just A Little Light – sends me scrambling for the bar/bathroom – ugh! A personal WORST OF but draws the most enthusiastic reaction from the crowd of the night. This goes quickly into All That We Are – I’m VERY pleased to see them attempt this one – although would have wanted it earlier in the tour so they could have perfected it – beggars can’t be choosers, though, and this gives the crowd ANOTHER excuse for a bar/bathroom run – then, finally, some jamming – suprisingly into Golden Road – decent version, they FINALLY are clicking on AT LEAST the level of the last 2 nights – this melds into jamming and the predicted Dark Star – but here, again, you can just tell there’s no X-factor, plus the crowd is just not into it – drunk from all the bar runs, ‘cause it’s Friday, a blizzard, last night of tour, etc. I Am the Walrus I’d normally look forward to, but after Boston’s amazing version of the same sandwich, this just doesn’t come close. I’d rather be home listening to a tape of Boston. They meander back to Dark Star and I’m almost feeling like some of the folks that don’t like the jamming – tonight just feels like they are noodling aimlessly – going over the same old ground – uninspired – I gotta feel really BAD for them – then Standing on the Moon – Warren gives it his all – FINALLY some meat! That’s it, man, show Bobby how to do this song! Then Viola Lee – very welcome until it ends after 1 verse – WTF? Less than 7’? Then The Real Thing, nothing else for the encore – man, they are simply OUT OF IT tonight! Only upon reading other reviews is it made clear – Phil doesn’t sing the whole 2nd set – he MUST have been very ill this night. Gotta hand it to him for carrying on despite – they coulda shitcanned this show just due to the weather. Hey, wouldn’t be the first disappointing last show of tour – GD Syracuse 10/22/83 comes to mind. On the other hand, I’ve been far more disappointed before – a few Summer ’02 shows come to mind . .
SideShow......you put it pretty well there....I guess you can say the heart was willing but the body was not.
top 5 shows in order
the warfield 25,26
of the shows i caught
although i thought each night was quite good in its own way.
all time best = 11/30/01, 10/16/00, 11/30/03