Too bad such a great venue was wasted on such a lame audience. Kudos to those who didn’t give into the pseudo-biker yuppies and danced the night away. Anywhere in venue was a good seat, as I wandered the 2500 seat room and got just about every vantage point. Next time, I’ll ask for tickets in the sweet spot: the last seat in the very back right corner. I couldn’t believe it, but the sound back there was better than my seat in the front-center section. Oteil was a little muddy everywhere else.
The band was tight, and appeared to be having fun, but they also seemed rushed. Most of the tunes were faster, harder numbers which kept the intensity going, but kept down the experimentation I’ve come to love from this line-up. Playing was pretty standard, so I assumed the venue’s schedule was tight. It seemed like they were timing everything to fit that schedule. They skipped Dreams, which was on the setlist to fall in-between .44 Blues and Instrumental Illness. Perhaps they jammed too long on something and ran out of time. What resulted was an album-version rendition of Illness into Drums, no Oteil, and a quick return. A short–but sweet–Whipping Post closed for the encore. The show ended at about 10:30, having started about 8:10. .44 Blues was killer, incidentally, with Derek wailing hard.
I had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the show–I just wish they could have taken their time. That’s when they seem to do their best.
If anyone was recording, I suppose it would have come out great. The room had very good, reasonably tight acoustics. Never pay for the expensive seats in this joint.