trey - 05-26-03 Hammerstein Ballroom New York, NY

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Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 12:34:59 -0400 From: Neil Sharma Subject: Trey Hammerstein 5/26 review 05/26/03 Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY Set I: Curlew's Call, Cayman Review, Simple Twist Up Dave, Flock of Words, Last Tube Set II: Mister Completely, Windora Bug, Cincinnati1 , Secret Smile1 , Spices1 , Drifting, Olivia, First Tube, Alive Again Encore: Push On Til the Day, Black Dog2 1 new song; titles may be incorrect 2 with Mike Gordon on bass I thought the show as a whole was underwhelming. Could be b/c it was first show out, and they were getting reacquainted musically. There were just points during many jams where they totally lost it, and killed momemtum. A lot of static, quiet parts that prompted the juvenile crowd to start chatting and acting like idiots. This goes on at Phish shows, but the music is normally so powerful that it fades out the neophytes. CURLEWS was a good starter. Not the best version I've seen (Stabler tops my cake), but did what it was supposed to do. This is clearly one of the best of the newer Trey songs. CAYMEN was fine as well. I don't expect too much out of this tune except to do some fun shaking up and down. Another song that filled its set role. STUD. Big disappointment. Never really went anywhere, and at times was near-gruelling. I've seen such great DAVE's - a la the STUD>PLASMA>STUD sandwich of Camden last summer. This was the least memorable song of the night for me. Also the first hints of Trey overconducting this particular evening. After fall '02, I thought he was fading that from the experience. Last night, he seemed to double it, and it hurt the flow of the evening. FLOCK. Very pretty, and good placememt. Usually this is a breather, but after the bad DAVE, it was somewhat of a highlight. LAST TUBE. Another disappointment. This kicked ASS at Stabler last fall. What happened? Total bust in my opinion. The middle of the song was complete nothingness, with no direction, and no drive. Whole first set was mediocre. C+/B- MR. C. Decent. The start of the song got everyone in the mood. But again, somewhere in the middle, the band just lost it. Having now seen Phish recently, I can't help the comparisons, and Trey's band just does not hold it together as well. Don't get me wrong, I love it, and its refreshingly different, but there shouldn't be 8 moments a night where I come back to reality, and think that Trey should move it along. MR. C did have one funky little light part. Hard to explain, but new and interesting. WINDORA. Good song. Good placement. The reggae vibe put everyone in a good place. Love the Tony/Russ vs Trey vocal interplay. The spacey part went a wee too long, and was a bit too spacey, with a slight lack of music/guitar going on during it, but that's a minor point. It seemed most people were happy with this. CINCY. Fantastic new tune in my opinion. Little Trey speech about how he's been writing new stuff, and this one was a about the Feb Phish tour Cincy hotel fire. Starts out instrumental and jazzy, and then just lifts into a totally fun, driving, groovy song. Kind of a less powerful Destiny - in the same vein though - and obviously not as good. SMILE/SPICES. Both slow, acoustic, and not that interesting. These killed the flow of the show. After a lackluster first set, second set needed to be straight through, and it wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I give Trey FULL SPACE to introduce new shit. It is a total necessity. But these sleepers should have been introduced in a first set mini-acoustic bit. And by the way, last night was the WORST crowd I've ever experienced - Phish or Trey. The most disrespectful a-holes I've ever seen. Is it really necesssary to talk about bullshit to your buddy all night? Or to yelp out nonsense during a quiet song? Jeez DRIFTING. The best. Always. Did not disappoint. Love the "stars" up above from Kuroda. I've seen slightly better Drifting jams, but whatever, you are not always going to get best-of versions. Totally a picker upper from the slow new tunes. OLIVIA. Another momentum killer. This one needs to be shelved, or at least demoted to 1st set. Doesn't do a whole lot. 1ST TUBE. Highlight of the night, which surprised me, b/c it is not usually my favorite tune. Trey had the whole place jumping up and down nonstop. Total energy boost. THe place, esp. the floor, was going NUTS. Strong, strong version - perhaps the best I've seen. Complete leg killer. My washufeetsies are hurtin'. ALIVE AGAIN. Not worth any commentary. I don't know why Trey likes this song so much, and gives it set closer or encore treatment. POTTD. Decent. Lacked the "umph" of other PUSH's. Trey antics with Jen, while cute, break up the song too much. I prefer PUSH's like Camden, Stabler, and a host of others. The "comeback" part was especially disappointing. The lights, and those characteristic notes, failed to deliver to the crowd what they usually do. BLACK DOG (w/ Mike). Fun to hear. Kinda gimmiky. If Mike is going to be onstage, I prefer to see him utilized, though. He might as well not have been there. Do Led Zep when he's NOT there. The Jones Beach encore with Mike was SO SO SO much more meaningful and rememberable. Jen's vocals were pretty good, and she should definitely use her voice in more songs. But something about this whole things was a disappointment, after an over disappointing show. Oh well, there is always tonight. Second set and encore were about B-. PS., I am looking for 2 mezz tix for my 2 floor's, to get a different perspective. Any trades, email me at ( Neil Sharma
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