6-4-03 - Chicago Theatre Chicago, IL

review submisions to me at dws@netspace.org, dws@gadiel.com, reviews@walfredo.com

please review the show, not the other reviews....

Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 15:11:54 -0400 From: Bradley R. Kopsick bkopsic@LearnLink.Emory.Edu Subject: TAB Review - Chicago Theatre 6/4/03 Review of 6-4-03 Before I get to the show, I need to say a bit about the venue. It was awesome to see TAB at the Chicago Theatre. Growing up, I saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat there, and I never imagined I would get to see the Good Lieutenant and his crew there. The only low point was that there wasn^“t a big lot scene. But that^“s expected when you^“re in downtown Chicago. Seeing a ton of heads under the huge entrance sign was a thrill. The Theatre itself is immaculate. Definitely one of the coolest places I^“ve seen Trey (Red Rocks, Tabernacle). It is definitely a fancy place, with elegant tapestries everywhere, and an overall traditional, beautiful look. My buddy and I decided to dress appropriately, so I wore a red plaid sportscoat with an ice cream tie (yes, that was me), and he dressed up as well. We weren^“t the only people to dress up, however. Trey wore a jacket the entire show :-). I thought the vibe was pretty solid before the show started. The lights went down and the crowd waited for the opener which turned out to be^Ň STUD: Fun way to start the night. Average STUD, with a nice groovy jam to get everyone moving. People were shaking, but it wasn^“t anything to write home about. Stretched out to over 15 minutes, probably closer to 20. Curlew^“s Call: Good choice for a second song here. Standard playing, however. Nothing that exciting. Every Story: Nice, funky beat here. Really showcases the band in a different groove. Kind of the same vein as The Way I Feel, IMO. Sweet Dreams Melinda: The jam here was energetic and upbeat, definitely one of the high points of the set. After the first three songs, this was a much needed boost. Sidewalks: Enjoyed this nice little jam. Up to this point, the set had been well played but lacking an overall sense of purpose. Good stuff, just nothing epic. That was about to change, however. MLAC: Definitely the highlight of the first set. Monster jam that really rocked the place out for over 20 minutes by my watch. This Money Love raised the bar for the second set and really took some risks. A great way to close the set. Overall, the first set was standard TAB until we got to the Money Love, which is where the whole show really took off. One thing I liked was the increased presence of Ray^“s keyboards in the mix. In the past, I have had trouble hearing him, but not tonight. First set C+/B- Set Break: Didn^“t time it explicitly, but somewhere in the 45 minute range. Good vibe, people enjoying the scenery of the venue. Javier: Nice way to start the second set off. The crowd loves Cyro^“s antics, in this case playing a couple of Gatorade jugs. Alive Again: Though this song tends to be a bit overplayed, there was a nice jam that drifted out of the ending. Trey stretched it out perfectly, keeping it interesting. Definitely a fun twist on a song that doesn^“t change much. Mr. Completely: Wow is all you can say about this. Possibly my favorite Mr. Completely ever (out of 5). Deep into the jam, with the horn section playing percussion, Trey puts down his guitar and starts playing a cow bell. He signals to Tony to stop for a second, and all of the sudden there is a huge percussion jam on stage. Everyone is lovin^“ it, and a minute or two later, Tony comes back in, this time totally by himself to lay down the funk. Without a doubt, this jam simply raged. Possibly the high point of the show. Thirty minutes of ass-kicking fun. Cincy: Before the song, Trey stepped to the mic and announced that this song has two names. ^”The first is ^—Cincinnati.^“ The subtitle is ^—Ken Griffey Jr. never had to cork his bat.^“^‘ Due to the recent events with Sammy Sosa, the crowd went absolutely nuts. Half of the people were cheering wildly and the other half were booing. It was complete bedlam for about 30 seconds. Anyways, nice new song with a lot of promise. I had been very excited to hear it, and the horn intro is fun. Spices: Pulling out the chair for the acoustic section, I was expecting this one, as he hadn^“t played it since first nite ^—Frisco. Again, first time hearing it, but the guitar parts were really great. This seems to be a complex piece with some speedy sections, but Trey just ripped through it with no problems. Inlaw Josie: Well played, and well received by the crowd as well. Surprised he hasn^“t played a Ray Dawn yet, though. Secret Smile: I was surprised to see him play a third acoustic song, but surprised in a good way. Another new one, played with a different guitar (capo on the fifth fret maybe?). Before I go on, I need to say a quick bit about the crowd during the acoustic section. There have been some complaints about respect during the acoustic segments, but tonite was actually pretty good. Some guy yelled ^”Griffey sucks!^‘ during Spices, but that was pretty much it. The crowd wasn^“t perfect, but that would be asking too much anyways. During Secret Smile, you could have heard a pin drop. Push On ^—Til the Day: After the nice acoustic cool down, this is exactly what the crowd wanted for a nice energy boost. Trey and Jennifer even threw in a little synchronized dance section, which was fun. Encore: Dazed & Confused: I figured we were guaranteed to get some Zepp at least one of the nights. People have said that this and Black Dog sound kinda hoaky, but I enjoyed it. One complaint is that it doesn^“t feature the rest of the band as much, but seeing Trey in total rock star mode is good enough for me. Overall, the second set really rocked. A really solid show. Second set/encore: A- Overall show: B/B+ The debate between which show was better (this or second night) is a good one. I would say the best show overall was second night, but the second set from 6/4 was the best set (second set from 6/5 is pretty damn close, however). This Mr. Completely really went to some cool places. Can^“t wait to get the ^—boards from LivePhish. See ya this summer, Brad K
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 16:35:18 -0500 From: tmlplus tmlplus@ameritech.net Subject: TAB 6-4-03 show Review Pure, Uncut DOPE !! That's the best way I can describe it from the perspective I had last night. The intimacy of the venue compared to what I'm used to in seeing him with TAB or Phish really made it feel sometimes like he was playing directly to me. The decoration inside the auditorium made me feel like I was in the Vatican, with golden cherubic figures carved into columns and pictures of angels all over the ceiling. How fitting that I would see all this Roman-style vanity in the building where I was seeing Mr. Anastasio, III. † Getting on over to the music; The sound of the band was absolutely perfect. There wasn't any instrument that wasn't at the right level to blend perfectly with everything else. It sounded much better in there than the LivePhish download SBD that I heard of the 5-31-03 Santana-erh-TAB show. The times where Trey's guitar was the loudest sound were perfectly placed to provide us the little bit needed to stir the one sonic orgasm after another. Speaking of guitar, this was the most fluently and forcefully that I've heard Trey rip in years. He seemed more than able execute any thought that came to his mind.† While he is still sticking with many of the patterns and tendencies that we've heard in the last few years, within the context of this band, it all seemed like the right lick at the right time. I had a hard time not smiling for at least the whole 1st set and much of the second. I think one of the dudes behind me had never seen Trey†live and kept muttering things like Oh my god! and various forms of Whoa!, unable to contain his euphoria. It really felt like that. I was at the UIC show last year and while I can't single out any faults, other than a little monotony, it just didn't come close to pleasuring my senses like last night did. I think anyone that's ever read my reviews of other concerts or shows would judge me to be somewhat harsh, if not anal retentive and picky-picky about stuff. All that went out the window last night. I just really felt honored to be in that building witnessing that event. I think the confidence and complete lack of inhibition of Trey Anastasio right now is unparalleled by any other time I've ever seen him and it spreads to the crowd. He must have been dancing around without a guitar on for at least 15 minutes, conducting the horns and mildly-dirty dancing with Jennifer in a duo horn-conducting jaunt† Not only that, but the little jab at Sammy in the intro to Cincinnatti felt really good too, as passing on that opportunity would have been a shame. The guy is really master of his domain right now. Even the solo acoustic moments felt really powerful. His vulnerability during this stretch was so encouraging to a beginning singer/songwriter as myself. He just proves that it's more important to share your ideas and musical expressions than it is to be "cool" and hide in a comfort level. His voice sounded like shit on some notes, yet I was very moved, and moreso than I would have been had be been perfect. And I think he was kind of 'winging it' during part of this segment, and how special is that? Hearing this musician with a humongous catalog of music, creating up there with just an acoustic guitar amidst these brand new songs. I would definitely have to say F#%K You to anyone that was bored during this segment and especially to the mental midgets that needed to yell out anything during this time.† Hearing the best live rendition of "Inlaw" that I've ever heard perfectly complimented the new songs and put the overall genius of this man in further perspective. † While I didn't always care for the song selection, especially the weak sister of Drifting, aka Sweet Dreams Melinda, these particular perfomances kept the seratonin flowing into my pleasure centers all night. I've never heard such a wide range of dynamics performed so well before by one band. Mister Completely sounded as heavy as I've ever heard a band, all the way down to the acoustic moments of the show, and everywhere in between. The chord progressions and choices created even more variances in mood and effect than the overall volume of the songs did. I most definitely love a song like Every Story Ends In Stone in contrast to Curlews Call or Sweet Dreams. I can just really feel this music, every note creating a slightly different emotion than the last. I wasn't originally going to go to tonights show, 6-5, but I'm thinking about it now because, #1 I'd have no problem getting a ticket, and more importantly, #2, I'd be a fool to pass up a chance to get sprayed by THE HOSE!! † Tom Law
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 10:04:59 -0700 (PDT) From: Ryan M. O'Malley rom620@yahoo.com Subject: 6/4/03 TAB Chicago Theatre Set I: Simple Twist Up Dave, Curlew's Call, Every Story Ends In Stone, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Sidewalks of San Francisco, Money Love and Change Set II: Javier Cinakowski, Alive Again, Mr. Completely, Cincinnati, Spices, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Secret Smile, Push On Til the Day Encore: Dazed and Confused So, this was my second TAB show, the UIC show last year being the first. While this was a great show, it seemed to lack the energy of the UIC show. However, this could have been due to the fact that at UIC I was so excited to see Trey and anything Phish related that high energy had to follow. Anyway, that being said, this was a great show. I got back from the bathroom and to my seat the second they took the stage, so I was ready to go when they got started. STUD was a great opener. Good energy. Followed by the Curlews which I really like. The combination of Trey's stacato licks with the latin drums really keeps things bouncing. Slowed things down a bit with the Every Story. I really like this song, and it's placement here was nice. I would have liked one more raging jam and then a cool down, but I'll take it here. Sweet Dreams and Sidewalks were firsts for me. Good tunes though. Nothing too memorable. Now, Money Love and Change will really stick in my mind for a while and here's why. They were taking it into a nice jam when Trey began his "conducting" business. He called for a key change and Russ must have misunderstood because with the key change he began really speeding up the jam. Trey immediately turned around to him and told him not to speed it up, but by this time it was too late, so Trey told him to go with it. From here the jam really took off though. I mean RAGING!! The speed was so fast it was hard to keep up with dancing. With the speed up, Ray jumped on the Clavi and took over for a while. He really reminded me of Page here. He was just flying on that thing for a good while. Then Trey took over and raged it on out. Great set closer. I just thought it was so cool to see something get screwed up and then turn into such a great thing. Without Russ's misunderstanding, I don't think this jam would have been nearly as good, that is, if they would have stayed with the original jam. So, the first set was really nice, highlighted by the Money. Set break was a decent length. Enough time to get to the bathroom and get a beer. By the by, this venue is really cool. This was my second show there, Allman Brothers being the first, and I would easily go back again and again. It really made me wish I could have seen Phish when they played venues like this. Anyway, on to the second set... Javier I had never heard before, and my guess is that judging from it's length, it is a work in progress. It was highlighted though by Cyro walking around playing a set of Gatorade jugs (like they use for sports teams) that he had cut to different lengths and tied together. It was very similar to the drum kits that marching bands use. Unfortunately I couldn't hear them at all, but it was entertaining to watch. Alive Again and Mr. Completely were great jams. I forget which one it was, but one of them included Trey "conducting" the horns, telling them to either draw the note out or hit it a few times. It really added a nice aspect. The vocal part to Mr. Completely really reminds me of a late Beatles tune, like something off Magical Mystery or Sgt. Peppers. Cincinnatti is a really nice song. I was at the Cinci shows with the whole hotel fire thing, so it holds a little special place because of that, but the comment that Trey made about "Griffey never had to cork his bat" was great! I think this was probably the first time that Trey has ever been booed, and I mean BOOOOOOOOOOOOOED!! He egged the crowd on too by going to the front of the stage and mock swinging a bat. I mean, the crowed booed him for a good two minutes. It was all in good fun though. It really was funny. The acoustic songs were next. Good tunes, but I'll never understand for the life of me why people pay $35 to shout through quiet songs. This is probably my biggest problem with live shows. While most people were attentive and considerate, the people that felt the need to shout out every two seconds really pissed me off. So, if you're one of those people and you're reading this, SHUT THE F#%K UP!!! Okay, I didn't know Spices or Secret Smile, but at times it almost seemed like Trey was just making stuff up off the top of his head. I wasn't really impressed with either. The Inlaw is a great tune. I got to hear it at Big Cypress and this was just as nice. Very Leo Kottkeish. I called the Push On after that. Probably my favorite Trey tune. This included Trey and Jen dancing, very sexually at points, at the front of the stage while the band grooved in the back. Good jam, but again, UIC opener was much more rockin. I had really been wanting to hear a Zepplin tune, so I was totally pumped for the Dazed encore. Well done too! Jen's vocals were great, and the degree to which they covered the tune was impressive to say the least. I wanted a two song encore, but one would have to do. Great show. It really is so cool to see so many talented people playing the same music. And while Trey is obviously the leader, what makes him such a great leader is the fact that he's playing with people that can follow whatever he asks them to do. So, if you've seen them before, see them again, and if you've never seen them, go whenever you can!! Ryan O'Malley
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 04:47:18 -0400 From: JRiordan35@aol.com Subject: Trey Anastasio Band 06/04/2003 Chicago Theatre Review 06/04/03 Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL Set I (~1:20): Simple Twist Up Dave, Curlew's Call, Every Story Ends In Stone, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Sidewalks of San Francisco, Money Love and Change Set II: Alive Again, Mr. Completely, Cincinnati*, Spices**, The Inlaw Josie Wales**, Secret Smile**, Push On Till the Day^ E: Dazed and Confused^^ * Trey introduced it as a "relatively new song", which "also has an alternate title: 'Ken Griffey, Jr. Never Needed a Corked Bat'", referring to the Samma Sosa corking incident from last night's Cubs game ** Trey solo acoustic ^ With Trey and Jen dance ^^ Led Zeppelin cover, Jennifer Hartswick on lead vocals Well, this was my first time at the Chicago Theatre for any event, even though I've lived here all my life. I've been missing out -- what a great venue! Outside there were tickets all over the place. Some people seemed to be giving them away for free, some for face, and at least 1 guy yelling out "$5 for tickets!". STUD: We were still out in the lobby when this started. Sounded great even from out there, but we entered a couple minutes into it, and the show as on. We were on the floor, in the right aisle, just right of center. We were unable to see any of the row/seat numbers, so we just walked about halfway down, and started dancing. Curlew's Call: At first I wasn't sure exactly what song it was, with so many in their repetoire, but as soon as I heard the lyrics I knew. At this point I was thinking that it was funny that no one checked our tickets except when we walked in the building. I did notice a few ushers running about with pointy flashlights; they were yelling at people who were smoking. Eventually they made an attempt to clear out the aisle, which was lined with people just like us. An usher asked to see our tickets, so he took them from us, and instructed us to come with him. My boy Matt told him that people were in our seats, and that was why we were in the aisle. He started moving down the aisle toward the front -- I thought he was taking us back to our seats via a roundabout path (due to the crowd), but next thing I knew, he let us off in the 3rd row, just off center, in front of Ray on keyboards! I couldn't believe it! Our tickets were row CC, which I figured was 29th row (after X,Y,Z, AA, BB), but that's not how it works at this theatre! Anyway Curlew's Call was sounding better than I'd ever heard it. The whole band was in sync, really grooving. And the sound quality in the Chicago Theatre is top notch. No echo, not too bassy, not too ringy, but perfect! I was hearing the entire band so clearly. Every Story Ends in Stone: Not really one of my favorite TAB songs, but I made the most of it. I mean, I enjoy it live, but I don't listen to it on CD much. Anyway I didn't care what they played at all, since I hadn't seen them since the epic 6/6/02 show at UIC Pavillion here in Chicago, and plus I'm going back for the 2nd night tonight, so I figure I'll see everything I want between the two nights (me = very happy about that!). Sweet Dreams Melinda: At first I thought it was Drifting, but as soon as the lyrics came, Melinda was confirmed. It was my first time seeing this song live, and it was really sweet! Just a great, happy song. Sidewalks of San Francisco: Nice instrumental. I heard people say it was "Noodle Rave Daddy-O" but that was just confusion. Good tune, then... Money Love and Change: When this started, I thought back to the long and climactic 6/6/02 version. But that soon was forgotten, since after the composed section finished, they went into a heavy jam. This got very funky very fast! The band was grooving, and at this point I noticed that Ray was sounding better than I'd ever heard him before. He was really laying it down. I never thought he was a bad keyboardist, but rarely did he really impress me. This changed tonight, as he drove this jam for a long time. Finally Trey took the lead again, and they closed it out in a big way to end the set. Setbreak: Went and chilled on the balcony of the lobby. What a beautiful theatre! Headed back into our seats in time for the lights to go down... Alive Again: One of my favorite TAB songs, it showcased the band as usual. Good start to set 2. Mr. Completely: I was expecting this sometime in set 2, but I don't know if I was ready for this version yet! Really hard jamming right away -- had the crowd going wild. This was the longest jam of the night. It could be debated whether this or MLC was the highlight, but they were different style jams, so they both should be heard. This jam went through a lot of sections, with Trey conducting like a madman. Near the end was a great drum breakdown for Russ and Cyro. I'm a big percussion fan, and I loved it. The jam was probably about 25 or 30 minutes total. After all that killer playing, they needed a rest. So after a quick conference, Trey introduced the next song... Cincinnati: Trey said it was a "relatively new song", which "also has an alternate title: 'Ken Griffey, Jr. Never Needed a Corked Bat'", referring to the Samma Sosa corking incident from last night's Cubs game. The crowd let out a big laugh at first but immediately after the boos came on! It was hilarious. As a Sox fan, I just laughed. So... Cincinnati has a nice horn intro, which Trey conducted, and the rest is good too. The song reminds me of the great shows and great time I had in Cincy when their hotel "almost burned down" (haha yeah right Trey). The version wasn't very long, standard 6-7 minutes. Spices: Trey put on his acoustic and sat down at the center of the stage. People were yelling for a while, but finally it died down. I thought the new song was pretty good. Inlaw Josie Wales: This was really nice, and good to hear. Secret Smile: Another new one that I liked. The crowd was very quiet by this time, everyone paying attention. At this point I thought again how the sound was so clear in the theatre. Push On Till the Day: Good to get one more big rocking song for the set. After a little bit of jamming, Trey took off his guitar and went over by Jen, and they started dancing. They had a lot of moves. It was really funny! People were getting into it, and finally Trey came back and picked up his guitar to finish jamming. It had another really big ending, but honestly overall it wasn't as good musically as MLC or Mr. Completely. Still fun though! Encore: Dazed and Confused: Jen can really belt out the Led! It was awesome to hear this. Everyone loved it. It was probably around 8-9 minutes. I was expecting them to do a 2 song encore, but I certainly wasn't disappointed, since, like I said, I'll be at the show again tonight :-) See you then! One more thing -- I don't know why these shows didn't sell out completely right after going on sale, or why people are dumping their extras before the show -- if you're not seeing TAB this tour you're really missing out! -John
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 12:58:09 -0700 From: B.Z. Subject: 6-4-03, Chi-town Review 6-4-03, Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL I’ve never reviewed a show before because I never have had anything that pertinent to say.† But I do after this show.† I’ll do the normal rundown of the songs, but I first want to comment on the crowd.† It was terrible.† The show wasn’t even sold out, the theater was only half-full during the first song and no one shut up during the music.† Trey really had a great time during the first set and it seemed he didn’t care about the screaming morons throughout the theater.† I’ll get more into this in more detail as I go on with the review.† Anyway, I went into the show on kind of a downer becuae of the quite intense security that confiscated about four grams off me, but no worries, at least was I still seeing the show! Simple Twist Up Dave:† Great set opener, the crowd really dug this one.† Trey was dancing all over the place during it.† This was my first time seeing Trey without the other phab three and I felt this was a great song to get to know the members of his band.† The rest of the first set was very high tempo and ended with the first-set highlight of Money Love and Change.† Trey did little jives throughout the song.† At one point he put down his guitar to fully maestro the band.† He also dueled with his extremely talented horn-player during this song.† Alive Again: pretty standard song for Trey to open a set with.† It was full of energy and really got the crowd psyched up.† Cincinnati: Trey preluded this song by saying something like “the other title of this song is Ken Griffey Jr. didn’t need to cork his bat to hit homeruns.”† It was probably not the best move on his part because it pissed off the Chicago die-hard fans.† People chanted “Sammy…Sammy….Sammmy…” Trey eventually joined in, but was booed again.† The song really mellowed out the crowd for the most part, many people sat down for it or just stopped dancing.† Spices: Trey was left alone on stage, in a chair, with his acoustic guitar.† Throughout the entire song people in the crowd were screaming for “rock and roll, man!” and even booing Trey!† People were heard screaming that they didn’t know this song and demanded that he play more Phish songs.† I was disgusted.† It was hard to enjoy this great song with all of these drunk and stoned morons all over the place. The Inlaw:† Few, I thought, at least those that wanted something from Phish will shut up.† Nope, I’m wrong.† Most people around me didn’t even recognize the song!† So people booed again.† Secret Smile: By now the crowd has gotten very antsy and really wants to dance.† Trey, though, ignored them (thanks!) and played his shit.† It was pretty obvious though that he wasn’t having that great of a time.† Push on Till the Day:† Great set closer with high energy.† Trey seemed almost like a different person than from the acoustic set.† He did a great dance number with Jen, the great horn player that was hilarious.† Encore: Dazed and Confused:† It was a great song, Jen can really sing.† I was disappointed, however, that Trey did not sing for the last half-hour or so of the show.† Maybe because he was so pissed.† I don’t blame him if that is the case.† †Phish shows are not places to go to to get fucked up and smoke pot.† It does occur, but should only occur after one appreciates the music.† I felt too many people were completely clueless about Trey’s music, and were probably clueless about Phish, for that matter.† The scene has got to clean up soon because this is starting to be ridiculous.† Give these guys some respect.† They work so damn hard to put on good shows year after year.† So shut the fuck up when they play and applaud when they finish.† --Ben--
click here to return to the 2003 reviews page