The one-two punch of classic TAB numbers Cayman Review and Burlap Sack and Pumps worked the crowd into a frenzy, and then Jen brought the fucking house down with her take on Gorillaz’s Clint Eastwood. Money Love and Change kept the energy up before Small Axe gave the audience a chance to catch its breath. Up next was a great take on The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Long on my list of “great classic rock tunes I never need to hear again in my life”, TAB’s version absolutely worked for me with the horn section tackling the fiddle parts in a manner Zappa’s ’88 band would be proud of.
Night Speaks to a Woman and Ether Sunday gave Hartswick more time to shine, at first on vocals and then with an incredible trumpet solo, before a ripping First Tube ended the set. Not wasting any time, the band quickly returned and launched into Dire Straits’ classic Sultans of Swing. Giving the horn section more time to shine, they performed the well-known second guitar solo flawlessly with parts that again sounded like Zappa’s amazing ’88 horn arrangements.
After a few years of seeming to not be sure what to do with his solo band, and lineups that didn’t quite get there – it seems TAB has found its rhythm for the first time since the big-band TAB years of 2003 and 2004. The band is big enough to create a huge wall of sound that the guitarist is clearly looking for, but small and lean enough to muscle its way through most any material thrown at it.
Set 1: Backwards Down the Number Line, Theme From the Bottom, Farmhouse, Gumbo, Kill Devil Falls, Halley’s Comet, Dirt, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Wedge, Let Me Lie, Water in the Sky, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Heavy Things, Liquid Time, Hey Ya!, Push On ‘Til the Day
Set 2: Gotta Jibboo, Ocelot, Valentine, My Problem Right There, Cayman Review, Burlap Sack and Pumps,Clint Eastwood, Money, Love and Change, Small Axe, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Night Speaks to a Woman, Ether Sunday, First Tube
Encore: Sultans of Swing
Notes: The first set was Trey solo acoustic except “Let Me Lie” through “Wading” (Trey acoustic with Jen and Natalie) “Heavy Things” through “Hey Ya! (Trey acoustic with full TAB), and “Push On” (electric TAB). “Wading” was dedicated to Tom Marshall.
[Setlist via Phish.net]
- TAB in Chicago: Audio and Video