To say Sunday's show was an intimate affair was only to recognize that the Mullins Center 10,600 Capacity was half vacant, and all who were in attendance were in for jaunt down memory lane. Intimate would not describe the song selection of the first set; seemingly produced straight from the mind of a jaded lover attempting to (unsuccessfully, mind you) try to get over the scorn that he felt for his Lost Lover. Dazzlingly down trodden, if at all intentioned, Foolish Heart, with the guitar's lighthearted introduction of notes, led to a simple jam on the theme and dispersed into the air, the crowd combining to make each moment, the most exciting in anticipation of the next note and song. It seemed the smaller crowd, rounding out this mid level arena leaving the upper rows and back stage bare, were in full focus for the evening, bringing the event much more significance. The boys on stage had little concern of the size of the crowd, butmust have revelled in their intent and attention.
Heads shook as the bitter lover's theme extended into the unlikely PigPen Anthem "Next Time you See Me!" Coursing through the number, it had full band interplay as the chorus rose to a lightining cry, "Well you LIED, CHEATED, WHOA OH, for so long!" and the jam that ensued built to a solid crescendo igniting the evening and launching a set that, save Looks Like Rain, barrelled right on through to the Clever Antagonist's (That is, if the setlist were a the main cahracter telling his woes of lost love and hurt) ultimate understanding that he was "Sittin' On Top of the World!" The highlight of the set came in the compact form of Doin' That Rag" when the band launched out of the song proper to explore a more menacing theme, less jingly than the Rag itself, this jam coursed through with a sharp more determined focus. At one point I found myself asking whether this was still the "Rag Jam" as any semblance of the song had vanished, in it's place a series of percussive grooves that, effortlessly led the band to a frenzy of sound, leading right back into the Rag Proper. Bobby, the ring leader, tailored each song of the set through, his strumming away, seguing simple strums to engage each song with eachother. As the first set came to a close, all thoughts lay on what just went on, but more: what was to come...
(to be continued)
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