SO magical watching this tour take shape. It was a 1 1/2 hour set, beginning with Bixby and ending with Transatlantacism. They were perfect bookends to the set. I thought Ben’s energy dragged a little about 2/3 of the way through, but they completely rocked out for the last two songs of the encore. And they seemed really tight throughout the whole night. It was clear they were really in sync, it was probably just the issue of stamina for a 90 minute set when you’ve been off the road for so long. Bixby is my favorite of the new stuff, and it seemed so fitting to here it as the opener in San Francisco. The look on Ben’s face during this opening song was so different than the many times I’d seen before. Much more like the photo’s I’d seen from the really early days. It was great to see him so excited.
Was surprised that Ben was mic’d left again. I’m sure someone else will remember the whole set list. They played Bixby, I Will Posses Your Heart, Long Division, Cath, Talking Bird&Grapevine Fires, No Sunlight from the new album. No twin sized bed. I agree with the Seattle weekly that I Will Posses Your Heart will become a show-stopping romp of Biblical proportions by the time the band wraps up support of the record, but it’s just not there yet, but they’re only a couple nights into the tour and these aren’t stadium size crowds to feed off of.
No drums for Ben on Title & Reg – this arrangement had Jason solo on drums with Ben shaking some little brick thingie double time almost from start to finish. The arrangement for matching bands was different, extra mellow at the beginning and really rocking at the end.
Several old tunes were prety standard arrangements, New Year Photobooth, Crooked Teeth, Why’d You Want to Live Here.
Ben enthusiastically thanked the audience and said it was their best show yet. It was impressive for having not been touring for 18 months, and having so much new material that’s virtually untested in front of a live audience. Can’t wait to see the full deal at the Greek later this summer.
Well done, boys!