Subject: RebaReview #16: 5/16/95 Lowell, MA
From: Tim Wade <>

One of the Old Ones (RebaReview #16)
5-16-95 Lowell Mem. Auditorium
Voter's For Choice Benefit
Lowell, MA, (one set)
Time: 14:45
God how I love this show...from the "Don't You Wanna Go" opener to the
Ha^3>Spock's Brain (I love Spock's!  Bring back Spock's!)  Every time I
hear this tape I get this insane grin on my face and start dancing like
a's kind of embarrassing when I'm at work.  As you who have
this show know, the fourth brand new song in a row, Strange Design,
follows Spock's, and Trey then steps in to let us know they are trying
new songs tonight (really? =)
But not all new songs...
"...couple old ones -" - Trey
THE DIRECTIONS (0:00): Is the crowd ever psyched for this Reba!  A
strong start, rather than being snuck in...and the strength lasts
throughout the lyrics segment.  All kinds of "melted wax" clapping
tonight... we can be generous about that, I think...after all, this is
the first recognizable song in the set...unless your a big fan of the
Missionary Sisters.  Anyway, on with
THE SIP (2:26): While the Vulcan judge is being sticky about a few
minor glitches (well, it _is_ the first show of the year), the Human
judge is hopping up and down about the build preceding the Swallow,
which Page, Fish, and Trey all quiet _way_ down, exposing Mike's
FAT slides...they then zoom back in and *gulp*
THE SWALLOW (4:48): The Vulcan judge is still grousing, but starts
to let up a little bit, and the Human judge is busy savoring the flavor
of Reba.  Mmmmm...toxic waste.  Nothing like a little toxic waste to
bring on
THE CHILL (6:12): Mike's still feeling FAT, and what I can hear of
Page sounds really nice...Trey comes in at 6:31, and he is not
noodling...he's got a phrase in mind, and it's very, very pretty, I
think...I do wish the crowd would *chill* a little bit...Page quickly
switches from acoustic to electric keys, and Trey works with the
phrase nice...he works it down low and at 6:52 there's a
shift...Trey just attaches himself to the groove, a very steady Reba
bop...steady enough to induce clapping...Trey begins noodling with
the theme, down low at first, then letting it drift up...steadiness from
Fishman, really nice, delicate fills coming from Mike and Page...
bopping on the high end, Trey sustains a couple of times before
noodling down into a shift at 7:44...
...oh, boy...Trey gets hooked on a note, plucking becoming liquid...Page
is quickly fluttering around up high...woodblock action from
Fishman...Mike throws a change-up in the line, filling in above
Trey...zowie!  I think Trey fed that in a loop... trippy, and at 8:05 he
adds some feedback and starts to noodle...this immediately effects Mike
and Page and things start to syncopate...Mike gets hooked on a line, and
Trey kicks in a watery effect and noodles along with Mike...slowly they
pull together, starting to tighten, Trey finds the groove
around  8:41...the jam is just _rollin'_...VERY nice!  They stick to it
and the  groove just rolls on, strengthening, swelling, then finally
beginning to recede...Leo can be heard dwelling on a pretty little
phrase...this starts to take things down around  9:25, with Trey
dropping down to gentle feedback and Fishman keeping time with fuzzy
David Bowie hi-hat appreciative cheer goes up, quieting as
Trey flutters around a bit up high...he then starts picking some echoing
patterns, generating some stuttering response from Fish.  Trey pushes
the echoing chords
higher, and someone (Page?) makes a very interesting noise indeed.  The
jam threatens to fade into silence, but at 10:12 Mike throws a niiiiice,
faaaaat shift back toward the classic Chill groove.
Trey hits this trippy lick at that shift, it sounds damn familiar...he
tiptoes around for a few more moments before meeting a little shift with
some feedback followed by some more echoes of the groove just moments
before... at 10:33 Trey hits those chords I heard in the Warfield
version (aha!!)*, plucking, echoing, and everyone slowly fading
out...they repeat this Warfield-like pulse two more times, and then Trey
starts to noodle upwards, sustaining and fluttering in elegant
fashion...he begins a steady build at 11:17, grinding through a shift at
11:38...some more noodling, with increased ferocity...Trey starts to
chop at a note...then he hits a sudden, steep shift at 12:00.  Trey
angles downward, gathering tension...Mike is funk funk funkin'...Trey
broods down low, passing up a excellent choice, as he is
breeding _good_ tension...grrrrrrrr!...release at 12:42!!  A very strong
release, damn!  Trey starts wailing in the mid-to-high range, aiming for
another he throws in some well-placed
hammering/sustain...Trey gets psychedelic again, blurring things with
one of those little toys again...grrrr, more tension...and a downright
vertical ascend/release at 13:23.  Trey s u s t a in s...
for like 10 seconds...he starts dropping these repetitive licks, gaining
speed...more speed...I feel the need!  Trey is going ballistic!  HUGE
release at  14:04!!  Trey hits a top-level Reba lick and starts to go
off...Fishman throws out four crashes, signaling that he too has reached
the summit...where I first expect to hear the toms Fish holds off, and
Trey starts sustaining evilly again...Fishman is freaking, everyone has
lost it...Trey starts wailing around again and then gets caught in
another lick, propelling him headlong into Fishman's closing toms at
THE WET WHISTLE: The crowd cheers happily for about thirty
seconds or so, then Page starts Theme FTB.

First thing's first...those chords.  When I reviewed Warfield I referred
to them as "lub-dub" chords...I didn't really know what I was hearing.
I'm posting these in the order that I first reviewed them, but actually
this time I've reviewed about 26 versions.  I'm starting to pick up a
patterns, and this is one of them.

If you have these shows (Warfield ‘94 and Lowell ‘95), you should know
what I'm talking about.  If not, then here's what they sound like - the
bridge section between the Swallow and the Chill, where they hit those
chords "bop-bop...bop-bop" (Fishman drum fill) (repeat three times and
hit the Chill). Only they play them in reverse, and in two shots rather
than one, and slower.  In the Warfield version he bends up to the notes
rather than stating the chords like he does here.

Anyway, if there is someone out there who is musically inclined that
could help me put this into clear musical terms, I would greatly
appreciate it...imagery doesn't quite work for everything.  In the
meantime, however, I will refer to these chords/notes as
"Swallow Chords" (or Notes).  Hopefully, if there are people actually
reading these reviews, they understand what I'm talking about.


I think the energy from this version is important to why it's so good.
Placed as it is, in the first show of 1995 after the debuts of four new
tunes, the crowd must have been really pumped...I know I would be.
Maybe that says something about why 1995 is such a great year for Reba
(from what I've heard so far), it being the first old song played in
1995 at such a memorable show.

Of course, that wouldn't mean much if this was a tame, average version,
which you might expect at the first gig of the year.  Instead, there is
really nice work leading up to a terrific groove.  It doesn't quite get
me as riled up as the grooves in ‘Ween ‘94, but that's comparing it to
the best.  By the time you add in those Swallow licks, this version is
well established in the B range at least, knocking on the door of an A.

So, after we've come this far, I start looking for the jam to come full
circle and punch a hole in the heavens.  Now, those may not be
earth-shattering releases at the end, but they certainly make my world
tremble a bit.  Not bad, guys, not #@%&^$!!*# bad!

When all is said and done, then, this one isn't too hard to grade.  This
Reba has a character all it's own and should be recognized as such.
Beautiful stuff.

Finest in the Nation?  Put it on the board, Lou.