Hell of a show in Charlottesville last night. Jeff and the band appeared to be in good spirits, and my wife and I splurged on nice enough seats that we couldn't tell if the Pavilion lawn (often a chatty, distracting mess in the best of circumstances) was behaving. It's rewarding, having invested this much time and emotion in a band through the years, to see that they're still clearly enjoying both each other and the performances they're putting on. The Ode to Joy songs took on additional life (and additional band contributions) and the old stuff has been truly mastered at this point, to the extent that they can throw little left turns in. Banter: The Jeff/Matrix "he's from Brisbane, so he's cold -- but it serves him right, because Geddy Lee gave us a bottle of wine and HE DRANK IT" was hilarious. Especially Jeff getting self conscious about his first world problems afterward. Particular highlights: - Not for the Season. This used to sound like something they pulled out on a whim. Now, it sounds like a staple -- probably because they've been playing it a ton. Still, it's benefitted from the extra work. - Bull Black Nova. Not just the slightly more extended, dynamically variable version they played, but also the seeping blood effect on the screen. - Impossible Germany. Nels is such a humble guy, it's heartwarming to see him get the spotlight, fun to see how much the band enjoys it, and awesome to hear him just rip the shit out of the song. - Hold Me Anyway. A particularly sincere delivery from Jeff. - Mikael's solo on Cali Stars and Pat's solo and rock poses on Box Full of Letters. Nels gets the guitar god credit, Jeff gets some love occasionally for his jagged leads on the AGIB era stuff, but Pat might be the most melodic, traditional soloist in the band -- and it's good that they have one of those, too. Pat also gets love for his hat. Dapper. - The Glenn jump from the stool right into the beginning of I'm the Man Who Loves You. - At Least That's What You Said. All of it. Feel like it took a backseat and became more rare when Spiders was the designated electric guitar freakout, and now it's getting some shine. Lowlights - To be real, while I've seen the band sixteen times, the vast majority came between 2004-2011. They don't hit Virginia often anymore, and so I'm at a point where mostly I'm just glad to see them. They can play whatever they want and I'll be glad to see it. Feels nitpicky to even mention, but... - Feel like the Pavilion curfew may have cut the setlist down some, and I missed the opportunity to potentially hear fun one-offs like Dawned on Me or Whole Love (I still love that record). - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart felt... like the band was still trying to get used to the temperature onstage or something. - I wouldn't have minded Everyone Hides. And it's not a lowlight such as an observation, but having not seen the band since 2016, I still haven't seen a song from Schmilco live. - My wife's favorite songs are Shot in the Arm and Heavy Metal Drummer, but honestly, she even acknowledged that she's seen those songs at every show prior. God damn, I love this band.