I also found the show to be disappointing. I was really looking forward to it. I guess I expected the Guard Trio to sound as it had on "hungry i" and "Stereo Concert," and the Stewart Trio to sound as it had on "College Concert" and "OUAT."
Just some thoughts:
1. It looks like Bob was in a really vile mood. Didn't he also snap at the techs during the sound check? He and Dave also sniped at each other in a Wall Street Journal article. (link below). Maybe it was Bob's lingering animosity towards Dave, and perhaps Bob resented the fact that the Trio could get its own PBS special only if it brought Dave back. It may have also angered him that PBS thought the Trio alone couldn't carry a TV special and needed to bring in non-Trio people like Lindsay Buckingham, Mary Travers and Tommy Smothers.
2. Watch the part with the Guard Trio. Dave seemed rusty and ill at ease. Shane looked like he would have rather been any place in the universe except standing next to Dave. Very uncomfortable.
3. Can anyone explain Dave's stuttering on "John B." or his use of a tiple? Why did he play a Gibson standard neck banjo instead of his iconic Vega longneck?
4 The Stewart Trio was better. We saw the kind of camaraderie that we remembered from the Trio's heyday. Stewart seemed genuinely happy to be back on stage again with Bob and Nick. Bob and Nick seemed to enjoy it, too.
5. Olafur, you're right about Stewart's guitar on "Chilly Winds." It sounds incredibly tinny. It was an Ovation, not a Martin. I also wonder if the problem was that it was an acoustic-electric being played acoustically only. Was Stewart under contract with Ovation?
6. The show could have done without the Tommy Smothers "comedy" stuff. His intrusion into "Chilly Winds" bothered me more than Stewart's guitar intro.
7. Here's one thing that puzzles me: some other folk groups had reunion concerts and sounded as good as they had in their prime, maybe even better. The Chad Mitchell Trio and Limeliters are two examples. The Trio didn't. Why not?