Thursday 06/16/2011 by J_D_G

ALPHARETTA 2 RECAP

Samba in the Rain

Wednesday night in Georgia, Phish played like a nostalgia act—a band older than its years, still possessing sharp technical skills but almost utterly disinterested creatively. Like a great boxer who tours the country knocking out pretenders in exhibition bouts, or a veteran stage actor who spends 15 years playing the same part in a hit show, Phish this night seemed to be a band with great powers that was fully satisfied with pleasant mediocrity.

After fans gritted out a 50-minute mid-first-set delay due to an extreme storm, the band rewarded them with a string of greatest hits, each version essentially interchangeable with any other recent version. If not for a stellar version of "Timber" in which Trey totally raged, the most interesting part of tonight's first set was when Trey started talking over "Mound" to inform the crowd of the impending weather delay. It was spontaneous, it was unexpected, it was different. it was interesting.

A close reading reveals exceptions—a particularly raucous Page solo in "Suzy Greenberg," during a tour when each and every "Suzy" features a raucous solo; a "Tweezer" that jumped right into a murky jam before taking the first available exit in favor of a tossed-off "Julius"; a "David Bowie" with some nice, dark interplay between Trey and Mike before jarringly skipping ahead to the closing crescendo; a "Gotta Jibboo" with a particularly fiery, if short, Trey solo--but this is cold comfort to fans who got into Phish because of the sense of wild improvisational abandon with which it frequently played in 1993 through 2000, plus 2003 and 2004. Sure, perhaps it's unfair to take this one ten-year period of the band's work and consider that the norm. But at the time it sure felt like everything was gradually building, improving, getting more exciting and more important. For fans who go further back, who were first hooked by the tight execution of complicated, prog-rock inspired compositions, or the wacky sense of anti-showbiz humor, post-Breakup Phish might go down a lot easier. I wonder if the members of Phish 3.0 would enjoy listening to Phish from 1993 through 2004.

Taken completely in isolation and out of context, it's nice to hear the band Phish play songs like "Foam," and the others mentioned in this recap. If you haven't heard this show yet, it would probably serve as capable background music for a long drive. It's got a lot of great songs in it, and it doesn't require much work on the part of the listener. If your mind drifts for a few minutes, you won't really miss anything that you needed to hear. If it's all I had to introduce the band to someone living on the Moon, I'd be fine with that. If it's all I had to listen to on a desert island, I'd have fun with it. If it was the only evidence of this band in existence, it would make a strong case for a group of four musicians with excellent chops, strong, eclectic material, and great energy. They're really good.

But these shows do not happen in isolation and out of context. In fact, Phish has made every show they've played since 2003 available for instant purchase. Before that, they encouraged fans to collect live tapes and go to multiple shows and have made much of the intensely special band/audience relationship that grew out of that special set of circumstances. It granted them a level of freedom (artistically and economically) that is rarely achieved in this business. They are not a typical band. And so we have choices. It's completely appropriate to compare tonight against previous Phish shows, rather than against, say, some random hipster band or Britney Spears. And given the choice of other Phish shows to listen to, there's almost nothing here you need to seek out in order to continue to have a fully up-to-date and informed view on contemporary Phish.

Thankfully, a show like tonight is frustrating precisely because we know the band can deliver something much fresher than the stuff of 6/15/11. If I had written the recap for several shows earlier this tour, they would have been raves. I just happen to have been on tap for the recap the night of an uninspiring show. Perhaps the rest of this tour will be outstanding. By 3.0 standards, this tour has been particularly free with its periodic glimpses of improvisational gumption—Bethel2 with its "Haley's," "Runaway Jim" and "Bathtub Gin"; the Blossom "Sneakin' Sally," the Clarkston "Down With Disease," even the Great Woods "Rock and Roll." It's been a very encouraging tour. They're getting it done with improvisational muscle, rather than pre-arranged wacky bustouts. I can't wait for Tahoe.

What makes a night like this so frustrating is that they're still so good. Page, who sounded completely uninterested at times during 3.0, is possibly at the peak of his career. MIke seems game for anything. Trey's chops are at their highest point in years. And they all seem lively, healthy, having fun and into it. I think they're accomplishing what they want to accomplish, and walked offstage tonight feeling they nailed it.

It's not that they can't do it. It's just that, far too often, they don't seem to want to. Of course, the "it" in this case is just what I, and many other fans, want—which is, in short, an advancement beyond what the band had accomplished circa, say, 1992. When you capably re-create something you've been doing for 30 years, with no attempt at advancement, that is the definition of nostalgia. It's not what Phish does every night. But it's what they do plenty of nights. Like tonight.

Of course the "Birdwatcher" -> "Kung" was awesome. It was funny and lively and in-the-moment and unpredictable and Phishy. It was probably the best thing all night.

Is that enough?

Not for me. Your mileage may vary. And Phish's does as well.

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Comments

, comment by vindaloo
vindaloo spot on
, comment by PhishMarketStew
PhishMarketStew What a night. great song selection and wonderful energy from the crowd and after the break, from the band. I took my 6 yr old son tonight, his first show, and he swears that Phish couldn't play a better show if they tried. We all know this ain't true but i've always felt that a Phish show is just a matter of perspective. So many folks swear by so many different gigs and song versions that clearly their can no longer be a right and a wrong. These dudes are a quarter of a century (!) into one of the most creative, interactive and inspirational careers ever and even on "bad" night nobody leaves a gig unsastified. Well tonight wasn't bad by any measure of the word, it was spontaneous and chock full of energy. When the band appears to be having fun and the songs are smoking it doesn't matter if they are knee deep in nostalgia or knee deep in mud there doing what THEY want to be doing just like they always have and for me personally thats why I feel in love with phish. They do what they feel, sometimes they probably feel bad and so goes the gig but mostly, even if their bored or distracted, they can still make asses shake. Along both sides of the stage the Lightning tore holes in the sky, people were soaked and the band added to the electricity of the gods. Shit was right, the boys came correct, they'll go deep with jams when they want to and when they don't they'll show how they are total masters of ALL styles of music. A more eclectic group of tunes you will not find and these guys play them all with the verve and know how of old masters. Keep it comin' lets go to tahoe....
, comment by OnlinePhishTour
OnlinePhishTour i agree with this review -- well done
, comment by Dressed_In_Gray
Dressed_In_Gray Birdwatcher was a disaster, painful to listen to.
, comment by J_D_G
J_D_G @PhishMarketStew said: [quote] I took my 6 yr old son tonight, his first show, and he swears that Phish couldn't play a better show if they tried. We all know this ain't true but i've always felt that a Phish show is just a matter of perspective.

I think that is fantastic! Congrats to your son for his first show, and thanks for your very thoughtful reply.
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy Jeremy, you make some fantastic points. Page never been better? Agreed. Mike ready to take on the world (and win!)? Agreed. Trey absolutely SHREDDING, ATTACKING, and DESTROYING his guitar? Agreed. (Fish too has had quite a tour). So where's the disconnect? Why am I leaving tonight bitter that I dropped short change on a stream? Poor connection and communication amongst the band members- that's why.

Having the live stream has been illuminating. It's easier to realize that it is not always Trey's fault when a jam sequence is not realized. The look on Mike's face a few times that last couple of nights has been one of utter confusion and WTF are we doing here? Maybe, despite the "premature endjamulations", it was actually Trey rescuing the band from embarrassing themselves further.

In any event, the last couple of nights have been bittersweet to listen to. Technology seems poised to march on into the future while the band seems willing to stagnate in the past. I was very excited early in the tour with some incredible, legendary, and timeless Phish, but the last few shows have not given me that feeling at all. Maybe the band needs to sequester themselves and do their old exercises of the hey-hole and other listening exercises, because clearly they are not listening to each other now.

As zany & fun as the Birdwatcher -> Kung was, I thought it was completely embarrassing- forgotten words, missed pitch, overall "who gives a fuck" attitude. No damn surprise they take the stage for the encore and "play something we know". I'm all for taking risks and failing, but that's not what that was. That was just failing- period.

With still a bunch of shows that are on my radar to attend, the decision to stay home is becoming easier and easier.

And the silver lining to the cloud: Yes, the Timber was extraordinary.
, comment by aquaman44
aquaman44 Timber was BY FAR the highlight of the show... Fabulous.

I was definitely surprised that utter experimental debauchery didn't ensue after the lightning storm. First time getting a Mound at a gig was great and then the Tweezer got off to a great start but didn't get dirty before an abrupt turn into Julius. From there on it was greatest hits-ville—any one of which could have been fertile ground for some raunchy/filthy improvisation but alas remained in the box(es). Page's Suzy solo was a bright note.

As for the Birdwatcher...the fuck-ups and everything didn't bother me...The song is a joke in the first place so sometimes it's even funnier if the joke is botched. Good call taking it into Kung.

Trey's solo in Funky Bitch was impressive. Reprise was reprise. Show over...An overall observation is (playing off the above review) that despite amazing chops across the board, the communication and spontaneity was a bit spotty tonight...(again save for Timber...MORE of this please.)

, comment by nichobert
nichobert "Maybe, despite the "premature endjamulations", it was actually Trey rescuing the band from embarrassing themselves further."

Although I have a feeling that Trey may see it the same way you do, this band is playing entirely too locked in for Trey to be rushing to save every jam just because of temporary miscommunication. Hell, this band built their entire career on being able to push past a small hiccup & turn jams into something transcendant. Not only that, but for every jam where someone else seems lost, there's another one where the band comes out firing on all cylinders yet Trey still feels the need to fire up a "Twist" or "Piper" overtop of a groove in such a rush that he doesn't bother to mold it to the surrounding music melodically or rhythmically.

Truly perplexing. Considering how much ground they can cover within a few short minutes of improv lately, it baffles me that Trey is in such a rush to get out of these improvsational segments. The only set of the last week that really brought some hope to my heart was the 2nd set of MPP II. Not much changed from an improvsational standpoint, but at least the band put together a cohesive set of music without depending on the same dozen standby 'greatest hits'. A show like Bethel (I,II) shows just how much that Phish can do with short jamlets that bridge one song to the next- it's a shame that they aren't exploring that avenue more. They might not want to jam for extended periods of time, but I can't quite comprehend the purpose behind jamming for 2.5 measures and then 1 member starting up the next song completely untethered to the music.
The "Trey Ripcord" just seems totally at odd with the mastery that they're displaying with the rest of their music these days. Trey's playing striking a perfect balance between orgasmic release & fluidly lyrical minimalism, Mike unleashing endless torrents of interesting melodic counterpoint, Fishman and Page playing with more aggression than they've displayed since 1995. I think we'll see the improv become more and more prominent as they continue to round into the home stretch of their career- they're simply playing with too much passion to stay content banging out near-identical versions night after night. They'll eventually bring their newfound precision into the deep end of the pool and start reeling off a string of Nassau Tweezer-esque jams that effortlessly move from one thematic movement to the next. The future looms in my dreams.
, comment by starchadstar
starchadstar ppfffftttttt.
stick to reviews of the music and song style, not what you think the band is feeling.
, comment by needlewithaprune
needlewithaprune There's something missing here. A point which aches to be made. None of these reviews doubt how technically proficient these guys are, yet convey a strong feeling of disappointment; disappointment both with this show, save a few short, bright moments, and on which path the band is taking us down. Let's not forget who we're dealing with here! This band has hundreds of songs in its arsenal. Think about just how many Phish songs you love. How deep of a list do you think their "greatest hits" can really go? Just because 6/15/11 was your 420th Phish show doesn't make Tweezer suck by default. Now, I do understand how frustrating it is listening to and watching them explore an area of a song I've already experienced with them many times before. I get that. I know the gray place from which your disappointment stems. We all can get disheartened when we see how good these individual members are ever-waiting to witness how great <i> Phish<i> can be. But it just ain't gonna happen every night. And that is part of what makes them the most incredible live show around; if everything was perfect, we'd look for nothing new. It's what makes something like the soon-to-be legendary 6/3/11 Clarkston DWD with its gorgeous, seamless and seemingly effortless segue into Fluffhead just that much more mind-blowing. All I'm saying is that if the worst thing that can be said about a disappointing show is "I wished they had explored more in places I haven't been to yet but they are really good", that's not a problem; that's fucking great!
, comment by BonusCup99
BonusCup99 Listening to, or god forbid watching the video of them doing The Birdwatcher, I feel embarassed for them. I would argue against the idea they've become complacent about their act if it wasn't for this song. It pretty much proves it irrefutably.
, comment by bartonhall
bartonhall The author has removed all of the text from their comment
, comment by lizardkind
lizardkind The first set looked to be on its way to a great show, and then the chaos...
I would lay odds all 4 of them went back stage and agreed on the greatest hits finale. I'm surprised birdwatcher kung was even played at that point and would be very interested to see the original setlist.
I would also say for any first time concert goer it was a great experience despite the onslaught from mum nature.
, comment by zzyzx
zzyzx "the sense of wild improvisational abandon with which it frequently played in 1993 through 2000, plus 2003 and 2004. Sure, perhaps it's unfair to take this one ten-year period of the band's work and consider that the norm. "

They didn't "frequently" have improvisational abandon in 93... it happened in like a dozen shows, tops. I defy you to find many interesting jams between the Backyard in Austin (day after the Bomb Factory) and 5/26/94 - a stretch as long as this tour has been. Hell even in 95, I saw 5 shows on the fall tour (the NW run) and the only interesting jams were a slightly different arrangement of Slave in Seattle and a very good Harry Hood in Spokane, but probably not much better than last night. With the exceptions of 97 and 03-04, the big improvisational highlights were always in the exceptional shows, the ones we talked about after the tour, not something to expect night after night after night. It's just that no one listens to 6/13/94 or 11/23/96 or 10/5/95 so we forget that they exist.
, comment by CLLARO
CLLARO I agree with some points in here; especially after surviving near-death lightning experiences, I had to tell my 8-year-old that they would FOR SURE give us an INCREDIBLE show once they came back. I had to believe it to make it bearable. But to toss us a standards set after finishing Mound was not very kind. There were a few great moments, but not a spectacular set. But "Gotta Jibboo", you're seriously gonna play that not-even-Phish-song after that crazy storm? The rest was OK, but that one really pissed me off.

but as for "It's not that they can't do it. It's just that, far too often, they don't seem to want to.", I think that is completely incorrect. I just read zzyzx's post, and I absolutely agree, the incredibly inspired jams are not "the norm". I'm sure the band, as much as the phans, are ALWAYS in search of THE JAM; but if it's not present, it will not be manifest; wanting to or trying to certainly isn't enough to make it happen. In fact, trying to make it happen is usually disasterous. And perhaps with all the drama of Mother Nature last night, no one was able to really hone in on the potential jams that were perhaps present.
, comment by SloppyPhan
SloppyPhan Agreed . . .It's a great show, but I've heard it at least 3 times this tour already.
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo This tour is genuinely perplexing. The first week was uneven, but in a good way: Bethel1&2, Pine Knob and Blossom were totally legit very good/great shows, containing every bit of the strength of, say, the peaks of last fall (Augusta/Utica/Manchester et al), interspersed with some total head-scratchers (PNC). While almost every show since that first week has contained something to stick on the iPod and none have been in any way clunkers of the Coventry variety, this tour is retreating into a shell of almost shockingly predictable and safe play. What we have here is June '09 in replay; it is a full-on regression.

Speculating on what is happening "behind the scenes" is silly at best and stupid at worst, but the up-close look provided by the stream suggests that what we have here is a failure to communicate. As others have noted, everyone seems to be playing well... on paper, in isolation. Phish shows don't take place in your TV in isolation; they take place between four guys on stage, a process that works when listening and in-moment interaction propel them to a higher plane. They are currently just not hooking up beyond "we can do this in our sleep" stock selections from the jukebox.

Panic button time? Absolutely not. Whatever it is that is "off" seems very slight, clearly reparable, and there is no reason to believe that they won't turn things around as early as Friday in Charlotte. The underlying components for great shows are available for use when the motivation is there.

This all comes from a place of genuine love and appreciation for what these guys have provided us for decades, but last night was straight-up, by-the-numbers nostalgia act. Maybe that is enough for some fans, and it would probably be enough for me to go to see them two or three times a year, indefinitely. Must-see TV? Hop in the car and make a last-minute distant weekday show, or fork over big bucks to haul across the country, compelling drama? Not currently. Let's hope the weekend shows break out of this mold. Gotta love The Phish From Vermont and everybody has an off-day, they just happened to pick one in a high-exposure slot. No worries, get 'em next time.
, comment by Undermind
Undermind I think the Tweezer ripcord was so frustrating that it was hard to get into the rest of the set for me. It's frustrating because we know what they are capable of and Trey just
seems uninterested in pushing boundaries there at all. They are playing better technically than they have since '99 right now imo but the ripcord makes me extremely uninterested in listening to this show again.
, comment by cosmictube
cosmictube I agree for the most part, however...most people want what happened between 1993-2000 to happen everynight, but let's not think there were no bad shows in that range. There were many shows much worse than last nights between 93-00 and let's not forget that.
, comment by J_D_G
J_D_G @zzyzx said:
"They didn't "frequently" have improvisational abandon in 93... iIt's just that no one listens to 6/13/94 or 11/23/96 or 10/5/95 so we forget that they exist.
David, you make a worthwhile point, but that's a ten-year performance period over which, in general, Phish frequently played with improvisational abandon, and there's no amount of forest-through-the-tree statistical analysis that will undo that.

Wouldn't you agree the salient point here is that you are, in fact, quite easy to please when it comes to Phish? You mentioned elsewhere that the end of the set--presumably Birdwatcher-> Kung--saved the show for you because you like silly Phish. Isn't it from that place that you fashion this argument?
, comment by CaptChaos
CaptChaos Fantastic assessment, spot on, I'd say.
, comment by Alumni
Alumni @zzyzx said:
"the sense of wild improvisational abandon with which it frequently played in 1993 through 2000, plus 2003 and 2004. Sure, perhaps it's unfair to take this one ten-year period of the band's work and consider that the norm. "

They didn't "frequently" have improvisational abandon in 93... it happened in like a dozen shows, tops. I defy you to find many interesting jams between the Backyard in Austin (day after the Bomb Factory) and 5/26/94 - a stretch as long as this tour has been. Hell even in 95, I saw 5 shows on the fall tour (the NW run) and the only interesting jams were a slightly different arrangement of Slave in Seattle and a very good Harry Hood in Spokane, but probably not much better than last night. With the exceptions of 97 and 03-04, the big improvisational highlights were always in the exceptional shows, the ones we talked about after the tour, not something to expect night after night after night. It's just that no one listens to 6/13/94 or 11/23/96 or 10/5/95 so we forget that they exist.
6/13/94 destroys -- utterly destroys -- anything Phish has played in 3.0. The reason we're so keyed in on improvisational abandon is that the "standard" Phish experience has been so degraded. Look, I'm no hater. I don't take any pleasure in pointing it out. But facts are facts.
, comment by zzyzx
zzyzx
David, you make a worthwhile point, but that's a ten-year performance period over which, in general, Phish frequently played with improvisational abandon, and there's no amount of forest-through-the-tree statistical analysis that will undo that.

Wouldn't you agree the salient point here is that you are, in fact, quite easy to please when it comes to Phish? You mentioned elsewhere that the end of the set--presumably Birdwatcher-> Kung--saved the show for you because you like silly Phish. Isn't it from that place that you fashion this argument?
I need a definition of "frequently." I saw Phish 56 times in 93-94. "Improvisational abandon" was probably present to some degree in 11 of them 3/14/93, 8/20/93, 5/7/94, 6/17-18/94, 6/22/94, 12/9/94, and 12/28-31/94, but even in those, that's mostly defined by having a good Tweezer or something. It was there, yes, but it was there in the great shows but there were a ton of shows, a TON that didn't have that.

So yes, I am somewhat easy to please when it comes to Phish, although I should say that, "saved" was meant in the sense that it would have been something fun to remember, something worth waiting in the rain for, not as in, "Let's run to LivePhish and download it and listen to it again and again." I like the silly stuff, I like the subtle improv they've been doing, I like a well played Slave or Divided Sky, I like a hot Type I jam. If I didn't, I would have given up on this band well before 1997 rolled around.
, comment by _rrot_
_rrot_ This review really tears me up. I think I actually agree with you in tone and in spirit, but I disagree on the facts of the show.

I thought Set I up to the weather break was outstanding, as good as any so far this tour, better than many. I thought the Jim was as interesting as Bethel's, or almost so. The Timber (Jerry) was really very strong (as you note). The other songs in the set were as tight as you could want and flowed together as a set of music quite nicely.

The return set of "greatest hits" probably does deserve some of the stick it's getting. But I'm not hearing anyone saying "x" really killed the energy, one of the top complaints about second sets heretofore. That can't be an accident. There was definitely a conscious decision to keep a high energy level after the storm break. That affected the songs called, clearly. I don't think it was a bad decision. You call these songs interchangeable -- I disagree. Julius, far from feeling "tossed-off," easily beats the others we've gotten recently. It absolutely smoked. I think you've underrated the Bowie as well.

The main beef seems to be with the relative absence of experimentation, outside jamming, Type II. And that's where you've got a point. There wasn't a whole lot of that in evidence last night. The question is, can there be an above-average Phish show without it? I think that there can be and I think this show brought it. My only complaints about this show are the mis-steps in the end of Suzy and in the a cappella numbers, both of which problems I thought were mitigated by other factors: the fact that Page killed Suzy outright (Fish knew!) and that the Birdwatcher/Kung was sidesplitting.

I had thought before this morning that Camden would go down as the underrated show of the tour. Now I know it's Alpharetta 2.
, comment by zzyzx
zzyzx "6/13/94 destroys -- utterly destroys -- anything Phish has played in 3.0."

No way. Just in the last show I saw - Mansfield, not exactly considered the best of the tour, the Divided Sky, the Rock and Roll jam (it would have freaked me out to hear Phish playing the VU in 1994, so it would have had to come out of another song obviously), or the high energy banteriffic Suzie would have been considered the highlight of 6/13/94.

Maybe I should listen to it again. What would be your highlight of the show? The Slave?
, comment by Poster_Nutbag
Poster_Nutbag @zzyzx said:
They didn't "frequently" have improvisational abandon in 93... it happened in like a dozen shows, tops. I defy you to find many interesting jams between the Backyard in Austin (day after the Bomb Factory) and 5/26/94 - a stretch as long as this tour has been. Hell even in 95, I saw 5 shows on the fall tour (the NW run) and the only interesting jams were a slightly different arrangement of Slave in Seattle and a very good Harry Hood in Spokane, but probably not much better than last night. With the exceptions of 97 and 03-04, the big improvisational highlights were always in the exceptional shows, the ones we talked about after the tour, not something to expect night after night after night. It's just that no one listens to 6/13/94 or 11/23/96 or 10/5/95 so we forget that they exist.
i have been making this point over on OPT for a while now. see the discussion over the camden tube on my review...short tubes used to be the norm and jammed out tubes were the exception. that being said, i am a little perplexed as to why the song rotation has been shortened so this summer. i would expect that all the advances in technology (livephish & webcast) would have pushed the band in the other direction towards more spontaneity and rarities in order to keep interest high and purchases coming in. what motivation does any fan have to see multiple shows and purchase multiple LP downloads if all shows are mostly the same and musical excursions few and far between?
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown Agree with the review. As many have said it's spot on.

The one positive thing I came away with from the webcast is that Trey and Page seem to be very connected with each other, getting along well, and having fun. Page is the loosest guy up there by a long shot, and clearly glad to be playing Phish music with Phish and with Trey. So that's something.

Mike and Fish, I dunno. The only time those two seem to interact is when Trey calls a tune and Mike relays the call to Fish. Otherwise they appear to be in some sort of bubble. Maybe the four of them need to go do a ropes course, or jump out of an airplane or something, to remind them that their job is to co-create moments. Not sure that ethos is at work of late.
, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo Terrific review, Jeremy. Thanks for taking the time to articulate the frustrations.

@David:

I don't even know where to begin. This is the last thing I'd expect from someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of the band's oeuvre. First off, some of the best (full band) improvisational moments for this band happened in 1991 and 1992 (cf. the David Bowie or AC/DC Bag from 2-15-91, the Weekapaug from 4-16-92). By full band I mean all four guys acting as one cohesive unit, taking a song to a place where it either wasn't "supposed" to go or hadn't gone before. And by 1993, you could find moments of it in almost every show. I spent several weeks pouring through overlooked shows (zero reviews in any of the databases/literature) and in EVERY SHOW I found at least one or two moments of startling improvisation.

For example, the show played on 03-21-1993, in Ventura. Very standard sets by anyone's definition, until they get to Hood. This Hood (like so many other versions of so many other songs, I've already had this conversation with Charlie and Philip) doesn't contain any show notes, but upon listening I found myself knee-deep in what I thought was a Yo La Tengo or Kevin Shields' record. It's terrific stuff.

The Divided Sky is acutely brilliant as well :)

1994 and 1995 are exactly the same way. Every other show (and for whole month long stretches, every single show) contains something of original and pure value (music that did not exist before). And yes, we all know that's what has made this band so very relevant for such a long time, this idea of collective improvisation, the danger of failure, the foiling of expectation that makes the amygdala do backflips in our heads.

I think what even more critical minds like Jeremy's are overlooking (or perhaps ignoring) is the fact that this band has never before declined (a steady loss of power, prowess or ability). If there were periods of stagnancy, you could bet on a convulsive and cathartic seismic shift in tone/attitude/influence that would result in a new direction, an invigorated music.

What we're seeing now is a decline, pure and simple, and it's not fun to watch.

, comment by gnosticaspirant
gnosticaspirant It's too bad they were soft for a paid webcast. Another feeling of getting ripped off by many.
, comment by glennw
glennw These are smart guys. They are moving toward something special. Their development may not be linear as they connect the dots between engineering and creativity. In past years they would have had many more opportunities to stretch out and develop in public. Now, with a reduced tour schedule, they are taking a different approach, less large expressive brushstrokes against a chiaroscuro, and more workmanlike, laying in fine detailed brushstrokes again and again until they trust each other more. The outcome will be wondrous; the only question is when. Then hold on to your hats, folks.
, comment by zzyzx
zzyzx Kevin: if the rain hadn't cut it off though, you could say the same thing about the Timber> Mound section, that it was an interesting interpretation of two songs on an otherwise off night.
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo @kevinAreHollo said:
Terrific review, Jeremy. Thanks for taking the time to articulate the frustrations.

<snip>

I think what even more critical minds like Jeremy's are overlooking (or perhaps ignoring) is the fact that this band has never before declined (a steady loss of power, prowess or ability). If there were periods of stagnancy, you could bet on a convulsive and cathartic seismic shift in tone/attitude/influence that would result in a new direction, an invigorated music.

What we're seeing now is a decline, pure and simple, and it's not fun to watch.
Phish has long been compelling, to me at least, because they never stood still. Most of the time it was pushing the rock steadily uphill. Sometimes it was rolling steeply downhill. But it never stood in place. With exceptions for dozens of "we still got it" peaks, they are now and have been since their '09 return... more or less stagnant. The whole notion of "we spent our career learning how to be a great band, and now we want to spend some time BEING a great band" is IMO totally misguided; it is antithetical to the approach that made Phish great. Phish greatness requires hard work that, perhaps, they just aren't willing to invest in, especially given the freshness and vitality of other opportunity costs (a.k.a. Mike's outstanding touring outfit). Maybe you are right: if it isn't progressing, it is declining, because stand-still is... unsatisfying, in a nostalgia-like way.

I'd be thrilled to eat those words, and very much look forward to doing so. As noted earlier, they aren't off by a lot, but the rock is currently stationary. Gotta love The Phish, but love requires honesty.
, comment by Harry__Hood95
Harry__Hood95 Could it be that phish knows most phans are only able to catch a show or 2 now (as opposed to a run of 10 or more), and they want to give people the opportunity hear more songs? I was at pine knob, and while i loved it, some of the guys i was with (people that done download and listen tto every show like a lot of us) were a bit disappointed they didnt get to hear more songs. And these were guys who have been seeing the boys since the early 90s, so its not like they were noobs. Its just their 1 show of the year so they want the most bang for their buck.
, comment by Buckeyephan
Buckeyephan Great review man, I agree 100% with what you said.
, comment by Ernesto_Wan_Kenobi
Ernesto_Wan_Kenobi With all due respect to the seasoned vet, if you can't see the greatness of this tour and happily accept that some shows will be like the band taking a collective fart in the middle of a giant feast, then all I can conclude is that you are blinded by your own vast perspective.

Who is really knee-deep in nostalgia here? The band (who..God knows what is going through their minds during each show, despite those who think they can tell), or the person who wants them to return to a previous era and play exactly the way they were doing then? This review is full of so many contradictions I don't know what to make of it. They are great. They are killing it. All four are freakin' ON!! I would enjoy this show if it was all I had to listen to on a desert island! But screw those guys they aren't even trying. They don't even WANT to get as intense as they were during MY hey-day.

When I first started seeing Phish, I sure felt like "everything was gradually building, improving, getting more exciting and more important." Hell yeah I did. And do I feel less so now? Yep. That was in '03; and I can only imagine that it is exponentially more so for someone who has been seeing them for over 10 years longer than myself.

But seriously, there have been so many spot-on jams this tour alone that it's a little hasty to call them a nostalgia act after they have a mediocre show during a rain-delayed fiasco where all kinds of things are throwing them out of whack.
, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo Good point, David.

And Philip, for whatever reason, it's really good to hear another old-timer (ha!) share the same sentiments.
, comment by lunamoon
lunamoon I've been following Phish live since 1993. There's no such thing as a bad live show. Period. Just my opinion, and you bet, I was there.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @zzyzx said:
I need a definition of "frequently." I saw Phish 56 times in 93-94. "Improvisational abandon" was probably present to some degree in 11 of them 3/14/93, 8/20/93, 5/7/94, 6/17-18/94, 6/22/94, 12/9/94, and 12/28-31/94, but even in those, that's mostly defined by having a good Tweezer or something. It was there, yes, but it was there in the great shows but there were a ton of shows, a TON that didn't have that.
I think I need your definition of "Improvisational abandon". 8/93 and you only list 8/20? That might be the only one I wouldn't list.
, comment by Alumni
Alumni @zzyzx said:
"6/13/94 destroys -- utterly destroys -- anything Phish has played in 3.0."

No way. Just in the last show I saw - Mansfield, not exactly considered the best of the tour, the Divided Sky, the Rock and Roll jam (it would have freaked me out to hear Phish playing the VU in 1994, so it would have had to come out of another song obviously), or the high energy banteriffic Suzie would have been considered the highlight of 6/13/94.

Maybe I should listen to it again. What would be your highlight of the show? The Slave?
I definitely posted in haste. I'm not sure off the top of my head, and my Phish hard drives aren't at my work office. At a glance, I would say that 1994 was one of the best years for Reba. Maybe *the* best year. Even a pedestrian, unremarkable Reba for 1994 would be sublime. It pains me to hear them play it these days. The old dynamics just aren't there. These days, it seems like Phish is either on or off. Seems like Trey is either barely brushing the strings or he's hammering one or two high notes in a 3.0-style "shred." There's very little sense of melody

Again, my issues with this summer are not the repeats. Nobody who was around in 93 would say that. Remember when set II was either Tweezer YEM or Mike's Groove? And it's not the length of jams.

To be fair, it's been a long, long time since Phish has jammed on a blank slate. Even through the early-mid 90s, they (and Trey in particular) seemed to have a lot of stock themes that they used modular-style to build a particular jam. There was little that you'd never heard before, but it was very possible that you hadn't heard this particular way of building up Reba (for example). That element of creativity and originality seems to be gone.

Too long / didn't read version: If I'm honest with myself, maybe my difference of opinion is that I'm not okay with hearing the same "type I" rock-peak jam over and over again.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @kevinAreHollo said:
What we're seeing now is a decline, pure and simple, and it's not fun to watch.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This is a GROSS over-statement and completely false. Trey and Page are playing far better than they have at any point since the reunion. To say that they are in their decline is way off base.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @gnosticaspirant said:
It's too bad they were soft for a paid webcast. Another feeling of getting ripped off by many.
This is crap too. You had an entire Phish show, in perfect quality, beamed into your living room/bedroom/kitchen for a 1/3 of the cost of attending the show live, in a city you are nowhere near. You can be disappointed in the show not meeting your expectations, but to lay some feeling of entitlement about being satisfied dollar for dollar is bullshit.

Shame on you.
, comment by OnlinePhishTour
OnlinePhishTour Not all shows have "improvisational abandon" from 1993, but the 'standard shows' had musical quirks about them that made them special...whether it's a unique segue, furious, added licks to the beginning of Mike's Song, or a great show-flow. A standard show from 93 didn't sound like other standard shows from 93.

Also, 6/14/94 is absolutely sick. Trey is a musical menace in that Stash. Reba and Slave are a couple of best-ever versions too.
, comment by zzyzx
zzyzx @ericwyman said:
@zzyzx said:
I need a definition of "frequently." I saw Phish 56 times in 93-94. "Improvisational abandon" was probably present to some degree in 11 of them 3/14/93, 8/20/93, 5/7/94, 6/17-18/94, 6/22/94, 12/9/94, and 12/28-31/94, but even in those, that's mostly defined by having a good Tweezer or something. It was there, yes, but it was there in the great shows but there were a ton of shows, a TON that didn't have that.
I think I need your definition of "Improvisational abandon". 8/93 and you only list 8/20? That might be the only one I wouldn't list.
That was the only show that I saw in 8/93. I saw a whole bunch in July but only one in August. And that's kind of the point. We all focus on the great shows but there were a ton of other shows that were just kind of there.
, comment by OnlinePhishTour
OnlinePhishTour @ericwyman said:
@kevinAreHollo said:
What we're seeing now is a decline, pure and simple, and it's not fun to watch.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This is a GROSS over-statement and completely false. Trey and Page are playing far better than they have at any point since the reunion. To say that they are in their decline is way off base.
i agree, this is not a decline--we are on an overall incline now. the creativity has taken a decline since blossom, but it can't be permanent. overall, phish is very healthy right now.
, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo ^Settle down, friend. There's no reason to get heated.

All this trivial criticism (they don't read the boards) gets even trickier when you start to bring up revenue, earnings, net worth, etc.

Let's not forget for a hot minute that these guys are paid to do a job, albeit perhaps the greatest job in the history of mankind (playing music). But a job is a job. And when you cease to be able to do it well, you either stop earning as much money or your superiors find a "better" place for you. Fortunately for Phish (unfortunately for fans), they have no superiors and seem to be generating as much revenue as in any recent year.
, comment by Alumni
Alumni @ericwyman said:
@kevinAreHollo said:
What we're seeing now is a decline, pure and simple, and it's not fun to watch.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This is a GROSS over-statement and completely false. Trey and Page are playing far better than they have at any point since the reunion. To say that they are in their decline is way off base.
That wasn't Kevin's point. His point was that a band is more than the sum of its parts, and that the cohesion that developed from practice and repetition is no longer there. That's not a personal attack on any of the bandmembers. It's their prerogative to tour in short bursts. But their ability to finish each others' sentences musically depends on practice and repetition, and they simply don't have that any more. Again, no personal attack. They're pushing 50.

Why am I still on phish.net, if I feel this way? Because the band was that important to me back in the day. And they're still enjoyable in a different sort of way. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of missing the Summer '11 phish concert.
, comment by Sprachtor
Sprachtor @ericwyman said:
@kevinAreHollo said:
What we're seeing now is a decline, pure and simple, and it's not fun to watch.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This is a GROSS over-statement and completely false. Trey and Page are playing far better than they have at any point since the reunion. To say that they are in their decline is way off base.
The decline of a "band" has more to do with the sum of the parts than any individual component. Once you guys wake up and realize Phish isn't their main concern you will start to make peace with it. Phish didn't climb to the top by participating in "side projects". They are still all great musicians in their 40's. Definitely not over the "music hill".

They are a great band but they are not concerned with getting any better right now. Oh, and after this tour instead of "be back in 15 minutes", it will be I'll see you in 12 months.

, comment by barefootbob
barefootbob Completely and respectfully disagree. Three things. (1) How many mounds are we treated with these days? (2) This may read like a greatest hits list to you, I see it as some of the most solid performances with highlights from all four. They are getting tighter and tighter each week since 09. (3) What happened on the lawn was f'n magical. Shows are also about energy. What I witnessed at took part in from Timber thru Mound was a massive rain dance that erupted with a monsoon that I can only barely begin to describe.

Maybe the stoppage gave some a buzzkill....for me, an unbelievable experience to come back to mound - Screaming "Could he find some SHELTER!!!!!!". SO perfect. I'm sorry, but I may not get to see these guys like I used to in 93-98. I have a family and a job. I love that about the Phish experience at every show. Its a family to them and us. Tonights show was epic. Period.

I'm just finishing the second set on my ipod. A show that I dnld this morning from lp before I left for the airport. Could I have done that in 94? So, as I finish this comment in ATLANTA airport typing on my phone wating for my flight, I leave you with this.... Enjoy that we have this. For this thing we have here in Grand, yes Grand. Thank you Phish for everything you have given us, and me personally since 4.10.93.

// signing off ATL > ORD
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @Alumni said:
That wasn't Kevin's point. His point was that a band is more than the sum of its parts, and that the cohesion that developed from practice and repetition is no longer there. That's not a personal attack on any of the bandmembers. It's their prerogative to tour in short bursts. But their ability to finish each others' sentences musically depends on practice and repetition, and they simply don't have that any more. Again, no personal attack. They're pushing 50.
How was that not his point? Feel free to clarify @kevinAreHollo, but I don't see another angle. He even went so far as to characterize his point with (a steady loss of power, prowess or ability)

None of those things are accurate.
, comment by kowphish
kowphish How much of this type of feeling among veterans is just simple projection?
, comment by RobesPierre
RobesPierre please phish... for the love of good music... get your balls back... take some chances, PLEASE...

last fall was so great... now you're just reverting to something far worse than summer 09... dont let yourselves fade away in mediocrity... bring it like fall2010 x10.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @Sprachtor said:
The decline of a "band" has more to do with the sum of the parts than any individual component. Once you guys wake up and realize Phish isn't their main concern you will start to make peace with it. Phish didn't climb to the top by participating in "side projects". They are still all great musicians in their 40's. Definitely not over the "music hill".

They are a great band but they are not concerned with getting any better right now. Oh, and after this tour instead of "be back in 15 minutes", it will be I'll see you in 12 months.
It's funny how the wind blows around here. I was underwhelmed with the high points of last night's show but side projects, age and focus have nothing to do with the discussion.
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo @kowphish said:
How much of this type of feeling among veterans is just simple projection?
I'd say... none. If it were one or two people saying these things, that might be the right call. But there are a lot of people whose opinions I respect and who have no historical tendency to want to agree with each other almost on principle, while not saying exactly the same thing, see current status in a very similar light: great individual play, still able to nail majestic peaks, but as a whole in sort of stand-still mode with some shows in total mail-it-in mode.

I think this is healthy discussion, no haters are we.
, comment by Alumni
Alumni @ericwyman said:
@Alumni said:
That wasn't Kevin's point. His point was that a band is more than the sum of its parts, and that the cohesion that developed from practice and repetition is no longer there. That's not a personal attack on any of the bandmembers. It's their prerogative to tour in short bursts. But their ability to finish each others' sentences musically depends on practice and repetition, and they simply don't have that any more. Again, no personal attack. They're pushing 50.
How was that not his point? Feel free to clarify @kevinAreHollo, but I don't see another angle. He even went so far as to characterize his point with (a steady loss of power, prowess or ability)

None of those things are accurate.
Again, it's more of a collective thing than any individual characteristic. Though I don't see how there's any doubt that Trey has substantially less dexterity these days. I'll keep it short because I'm not angry about it and I have no real wish to insult Trey. But there's no question that his mind is working faster than his fingers. Listen to a summer 11 GTBT and try to count the notes he doesn't play. This is as fair a test as you can use. There are songs where less is more, and you want to "miss" notes to create space. GTBT is not one of those songs. From the energy on stage to CK hitting every grand finale move he's got programmed into his lightboard . . . it's the epitome of a guitar-hero rocker.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon These comments can't be serious. I think EVERYONE that posted negative comments on this board needs to have their heads examined. I've been going to shows for 15 years now and I've been to over 50 shows since 3.0 came to be. The thing that all of you are forgetting is that there was no Phish from 2004-2009 and it could still easily be that way. You should be glad that there are Phish shows for you to dump all over. Yes, the boys are going to have an off night...do you fire on all cylinders 100% of the time? I didn't think so, its called being human! Would you be happy if they went on permanant hiatus again? You guys call yourselves phans? Doesn't seem that way to me, it only takes one average show for you to say they are in decline. I was not at the show last night and I didn't watch the webcast, but I've seen plenty of average shows in my time and a bad/average Phish show is better than any other jamband's best night. I will, however, be at Charlotte, Raleigh and Portsmouth this weekend. I'll report back on Monday and refute all of the haters yet again.
, comment by Alaskanmoma
Alaskanmoma 5th paragraph from the bottom, ("What makes a night like tonight so frustrating..." ;) , doesn't mention Fish. When Joy came out Rolling Stone had a review and the writer noted Page, Trey, and Mike seem to be at peak moments in musical precision but Fish seemed to be very in-the-box. We all know Fish wants to keep it real but he seems bored to me. There might be a piece missing from the puzzle at the moment, Fish's enthusiasm might be it.

, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy @standingonthemoon said:
These comments can't be serious. I think EVERYONE that posted negative comments on this board needs to have their heads examined.
I think you are the one that can't be serious? A negative comment on one show or a run of shows warrants a head examination? Come on...it's healthy to discuss both pros & cons of a show. I thought this was a fair review. Mind you it spoke of "Wednesday night" and "frustrating". While some flaws were pointed out, it actually left me optimistic for the coming shows and hopeful. We get humanity. Teams lose. (Looking at you Vancouver) And you know what? The newspapers in Canada are LOADED with stories this morning not on the Bruins win, but on Vacnouver's loss. And how it could happen. And dissect it from every angle. Same here.

And are Canucks fans no longer worthy of fandom if they question Luongo's goal tending or speak publicly of the cheap-shots, finger biting, acting, or other mis-cues in the series? Hell no. It makes them MORE of fan. And they'll be back next season wanting the Cup even stronger.

Pet peeves of mine, and you've pretty much hit all of them:

> Calling the band "the boys"
> Questioning fandom by publicly speaking opinion
> Saying "a bad Phish show is better than any other band's best night" (just trite and not true)
> Saying we should just be happy Phish is back, some Phish is better than no Phish (yeah, that's also trite and boring)

However, all that being said, I certainly have my fingers crossed that you will be able to report back from Charlotte, Raleigh and Portsmouth and "refute all the haters". Certainly I think there's a great chance that will happen.

Just do us all a favor and don't fall into the trap of my final pet-peeve:

> Over rating shows you were at and failing to believe and being incredulous that anyone not at the show could have the audacity to review it

, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo Ditto on the healthiness of the discussion. Please keep the "you can't be serious stuff" to yourself. I'm pretty sure we're serious.

I've been witnessing and tracking the band's overall decline since Coventry. Seeing Trey up on the big screen (thankfully didn't attend), closeups of his hands, playing Curtain in the wrong key...it was really too much. Yes, things have gotten better, much better in fact. But pointing to Trey's marginal improvements in dexterity or speed belie the elephant (multibeast?) in the room.

And please stop pointing to songs like Bethel's Runaway Jim as evidence of progress or improvement. The cool tribal thing during the breakdown is soiled and eclipsed by Trey's incoherence and sour notes in the culminating jam.

I don't want to insult anybody either but as an active musician, I wouldn't be comfortable charging people to see me play if I was unable to perform adequately.
, comment by MrJones
MrJones Great review but I need to get a few things off my chest here.

It seems like a lot of folks are just chasing an epic show they can rest their laurels on. People are looking for a two song set full of reckless abandon or the best of version of a tune. The problem with that is that we can get distracted from one simple reality: that Phish is a kick-ass rock & roll band, plain and simple and they come on stage every night to entertain us.

Also, this was brought up here but I want to emphasize it, saying that Phish Is becoming a nostalgic act now and they should go back to what they were doing is just weird. So they are a nostalgia act and what would make that different would be to go back to the good ol’ days!??!?! That doesn’t even make any sense.

I have heard a lot lately as well that “I already saw this show this tour” or “glad I missed this show because they just played it a few nights ago”. I don’t get this. Sure they have repeated songs, as they ALWAYS have, but that said there is still never an identical version and look at the setlists from this tour and find me a mirror copy. Phish is not in the business these days of creating a vast catalogue of unique live shows for posterity, they are on stage entertaining an audience. Have we (we being the collective Phan) become so jaded that we can’t appreciate going out catching some show and have a good time dancing with good friends? If so than we as an audience have lost our way.

Sure it’s great to be critical of something we all love but we have put the boys on such a high pedestal that we (again, the collective we) are just setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Lets not forget Phish is a rock & roll band and we are a glorified fan club.

I just finished listening to this show and I thought it was good. Not great and mind blowing but good. I wish I could have attended.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon Wow for a bunch of Phish fans, you are awfully angry. As for pet peeves, you hit on all of mine. The main one being that you are a complete asshat. I can call them whatever I want, didn't know I had to get my verbage cleared through you. What I said was true and I stand by it. I don't overrate shows, I said that I have seen plenty of bad ones. Read the reviews from the first night in GA, they look good and then all of a sudden they are losing their touch? Just pisses me off. Have a discussion about what you liked and didn't like, but guys saying they they are in decline? Give me a f*ckin break. Specific to you twmsiy, you are a complete asshole. Just because I have a different opinion and refuse to shit all over THE BOYS, I'm an idiot. You are what's wrong with the whole scene...a bunch of whinny little shits that get pissed if they don't play the songs you want to hear while you are eating exctacy and wearing your girlfriend's fairy wings. The most important point I want to make, IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT THEY ARE DOING THESE DAYS, DON'T GO TO SHOWS AND BE AN OXYGEN THIEF. Bunch of retarded fuckin trustafarians. Hope not to see you at any show, EVER.
, comment by RobesPierre
RobesPierre @bmorris0427

personally i think most of the people being critical of the band are being very polite and genuinely having a discussion about what is clearly a very weak tour.

you sound pretty angry yourself. there is no need to be offended.

do you honestly think that this tour is even close to the level of performance we saw in fall/nye 2010? i really thought last fall that stuff was starting to get really good...
, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo @Mr Jones

Once upon a time, the audience was just as important to the band, if not more.

@bmorris0420Whatever

I got nothin'.
, comment by kowphish
kowphish Projection does not equate with "haters". Projection is coming to terms with one owns assessment of what they need (not want) from the band. And I'm sure there are many veteran's who are not getting what they seem to expect. Hard for me to believe the technical skill and desire ("don't seem to want to" is a strong statement to make) is gone or has diminished in the band (besides their touring schedule which proves me wrong, that's like a nostalgia act). The author of the recap even states there were portions of the show he enjoyed and there were other shows on this tour he liked, but yet on this evening he felt frustrated. My only point is I think this level of frustration many, many veterans feel in not solely rooted in what is happening on the stage or one sided. There were off nights 14-18 years ago as well which I'm sure veterans attended but didn't feel this level of disappointment afterward.
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo @MrJones said:
Also, this was brought up here but I want to emphasize it, saying that Phish Is becoming a nostalgic act now and they should go back to what they were doing is just weird. So they are a nostalgia act and what would make that different would be to go back to the good ol' days!??!?! That doesn't even make any sense.
That would be a great argument, if only someone had actually said that, otherwise it is total straw man.

Sure they have repeated songs, as they ALWAYS have, but that said there is still never an identical version and look at the setlists from this tour and find me a mirror copy.


That statement is objectively false. Many, many songs from this tour are virtual carbon copies of other versions. Which isn't a a criticism, per se; it is, rather, descriptive. You can have different opinions about that but to suggest that there is "never an identical version" represents... denial?

Phish is not in the business these days of creating a vast catalogue of unique live shows for posterity, they are on stage entertaining an audience. Have we (we being the collective Phan) become so jaded that we can't appreciate going out catching some show and have a good time dancing with good friends? If so than we as an audience have lost our way.
What makes you think the people commenting on this thread (again, a very healthy, adult, thoughtful discussion... well, except for @standingonthemoon who is straight-up moron) "can't appreciate going out catching some show and have a good time dancing with good friends?" I personally know a lot of these folks; hear me now and believe me later, we do precisely that, all the time. There is no disconnect between enjoying the moment and thinking about those moments in a contextual light after the fact.

Cheers.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @standingonthemoon said:
I've been going to shows for 15 years now and I've been to over 50 shows since 3.0 came to be.

I was not at the show last night and I didn't watch the webcast
Case closed. You know the most about Phish. So much in fact you don't even need to listen to the show to be right. Amen. Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @MrJones said:
Have we (we being the collective Phan) become so jaded that we can't appreciate going out catching some show and have a good time dancing with good friends? If so than we as an audience have lost our way.
Have we become so complacent that we stop being critical? This roots of this discussion do not lie in the "OMG! BEST. SHOW. EVER." realm. And when they do, it's warranted.
, comment by Sprachtor
Sprachtor I remember George Bush saying something in regards to terrorism. He said you are either with us or against us. People are trying to apply that train of thought to Phish.

It's just not the case. Honest evaluation and excellence go hand in hand.

, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @standingonthemoon said:
The most important point I want to make, IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT THEY ARE DOING THESE DAYS, DON'T GO TO SHOWS AND BE AN OXYGEN THIEF. Bunch of retarded fuckin trustafarians. Hope not to see you at any show, EVER.
Your editor called, they said next time just say "DIE".
, comment by jackl
jackl @MrJones said:

It seems like a lot of folks are just chasing an epic show they can rest their laurels on. People are looking for a two song set full of reckless abandon or the best of version of a tune. The problem with that is that we can get distracted from one simple reality: that Phish is a kick-ass rock & roll band, plain and simple and they come on stage every night to entertain us.
**snip**
Have we (we being the collective Phan) become so jaded that we can&#65533;t appreciate going out catching some show and have a good time dancing with good friends? If so than we as an audience have lost our way.
@pzerbo already beat me to the "strawman" argument reply.

Sure it&#65533;s great to be critical of something we all love but we have put the boys on such a high pedestal that we (again, the collective we) are just setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Lets not forget Phish is a rock & roll band and we are a glorified fan club.
.

You are entirely correct about Phish being only a rock and roll band. We however are not a "glorified fan club", merely a fan club. (Yes, I have a problem with an adult being a member of a rock and roll band fan club too, but since the band in question are 40 somethings too, I'm getting over it).

I just finished listening to this show and I thought it was good. Not great and mind blowing but good. I wish I could have attended.
Yes, an "average typically great Phish show" at which we danced, were entertained, shared with friends, had a good maybe great time, as distinct from someone penning a critical (in the good sense) "review" where someone chooses to focus solely on the musical aspects of the performance, and compare it with some 1,500 other versions of performances stretching back over 20 years, all of which are accessible for taped replay at the click of a mouse.

I enjoyed and totally concur in J_D_G's reviews and many of the site team comments on this thread.
, comment by MrJones
MrJones @pzerbo said: [quote] That statement is objectively false. Many, many songs from this tour are virtual carbon copies of other versions. Which isn't a a criticism, per se; it is, rather, descriptive. You can have different opinions about that but to suggest that there is "never an identical version" represents... denial? [quote]

Well I think im just saying that given the nature of a live performace there is ALWAYS something different, it might be minor and insignificant but it is NEVER the absolute same. It would be borderline impossible to have a "virtual carbon copy", a flub here, an interesting run by Trey there, a "Mike bomb" spinkled in. Denial certainly not, a minor moot point maybe, but denial no. It's just the nature of playing rock & roll.
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy @standingonthemoon said:
Wow for a bunch of Phish fans, you are awfully angry. As for pet peeves, you hit on all of mine. The main one being that you are a complete asshat. I can call them whatever I want, didn't know I had to get my verbage cleared through you. .. Specific to you twmsiy, you are a complete asshole. Just because I have a different opinion and refuse to shit all over THE BOYS, I'm an idiot. ..Bunch of retarded fuckin trustafarians. Hope not to see you at any show, EVER.
First off. I'm not angry at all, like I said, the review left me optimistic for coming shows and there was a great chance you'd catch three stellar shows.

Second: (def) A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to him or her, to a greater degree than others may find it. I wasn't asking you to stop using the term or clear it with me.

Third: I'm not shitting all over the boys either.

Fourth: Bunch of retarded fuckin trustafarians? Not sure where that came from. I have to budget my Phish travel & expenses like everyone else and need every paycheck I get.

Sorry I hit a raw nerve in your personal life that warranted such a vicious attack. I still hope you get your great shows. And if you don't keep your anger & venom in check, I can pretty much guarantee you that I'd prefer not to bump into you at a show either.

, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @kowphish said:
My only point is I think this level of frustration many, many veterans feel in not solely rooted in what is happening on the stage or one sided. There were off nights 14-18 years ago as well which I'm sure veterans attended but didn't feel this level of disappointment afterward.
My belief is that it stems from not having a flag to fly as our pinnacle moment in 3.0

Michigan came so close. It was for one day (at least in my mind) the moment we could point to and say THIS is where things changed. But in the time since, the change hasn't been realized. Yet.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon You have it right, I do sound angry. I'm not offended, but when you(asshat @twmsiy) come at me telling me I have hit all of your pet peeves because of what I said, well then you have to expect some type of response like that. I'll admit, so far this leg has been different than fall 2010, but who was in AC for the Halloween run? There were plenty of flubs and miscues, but the main point is to have fun at a show. Having fun is what it is all about (for me anyway). I'm not going to sit in my mom's basement and critic every note and compare it to 1993, to what end does that serve? If you want to hear a bonafide terrible show, listen to Hampton from 2004. It was uncomfortable to watch. It was Garcia's birthday and started out great with a spacy chalkdust but completely devolved from there with an anything but me 2nd set opener. The big difference is that Trey was on copious amounts of drugs and the whole band was falling apart. These guys have kids now and family responsibilities that they are trying to juggle just like everyone else. They still have a good time going on tour, kinda like a guys road trip, but they don't practice hours and hours a day together anymore. They go on tour because they want to entertain us and I think we should be thankful for that. My whole point before this post completely blew up and everyone got hot with me is that, yes the heyday of Phish may have occured in the 90's but I'm so damn glad they still tour. I have friends (yes, it may be hard to believe but I do) who the only time I get to see them is traveling around to shows. For me its the whole experience of the road trip, the lot, spending time with friends, and at the end of all of that, we get to see one hell of a show whether there are miscues and flub or not.
, comment by Ifthir
Ifthir @Alumni said:

6/13/94 destroys -- utterly destroys -- anything Phish has played in 3.0. The reason we're so keyed in on improvisational abandon is that the "standard" Phish experience has been so degraded. Look, I'm no hater. I don't take any pleasure in pointing it out. But facts are facts.
Well thats the thing, I think we would all be able to stomach less improvisation if Trey was still playing 200 miles an hour and shredding like a maniac. The issue now is Phish isn't playing short but shreddy like they were in 1991-1994 and they aren't doing big exploratory jamming like they were in 97-2000. They are somewhere in the middle, leaving phans of those two styles (arguably representing 95%+ of phans) all hoping for more and none 'really' happy.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman And if anyone doubts the collective respect and praise for what the band has done collectively since 2009, you are out of touch. We may be tough, but we're not unfair.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @standingonthemoon said:
If you want to hear a bonafide terrible show, listen to Hampton from 2004. It was uncomfortable to watch. It was Garcia's birthday and started out great with a spacy chalkdust but completely devolved from there with an anything but me 2nd set opener.
Thank you for bringing that up!!!! Jerry's birthday!

Speaking of that, Tuesday was Flag Day and after an amazingly open and free jamming Light up Or Leave Me Alone which could only be the byproduct of an outpouring to America and pride in the flag that represents our freedoms, I thought the second set really did a disservice to America. And that flag.

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing.....
, comment by tnisch12
tnisch12 Trey came out a completely different person after the rain break. Tortured most of the songs, especially suzy. Page actually took a solo over the band, stood up and took a bow in my opinion, due to his frustration with trey not know where he was or what was going on. Night one however, AMAZING.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon @ericwyman said:
@standingonthemoon said:
I've been going to shows for 15 years now and I've been to over 50 shows since 3.0 came to be. I was not at the show last night and I didn't watch the webcast
Case closed. You know the most about Phish. So much in fact you don't even need to listen to the show to be right. Amen. Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
Does that mean I didn't listen to it today? Yes, I wasn't at the show and had to work last night but I listened to it today and yes it was a below average show, but 50% of them statistically are. Sorry if I offended all of you, I just disagree with those that say they are losing it and going downhill. I feel like it shows a lack of appreication and quite a jaded view. I dunno whatever.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon @ericwyman said:
@standingonthemoon said:
If you want to hear a bonafide terrible show, listen to Hampton from 2004. It was uncomfortable to watch. It was Garcia's birthday and started out great with a spacy chalkdust but completely devolved from there with an anything but me 2nd set opener.
Thank you for bringing that up!!!! Jerry's birthday! Speaking of that, Tuesday was Flag Day and after an amazingly open and free jamming Light up Or Leave Me Alone which could only be the byproduct of an outpouring to America and pride in the flag that represents our freedoms, I thought the second set really did a disservice to America. And that flag. My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing.....
Dude, I was just giving you a day of reference...relax. Not saying it had any effect on the show, just an anectdote.
, comment by Ifthir
Ifthir bmorris0427 it is hard to have a rational discussion when phans like you melt down the moment another phan says anything even remotely critical of the band.

Most of the people here saying the band is going downhill have been attending shows for a long time, and are undoubtedly comparing the past to the present. How can they not? That's the body of work they have to compare shows based on.

It doesn't make you any less of a phan being critical of the band you are spending a lot of $ and time seeing. Also your comment about trustafarians is really sad. I'm self made and not going to apologize for having financial success and no one else should have to apologize for success either unless they use unsavory means to get there.
, comment by tweezer
tweezer If the two parties involved in this interaction were two people other than yourself whom you did not know, you would laugh at the assertion that @tmwsiy 'came at you'. How did he come at you? His points, which you can fairly think are full of shit if you so choose, were stated fairly and calmly.

You stated: "Just because I have a different opinion and refuse to shit all over THE BOYS, I'm an idiot." Different opinion than whom? Who has 'shit all over the boys'? @J_D_G's review? @tmwsiy? No one on this thread and certainly not Jeremy's review did anything of the sort. You are presenting a straw man argument.

If you reread the review Jeremy did not argue in any way that going to a show was any less fun than it ever used to be. He is speaking specifically of the music. And there is value in that - completely separating the music from the live experience for the sake of critical evaluation.

Finally, you are calling others on this thread angry and yet you are the only one who has chosen to use your CAPS LOCK KEY. (And Jerry's birthday is August 1st, not August 9th)
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon @tmwsiy said:
@standingonthemoon said:
Wow for a bunch of Phish fans, you are awfully angry. As for pet peeves, you hit on all of mine. The main one being that you are a complete asshat. I can call them whatever I want, didn't know I had to get my verbage cleared through you. .. Specific to you twmsiy, you are a complete asshole. Just because I have a different opinion and refuse to shit all over THE BOYS, I'm an idiot. ..Bunch of retarded fuckin trustafarians. Hope not to see you at any show, EVER.
First off. I'm not angry at all, like I said, the review left me optimistic for coming shows and there was a great chance you'd catch three stellar shows. Second: (def) A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to him or her, to a greater degree than others may find it. I wasn't asking you to stop using the term or clear it with me. Third: I'm not shitting all over the boys either. Fourth: Bunch of retarded fuckin trustafarians? Not sure where that came from. I have to budget my Phish travel & expenses like everyone else and need every paycheck I get. Sorry I hit a raw nerve in your personal life that warranted such a vicious attack. I still hope you get your great shows. And if you don't keep your anger & venom in check, I can pretty much guarantee you that I'd prefer not to bump into you at a show either.
Look, we clearly got off to a rocky start and I'm sorry I came back at you so hard. I took it as one way and you clearly meant something else.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon @tweezer said:
If the two parties involved in this interaction were two people other than yourself whom you did not know, you would laugh at the assertion that @tmwsiy 'came at you'. How did he come at you? His points, which you can fairly think are full of shit if you so choose, were stated fairly and calmly. You stated: "Just because I have a different opinion and refuse to shit all over THE BOYS, I'm an idiot." Different opinion than whom? Who has 'shit all over the boys'? @J_D_G's review? @tmwsiy? No one on this thread and certainly not Jeremy's review did anything of the sort. You are presenting a straw man argument. If you reread the review Jeremy did not argue in any way that going to a show was any less fun than it ever used to be. He is speaking specifically of the music. And there is value in that - completely separating the music from the live experience for the sake of critical evaluation. Finally, you are calling others on this thread angry and yet you are the only one who has chosen to use your CAPS LOCK KEY. (And Jerry's birthday is August 1st, not August 9th)
sorry, I meant the day he died...
, comment by tweezer
tweezer The above post was in reply to @standingonthemoon but I'm a forum asshat and thought I'd hit reply. Sigh.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon @tweezer said:
The above post was in reply to @standingonthemoon but I'm a forum asshat and thought I'd hit reply. Sigh.
Thanks, love you too.
, comment by tweezer
tweezer @standingonthemoon said:
@tweezer said:
The above post was in reply to @standingonthemoon but I'm a forum asshat and thought I'd hit reply. Sigh.
Thanks, love you too.
You 'come at' a fair, reasonable person IRL like @tmwsiy and his defenders will come out of the woodwork. You won't find a harder working, caring human being than him on this forum or anywhere else.
, comment by tweezer
tweezer @Ifthir said:
bmorris0427 it is hard to have a rational discussion when phans like you melt down the moment another phan says anything even remotely critical of the band.

Most of the people here saying the band is going downhill have been attending shows for a long time, and are undoubtedly comparing the past to the present. How can they not? That's the body of work they have to compare shows based on.

It doesn't make you any less of a phan being critical of the band you are spending a lot of $ and time seeing. Also your comment about trustafarians is really sad. I'm self made and not going to apologize for having financial success and no one else should have to apologize for success either unless they use unsavory means to get there.
+1
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @standingonthemoon said:
Dude, I was just giving you a day of reference...relax. Not saying it had any effect on the show, just an anectdote.
As was I. Tuesday was indeed Flag Day. If I'd just mentioned that Tuesday was Flag Day without relating it to the discussion what would have been the point?
, comment by GottaJiballer
GottaJiballer I was at this show and was more than willing to wait out the storm, which was an impressive storm to say the least. After the incredible Timber (a personal favorite), I was ready for anything. Once the rain delay first commenced then ended 50 minutes later, I was prepared to be floored by a band that I know loves their fans and is usually eager to reward (or at least attempt to reward) their loyal followers with musical bliss . I mean, the lawn was completely empty when they came back out. I had a strong sense that those who remained were all as in love with this band as I am and were expecting their patience to be rewarded. I would assume the same could be said of the webcast viewers. All these factors combined would seem to have led to an epic post rain-delay musical onslaught for the ears of those dedicated enough to stick around.
However, what i got was somewhat lacking. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time. I enjoyed every song played. Unfortunately, a lot of people on this thread are right. There was something missing. Its hard to say exactly what it was, and attempting to describe it is foolish IMHO. What i think will ultimately be said about this show is that it was more of a missed opportunity than anything else. The songs were crushed, every member played well, and the energy was never dropped. Basically, I think they had two choices. Give us an epic Type II onslaught or give us fire and energy that never dropped below a steady simmer. Unfortunately for those who love Type II goodness, they chose the latter. Fortunately for those who love Type I shredding, they didn't choose the former. My loyalties lie somewhere in between the two, maybe Type I.65.
In the end, this is one show. Its good, not legendary. And i think that's the problem many have. It was such a perfect opportunity for a legendary performance, but it just never materialized.
As for the comments about Phish being a "nostalgia act" I have to somewhat agree and also say that if you really want to light a fire under the band, call them that a few more times. They do not want and never will want to be thought of as a "nostalgia act." As I head to Charlotte and Raleigh the next few days, here's to hoping the boys heard that line loud and clear. If they realize that this might be what is happening to them, maybe they will blow our faces off soon.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon You 'come at' a fair, reasonable person IRL like @tmwsiy and his defenders will come out of the woodwork. You won't find a harder working, caring human being than him on this forum or anywhere else.[/quote]

Well I'm glad to see he is well liked, fair and reasonable. If you will read above, I apologized for the miscommunication but whatever. Man I really hit a nerve with you tweezer, I like it! What's your issue with the phrase "come at"? You really have an impressive digital life...I bet your Mom's basement is awesome.
, comment by tweezer
tweezer @standingonthemoon said:
You 'come at' a fair, reasonable person IRL like @tmwsiy and his defenders will come out of the woodwork. You won't find a harder working, caring human being than him on this forum or anywhere else.
Well I'm glad to see he is well liked, fair and reasonable. If you will read above, I apologized for the miscommunication but whatever. Man I really hit a nerve with you tweezer, I like it! What's your issue with the phrase "come at"? You really have an impressive digital life...I bet your Mom's basement is awesome.[/quote]

You nailed it dude! I live in my Mom's basement, I have a trust fund that you wouldn't believe, and she even laid out my clothes for me this morning. She actually drives me to shows and waits with the limos to drive me home afterwards. She's quite a woman!
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo @standingonthemoon said:
You really have an impressive digital life...I bet your Mom's basement is awesome.
Not for nothing, but when you keep throwing out that line to unfailingly polite people in their 40s and 50s with serious jobs, kids, and mortgages, the hole just keeps getting deeper. My recommendation that I'm sure you'll ignore is to quit while you are (way) behind, or shake the attitude.

Also, barging in to a civil, intelligent, adult discussion with CAPS LOCK ablaze and vitriol in the heart is unlikely to be of assistance in getting any of your so-called "points" across.

$0.02.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon @ericwyman said:
@standingonthemoon said:
Dude, I was just giving you a day of reference...relax. Not saying it had any effect on the show, just an anectdote.
As was I. Tuesday was indeed Flag Day. If I'd just mentioned that Tuesday was Flag Day without relating it to the discussion what would have been the point?
I think its pretty funny that all of you are now focused on me rather than how "average" last night's show was. Mission successful! Now back to your regularly scheduled drivel. Oh and Tweezer, I know your Mom is quite a lady...tell her I said hi, she'll remember me.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown bmorris: It's now pretty obvious that your failed attempt at an apology earlier in this thread was simply a self-serving attempt to endear yourself to those you'd already alienated, and your personal insults in your last several posts confirm that you don't have any interest in a serious discussion about Phish. Move on, wanker. Move on.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @standingonthemoon said:
I think its pretty funny that all of you are now focused on me rather than how "average" last night's show was. Mission successful! Now back to your regularly scheduled drivel.
Listen, I just think that Old Glory has one fucking day on the calendar and we should show it some god damn respect!
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon @bertoletdown said:
bmorris: It's now pretty obvious that your failed attempt at an apology earlier in this thread was simply a self-serving attempt to endear yourself to those you'd already alienated, and your personal insults in your last several posts confirm that you don't have any interest in a serious discussion about Phish. Move on, wanker. Move on.
Finally one of you has a shred of a backbone, now I'll move on. Thank you to everyone for entertaining me this afternoon. Oh and for the record, I do sincerely apologize to tmwsiy for being an asshole, I was wrong and I've been a dick all afternoon. To the rest of you, you take this forum way too seriously...can you still have fun????? Doesn't seem like it. Oh and I also apologize to the sensitive people that get offended when someone uses caps. I understand that the power of an uppercase letter must be wielded with a steady and true hand.
, comment by RobesPierre
RobesPierre reading these comments is making me feel like im on PT...

what happened to the discussion we were having about the state of phish?

ill say it again...

i think this tour is leagues behind the level of performance seen in fall 2010. which upsets me cause i really thought last fall was the beginning of a serious rebirth of the kind of phish we all came to love in the past. last fall was still a bit timid but the type IIs were starting to come back in bowie, antelope, reba, stash... that was a great sign... there has been virtually none of that this tour, just standard trey solos... which i like, but we need some variety.
, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo In a feeble attempt to get this discussion back on track... (what's the record for posts on here, anyway? Timer? ;)

Does anyone remember the Jon Pareles-penned piece in the New York Times, published during the same week of the reunion shows?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/arts/music/05phish.html

It was this article and interview more than anything else that led to a severe case of the drainbows. It's not that I want a flag to wave, or one show to hold up to the canon as fodder for "Greatest Evah!"

I just want them to live up to these words:

"Late last year the four band members came together, by themselves, to make music in Mr. Anastasio’s Burlington barn and studio. They liked what they heard. And they resolved to be the version of Phish they prized most: the intently practiced, well-prepared Phish from the mid-90s."

, comment by Kahnja
Kahnja Wow, this board got ugly fast.

"Always argue like you're right, but listen like you're wrong...wisdom is developing strong opinions that are weakly held"

This review is very well written and spot on in its analysis. What's off is the conclusion that the band is now a nostalgia act, etc. Most bloggers/reviewers are way too swept away by the short term. If last night is what an "off" night is like these days, then all is well in phish world.
, comment by EvilKingWilson
EvilKingWilson I agree in ways.. All I will say on this is this... The band feels they have an obligation to please the money paying fans.. While most heads such as myself are bored with certain songs we have seen 25 + times, a lot of people there are there for the first time or 5th and still never hear "that"or "those" songs. Last year was a total blowout in GA you had to know they would not do that again, plus there is more tour and a festival coming up, they have to save some special stuff for that. Thou the show last night was not as expected do to the rain, they obviously had a little less time than they wanted. And I know I myself love getting a 4 or 5 songs set jamtacular!! But most people want to see a lot of songs, as well as it is a tough choice for the band, it is really hard to play 20 plus songs every night then, one night play twelve, there will be a ton of people there like myself who will love it, but there will be a bunch of people comparing lists feelings ripped off at the fact they got half the songs.. Just saying. So I know they pretty much just came out and ripped through everything after the events of the evening but I bet it was mainly due to the storm and the time they lost..Like I bet there was a nice little jam in store after mound originally intended...
A small word on the tour, I felt this tour has been wonderful. They have been playing a lot of fresh feeling sets even the occasional older feeling set, I know they have the heavy staples in there, but it seems like every night they try to at least do a few things they have not even touched on the tour and that is refreshing, after the last few tours where it felt like they only picked 40 songs to play the whole run.. There has not been a lot of heavy jams, they do get lost in the big setlist's,but in a way they are that much more enjoyable when they do happen, at least for the moment that is. I don't know maybe I am just trying to not be jaded in my old age ha , I have been to way too many bad shows like The Jones Beach Closer last summer. Flat setlist, flat show, way over hyped.. So I know these shows happen and sometimes it is where people expect the craziest show, But it seems to me like everyone is being way too harsh.. Just love you some Phish, I can be a hater too. but ripping the whole tour apart. There is no band that has not played a bad show. It happens. And there is no year phish has not played at least a few shows that were not so amazing. So lets suck it up like we always do, and get back out there and give the band the energy they need to be taken where we want them to go... I think that makes the most sense.. Lets all show up to Super Ball 9 ready to rage on a new level and get what we want from them.. I'm ready ...
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @kevinAreHollo Don't you think it's presumptuous if not reckless to assume that they aren't holding true to that? How do you know what level of practice they are involved in?

They took the time to make a sign for a practice room.

Image
, comment by Live_Eels
Live_Eels Though I have yet to attend a show in person yet this tour, I keep up with the reviews pretty regularly. I am amazed at how fast people changed their tone - saying things like "declining", and "getting better is not their concern anymore" - LESS THAN TWO WEEKS after all the crazy hype following the Detroit and Blossom shows, Where things such as "this is the best they've ever sounded" and "they are clearly in their primes" were thrown around regularly.
How about we come up with a final verdict when the tour ends?
, comment by coachhadly
coachhadly Trey's Funky Bitch solo was the best I've ever heard. People need to get over the "Phish should be Type II jamming" or "Phish isn't playing the way they used to" and just enjoy good music. Otherwise you are truly missing the whole point of why people listen to music in the first place. If there is one thing I have learned in going to Phish shows is the more expectations I have, the worse I perceive the show, while going in without any expectations always leads to a good show. The problem for some of these posters is they are locked into the former.

Ease up people. Phish has been doing this for a quarter century. How many of you enter a job with gusto and after a couple years you just don't have that fire to do the work anymore. Don't you think that even rock stars like Phish experience that when they drop into YEM for the millionth time? The fact that the band can be doing this for so long and be on tour and get rained out, only to come back and close with a Nuclear Fire Funky Bitch is a miracle in itself. There was NOTHING nostalgic about it. Maybe you were expecting a 1996 Hood, or a Forbin's-Mockingbird and didn't get it and that clouded your judgment. Give it a second listen.
, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo ...and Mike headed straight to Band Hospitality.
, comment by NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel In a different vein than what is mainly being discussed here, I know that most of my frustration is rooted in the fact that Phish clearly still "has IT". They've exemplified that a number times on this very tour. Bethel, Michigan, Blossom, moments of PNC...all time stuff. Then after Blossom, you could expect one plunge into the unknown a night, and lately it's dwindled down to nothing.

I had a thread over on the forum titled "Unhappy in Phishland" that was my venting session after Darien. Whenever this band takes risks, it always pays off. They're still capable of going there. And the first few weeks of this tour looked promising that they would "go there" on a consistent basis. Clearly, it was not to be.

And I'm only playing this card because I honestly (and selfishly) believe that this band is saving themselves for Superball IX. I know it sounds silly, but I think that their 10-14 minute jams with new sounds are just experimental sessions for what will become huge jams in Watkins. At least, that's what I'm hoping. With that in mind, these mediocre shows are a lot easier to deal with.

Here's hoping they steer the ship into some uncharted waters
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo @Live_Eels said:
Though I have yet to attend a show in person yet this tour, I keep up with the reviews pretty regularly. I am amazed at how fast people changed their tone - saying things like "declining", and "getting better is not their concern anymore" - LESS THAN TWO WEEKS after all the crazy hype following the Detroit and Blossom shows, Where things such as "this is the best they've ever sounded" and "they are clearly in their primes" were thrown around regularly.
You are reading "the reviews" as if they all came from a single person who "changed their tune" but really it is different people, talking about different shows, and so will result in different viewpoints depending on the reviewer and the show, yes?

Further it is possible for any single fan to express enthusiasm and praise on a particular show – as noted, I loved large segments of Bethel1, Bethel2, Pine Knob and Blossom, and the Gin > Light up from Tuesday was blistering, among other tour highlights – yet still view the tour as a whole as a) a downgrade on their overall level of play from as recently as last fall and b) filled with far too much air time that is just going through the motions.

As to the "nostalgia act" – that I recognize is a bit of a polarizing hot-botton phrase, given it is what Trey said in his infamous "Letter from Trey" that they never wanted to become – I'm not hearing folks flat out say "Phish is a nostalgia act." It would be incorrect, but I don't hear anyone saying that. JDG, the OP here, said "Wednesday night in Georgia, Phish played like a nostalgia act." He was referencing one show... and goes on to contextualize among the tour as a whole, but that is a lot different than "Phish IS a nostalgia act." They aren't, but they do display hints of being that, at times.

In any case, few if any of the comments seem to suggest any conclusive finality, and anyone who cares enough to be commenting in a thread like this even at the most "negative" is probably hopeful (if not even confident) that things take a turn toward the more risky and innovative and propel us all into a happy Phish future. I know that is where I'm at... I think the band is simply in a mini-funk. YMMV.
, comment by jezmund92
jezmund92 Though listening to the show might make it seem mostly predictable and un-groundbreaking, i have to say that being there was a completely different experience, at least for me. It was only my 7th show but id say by far the most unique (save the NYE Meatstick extravaganza) that ive been to.

Being out on the lawn for the downpour during Timber was nuts, and watching the entire first set unfold along with the torrent was like nothing ive ever been a part of before. Me and my friends toughed out the storm until the boys packed it up and we hurried into the pavillion. Standing around surrounded by enormous amounts of rain mixed with thunder and lightning on all sides with thousands of other people really was pretty cool. Many minutes (and Braves tomahawk chops) later the lights went out and of course went right back into mound.

I thought the Tweezer kicked ass, though it was brief. Only my second Slave but it was way better than the NYE one. Page shredded Suzy, and Character Zero was pretty hype. Definitely felt a little spoiled to get a Kung, which was hilarious.

Other than that musically there werent really any outstanding highlights, but the occasional heavy winds and random cracks of thunder really made this one special, to me at least. Icculus truly made his presence known last night, that I think we can all agree on.
, comment by LawnBoy0925
, comment by PhishPappap
PhishPappap I have been a concert and festival goer for eons. The fervor of the fans is what drives the bands. Near the end of my first love, GD, the chants of "nostalgia act" would burn your ears. I would be in on the discussions of "heard them do that before", "that version sucked", etc.... I'm not endorsing blind loyalty by any stretch of the imagination. But, everyone enjoys the experience differently. I'm just saying, have an intelligent discussion. Don't berate someone for having a different opinion. I've seen AWESOME Phish and I've seen so-so Phish. From 97 to the present. After you disect a show, take into account the fact that they are still around. Nothing lasts forever.
, comment by funk_lin
funk_lin Agree with JG's review. Seen 100+ shows since 1994. Traveled down to Ga from Ohio to connect with some old school phriends and catch some midweek shows at a venue none of us had been to but heard great things about.

---

What I haven't seen anyone write is how the band seemed to miss out on a genuinely organic moment that historically has rendered wonderful results. With NYE, Halloween, Red Rocks, Hampton, MSG runs, etc...there is always big expectation (watch out Tahoe be careful what you wish (expect?) for) - the event, the room, the history. It's all laying there leading up to the event...that's hard to separate from when your getting ready to attend. As a result there is always debate as to whether a show delivered and I think it's harder to arrive at a reasoned conclusion on that one.

Here, we had a spontaneous moment that affected everyone present. It was real. It was spontaneous and literally everyone was physically immersed in it at the venue (sideways rain poured into the pav drenching everyone0. Experiences like this have yielded some gems 12/30/93 (snowstorm for the driver from CT to ME), 7/22/97, 7/1/00, 7/14/00 (I was there for this and the weather last night was every bit as nasty and much more prolonged) and Deer Creek 09.

The moment was primed and the band simply did not deliver on the energy. Dropping a mid set Slave was at odds with Phish's history of being on the same wavelength as their phans. The playing in the 2nd set was not inspired by the moment. It just wasn't. The bailed tweezer, and the slave and bowie placement says it all to me. I'm more bothered by the fact that the band missed (I felt like they ignored it) the chance to make organically derived relevant music in the heat of the moment. That's contra to the Phish I know and love.

Have an off night but on a tour like this where there has been inconsistency go backstage and practice for 30 minutes before returning and deliver a gift to your phans who just endured some scary mother nature wrath.

, comment by PhishPappap
PhishPappap I meant I've seen Phish from 87- to present.
, comment by ScottyB
ScottyB @Live_Eels said:
Though I have yet to attend a show in person yet this tour, I keep up with the reviews pretty regularly. I am amazed at how fast people changed their tone - saying things like "declining", and "getting better is not their concern anymore" - LESS THAN TWO WEEKS after all the crazy hype following the Detroit and Blossom shows, Where things such as "this is the best they've ever sounded" and "they are clearly in their primes" were thrown around regularly.
How about we come up with a final verdict when the tour ends?
I understand your point. It reminds me of sports coverage. The Red Sox have a bad week and the Boston press wants to bury 'em, but three wins changes everything. I was at Merriweather and those two shows did not feature a band "in a funk." Do I wish they jammed more in Columbia? Absolutely, but there were more interesting moments in each of those four sets than in both Alpharetta shows combined. Let's see how things play out over the next three shows.

That being said (thanks to Larry David for ruining that phrase), Jeremy had a job to do and that was to share his thoughts on the show. He did so in an intelligent way that led to a lot of insightful comments until bmorris got involved. Unlike sports there aren't clear losses and victories, plus music is incredibly subjective - we all appreciate Phish for different reasons. I also appreciate reading fans' thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly because just as with 99% of Phish shows, there's always SOMETHING I can take away from someone else's viewpoint.

I don't think Phish is a nostalgia act, but they certainly aren't helping their case by debuting one song over the first six and a half months of 2011. I'm extremely intrigued by the lack of new originals as the band seemed so interested in writing new material over the first few tours since Hampton. While they are playing the Joy songs extensively, what happened to the songs they debuted in 2010? Show of Life has showed up a few times and Halfway to the Moon finally saw action on Sunday, but I'm disappointed What Things Seem, Summer of '89 (awaits flames), My Problem Right There, Burn That Bridge and Idea have yet to be performed this tour. Not a good sign, IMHO.

, comment by BadMustard
BadMustard Uninspired, flat, and boring. And the weather cannot be blamed because the first set was just as bad. Before set two, all of the extremely experienced Phish heads (I was on the rail Page side and there were many) all expected the band to come out and completely rage. I believed them and hoped it would push Phish to leave their game plan from set one behind and start over. With Tweezer I though it was going to come true. But it didn't. Trey dictated the show like I have never seen. Picking every song knowing full well that they didn't leave room for anyone else in the band to take off. It was not a Phish greatest hits, it was a Trey greatest hits. Compositional songs that break down to a soaring Trey solo. The only exception was Suzy, where Page can go nuts AND HE TRIED TO BUT TREY CUT HIM OFF TWICE. I WANTED TO SMACK TREY AND SO DID PAGE. AND IT WAS STILL THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE SHOW (GBOTT and Timber could argue against that).
I think that Trey really might have wanted to play a huge second set, but he seriously fucked it up. And the worst part is that Tuesdays show was INCREDIBLE. I was on the rail page side for that show as well and it was the best time of my life. The band was firing on all cylinders and laying down the THICK funk. IT WAS FREAKIN' AWESOME.
Night two blew...
, comment by ElCaballo
ElCaballo Holy shit I cannot believe what I’m reading. How can y’all bash those two nights at all? “pleasant mediocrity”? I mean come on guys... Its like you don’t enjoy Phish anymore unless its an exact copy of the Ghost from Prague. These past two nights were an excellent display of musicianship. I cannot fathom that anyone would be so desperate to sound like a critic to call it an “uninspiring show”. And further more how can you say that you were unlucky to be picked to write about them, you should be on your knees thanking the gods of music that you were graced to write about these shows. Wow, if I was a member of Phish and I read this I would leave the band, seeing how my phans reacted in such a negative manner to a show I obviously had so much fun playing. Its not all about you, and just cause you didn’t get the songs you wanted and didn’t get the show you wanted to “rave” about that doesn’t mean you can be such a jack. They had so much fun, and that fun was projected into the audience. There was so much emotion in that show... I can’t believe I read all of this. I can’t believe I associated myself with some of you.
, comment by Alumni
Alumni @Live_Eels said:
Though I have yet to attend a show in person yet this tour, I keep up with the reviews pretty regularly. I am amazed at how fast people changed their tone - saying things like "declining", and "getting better is not their concern anymore" - LESS THAN TWO WEEKS after all the crazy hype following the Detroit and Blossom shows, Where things such as "this is the best they've ever sounded" and "they are clearly in their primes" were thrown around regularly.
How about we come up with a final verdict when the tour ends?
Probably because a lot of the folks who have built up an impressive reservoir of goodwill toward this band over the years want to give them the benefit of the doubt, and aren't interested in "going negative" without waiting for more evidence. You're not reading people going bipolar. It's a different crowd
, comment by jwelsh8
jwelsh8 I would suggest you re-read JDG's thoughts on his experience from last night, as "bash" is certainly not the word that comes to mind. His thoughts were articulate and well thought-out -- and in reading them, he was able to put into words disparate ideas that were floating around my head.

This idea of "how can you criticize at all," incredulous-ness that someone would have the audacity to criticize Phish's music . . . it just doesn't sit well with me.
, comment by jwelsh8
jwelsh8 @kevinAreHollo said:
Terrific review, Jeremy. Thanks for taking the time to articulate the frustrations.

@David:

For example, the show played on 03-21-1993, in Ventura. Very standard sets by anyone's definition, until they get to Hood. This Hood (like so many other versions of so many other songs, I've already had this conversation with Charlie and Philip) doesn't contain any show notes, but upon listening I found myself knee-deep in what I thought was a Yo La Tengo or Kevin Shields' record. It's terrific stuff.
Based on your thoughts (Yo La Tengo jumped out at me, lol), I grabbed the show from the Spreadsheet and have been listening to the jam in Hood for about five or six times now. Really nice stuff. Fish's cymbal work and Page's piano carry the Hood jam through, but Trey builds and builds until the 8:30 mark or so when the distortion kicks in. Trey pushes this for about three minutes until it seamlessly drops into the end of Hood.

Leaves you wanting more! Ira is such an underrated guitarist, imo, and I would love Trey to drop into a a full on freak out a la Pass the Hatchet (although, the bass and drums are better suited for Russ and Tony, lol).
, comment by ElCaballo
ElCaballo Your last comment makes sense, I guess that I didnt word what I wanted to say right. But you cannot argue that what has been written is a little... I don’t know. It’s way to critical of what I and everyone I saw at that show thought was really one of their better performances.
, comment by LawnBoy0925
LawnBoy0925 its good to see that though we may not all agree.... most of us are there for the music. im tired of going to shows and seeing people w/ one thing on their minds...... trippin or ragin. makes me sad.
, comment by MrJones
MrJones @ScottyB said:
While they are playing the Joy songs extensively, what happened to the songs they debuted in 2010? Show of Life has showed up a few times and Halfway to the Moon finally saw action on Sunday, but I'm disappointed What Things Seem, Summer of '89 (awaits flames), My Problem Right There, Burn That Bridge and Idea have yet to be performed this tour. Not a good sign, IMHO.
That's a great point and something I didn't really pick up on. Where are those tunes!?!?!?

and @LawnBoy0925, ^^^^, I hear ya on the folks who just to go get f'ed up. Always a bummer.
, comment by custynoob
custynoob nostalgia's a bitch! good thing you all have a band as talented and awesome as Phish to critique. I wouldn't even want to see most of your reviews for the majority of other bands out there. No wonder so many phish fans hate on so many other bands...they even hate on their own band. So many of you act like this band owes you something, and that this is some holy high art. They are a freaking rock and roll band, and part of the reason they became who they are is by doing wtf they wanted to do when they wanted to do it. Personally I'm down to see the greatest hits tour with all the other peeps that wanna let loose and enjoy whatever comes. The rest of you can sit at home comparing 90's shows to now and write us all a thesis.
, comment by mhester
mhester this is my first time posting in this forum. my first Phish show was in '93, i'm 40yo. i attended both Alpharetta shows and will catch both NC shows.

as a counter to the overall tone of the original review and other comments expressing concern, disappointment, and frustration, i offer the following personal (although perhaps shared) opinions with decidedly more positive vibrations:

1) the band is playing as well now as they did in the mid-90's and better than they did in the 00's. discussions of whether they play enough Type II jams for one's pleasure aside, the musicianship and enjoyment on stage by the guys is great to experience. if you left last night complaining that Slave was in the middle of the set rather than smiling uncontrollably about that Timber Ho, you could find more worthwhile ways to spend your money. there are excellent charities that could do wonders with your $45-60.

2) and about that Slave... perfect example of the glass being half full/empty. i have been very pleased with the creative placement of songs in the setlists. Suzy and Slave being in the middle, rather than the ends, of sets? Dinner & a Movie Set 1 Opener?? these ARE examples - however small some may think of them - of creativity being bemoaned. "creativity" is more than just jamming. for that matter, so is Phish.

3) as for the complaint of "greatest hits," i have two simple replies:

a) Set II last night was a reasonable reaction by the band. the storms had battered the audience and it never stopped raining. it was easy to assume we were tired and a little antsy. consistently high energy was the only way the band could keep our mind on the music and off the lightning strikes. so we got high energy Type I jams like we heard in Tweezer> Julius and the Bowie.

b) one person's "nostalgia" is another person's "first time!" my niece got her first Fluffhead the previous night. she was BEAMING when the first notes were played. and yet, when i mentioned it to a friend who's been to more than 180 shows, he did the "meh, Fluffhead" thing that many of yall are doing now with your insightful (yet still pathetic in the "sad, gloomy" sense) critiques of the show. my point is this: one man gathers what another man spills. some decry the lack of Type II jamming and come away "frustrated," while others let the band make the selections and enjoy the moment for what it is. and the consensus is that the songs being played (omitting the catastrophe that was birdwatcher> kung) are being played VERY WELL. from someone who remembers the joy of hearing Type I jams for the first time AND the amazement when i heard the cowfunk of '97-98 introduce itself to the phans, i say i'd rather hear the band play what they want than make demands about what i need to hear.

i enjoy debate and constructive criticism more than most; but after reading this review and many of the negative comments that follow, i honestly feel several of yall would benefit from taking some time off from Phish - absence may indeed make the heart grow fonder. if you can't do that, then at least look for me at the NC shows (think Louis CK). i'll give you a big hug and maybe the perma-grin on my face will rub on your soul.

, comment by mhester
mhester oh, and one more thing - PAGE'S HOUSE!!
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown mhester, thanks for chiming in with a well-thought, thorough, and balanced counter-argument to the OP.

Unfortunately, you pretty much wreck the whole affair by subscribing to the "if you don't love Phish unconditionally then stop seeing Phish" meme.

It sucks. It really does. It's a pedantic thing to say. The people you're addressing have invested so many dollars and way more hours in the band it would make your head spin, and they are grown ups capable of making their own choices. For many of these people the choice is not whether to see Phish, but whether to see 10 shows or 8.

It's like one person wrote that sentence, and another person wrote the rest of the post.
, comment by mhester
mhester sorry it came across like that. i didn't mean "stop going to shows," i meant "maybe taking a step back would brighten your perspective." skipping a show or shows may mean when you come back, it will sound a bit fresher, less rote.

of course people can make their own choices. no one has suggested such fans be barred from attending. but if "frustration" and "disappointment" are the most common reactions one has to attending concerts of a band they love, something is amiss. and from the looks of the literally thousands of fans around me who appeared to be having a BLAST at Wednesday's show, it may not be the band that needs to change. and even if you still want to defend that "yes, actually, it IS the band that needs to change, they need to do _______ for the show to meet my standards of what is a 'good Phish show'," then your disappointment is going to continue.
, comment by Icculus
Icculus FLUFFHEAD!!!!!!
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @mhester said:
sorry it came across like that. i didn't mean "stop going to shows," i meant "maybe taking a step back would brighten your perspective." skipping a show or shows may mean when you come back, it will sound a bit fresher, less rote.

of course people can make their own choices. no one has suggested such fans be barred from attending. but if "frustration" and "disappointment" are the most common reactions one has to attending concerts of a band they love, something is amiss. and from the looks of the literally thousands of fans around me who appeared to be having a BLAST at Wednesday's show, it may not be the band that needs to change. and even if you still want to defend that "yes, actually, it IS the band that needs to change, they need to do _______ for the show to meet my standards of what is a 'good Phish show'," then your disappointment is going to continue.
I get your point. But Phish isn't just a band to fans. It's an experience. At its best it is the best experience some of us can imagine. It is, like everything else, fleeting. Nothing that good can last, or is meant to. Life.

I think a lot of Phish fans are middle aged now, like me. Time and mortality are accelerating and the degree to which we can manage and cope with that gracefully is varied. Think of how intertwined your life is with Phish's music; at least for me it has been the soundtrack of my late 20s, all of my 30s, and at least a bit of my early 40s. So as Phish changes it is natural to want to comment on and otherwise process it.

I think this explains a lot of the drama around 3.0 Phish. Phish has defied linear time, gravity, and other forces of nature; I'm sure part of me wants to see them defy age and mortality too.
, comment by ericn33
ericn33 I go to shows. I dance. Down with the talk!!
, comment by ADAWGWYO
ADAWGWYO Wow!! My trust-fund ran out years ago and now I have a fukin job, so I missed the party that went down up in heya today. Damn. Looks like that morris character done made him seff some phriends today. Well, shit.

Only thing I have to add/say relating to this long parlay is what I felt at my 2 shows this summer. They are all playing exceptionally well on an individual level, agreed. But to me it doesn't seem they are listening to one another as they play. Transitions, fluidity, and cohesion exist when the band is playing as one driving force. Besides the composed sections, that driving force is more often than not absent. It is easier to stop the song and start a new. I really think that Blossom Sally shined as bright as it did because Trey laid off the guitar for a spell and let the other 3 put something together. He stopped playing(for the most part) and therefore.. probably listened more. Mike seems bored and I feel he would rather be touring with his solo project. Where are all his songs from the spring? Looks like Trey has completely given up on Sugar Shack. Round Room 3.0 is a cookie-cutter. It was awesome to see some emotion on Mike's face for the bass solo outro during YEM at Riverbend. "Sweet I get to play!?!" Fish and Page are the MVP's for me this tour. Page is tearing up the keys and man, did he want to cut loose on that Tube at Blossom. Nope. Rip-cord. Let Phil sing!!=Let Page play!!!

I am curious to see where this goes. Fall last year was making nice progress towards what I think we(yeah I am talking to you) were looking for. This tour seems kinda sugar-free to me. I don't give a shit if I get a bunch of 3.0 noobs tellin me whatever- best this, RAGE that. I've been in love with this band for 16 plus years and this is like, my opinion, man. My frame of reference includes all the point-O's of this band and for me to sit here and fluff how I feel about their current state aint gonna happen. I lay back in the cut most of the time, stay pretty humble. This thread goaded me to say more than I usual about the current state of the phish. My opinion is as valuable as yours. Not jaded. Educated
, comment by Live_Eels
Live_Eels Was just chatting with a friend of mine who brought up an interesting point. Is there a chance that perhaps the crazy, exploratory jams of the Bethel/Detroit/Blossom shows brought Trey back to a dark place he's hoping to avoid? Maybe he's playing it safe for his own mental health... Highly doubt this is the case, but definitely marinating on the thought while re-listening to the ATL shows.
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy fuel to the fire I suppose, but nevertheless, another's opinion on recent happenings with Phish: http://www.avivhadar.com/2011/06/16/phish-a-personal-reflection/
, comment by provolone
provolone This is the best Phish discussion on the Net. 59 shows since 12/15/95, didn't spend a dime on Phish till Jerry died wouldn't travel to see anybody else since. Got PNC 2 and Camden this summer and I have to call it, wife due in July. PNC sucked, Camden was awesome! So goes Phish, anybody who hasn't seen 20 shows doesn't understand the ability to compare one to other because they are so freaking psyched to see everything. A few lame shows is nothing to lose hope over, in fact if that were case I would have given up in 2003, which sucked. Can I get a Walls set closer eight shows in a row? The Hampton reunion was legendary, Fenway a let down, Syracuse blew my mind, summer 2010 left me back in 03, the Halloween run better than ever so goes Phish, but I will be there for the ups and downs. The thought of missing a show I could have attended is beyond me, even after all the hack jobs I've seen. The best this world has to offer.
, comment by ADAWGWYO
ADAWGWYO @tmwsiy said:
fuel to the fire I suppose, but nevertheless, another's opinion on recent happenings with Phish: http://www.avivhadar.com/2011/06/16/phish-a-personal-reflection/
Well he said it much more eloquently than I could. I agree with him completely. These days I go to shows sober(completely), and except for a few times at the 2 OH shows I thought the shows were mediocre at best. Blossom was one of the better ones? Yes, I really enjoyed the first set of Blossom- the FIRST set. FYF through Rocket in my Pocket I really enjoyed. Foam was nice- nothing special, but enjoyable. Ocelot is my son's song and it was a good one. I really like the outro jam in Ocelot. They treated BOTT like a first set cookie cutter song. Filler. Guelah is Guelah- still dig it though. I was hoping they were gonna take Tube somewhere. I thought in my head, "they read our posts on the .net about how shitty the PNC Tube was and this is gonna be their redemption!" Nope. Just another four minute Tube 3 shows later. Man Page wanted to go too!! Fukin take the leash off that dawg and let'em run around a bit. In 96 a 4 minute Tube was excuseable/awesome cuz ya got one once a year. That, and they hadn't shown us what they could do with that beast yet. ie 97-98. Antelope ... just don't run like it used to.

Second set: Birds?? not in 98 and not now. Blossom Possum.. jaggered up timing and all. At least it was unique. Piper was filler on 6/4 and not the kind you put at the end of a blank tape as a tasty bonus-morsel. Steam is AWESOME. I like it a lot. Some Phish songs take me a bit to warm up to but not Steam. I can see this turning into something(hopefully) like the Meat soundcheck jam from 7/8/98. Now, that Sally IS SPECIAL. They could'a done that staccato/plinko segment for the rest of the show and I would have been beaming! Anyways, two and a half hour concert and there was about 40 minutes of keeper. And this is one of the better shows of the tour????? That's not how I remember it. That is definately not how I want it to be. We know what this car is capable of..... let's get er out on the open road and see what she can do.

I'm not gonna get into Riverbend except I had been waiting since Big Cypress for another C&P and, well. I got one. Prior to the OH shows I was scheming on how I could make it to more shows. "Well, Darien is only 4 and a half from the Burgh. I could get Wed off...." Then after following the tour through Bethel and PNC I was like, well, let's see how the OH shows are. Now, I want everyone to know I had an excellent time and this tirade makes it sound like I am hating, but I'm not. Love Phish. But driving home I decided I was cool with the 2 shows I got. This is the first time in my 16 years of Phishin that this decision has been at all easy. And I am ok with not seeing them until.... ??? Looks like a NYE run maybe!?! Next year maybe!?! I don't know but I hope they either shift gears and stop posing like the kings of jam or do something with their off time to bring some cohesion to the group. I am hopeful but weary.

@tmwsiy Notice at the bottom of Aviv's blog how he denied the 'comments' part of the blog. He probably didn't want to deal with the imminent retaliation. Like the one I'm about to most likely experience.

Peace and love the phish
, comment by davidbowieUB40
davidbowieUB40 agree with your review...ready to see what the next 3 bring tho.

, comment by WasteOfTime
WasteOfTime Broadcasts hurt show quality (with exceptions). I don't think it's pressure or any of the usual reasons people have trouble with large audiences. I am convinced that the disconnection with the audience is death for an improvisational band and causes a lot of second guessing. That may sound a little flaky but it is worthy of consideration. The best shows within the past years have been the intimate ones, like Fall tour. Utica has been one of the most talked about show in years and it was also one of the smallest. Playing a big sold-out outdoor show with a simulcast during a thunderstorm can generate shows like this, particularly if there are other factors we don't see ( the show part is a tiny fraction of what makes these events happen). Things will fall back into place. I know of at least one other band that played weak shows when on TV or radio but stole my face most other nights...
, comment by lumpblockclod
lumpblockclod @mhester said:
of course people can make their own choices. no one has suggested such fans be barred from attending. but if "frustration" and "disappointment" are the most common reactions one has to attending concerts of a band they love, something is amiss. and from the looks of the literally thousands of fans around me who appeared to be having a BLAST at Wednesday's show, it may not be the band that needs to change. and even if you still want to defend that "yes, actually, it IS the band that needs to change, they need to do _______ for the show to meet my standards of what is a 'good Phish show'," then your disappointment is going to continue.
Here's the thing that I think a lot of people are missing. It is entirely possible to hold similar opinions to JDG and ... wait for it ... STILL HAVE A BLAST at even the most "disappointing" show. Just because I wish the band would take more risks, doesn't mean that I don't still love their songs. Even if I knew Phish was going to exclusively play shows like 6/15, I'd still go see this band several times a year. I think I speak for the vast majority of the so-called "jaded" fans in this thread in saying that our criticisms, as they are, stem from our love of this band.

It's not a matter of step back and see less shows. I know what I hear and I know the kind of music these four guys can make. Going to less shows won't change that. Nevertheless, if I was the guy next to you at Alpharetta, you would almost certainly count me among those "having a blast."
, comment by Harry__Hood95
Harry__Hood95 @ADAWGWYO said:
Wow!! My trust-fund ran out years ago and now I have a fukin job, so I missed the party that went down up in heya today. Damn. Looks like that morris character done made him seff some phriends today. Well, shit. Only thing I have to add/say relating to this long parlay is what I felt at my 2 shows this summer. They are all playing exceptionally well on an individual level, agreed. But to me it doesn't seem they are listening to one another as they play. Transitions, fluidity, and cohesion exist when the band is playing as one driving force. Besides the composed sections, that driving force is more often than not absent.
I wonder if lack of practice is playing a big role. Back when I got into the band (1995), their marathon practice sessions were the thing of legend. Plus they were playing probably twice (if not 3x) the number of gigs. It stands to reason that they would be that much better playing together than they are now. Granted, all the years of playing together would compensate for it somewhat, but not completely.
, comment by tweezer
tweezer @lumpblockclod said:
Here's the thing that I think a lot of people are missing. It is entirely possible to hold similar opinions to JDG and ... wait for it ... STILL HAVE A BLAST at even the most "disappointing" show. Just because I wish the band would take more risks, doesn't mean that I don't still love their songs. Even if I knew Phish was going to exclusively play shows like 6/15, I'd still go see this band several times a year. I think I speak for the vast majority of the so-called "jaded" fans in this thread in saying that our criticisms, as they are, stem from our love of this band."
This is a great point, sir. I have seen a few stinker shows in my day when weighed against Phish's own vast and great history, but I had a blast at every one of them!

I simply refuse to submit to the concept, as some put worth in this forum as a whole, that there is no value in evaluating art on its own merits. The only way to comment on how good a particular Monet painting is is by comparing it to other artists' work and to all of Monet's other paintings. For some reason, many people bristle when anyone compares a Phish show to other shows the band has played, especially in different eras.

As long as it is stated as opinion, how can one bristle at comparing an artists' work to the rest of their output? Monet is my favorite painter by a country mile. There are some of his paintings that I don't care for as much as others. But they are still Monet paintings. I still love them. So does it make me 'jaded' about Monet if I don't like every single one of his paintings as much as The Water-Lily Pond, 1899? I would argue that it sure doesn't.

I have not witnessed the same kind of attitudes in the classical music world. There are plenty of people who like Gustav Mahler's earlier works more than his later works and yet I've never heard anyone ever call someone 'jaded' for having that view. I've also never heard anyone who likes Mahler 3 better than Mahler 9 to 'stop analyzing and enjoy'.

I am so excited for Portsmouth I can't sit still. I used to have the opportunity to see a whole lot of shows but now that I'm married, own a house, all that good stuff, I've had to let up big time. This will be the only show that I see in 2011 and I will have a BLAST. But it might not be on my iPod six months later. That remains to be seen. But like @lumpblockclod said above, if I was next to you at a show, you would almost certainly count me among those "having a blast" as well.

Phish for President in 2012.
, comment by kevinAreHollo
kevinAreHollo

Based on your thoughts (Yo La Tengo jumped out at me, lol), I grabbed the show from the Spreadsheet and have been listening to the jam in Hood for about five or six times now. Really nice stuff. Fish's cymbal work and Page's piano carry the Hood jam through, but Trey builds and builds until the 8:30 mark or so when the distortion kicks in. Trey pushes this for about three minutes until it seamlessly drops into the end of Hood.

Leaves you wanting more! Ira is such an underrated guitarist, imo, and I would love Trey to drop into a a full on freak out a la Pass the Hatchet (although, the bass and drums are better suited for Russ and Tony, lol).
Glad you dig it!

THAT'S the shit that (still, do this day, no matter how I feel about 3.0 or whatever) makes me marvel at the simple power of four guys making music together. The elements of surprise and wonder and danger are irreproachable.

I haven't been surprised since Dog Log at Merriweather Post in 2000.
, comment by npeart
npeart I love Phish. When I have a ticket I cannot wait for show day. Each time I have seen them I have been blown away, and convince myself that THAT show was better than one's before. I was lucky enough to attend Utica in front of the band's parents --- what a special night! It bums me out to hear denigrating comments regarding this version or that version, etc. I am lucky to see Phish at all. They are top-flight musicians who are stellar in what they bring to me. At Darien I was in front of Kuroda, and to watch him work was a really great memory.

Phish has been playing for 30 years? When some of you saw them in version 2.0 or even at inception, it was fresh, new and something totally unique. I am reminded of the 56 minute Runaway Jim --- takes you someplace and back again and you wonder where the time went. Now it's more of a meta-experience --- they come on stage at 8pm and leave me after 11 and I wonder where the time has gone. Sure, I get bored at times, but I also get uber-excited during those three hours, and my feet always hurt from dancing on cement. I am blessed to see them and to experience a truly one of a kind event.

As some of you know, I have been a Rush fan for 30 years as well --- COMPLETELY different set-up; they try for playing note perfect rote versions of their songs, and that is what those shows are about. Other end of the spectrum here.

Thank you Phish.
, comment by Frankster
Frankster When you pay $60 for ticket you have the right to say what ever you want! Do you have the option of not buying the ticket? Yes. If someone thinks night two was weak then so be it. I certainly did! Tuesday night provided way more juice just listen to light up, FDF> Gin Sand> DWD> Maze, 2001. My only highlight from Wed. was Timber. I still love this band and had a great time both nights. And yes I will continue to shell out $60 and I will continue to critique both good and bad shows.
, comment by ElCaballo
ElCaballo @mhester I am with you. Just because I may not have seen a cool segue in the middle of Possum into HYHU and back in to Possum and I didn’t see the Lizards like I was praying for and I didn’t see YEM like me and all my friends agreed would grace our presence I thought what was displayed before us was SICK, absolutely stellar. Type II jams are not necessary, but they are nice to see (OCELOT). I’ve listened so much to the jams of the yester-years of Phish and what I heard these two nights were on par with what I heard from back then. I don’t think I am the only one who saw how much phun the band was having up there, and to knock on them for having it is kind of... silly. If so many people are hating on what they are producing, it means what they are producing is real. Haters gonna hate on whats real. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
, comment by ElCaballo
ElCaballo Oh and by the way that Funky Bitch was sooooooo nasty. Five thumbs up.
, comment by thedudeabides
thedudeabides I agree caballo. What I've seen this tour has been fun to say the least. To all who are doubting the phish lately I do just want to add that Phish has always found ways to subtly or not so subtly reinvent themselves almost every tour. I've been seeing them since 2/92 and have always been amazed by that. Its what keeps me coming back. Also I can tell the band is really having a genuinely good time up there. What we're witnessing lately in my opinion is a sort of rebirth. Some may like what they're hearing while others may not
, comment by thedudeabides
thedudeabides Correction 12/92. Not that it matters. But they sound tighter than they have in years and that's exciting
, comment by ScottyB
ScottyB @Harry__Hood95 said:
@ADAWGWYO said:
Wow!! My trust-fund ran out years ago and now I have a fukin job, so I missed the party that went down up in heya today. Damn. Looks like that morris character done made him seff some phriends today. Well, shit. Only thing I have to add/say relating to this long parlay is what I felt at my 2 shows this summer. They are all playing exceptionally well on an individual level, agreed. But to me it doesn't seem they are listening to one another as they play. Transitions, fluidity, and cohesion exist when the band is playing as one driving force. Besides the composed sections, that driving force is more often than not absent.
I wonder if lack of practice is playing a big role. Back when I got into the band (1995), their marathon practice sessions were the thing of legend. Plus they were playing probably twice (if not 3x) the number of gigs. It stands to reason that they would be that much better playing together than they are now. Granted, all the years of playing together would compensate for it somewhat, but not completely.
This is a GREAT point which doesn't get much play. What is the band using the practice room for these days? They are killing the songs they play all the time, but still struggling with the one and two-timers. Add that to only two debuts on the tour and it shows a band that hasn't practiced very much to me. If you're going to sing Birdwatcher, how about running through it once? Phish took so much pride in their work ethic throughout many points of their career. Wish they still did.
, comment by fluffhead316
fluffhead316 I think you complainers should quit going to shows... best Tour since 1999-2000, and all you do is complain!
, comment by dipped
dipped How far from the statue of liberty should you be in order to get the best view? (Bear with me) This is a problem I had kids tackle every year in my Calculus class. We can define "best view" as one in which the statue fills the largest percentage of our vision. If we are very far away, the staue looks tiny and fills up a small portion of our vision. yet if we are too close - perhaps right up against the pedestal, then again we have a narrow and distorted view. At some distance, we find a view that fills our vision, that balances the nearness and the distance.
Periodically, through the years I have found myself either too far or too close to the band. In the mid-to-late 80's, I was perhaps at what I now consider a great distance. They were a really neat band, talented and different. I'd see a show, enjoy, and forget until next they popped up on radar. In the 90's I began to see them regularly - perhaps too much. I found myself getting bored at times with songs I used to love because I'd seen them a lot. I had gotten too close. Finally, the closeness got too much - I felt I had lost perspective - that they had become more than what they were - a really good band. I forced myself away.
Since then I've remained at what I consider a comfortable distance. I check them out a couple of times per year. I listen to them sporadically in between. I try to keep them at a distance from which I can appreciate them. Not too close to see the weathering pock marks; not too far away that I forget what hooked me in the first place.

That being said - I had a great time at Great Woods. I thought they sounded great and seemed to be having a good time. I was a bit bored with the webcast set 2. Time for a break...I'll be back. After all, they're a good band, one of my favorites!
, comment by ELEGIO
ELEGIO Phish fans are so lucky that they can complain about standard set lists and lack of inspired improv.
You're all too spoilt. In the land of OZ a live gig/tour consists of a well worn set list that will almost always revolve around radio hits. The majority of Australian audiences are just too cool to tolerate improvisation in rock.
After 15 years I would like to see Phish play just once, even on a bad night I'm sure it would pass Australian standards a million fold.
, comment by mikh2wg
mikh2wg Wow, one night in Alpharetta and everyone forgets 2010. Providence? Merriweather Post? Guyutica? Last year was great. These days, I listen to the highlights from 2010 way more than I listen to 93-94. Last year there were some awesome jams. The kind of music that I can listen to over and over again. Phish found a whole new style of jamming and ran with it. And this year, they're not doing the same thing. Because they have never done the same thing from year to year.
In 94 and 97 they discovered new ways to jam. The crowd loved it, and they could have stayed in either of those styles for the rest of their career and made tons of cash and made lots of people happy. But that's not what Phish does. They move forward. They find something new and work that for a while and then move onto something else. So in 98, they didn't stick with the same style of funk jamming as they did in 97. They spent more time digging into their catalog and pulling out covers no one would ever expect: Rhinoceros? Sabotage? Who could have predicted that in the fall of 97?
So in 2011 you can't expect them to do the same things they did in 2010. Or ever before. They're looking for a new things to do. They open shows with requests, they close sets with The Curtain With. They focus more on the structure of the song and the story of the song than a huge jam. Are they always successful? No. But that's what happens when you are always moving forward.
The standard for Phish should not be, "is this like Hampton 97?" It should be "have I seen them do this before?"
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo @mikh2wg said:
Wow, one night in Alpharetta and everyone forgets 2010. Providence? Merriweather Post? Guyutica?
Why would you think, based on one review, that anyone "forgets 2010?" First, 2010 was uneven at best, but did indeed include many great shows, including those that you mention? Fall '10 was generally a very, very good tour (lets not forget Augusta and Manchester in that mix). I'm not sure where either the OP or anyone in this thread is saying anything to the contrary.

<snip>

Are they always successful? No. But that's what happens when you are always moving forward.The standard for Phish should not be, "is this like Hampton 97?" It should be "have I seen them do this before?"
Well, that presumes that they are "always moving forward," and I suppose that is what is really at issue, as opposed to the assumption that you make, that they are in fact always doing so. Are they? Hard to say. But to assume that because one asks that question that they want Phish music "to be like Hampton '97" misses the point entirely. As soon as someone says "oh, gee, I want to play like they did at Hampton '97" then you'll have a point, otherwise you aren't reading for content, you are reading for straw men.

Your points are appreciated, I hear what you are saying in the abstract. I'm quite sure, there will be many commenters in here, AFTER the high quality Charlotte show, saying "oh, well, not a nostalgia act NOW, are they?" :-) And no, in *Charlotte*, they showed much better. Which is awesome! I only wanted to point out, in defense of the OP, that this review was in reference to one show. The commenters here are drawing from *different shows* that were not Alpharetta2. Apples, oranges.

Phish is a great band (duh!). The folks bothering to comment here obviously love the art they produce. To my eyes, that comes through clear as day in the vast majority of the comments. Part of loving a complex, rich, diverse artistic phenomenon involves all sorts of emotions and characterizations from admiration, awe, indifference, confusion, appreciation, etc. So when you read these posts and comments, my only advice would be to READ them, presume neutral at worst and positive at best intentions, and THINK about what is being said, instead of lurching toward the first available preconception of some "position" that you can most easily "refute."

Hope that makes some sense. This whole thread demonstrates why I'm simultaneously thrilled, fascinated, and confused both by Phish, and Phish fans. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the whole endeavor is so compelling.

Cheers.
, comment by uncleEbs
uncleEbs 1st time poster, thank you phish.net for all you do and to all the seriously dedicated phans who run this place

i've loved all the recent show reviews on here and this comment threat was a rewarding read - such an interesting time in 3.0 (and overall in phishtory)

i don't know why, but my thought this evening

- after they shone much brighter tonight (can't believe anyone really doubts the phish capacity to deliver - nostalgia act - not in my book, unless that is only pointing out the fact that there is so much over the decades to look back happily upon that phish has delivered) -

- is that i really hope the nastiness of that ATL storm and the conflicted phish emotions the show stoked in phans in the two days since, the general unease on what tour is saying right now, etc -

that 6.15 > 6.17.2011 is noted as a key/final turning point fulcrum in the eventual total and complete phish ascension that we all know is possible and imo likely

5 shows til' the gorge!
, comment by mikh2wg
mikh2wg Ok, Ya got me. I didn't read every single one of the 149 replies preceding mine, and perhaps I should have been more on topic. I was replying to some overall themes I had been seeing on replies to these recaps and not the recap itself.

Why would you think, based on one review, that anyone "forgets 2010?" First, 2010 was uneven at best, but did indeed include many great shows, including those that you mention? Fall '10 was generally a very, very good tour (lets not forget Augusta and Manchester in that mix). I'm not sure where either the OP or anyone in this thread is saying anything to the contrary.

I did read at least 10 replies on here that completely trashed all of 3.0, so I wanted to jump in and defend 2010 a bit.
<snip>

This whole thread demonstrates why I'm simultaneously thrilled, fascinated, and confused both by Phish, and Phish fans. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the whole endeavor is so compelling.

I totally agree. It's just fun to debate this stuff with people who have strong opinions and are articulate enough to express them well. I promise to reply to specific stuff in the future and stick to comparing apples to apples.
Good talk, man. Good talk.
, comment by mhester
mhester i hope all those who've been frustrated and disappointed were in Charlotte. if that didn't make your soul smile, you may want to get checked out by a physician - you may be a zombie

;-P
, comment by masolas
masolas this is to Samba in the Rain at the top of this blog or whatever. Samba in the rain is a jab below the belt. Your time finding words that are meaningless to the point of the bands efforts is a waste. No one cares what you think or say. The point of the show and the band will agree is the energy and the enjoyment everyone gets. Get a job or a girlfriend and enjoy the moment cause you're wasting not only everybody's time but most importantly your own. I respect the band and their fan base but when you post things like Samba in the Rain your so far off its like some one broke your arms and fucked you in the butt and you're bitter about it. Enjoy the show fuck face or don't go.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @masolas said:
No one cares what you think or say.
I just thought I'd take this opportunity to alert you that yours is the 155th comment in this thread.
, comment by lunamoon
lunamoon Ya know... If you're gonna nit pick, leave your ticket for me to buy next tour. I can't go to 25 shows a year anymore, and I appreciate every song they play and every off key note they sing. I've been touring for almost 12 years and I'm kinda tired of all the negativity :\
, comment by BrotherEarth
BrotherEarth Totally Bogus Review. This should not be listed as show review. It is not. It is just an essay, obviously written in advance of the show, and manages to mention almost nothing about the actual show. The writers agenda comes through clear (Trash Phish 3.0), but there is little or no details about the actual show. If the writer watched or even listened to the show, he would have mentioned what happened in Suzy Greenberg, and the significance of the crescendo in Page's solo.

I've read reviews I've disagreed with before, some positive some negative, but there was at least some resemblance to the actual show. But, this is the first time I've ever read a supposed review in which I could not even recognize it as having anything to do with the show I saw.

Shame! Shame on Phish.net for posting it, and Shame on Jeremy D. Goodwin, a supposed communications expert, for phoning in an agenda based essay under the guise of a show review.
, comment by funk_lin
funk_lin

Was nice to read this series of threads and see the names of rmp'ers from the day providing informed commentary vs. the typical naysaying PT/2.0/3.0 fluff crowd.

It will really be a disappointment if the band takes from Alpha2 anything other than their fans deserve inspired performances every night. What JEG has to say holds truth and at $45+ tickets, cost of travel and lodging, the band needs to show intent and dedication to make magic happen.While inspiration may evoke failure, I'm willing to take it so long as the band is not mailing it in.

Timber had some moments, and wheee Suzy had a crescendo (though trey cut in on page) but c'mon, it's nothing that special in light of the body of work (see, e.g. 10/18/96 II Suzy for something to take home with you).

Also, to date no one has even reference the idea mentioned (by me) in a post above about lack of spontaneity in the night and failure to seize on mother nature's relevant organic moment. That - to me - supports everything wrong with Alpha2.

, comment by BrotherEarth
BrotherEarth I'm curious. How many of the people here who are dissing the new shows in favor of the old shows are simply remembering those great High School / College years, and now, 15+ years later are feeling a bit disconnected from the now younger concert crowd? Is there a generational disconnect? Did Phish miscalculate the audience for the live stream, and play a set geared toward the younger crowd? Or is the younger generation of concert goers even interested in Phish?
, comment by JessJess
JessJess Raucous, riveting, ridiculous. Phish's performance on that Wednesday night was one of animosity, for the phans and the band. The impending feeling of doom was settling thick over the crowd as a rampaging Trey tore up "Timber". As I got to witness my second live and in-person Phish show, and the rarity that is "Mound", the storm overhead brewed with intense rage. As bolts of lightning tore through the sky during the latter part of "Timber", Trey's voice could be heard over the music, explaining lightheartedly that we should wait and enjoy the, "storm, storm, STORM!!!" After Page got a chance to shred his keyboard towards the end of Mound, Trey came in guns blazing for "Tweezer". As my friend and I exchanged anxious looks in reaction to yet another Tweezer, the band spiced it up a bit and changed the lyrics from, "Cold, cold, cold", to a much more appropriate, "Wet, wet, wet." After the following show, my friends and I retreated back to the hotel to recap the night. We came up with the idea that Alpharetta: Night Two had two separate vibes to them. The obvious conjecture that we collectively left the night with was that we got to see, "the setlist that never was". If you look closely at the first set's arsenal, you will notice that the first set had a much more Phishy feel. Not that the second set wasn't a completely rocking, but the band was under pressure due to the dramatic storm that was making many less "gung-ho" phans evacuate the outdoor venue. Throwing hit after hit at the crowd to appease the appetite of the remaining phans and the webcast, I believe this evidence points to a compiled set of hits that wasn't part of the original plan. One of the most interesting parts of the night was Trey and Page's bout during "Suzy Greenburg", as Trey cut-off Page's unruly solo. As the night drew to a close and "Tweezer Reprise" blew the roof off the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, we all wondered what could have been of the setlist that never was.
, comment by BrotherEarth
BrotherEarth @JessJess said:
the setlist that never was.
Excellent observation.

This was an entirely "in the moment" show, everything from the first set audibles, where Trey kept pulling out songs that somehow referenced water, to the second set resumption of mound, and its reference to seeking shelter, to the high octane RnR which seemed like Phish was trying to out power the storm, to the a cappella set finish, (with its shades of another flooded Atlanta show).

I'll definitely remember it as an amazing experience.
, comment by Klo1975
Klo1975 @zzyzx said:
"the sense of wild improvisational abandon with which it frequently played in 1993 through 2000, plus 2003 and 2004. Sure, perhaps it's unfair to take this one ten-year period of the band's work and consider that the norm. "

They didn't "frequently" have improvisational abandon in 93... it happened in like a dozen shows, tops. I defy you to find many interesting jams between the Backyard in Austin (day after the Bomb Factory) and 5/26/94 - a stretch as long as this tour has been. Hell even in 95, I saw 5 shows on the fall tour (the NW run) and the only interesting jams were a slightly different arrangement of Slave in Seattle and a very good Harry Hood in Spokane, but probably not much better than last night. With the exceptions of 97 and 03-04, the big improvisational highlights were always in the exceptional shows, the ones we talked about after the tour, not something to expect night after night after night. It's just that no one listens to 6/13/94 or 11/23/96 or 10/5/95 so we forget that they exist.
, comment by Cavern
Cavern I WAS THERE AND THE BOYS DID A GREAT JOB UNDER THE CONDICTIONS...SEEN PHISH SINCE 96 AND THIS WAS A GREAT SHOW....DAMN PEOPLE...REALLY
, comment by drucifer
drucifer Had a blast both nights, and the re-listen isn't too bad either.
 
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Fun with Setlists

September 30, 1991
25 years ago
The Dugout Lounge, Ohio University

Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture, Foam, Fee, Paul and Silas, Stash, Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > Sparkle, Take the 'A' Train, Llama

Set 2: Possum[1], Cavern, The Mango Song > Tweezer > My Sweet One, Horn, The Landlady > The Lizards, Tweezer Reprise, Happy Birthday to You[2], Love You > Hold Your Head Up

Encore: Good Times Bad Times

[1] Two Charlie Chan signals and Simpsons and Claping signals.
[2] Performed by Trey, Page, and Mike. Sung by Fish and the crowd.

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