Thursday 08/30/2012 by TheEmu

OKC RECAP: LET'S ALL GO TO THE ZOO

One of the things we like to do as Phish fans is try to guess which shows will rage the hardest. Venues with unique qualities, whether it is the name (The Bomb Factory), the location (The Gorge; Red Rocks), or the building (Hampton Coliseum) tend to be prime candidates in games of “Find the Rager,” so of course a lot of early money was on The Oklahoma Zoo Amphitheatre to host a memorable show. Expectations increased after a standout show and epic “Limb By Limbthe night before in St. Louis, even though the band seemed to take a potential animal-themed show off the table by also playing “Runaway Jim,” “Ocelot,” “The Sloth,” “Camel Walk,” and “Possum.” Unfortunately, expectations are sometimes confounded, and the Zoo gig would prove (at least on tape) to be more bear than bull, with ample mistakes, low heat, and little flow.

Kill Devil Falls” is a high energy opening tune, but this version doesn’t seem to have its batteries fully charged yet. “Rift” is up next and is rendered in solid though not pristine fashion. Trey takes a moment after “Rift” to mention that the trip to the Zoo Amphitheatre was a band request, and they are so excited to be there that they are “kind of freaking out.” “Wilson” is played with about the same level of accuracy as “Rift,” and is followed by a “Backwards Down the Number Line” which struggles and ultimately fails to get over the hump.

The Moma Dance” gives us our first dose of Cactus, though a small one, and sets up a bust-out of sorts, the second “Divided Sky” of the year. Even with a bit of lyrical flubbage, “Divided Sky” is strong and brings some needed lift to the set. That energy is maintained, though not built upon, by “Wolfman’s Brother,” which offers a little bit of plinko, a healthy dose of funk, a dollop of rock, and one of the better peaks in the first set. “Axilla” is next in a bid to maintain the momentum, but Trey badly mangles the intro to “46 Days,” which feels like attempt to shout some more life into the set. “Ya Mar” can’t offer much help, since Trey seems to have largely abandoned soloing in the song. This version seems particularly short, with Trey playing just a few measures before returning to the closing riff. “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” appears for the first time in eighteen shows, and is one of the higher points of the opening frame, but the set-closing “Run Like an Antelope” plods in sleepy fashion toward the break before a violent peak erupts.

Down with Disease” starts set two where set one left off, with a lyrical flub and meandering jam that finds Trey trying several ideas which never take hold. “Disease” grows spacey and starts to fall apart before Trey creates a jarring segue by abruptly counting off “Birds of a Feather,” which receives a cursory, album-length reading.

My Friend, My Friend” is one of my favorite tunes, and actually is the first Phish song I heard live, but here it seems randomly inserted and is beyond sloppy as Trey can’t seem to find his place on the fret board. The transition to “Rock and Roll” is enjoyable, though, with the Velvet Underground song replacing the “myfe” lyric. “Rock and Roll” lives up to its name, taking a traditional type-I approach before entering an “it was all right” reprise of sorts that is one of the more interesting moments of the night. Before the jam can get too weird, though, it dies away and is replaced by “Twist,” which starts out sparse and jazzy before swelling and flirting with a pretty ambient section. This “Twist” never finds its way, though, and all of the extra “woos” tacked on to the end can’t change that.

If I Could” is a gorgeous tune and I’ll always be happy to hear it, even though I’m not sure what happened to the final chorus. This breather is quickly followed by “Light,” which starts suddenly, adding to the uneven feel of the show, and spends most of its time in dissonance without transitioning into one of the spectacular “Light” jams we’ve become accustomed to. With “Light” dying away in the same fashion as most of the evening’s improvisation, Fishman rolls into “Harry Hood.” The “Hood” intro is choppy, as is the modest peak at the end, and the jam in between is restrained though smooth. Smooth, though, is not a word which can be applied to the start of “Character Zero,” which is bad enough to get Trey laughing at himself and hollering “Hey!’ when he finally nails the riff. “Zero” and “Suzy Greenberg” close the set without reaching great heights and with plenty of slop, and with the “Slave to the Traffic Light” > “Loving Cup” encore, we can finally say that we’ve “seen the zoo,” and move on to Colorado.

The show at the Zoo didn’t provide the antics that some had hoped for; there was no quirky theme or “Harpua” bust out to keep people talking for months. Each Phish show is special, though, and with only three more left on this tour, a down night in Oklahoma will do nothing to diminish the excitement for Labor Day weekend. Dick’s, Ho!

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Comments

, comment by Sodito
Sodito I wasnt there but upon listening to it, I couldnt have said it better myself.
, comment by spocksbrain
spocksbrain This second leg has been really weird...they are too good for this for it to be a matter of circumstance. I can't help but have a feeling of dread about this weekend. I sincerely hope that that all of these webcasts 'rehearsals', and the burning fire first leg of playing all of these songs they have shelved, this completely apathetic second leg, and complete lack of jamming with Trey literally laughing at us while he is playing a five minute halleys, and the whole maya theme is not a a collection of signs that they are calling it quits at the 'place where their touring started.' As far as I am concerned...they couldn't have shown (or maybe just one or two members of the band) less interest in playing their songs this leg...or mixing it up...or being the master musician performers full of surprises that they are. We will see I guess... ;) I mean, I have seen them break up twice, call me superstitious...but...this is too uncharacteristic...dear Phish...please prove me wrong...
, comment by Ricejlynn
Ricejlynn I have been to two shows this year SF3 and the Zoo. I must say, I would take the Zoo show again any day of the year. Yes it was sloppy at times, but the crowd was full of energy and the setting was perfect. It also helped to be among many friends as well. There is something about being outdoors that makes it that much better. They really enjoyed the crowd, so hopefully they come back. Just my humble opinion.
, comment by lenuto46
lenuto46 @spocksbrain said:
This second leg has been really weird...they are too good for this for it to be a matter of circumstance. I can't help but have a feeling of dread about this weekend. I sincerely hope that that all of these webcasts 'rehearsals', and the burning fire first leg of playing all of these songs they have shelved, this completely apathetic second leg, and complete lack of jamming with Trey literally laughing at us while he is playing a five minute halleys, and the whole maya theme is not a a collection of signs that they are calling it quits at the 'place where their touring started.' As far as I am concerned...they couldn't have shown (or maybe just one or two members of the band) less interest in playing their songs this leg...or mixing it up...or being the master musician performers full of surprises that they are. We will see I guess... ;) I mean, I have seen them break up twice, call me superstitious...but...this is too uncharacteristic...dear Phish...please prove me wrong...
I am not sure I understand what you mean by a lackluster leg 2... Long Beach, BG3, and the south east tour (sans ATL) were all pretty exceptional, with at least three of them being among the best shows of the year in a year where we are seeing some of the finest work they've presented in 3.0. This has been a momentous tour, this last night was a little off, for sure, but overall we have been treated to some really awesome Phish this fine year. With great peaks come deep valleys, and anyone who has been around as long as me knows it has always been this way, even back in 97.
, comment by Corey
Corey @spocksbrain said:
This second leg has been really weird...they are too good for this for it to be a matter of circumstance. I can't help but have a feeling of dread about this weekend. I sincerely hope that that all of these webcasts 'rehearsals', and the burning fire first leg of playing all of these songs they have shelved, this completely apathetic second leg, and complete lack of jamming with Trey literally laughing at us while he is playing a five minute halleys, and the whole maya theme is not a a collection of signs that they are calling it quits at the 'place where their touring started.' As far as I am concerned...they couldn't have shown (or maybe just one or two members of the band) less interest in playing their songs this leg...or mixing it up...or being the master musician performers full of surprises that they are. We will see I guess... ;) I mean, I have seen them break up twice, call me superstitious...but...this is too uncharacteristic...dear Phish...please prove me wrong...
so... I can't really relate to what you are saying. If Phish were to call it quits again after the show I just saw in St. Louis, then there truly is no hope. St. Louis was amazing. The sound was incredible, the band played two great sets and had fun. So did the crowd. It wasn't sold out and the place only holds 10,000; there was no webcast and it $#@!! killed. Sorry if you couldn't make it, or if BGCC or some other over-hyped venue was more important of a ticket. There won't be a Harpua at Dick's. If you think that's a sign of them calling it quits, maybe you should read their book. Or just realize that the mid-west is the backyard of the east coast.
, comment by spocksbrain
spocksbrain Hmmm...I am not the most knowledgeable person in the Phish universe that is for sure...but I think there might be a slight difference in their playing between now and '97, or '95', or '94', or '93. I mean, I think that they are the greatest band of all time (seriously...and I am an old hand at arguing with many who disagree)...but the playing is totally different...the songs are way more compact...in my humble opinion, I like the 'lagging' buildup to the finale, instead of the finale being twenty seconds long before I know what happened and the song is over. I also like more ecclectic setlists, since they have a four hundred song catalog. I might be an asshole...but I can't help but notice a lot of repeats that don't have the jamming that might make them unique versions. I can't help but feel as though they have abandoned their ways of being a jamband, and are trying to be more rock, straight up. Am I really the only one that thinks this is the case? But hey...these are only one fool's opinions...what do I know?
, comment by Banff
Banff The zoo was rockin!!! You obviously were not riding the mid rail with my crew.
, comment by HenryHolland
HenryHolland I haven't heard the OKC show yet, but I have to say something I've been saying since I saw them in Long Beach: they need new original material, stat. And no, playing songs from Trey or Mike's solo albums doesn't count, the one new Phish song they've played in the last year or so is Steam, which seems to have disappeared as well. I'm not impressed at all by stuff like "Ooohhh, they played 200 songs on the first leg" as I don't find under-rehearsed, sloppily played one-time cover versions anything to get excited about.

2013 is going to be interesting.....
, comment by 90invjcc
90invjcc I will agree that the second leg of the tour has left a little to be desired as a whole when compared to the first leg. There certainly have been some great performances during the second leg, however the first leg had MANY bustouts and rarities played. Personally I was fortunate enough to attend the AC & SPAC 3 night runs, and I still feel like I got to see some of the very best of the bunch in 2012. Sadly I wasn't able to attend any shows on the 2nd leg but I have been VERY suprised to not see some of what we saw earlier in the summer.

For what it's worth, I thought that the Zoo would have been a great time to break out a complete Gamehendge! First time in the state, first time at the venue, and far away from the majority of fans to attend. Come on, that is THE standard recipe for a raging show from the old days!! Unfortunately, the Zoo peeps were not that lucky......
, comment by ledzepmaster
ledzepmaster I was laughing with Trey as he flubbed Zero, but it was still a very solid version.
, comment by jaredprox
jaredprox Phish is giving it their all, but it's different now. They don't hang out and live with each other playing music all day. They have families. They have other lives.

Improvising is more difficult than most think. Paradoxically, it requires a lot of practice. And that just ain't happening like it used to.

I think leg one got ppl excited because Phish was more consistent than any other time in 3.0. Were they crazy, meltage good like winter '95 or fall '97? No. But it felt like things might be headed that way. Hence the high (unrealistic) expectations for leg two.

Pound for pound, still the best in the biz though. Respect.
, comment by Major_Exploration
Major_Exploration @Banff said:
The zoo was rockin!!! You obviously were not riding the mid rail with my crew.
So True!
, comment by jaredprox
jaredprox With great peaks come deep valleys, and anyone who has been around as long as me knows it has always been this way, even back in 97.[/quote]

Truth...good perspective.

But IMO the valleys were more shallow and farther between.
, comment by GAMEHENDGEPHONICS
GAMEHENDGEPHONICS Judging by the stream. The crowd sucked. So much talking. Phish feeds off of energy...maybe it wasn't there. I gotta say though..really underwhelming show...
, comment by vinniebart
vinniebart @jaredprox said:
Phish is giving it their all, but it's different now. They don't hang out and live with each other playing music all day. They have families. They have other lives.

Improvising is more difficult than most think. Paradoxically, it requires a lot of practice. And that just ain't happening like it used to.

I think leg one got ppl excited because Phish was more consistent than any other time in 3.0. Were they crazy, meltage good like winter '95 or fall '97? No. But it felt like things might be headed that way. Hence the high (unrealistic) expectations for leg two.

Pound for pound, still the best in the biz though. Respect.
, comment by HenryHolland
HenryHolland Improvising is more difficult than most think. Paradoxically, it requires a lot of practice. And that just ain't happening like it used to

That's so true, I don't think they spend hours doing the improv exercises that they used to, it's probably mostly rehearsals to get the songs in rotation playable.

Plus, can we end the fiction that Trey kills all the jams, jams that would otherwise be glorious 30 minute versions like the old days? Fish does his fair share of jam killing, too.
, comment by watsiyem
watsiyem While overall I think leg 1 was more consistent, the Long Beach RnR> Ghost is my favorite 45 mins of 3.0 Phish and St Louis was a dream show for me setlist wise.
, comment by gratefulkeith
gratefulkeith Spoiled is what we are. Even without extensive, face melting jams phish is still the greatest band in the world today. With that being said sometimes we get clunkers but as I remember the hiatus, the nightmare that was Coventry, and the break-up I remind myself that they r humans with lives and they r allowing us to enjoy the
Music they create. I only got the dcu shows this tour so if u aren't enjoying yourselfs it's really a shame cause I would have loved seeing more shows this year. Even if it meant a flub here or a dr. Gable there. It's all good to me
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten I've got to stop reading this doomsday stuff. Phish has played many many below average shows. This is how we know when shows are above average. la la la
, comment by rhopping5
rhopping5 bring back Pigtail in Denver, thanks
, comment by JayGrady
JayGrady It's always interesting to read post-show reviews and see how whatever expectation someone has concocted in their head for the show aren't met by the musicians creating the art. The experience of a show is more than the sterile stream while sitting on your couch, or the setlist, after all.

My first show was in 1992, and I saw Phish every year they played in the 90's at least once, typically more, including JazzFest 96'. My most recent show before OKC was Austin City Limits in 2010, which had punch, was well delivered, but wasn't a full-on Phish show.

I was in front of the soundboard on Page's side at OKC. This was a great show for the crowd, who were energetic and enjoying the hell out of it. The venue was nice. The people were nicer. And the vibe was great. Ok, so you didn't get some super heavy exploratory jamming. That's fine!! So what? They rocked out and everyone danced.

Phish put on a kick ass show for those in attendance. The band was smiling and having fun. The 2-3 flubs are what make a live show like this work. They give it character.

Peace to all.

, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @Banff said:
The zoo was rockin!!! You obviously were not riding the mid rail with my crew.
dude!
, comment by RyeRyeRocco
RyeRyeRocco Some of my favorite shows have been the ones that did not look good on paper. OKC was a party, period. The band was having a great time (I was up front)...any flubs could have been alcohol induced as the blood alcohol level of the collective Phish scene was somewhere short of the beautiful moon that was smiling on us all night. A great night with great people...and the energy was strong the entire show, so sorry for those that just thought it was bad from some crappy stream. Lots of love to Phish, thanks for a great time!!!
, comment by RyeRyeRocco
RyeRyeRocco @ledzepmaster said:
I was laughing with Trey as he flubbed Zero, but it was still a very solid version.
That was hilarious. Trey flubbed it, then Mike purposely flubbed a bass line as a kind of joke back to Trey which cracked Trey up on the next line of lyrics. You can hear it on the recording, too. Again, they were having a blast up there and did not care how perfect it was...
, comment by nichobert
nichobert The songs really aren't that much more compact than the vast majority of shows before 1997. Sure, 94 had some sporadic crazy ass shows or a super long Bowie or Tweezer, but for every Tweezer that went completley bananas, there were two that wrapped up quickly and dumped into Lifeboy. I believe there 17 Tweezer> Lifeboys during Tweezer's heyday of 94-95?

It's easy to have selective vision when looking at the past. Nostalgia is the least funkiest bitch of all.

Honestly I'll never get the whole "Bust Out" thing. Especially judging a show or tour by the lack thereof. Every tour, Phish must become more aware of the fact that less and less people are following them from city to city. Their popularity is at an all-time low. There is just too much competition for the youth, and a lot of these kids came up during a time when Phish was a memory.

Back to this leg though. We're 10 shows in. Long Beach, San Fran Night 3 and St. Louis were absolute stunners. A lot of it is samey samey, but it's hard to blame them.

IMO we're in 1993 again. Watch the band's re-evolution. Sometimes they want to play the songs they can slay, sometimes they want to launch into a random Chalkdust Outro Jam before running through Frankie Says, Undermind and eventually landing in the most unique Limb By Limb ever played (even if said Limb's jam wasn't really unique in the overall scheme of Phish)

Twist, If I Could, Light, Hood part made perfect sense and sounds good even if the Light was subdued. I don't get why that seems to be catching the crap. Then again, I like Atlanta a lot more than Charlotte and I'm apparently in the minority on this tour. Digging it in general. Lot of repeats.. oh well. I'm not paying money for any of it!

, comment by nichobert
nichobert It's just strange when you read reviews of 95 shows acting like it was a tame night because there was only one big jam. Are there really that many with multiple big jams? Por Ejemplo, 12/9/95. This show is bananas. But for whatever reason the reviewer has that apologetic "Oh i guess this was good for the noobs with all these songs, they didn't really jam much for 95"

Almost but not qute as bothersome as the glut of "All the kids that heard Heavy Things on the radio must have loved this, but i fucking hated it because it's popular and I want to keep Phish to myself" - or the magnanimous "Everyone under 14 liked DWD because it has been #1 on MTV for the last 6 years, but I kinda liked it too!! Is it wrong if I like DWD? I know i know, it's so radio friendly!!"

It gets funnier depending on the song. Apparently tons of noobs show up for Sparkle.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert It is utterly amazing how many times I completely went off the rails in that first post. Sorry. I meant to tie everything together and instead I just walked the planks of tangents.
I can't tie it up, but here, i'll throw the strings still in my hand at it.

Phish is probably jamming as much as pre-97 Phish. It comes in multiple short shots instead of big ones, and this tour is certainly less improv inclined than the first leg, but there are still major highlights. I totally understand the fear that we're reverting to a previous 3.0, but they've already played 3 of the most complete sets of the past 3 years just in the past 10 shows. I'm nowhere close to writing off how this thing could end though. If Dicks comes out St. Louis-ing us, this leg is a success. Period. 5 great shows out of 12 is just too much heat. Especially when the "bad shows" have stuff like that Rock & Roll-> Lizards, DWD> Birds,Tweezer, KDF> Golden Age> Free & Chalkdust-> What's The Use? or the San Fran Simple. Pretty heady highlights. I'd put them on a vegan burrito and ice it down with organic dark dank beers and trade it to a custy for his puffy shoes and his sweet flat-brim any day brah.

Bustouts can be great if the song is great. But the 2032 kids begging for Dr. Gabel are going to be asking just to put it on their HoloStats.

, comment by IntoYesterday
IntoYesterday @spocksbrain said:
This second leg has been really weird...they are too good for this for it to be a matter of circumstance. I can't help but have a feeling of dread about this weekend. I sincerely hope that that all of these webcasts 'rehearsals', and the burning fire first leg of playing all of these songs they have shelved, this completely apathetic second leg, and complete lack of jamming with Trey literally laughing at us while he is playing a five minute halleys, and the whole maya theme is not a a collection of signs that they are calling it quits at the 'place where their touring started.' As far as I am concerned...they couldn't have shown (or maybe just one or two members of the band) less interest in playing their songs this leg...or mixing it up...or being the master musician performers full of surprises that they are. We will see I guess... ;) I mean, I have seen them break up twice, call me superstitious...but...this is too uncharacteristic...dear Phish...please prove me wrong...
Bong Dude Brah. You went full retard. NEVER go full retard. Next year is the 30th anniversary year, but they might break up after Dicks, where touring started? You've blown my mind!

This leg has been great, with a couple average shows and a pile of good to great shows (LB, SF3, Charlotte, St. Louis, even Bama). You sir, suck at Phish.
, comment by jpetsis
jpetsis I agree that there is just something different about 3.0, but can't quantify it. They still have the ability to crank out some amazing music, but there are also some shows that just leave you scratching your head (peaks and valleys, you know).

I think one of the biggest issues in 3.0 is the decrease in shows played per year. There is just so much hype and expectation when they do only one real tour in a year. If every show isn't over the top, it feels like a lost opportunity. In the mid-late 90's, they played so many shows that one expected to see some amazing ones and some average ones. Of course, even the average ones were still great.

For me personally, my main complaint about 3.0 is the almost total lack of jamming in the first set. I realize that prior to '97, that was sort of the norm, and at the time I was used to it. But, once we got to the 97-00 period, first sets were often as good if not better than second sets. Now, in 3.0, I've come to expect a first set that contains 12-15 songs (as opposed to some shows in the 90's that were 12-15 songs total!), with little improv and essentially album-esque versions.

This is not a terrible thing, just not what I became accustomed to late in 1.0. It would be nice to be blown away by an insane Tweezer opener (like, say, 11/17/97--five song first set anyone!?!). It would also be nice to have Mike's go beyond the first "jam," if one can even call it that these days.

And then there is the lack of new originals. In 1.0, each year except for 2000 saw a crop of 10 or more awesome new tunes. Without that now, even the most amazing jams will start to sound repetitive and stale.

But, at this point, I've accepted what the band has become. It's not really the phish I grew up with, but it's still enjoyable. Not many bands give you 3 hours of high quality music, with great variety, night after night. Could it be better? Of course, and I hope my prayers for new originals, jammed out Gumbos and Halley's, the return of the second jam in Mike's, etc. will eventually be answered.

It probably won't all happen at Dick's, but as long as the Maya are wrong, 2013 offers hope.

, comment by jpetsis
jpetsis All of that said, it would not surprise me in the least if the band announced that they were calling it quits after this year. It's a strange feeling that has gnawed at me since the start of leg 1. Obviously, I have nothing to base it on, and I hope I'm wrong. But, it's there and I can't quite laugh it off.
, comment by Jazzmaster
Jazzmaster So many "experts" out there.

LOL!!!

I agree with whoever said, "It was a party." That sums it up. It was a great night! Why compare it to some obscure show from '95? Take it for what it is.

Phish rocked OKC. I can't wait to have them here again!
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 Reading these posts, I am reminded of how sports fans feel after their team loses a game. Everything was fine before the game, but with a loss, everything is ruined, life ceases to exist, there is no good in the universe. Then the team wins the next game and all is right with the world again. Cheer up everyone, Phish is gonna be just fine. Can't wait for three more shows this weekend.

Remember all those great shows in 2005? That's right. Sit back and enjoy the ride while we are still able to. Put away the razor blades and put on a smile. Phish is playing somewhere on Earth and that's the way it should be.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown Whoa, Phish tours have peaks and valleys now?!

Holy moly.

Phish tours have always had peaks and valleys. Always. Unless you're playing the same show every night it's going to be like that.

That said, I think that Leg One was one of the most consistent, even tours since Winter 1997. I'm not saying it was as good as Winter 1997 because I think that would be preposterous. But the playing was super-consistent from night to night and there were very few duds (Bonnaroo was the only real stinker).

Leg Two has been a little less consistent with bigger swings from night to night in terms of energy, quality of play, etc. But anybody who is really listening can hear and feel that the band is in a pretty great place right now for a bunch of guys pushing 50 who just four years ago were in the abyss.
, comment by YouSuckAtTucking
YouSuckAtTucking Can't you people just enjoy the shows without constantly picking apart every stinking moment on stage? So Trey flubbed "My Friend My Friend"....who the hell cares? Don't you think they've earned the occasional sloppy moment with the 30 years of tightness they've given us?

If you are one of these people that think every version of every song should be 20 minutes long, or that the band should play exactly like they did in 94, or that Trey laughing on stage means that he's laughing directly at you....STOP LISTENING! Go start a Phish cover band and learn to play these songs, then play them for 30 years...then try to play them with as much gusto as when you first learned them. Its impossible.

In the Bittersweet Motel movie, there's a really cool part where Trey asks Mike..."What'd you think about the show?" And Mike answers..."I think you played too many notes". Perhaps this was a glimpse into the future of Phish, as the band is WAY happier now than they were in years past. Maybe playing fewer notes was the right direction to go in.

I applaude Phish for having the guts to do what they want to do and to have fun doing it. It's made me a bigger fan of their music than I've ever been before.

A sloppy Phish show is usually still a moving experience. The band ALWAYS gets through it and manages to find a way to connect us with the music. You want to hear songs played exactly how you think they should be played? Go see Springsteen. And then tell me how good a time you had when he started forgetting words.
, comment by User_11821_
User_11821_ They told you not to be a show fluffer, so you hit it out of the park on this one.

All of .net can take a seat on the lawn for this show, you guys are wanting something that you will most likely never get. And when they give it to you, (Storage Jam, Head Phone Jam), you just say "Why can't they always do that?" You give a mouse a cookie... and he wants a cookie monopoly with full vertical integration.

You say the Twist was no good? Good god man... what show were you listening to?

Were you even paying attention to Mike? At all during the show?

Every time I see a show, I end up HATING .net for MONTHS.

Way to jump on the Jaded Vet bandwagon @TheEmu

, comment by vinniebart
vinniebart @jaredprox said:
Phish is giving it their all, but it's different now. They don't hang out and live with each other playing music all day. They have families. They have other lives.

Improvising is more difficult than most think. Paradoxically, it requires a lot of practice. And that just ain't happening like it used to.

I think leg one got ppl excited because Phish was more consistent than any other time in 3.0. Were they crazy, meltage good like winter '95 or fall '97? No. But it felt like things might be headed that way. Hence the high (unrealistic) expectations for leg two.

Pound for pound, still the best in the biz though. Respect.
Couldn't agree more. Well said.
, comment by The_Good_Doctor
The_Good_Doctor People relax! Everybody get together try and love one another right now.
, comment by gratefulkeith
gratefulkeith Paging dr. Gable. Everyone done lost their minds
, comment by mattyk
mattyk @spocksbrain said:
This second leg has been really weird...they are too good for this for it to be a matter of circumstance. I can't help but have a feeling of dread about this weekend. I sincerely hope that that all of these webcasts 'rehearsals', and the burning fire first leg of playing all of these songs they have shelved, this completely apathetic second leg, and complete lack of jamming with Trey literally laughing at us while he is playing a five minute halleys, and the whole maya theme is not a a collection of signs that they are calling it quits at the 'place where their touring started.' As far as I am concerned...they couldn't have shown (or maybe just one or two members of the band) less interest in playing their songs this leg...or mixing it up...or being the master musician performers full of surprises that they are. We will see I guess... ;) I mean, I have seen them break up twice, call me superstitious...but...this is too uncharacteristic...dear Phish...please prove me wrong...
Wow, what a pessimist - "this completely apathetic second leg" ???WTF??? As always there are ups and downs, you cannot call this entire 2nd leg apathetic, there have been some serious highs this tour and for the most part the shows that didn't flow as well are just that, some great moments, not crap, just lacking in flow or with a few flubs. I won't call you superstitious but I will call you a poor observer and a nitpicky pessimist. It is clear how much fun the boys are having together on stage at almost every show, they're doing a lot of great things up there and it surprises me that you would take the time to read and post bitchy reviews but not notice the quotes in the press from them indicating that they are in it for the long haul and couldn't be happier to be playing together. And by the way, "all of these webcast rehearsals" - did you not catch 8/19, Sun in SF??? They blew the roof off the suckah. If you thought that was a "rehearsal" it's time you moved on to another band and the next phase of your life. It's not 1997, it never will be again, but our boys are still the best in the biz and my church, some sermons stronger than others but all cathartic. Let's be happy they're back, sober, happy, and playing strong, the haters can get off the bus. The rest of us can feel blessed that they're playing so well that we get to nitpick about setlist flow and occasional flubs since there are no major complaints to make as there were before Trey got sober. Thank you Phish!! :)
, comment by mattyk
mattyk @spocksbrain said:
This second leg has been really weird...they are too good for this for it to be a matter of circumstance. I can't help but have a feeling of dread about this weekend. I sincerely hope that that all of these webcasts 'rehearsals', and the burning fire first leg of playing all of these songs they have shelved, this completely apathetic second leg, and complete lack of jamming with Trey literally laughing at us while he is playing a five minute halleys, and the whole maya theme is not a a collection of signs that they are calling it quits at the 'place where their touring started.' As far as I am concerned...they couldn't have shown (or maybe just one or two members of the band) less interest in playing their songs this leg...or mixing it up...or being the master musician performers full of surprises that they are. We will see I guess... ;) I mean, I have seen them break up twice, call me superstitious...but...this is too uncharacteristic...dear Phish...please prove me wrong...
Wow, what a pessimist - "this completely apathetic second leg" ???WTF??? As always there are ups and downs, you cannot call this entire 2nd leg apathetic, there have been some serious highs this tour and for the most part the shows that didn't flow as well are just that, some great moments, not crap, just lacking in flow or with a few flubs. I won't call you superstitious but I will call you a poor observer and a nitpicky pessimist. It is clear how much fun the boys are having together on stage at almost every show, they're doing a lot of great things up there and it surprises me that you would take the time to read and post bitchy reviews but not notice the quotes in the press from them indicating that they are in it for the long haul and couldn't be happier to be playing together. And by the way, "all of these webcast rehearsals" - did you not catch 8/19, Sun in SF??? They blew the roof off the suckah. If you thought that was a "rehearsal" it's time you moved on to another band and the next phase of your life. It's not 1997, it never will be again, but our boys are still the best in the biz and my church, some sermons stronger than others but all cathartic. Let's be happy they're back, sober, happy, and playing strong, the haters can get off the bus. The rest of us can feel blessed that they're playing so well that we get to nitpick about setlist flow and occasional flubs since there are no major complaints to make as there were before Trey got sober. Thank you Phish!! :)
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu @Peacey said:
They told you not to be a show fluffer, so you hit it out of the park on this one.

All of .net can take a seat on the lawn for this show, you guys are wanting something that you will most likely never get. And when they give it to you, (Storage Jam, Head Phone Jam), you just say "Why can't they always do that?" You give a mouse a cookie... and he wants a cookie monopoly with full vertical integration.

You say the Twist was no good? Good god man... what show were you listening to?

Were you even paying attention to Mike? At all during the show?

Every time I see a show, I end up HATING .net for MONTHS.

Way to jump on the Jaded Vet bandwagon @TheEmu
A couple of things:

No one "told" me not to be a show fluffer. I'm not a fluffer...except when you catch me coming out of a show on a good night, like Portsmouth 2 and Charlotte, where I was fluffing the holy hell out of it.

The criticisms I leveled at this show were mostly about flow, sloppiness and energy, which on tape is lacking severely. Pretty much every single Phish show is a BLAST to be at, but that's not what these reviews are about. I don't see a point where I said that every show has to have a 20 minute jam or it's no good.

Speaking of which, can you point out the part where I say the Twist was "no good?"

“Twist,” which starts out sparse and jazzy before swelling and flirting with a pretty ambient section. This “Twist” never finds its way, though, and all of the extra “woos” tacked on to the end can’t change that.
Anyway, I had a blast seeing shows this summer, thought Burgettstown, SPAC3, Long Beach and BG3 had some AMAZING jamming, can't wait to hear what they do in Colorado, and love Phish. Being critical of what I think was a below average show doesn't change any of that. Can't make it any clearer than that.
, comment by MDosque
MDosque Great review. I love it when someone keeps it real and simply tells it how they see it. It's an opinion piece. No one should get mad at anyone else for an opinion.

As for the band called Phish in the year 2012, well, yeah...a lot of people have it right in the comments. 1997 was 15 years ago. At that point, I have to assume that they were hanging out playing music together at least 15 hours a day. They toured constantly. The improvisation that we all know and love was a honed beast capable of blowing minds and because they played so much, they had to take risks and get weird. I don't blame them because all of them are approaching 50 with families, but they just don't play that much together anymore. Still, as much as I understand and even condone it from a human perspective, the live music suffers. It just does. So they've adapted. Also unfortunately, their adaptation lost what made them stand out - unpredictability. Phish is essentially the best touring rock band out there. As much as it pains me to say it, they actually almost have fixed set lists (not really, but kind of in a Phish sort of way - you know what I mean). The thrill of the unknown is not so much. The passion and the quest for something new, different, and groundbreaking is just not there. That's ok, sad, but understandable and ok. From my observations, they don't seem to be pushing anymore.

I love this band. When I first heard A Live One, it was so different from anything I had ever heard. Creative, fun, wild, powerful, focused, and free from the cookie cutter nonsense of pop culture. That was 16 years ago. Wow. I have seen four 3.0 shows (one a year) and have loved each of them. They are still amazing live and have put in so much effort to be professional. I appreciate that. There are very few duds, but also very few completely unpredictable throw downs. Again, that's fine. I only see them once a year and my chances of seeing a show that's 7 out of 10 is strong. Still, I love having my finger on the pulse of the scene and what I see is a little stagnant. I keep waiting for a crazy, thought-out set with a sneaky theme, a seriously jammed out opener like Hood, Tweezer, or YEM (why not, they can do it), new material, something. These are my own expectations, and I realize that. I do appreciate them. I am happy as hell they are all healthy and playing. I don't need them to play the first show I ever saw every night - 12/29/96 - but I hope Dick's is different and passionate. If not, I too worry about the long-term future. This "new album" is taking an awful long time. Sure, next year should be special for obvious reasons, but still...

Just a long winded expression from me, so I'm glad to get it off my chest. For those in the Rocky Mountains this weekend, bring the positive energy and propel those shows over the top. Enjoy.

Sincerely,
Dosque
, comment by Fluffyfluffyhead
Fluffyfluffyhead FLUBS SCHLUBS... Have you ever had a bad day at work? "peaks and valleys"??

and, Bong Dude Brah,,, WHAT?!

p.s. It's time to stop all the TALKING DURING THE MUSIC.

I copied this from The Hollyweird Bowl website Code of Conduct:

-Rock, Jazz, World Music, non-classical performances: patrons may dance and clap if the artist encourages it, but please don’t speak loudly out of respect for artists and audience who are there to enjoy the music.-

It's not too much to ask. Enjoy!
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu @MDosque - You nailed on the head. Couldn't say it better myself.
, comment by HenryHolland
HenryHolland p.s. It's time to stop all the TALKING DURING THE MUSIC.

I'll never get why people pay all the money and go through the hassle of going to a show and then stand their flapping their gums all night.

The worst was at a King Crimson show years ago at the House of Blues (about 900 capacity). This man and two women had their backs to the stage the whole show, didn't stop talking at all. It gets to a really quiet part (Deception of the Thrush) towards the end and you could hear them more than the music. People shhhh'd them and *they got angry that people were doing that*.

For Phish, if you don't like the song they're playing, still shut up, good chance someone around you does.
, comment by Major_Exploration
Major_Exploration I still have not fully processed the okc show. I've been seeing the guys for many years now, going back to 96, and it is difficult at times because there are some wonderful songs like Character that I have seen a lot and it gets a little hard to get up for those songs. I have also been present at shows like Denver 97, so the bar for me is about as high as it gets.

It's quite possible that I am just getting old, but the first set at the zoo absolutely kicked by butt. I would have been fine had they stopped at 46 Days, but that they went on through to the end of Antelope (my favorite 1st set closer) I was floored. I remember thinking "well, I'm good". I don't think I have ever had that experience after a 1st set. I felt like I didn't even need the second set.

Of course when the second set happened I was as engaged as I could be. I think Trey struggled a bit. The rhythm section was as solid as ever. Some of the jams were a little disjointed and I think they could have responded to the crowd's energy with some different material. But there were moments of absolute magic. The connection that takes place between the crowd and this band is such a special thing and that was on full display last night. I was grateful to be a part of it (even though I paid for it).

I'm pretty sure I have seen this mentioned on here before but reviewing shows without having been present at them is not that different from being a food critic who never tries the food or a person who critiques the Sistine Chapel without ever standing in it. It's an insult to the band and the people who take part in their shows to think you can legitimately critique something that you did not experience. A phish show is not a noun, its not a thing, it is something you go through. That's in part why people get so upset when they hear shows they were at critiqued in a negative fashion, because it feels like you are diminishing the quality of their experience. I would especially hope such critiques are not born on this site out of an artless effort to compete with Mr. Minor.

[P.S. what a great comment Trey made at the end of Rift]
, comment by SymphonicDelight
SymphonicDelight Change is the only constant, and even that is not a guarantee.

Having seen Phish shows since '95, I think as a whole, they are where they need to be. Not every show is epic, but every night is quality, and I am very appreciative of that. And who even knows what's going on behind the scenes. They could very well be building up the tension for 2013. Hold on to your hats, folks.
, comment by me_no_are_no_nice_guy
me_no_are_no_nice_guy don't care what The Emu has to say.
, comment by swampthing
swampthing @90invjcc said:
I will agree that the second leg of the tour has left a little to be desired as a whole when compared to the first leg. There certainly have been some great performances during the second leg, however the first leg had MANY bustouts and rarities played. Personally I was fortunate enough to attend the AC & SPAC 3 night runs, and I still feel like I got to see some of the very best of the bunch in 2012. Sadly I wasn't able to attend any shows on the 2nd leg but I have been VERY suprised to not see some of what we saw earlier in the summer.

For what it's worth, I thought that the Zoo would have been a great time to break out a complete Gamehendge! First time in the state, first time at the venue, and far away from the majority of fans to attend. Come on, that is THE standard recipe for a raging show from the old days!! Unfortunately, the Zoo peeps were not that lucky......
This year I've done the 4th, SPAC1,2,3 & BGCA1,2,3... I had tons of fun at Bill Graham and their playing was stellar. But something about being up at SPAC was cathartic. I mean... I had a great fucking time up there.
My first time at that venue and holy shit am I ever going back. The lawn was tits and when you can see both the band plus the screen of them playing right next to you, it's simply amazing.

Regards to their unshelved covers, some have been great versions that have been above par. head held high, but sweet jane... will it's jam ever be polished similar to the one Halloween 98. Honestly, my answer is yes... just have to play it live more than twice every 20 years. SWEET JANE!

Also, c'mon how about some New Orleans love... This is getting ridic
, comment by SymphonicDelight
SymphonicDelight @swampthing said: [/quote] But something about being up at SPAC was cathartic. I mean... I had a great fucking time up there. My first time at that venue and holy shit am I ever going back. The lawn was tits and when you can see both the band plus the screen of them playing right next to you, it's simply amazing. [/quote]

Really? You must have been in the front row at SPAC, because that has to be one of the worst lawns, Phish plays. While a beautiful park, the field of vision for concert goers on the lawn is practically non-existant, due to the slope of the lawn, and the overhanging balconies, not to mention, too many other obscured views. I was way more impressed with Blossom and Burgettstown lawns.
, comment by flatbottomfrank
flatbottomfrank If you were not there why are you writing an official recap.
, comment by supaslick88
supaslick88 I thought the OKC show was great! Great people, Great Vibe!
, comment by Shamrocka
Shamrocka @spocksbrain said:
This second leg has been really weird...they are too good for this for it to be a matter of circumstance. I can't help but have a feeling of dread about this weekend. I sincerely hope that that all of these webcasts 'rehearsals', and the burning fire first leg of playing all of these songs they have shelved, this completely apathetic second leg, and complete lack of jamming with Trey literally laughing at us while he is playing a five minute halleys, and the whole maya theme is not a a collection of signs that they are calling it quits at the 'place where their touring started.' As far as I am concerned...they couldn't have shown (or maybe just one or two members of the band) less interest in playing their songs this leg...or mixing it up...or being the master musician performers full of surprises that they are. We will see I guess... ;) I mean, I have seen them break up twice, call me superstitious...but...this is too uncharacteristic...dear Phish...please prove me wrong...
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