Monday 08/04/2014 by sausagemahoney

ALPHARETTA RECAP: THE END OF HISTORY

The tour closer. Phish is playing as well as they have in years. More than that, it seems like this is a general consensus. Phish fans may be scattered across generations and social-media platforms but there is little obvious disagreement about the quality of improvisation, which night in and night out has been magnificent. The drummer is massive, controlling the action in front of him to a greater degree than ever before. The keyboard player is all over the place, more percussive than usual, rising to the challenge, demanding and happily executing solos when usually he lays back. Even the guitar player, on whom so much depends, is hitting his marks most of the time and seems to want to do it right.

Phish, Inc. chose to offer a free webcast of Sunday night's Phish concert live from Alpharetta, Georgia. One wonders why it was free, whether enough shame finally accrued to the organization from the amateur-hour shenanigans of Nugs.net that it felt the need to pay off the fan base, or whether they are testing a new product, or whether they are deviously trying to identify, harvest, and ruthlessly exploit your intimate personal information like Facebook. When the band took the stage at 8:13pm, it was playing to a big room.


Photo © Phish, Phish From the Road

The band comes on. The opener is a joke. You have been around long enough to know it doesn't really matter what they open with. Beach balls fly and beer is spilled. People banter and recreate and wager on the actual identifiable opener, but ultimately they just want to hear the band play. Get the show on the road. The best parts aren't always the first parts. You think back to set break on October 7, 2000, where you were dissecting the first set, as was your habit, when your friends announced Phish had "showed disrespect for its audience" by playing "My Soul." It's not a song any of us needs to hear again.

So many of these reviews or think-pieces or whatever end up being self-referential, meta-discursive blarrrrgh, written under a cloud of disclaimer or childishly demanding adoption of a singular model for evaluating shows. Why over-contextualize the review to the point where you become a stereotype to the reader? And why be defensive about how you're discussing Phish's music? Why not write what you want to write? Why not use the criteria that make the most sense to you? No one's stopping you.


Photo © Mike Gordon

This night, Sunday night, the magic comes early. "Bathtub Gin" is the first set's most reliable shot at redemption. The first set takes a lot of abuse. The first set's main problem is that it's not the second set. But "Gin" is here for you. "Gin" will heal and consecrate you: the brave, excursionary Randall's “Gin,” dropping flags in uncharted reaches; last week's Portsmouth opener, taking the crowd zero to 80. Tonight it was more linear: a long guitar solo, unspooling a story and peaking and staying on the peak as long as possible, then dropping down... It is a superb version of a song that has offered peaks as high as any Phish jam.

Jon Fishman is in the best playing shape of his life. He is destroying fools. He has the weapon from Krull. He is playing so well that we can finally say what we knew but didn't want to mention, the plain-view answer we didn't want to concede: so many of Phish's struggles from 2009 through summer 2012 were down not to Trey failing to practice or arthritis but to Jon Fishman not being quite in shape enough, not having practiced quite enough rudiments to handle the demands of the music. That’s not true anymore. This music has so much give to it, so receptive to suggestion. Jon Fishman is a rolling ball of butcher knives, carving up thousands of willing victims every night.


Photo © Phish, Phish From the Road

"555" has been played 555 times in 5 shows. You are a member of the 55% club for "555." You have seen it played 55 times in 5 shows, which means you have seen 555% of the total performances of this song.

In very late 2002, Phish washed ashore with a new record called Round Room. It looked and sounded like they'd made it in a week. At least half of it was very good. The lead track, especially. For once, a Phish lyric that states an obvious home truth: "I am inclined, when I find a pebble in sand, to think that it fell from my hand." We all like to believe our experience is universal, that God is talking directly to us. But you just wish Phish would play "Pebbles and Marbles" more.

"Pebbles" explodes into fire and light. It combusts. But it was a bit of a trick because just seconds later the flame burns away and it's over. Arpeggios, then quiet. The lights go to blue. Trey decides on "The Line" next. This is a show tune, with a bridge and everything, and the band butchers the harmonies. Like they say, nobody listens to Phish for their vocals.


Photo © Phish, Phish From the Road

My wife doesn't like Phish. It's not her fault; it just so happens that there are a lot of good reasons not to like Phish. At 5:40pm PDT or so, it occurred to me I needed to start preparing dinner. Instead of listening to "The Line" or the composed bit of "Vultures" I put together the following brine for some pork chops:

Dissolve 3 T brown sugar and 3 T kosher salt in 2 c. hot water. Add another 1 c. cold water, then 3 T bourbon and 2 T vegetable or canola oil. In quart-size resealable plastic bag, place pork chops with 1 medium yellow onion, sliced, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 10-15 black peppercorns, 8-10 allspice berries, 5-7 cloves. Pour brine into plastic bag, marinate 3-4 hours.

Everybody loves "Vultures." There's just the one problem. Since the watershed Tahoe "Tweezer" and throughout last fall and this summer, the crowd has developed a habit of shouting "Woo!" on every rest. But the end of "Vultures" is a parade of rests, where the band lays out to give Jon Fishman room to explore the studio space. As a result the crowd shouts "Woo!" at the end of "Vultures" when it's supposed to be listening to the Greatest Rock Drummer Alive strutting his stuff. Future generations will wonder: what the fuck?


Photo © Elliot Byron

It's not all gravy. Even Charlie Dirksen would pause before raining praise upon this short and anodyne "Fast Enough for You." "Back on the Train" hops onto the train for only one stop, before getting off again. "Taste" falls to pieces during the third verse, with Mike dropping off and then Trey losing his mooring before WHAP Fish brings them back on the downbeat.

"Gumbo," "Halley's," "Tube." GHT. One of many Phish triads. Songs that used to jam but no longer do. Tunes that inspire 1.0 fans to gripe and grouse. “Gumbo” and its explosion, so long after its debut, at Star Lake. “Halley's,” always a fire-starter but for a little while, between Hampton '97 and Portland '99, so much more. Well, hold on here: “Gumbo” looks ready to dissolve into ragtime as always at the 4-minute mark but suddenly turns left. Pleasant and funky, it sounds like it could bounce laterally into "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Instead it curdles and drops into a minor key and gets a little mean. It's dub; it's funk. Page is on the clavinet and Trey is barking like Peter Frampton's talk box. It's the best “Gumbo” in ten years, without question. Best you can remember. Deer Creek 2003? Was that the last one worth remembering? You are daydreaming when the beautiful jam is brutally truncated by Trey. Murdered really. Throat slit. Done in. Sent to meet the reaper. El finito. The big snuff. Blown to bits. Processed into a slurry.

Miraculously, the set ends as horribly as it began but you still love it. "Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan" into "Suzy Greenberg," with Trey sprinting like he has a tee time and also needs to take a shit. You love the precision, you love the tempos enabled by Jon Fishman's beast-like presence. But it surges past so quickly. Even the set break is fast, and before you know it they're back, Mike now with the scarf swaddling his torso like a juicy date wrapped in prosciutto.


Photo © Phish, Phish From the Road

"Chalk Dust Torture" detonated across this summer. It had periodically been used as a jam vehicle before now, but four times in summer 2014 the band picked it to open the second set – extending the trend from Dick's, Hartford, and MSG last year. Routinely "Chalk Dust" was veering into type II weirdness, never coming back to its moorings, providing the grounding for entire second sets and entire shows. But even if it was less exploratory by virtue of its placement later in the second set, "Harry Hood" had been every bit as good. "Hood" was the band playing together, listening to each other with precision. With one show to play the league table stood as follows:

Yet another extraordinary "Chalk Dust" peaks and twists and dives and are you in an IMAX movie of some sort? No, you're not, you're just at an amphitheater in suburban Atlanta, a little past sundown on a nice cool evening. The keyboard player moves over to his cute tangerine electric piano. Maybe things should slow down, but the drummer won't let them. He is thundering along, creating massive acres of space. The rest of the band builds to a drone, feedback from the guitar and honking synth now rather than piano. Then a rock progression from the guitar, then another, thenis that "Substitute" by The Who? Close enough I guess, everybody get on the bus, everybody get on board the wave.


Photo © Phish, Phish From the Road

"Scents and Subtle Sounds" hadn't been played in 100-plus shows, since Dick's in 2011, but what's the point if they don't play the intro and don't bother with the jam? "Twist" has regressed this tour, always coming in under the 10-minute mark, always fun but never seeming to move the needle. "Fuego" – well, everybody knew we'd get one. Every state gets a “Fuego.” Every venue gets a “Fuego” but Oak Mountain, where the audience is so dominated by aggressive dirtbags that they actually had to remove the lawn, for the crowd's protection. "The Wedge" was a normal version, not the rocket-propelled excursion that knocked us stupid the third night in Chicago.

This most exceptional summer tour was the best since 2003, when Phish threw a big festival called IT and set as-yet-unequalled standards with the Camden "Scents" and conjured magic like the Alpine "YEM." Or maybe since 2000, with the long opiate set breaks and the ridiculous northeast run with GSAC's "Drowned" -> "Rock and Roll" and then the Hartford "Ghost" and finally Camden and its "Jibboo." The point is it has been exceptional, and we can figure out how to rank it later.

When Trey needs somewhere to go in the second set, "Light" is there. It's there by design. It's been there five years, a rock in the center of the river, as long as the band's been playing it. When Trey has a mental block, and needs safe passage, he can always rely on "Light." When the tempo drops away and things are not as they seem, when boredom begins to creep into the second-set soundscape, why not give the staccato chords of "Light" a try? This "Light" is a bottom-end disco soiree that for all the world seems headed toward "2001" – Page setting the prospective segue out for the rest of the band on fine china, formally requesting a response.


Alpharetta, GA LE poster by David Welker

Finally the alienating harmonics smooth out. And it's bliss, essentially. A feint toward "Sand" and then, for the first time all night, the bass player grabs the reins and says here's what I can do, let me have a turn on the mic.

In the contest for Song of the Tour between "Chalk Dust Torture" and "Harry Hood," "Hood" has the hammer. With "Chalk Dust" notching a methodical 1-0 win earlier in the set there is no question "Hood" needs a big performance to take the title. You can judge for yourself whether it got there, but I want to say I was legitimately touched by the sweetness of the interplay between these 50-year-old men who have been playing music together for over 30 years. From the slowdown during the intro, to the sweet communal jam with Trey's foot up on the drum riser, trading fours with each of his bandmates in turn, everybody smiling, Fish with a grin like the ones we've seen from Mike when Trey has called him over to duet during "YEM." It's half-Caribbean, lilting, leisurely, good intentions from men who appear to genuinely love each other.

The bass player is drumming on his fight bell with drumsticks. Where did he get the drumsticks, anyway? The guitarist has stopped trying to use his instrument percussively and is just drumming, batting on his vocal mic, flicking it insistently. Then there's piano and throughout it all the drums.

They build and build and suddenly they're at the "Chalk Dust" tempo and just one step low, playing the "Hood" jam in D instead of "Chalk Dust" in E. They feint at it but they're not squaring the circle today. Instead they thunder back into the "Hood" ending. Surely the end of set. Surely nothing more except a "Character Zero" encore.


Setlist Pictogram © Joseeen (available at Etsy)

But Trey is talking to Fishman. Then, more quickly, to Page. All on the same page. Trey is counting off. One, twoone, two, three, four. And then BOOOOMMM

"First Tube" has been nominated for a Grammy and this summer has finally started to stake its rightful claim as a song that should be in heavy rotation as a show closer. Fuck yes. Give me this every fourth show and I will never complain.

When Phish was hanging on for dear life, trying to act like things were okay when they weren't: they held a festival called IT. They played two long shows and at the end the fans chanted for them to play "Fluffhead." They didn't. One suspected they didn't think they could. When Phish came back from the dead, the first song they played was "Fluffhead." Tonight, August 3, 2014, Phish closed out their summer tour with a sharp and facile "Fluffhead" encore.

Summer 2014, guys. Phish is back.

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Comments

, comment by BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog Great recap! Thank you.
, comment by philanthropist
philanthropist Nice work!! Thank you!!
, comment by ColForbin
ColForbin Pray for beverage_cart.
, comment by Xeyed_and_Phinless
Xeyed_and_Phinless Summer tour is not over... There is a little city in the west called Denver. Good recap and I agree; after 3 nights in Chicago I would agree Phish is playing as tight and fluid as ever.. Welcome back boys.

On a side note, I think we are all partial to the era of the band in which we fell in love with them first. For me it's the 94-98 era was the peak. But a friend who tagged along to the recent shows with me is just getting into them and when they listen to some if my era's favorite tunes and shows, they are more partial to this years sound since this is the sound they fell in love with. It's a nostalgia thing and were all victim to it. That's why I think there are so many snobby phans who are so hyper critical to the newer set lists and length of songs. The band is clearly focused and wants to get better as a unit but we'll never hear the phish of old again because they are older now, more "clear headed" shall we say, so I don think we'll see many of those 30+ minute type 2 (substance infused) jams like in the old days. Just like most of us now. We should all be excited about the new phish because they want to evolve and show us all that we never know what to expect from them. If they never changed, I think we all would be asking for something new anyway. Great summer so far. See you in VEGAS bitches 😜
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS Great recap. I heard the show just exactly as you did. This means you must be right, doesn't it?
, comment by comanche78dww
comanche78dww Thanks for the great review. I go to one show a summer and this was my fifth and best show. This was also my first show seeing the band up close. I copped two random tix for me and my wife, who is into more shall we say popular, electronic music,but took a big step towards Phandom last night. We saw and loved the show from the back corner of the pit, a rather advantageous location. I thought Suzy was a definite high point energetically. Harry and CDT also really stood out. This was the first time seeing them when they haven't played a cover for the closer. I had come to believe that it was nearly a standard practice but my initial disappointment quickly subsided as the remaining screw was removed from my noggin and my mind left me. What a show. What a band.
, comment by SpreadEagle
SpreadEagle IMO, I think besides pebbles(1st time played), vultures(1st timer), and fluffhead...and the gumbo(had a nice jam)....this show was a stinker. Worst show I've watched, seen, listened to since 1st night chi this year and Rochester fall '13! Now it's just ones persons opinion but the first set was odd...how do you go from the line to vultures? I really thought they'd leave no noob songs for the second set but their was fuego!?!

Idk but it seemed like an oddly laid out selection of songs with a very ambient play of music. Yeah hood was cool but not that special!! Fluffhead got the nod IMO for the song of the night!

And the Wooing........knock it off! Super annoying! Like its stated in the article...it takes away from hearing the best drummer alive...and it does!
, comment by newbornelf
newbornelf Very very nice show. First time I have ever enjoyed faulty plan. First time in forever I enjoyed Suzy. And loved how the faulty plan theme was picked up in Suzy.

Second set made me cry. Particularly Hood. Just beautiful stuff with Trey moving from player to player, friend to friend. So special and meaningful. Just beautiful. Illustrating through gorgeous music the power of enduring friendship. Inspirational.

Absolutely loved that the webcast was free. I think they truly did it as a way of saying thanks to the fans. No ill intentions as the author alluded there may have been. I thought the playing reflected the band's appreciation of fans everywhere and wanted everyone to be able to enjoy an essential free show. They knew everyone would come out for the free stuff and I was just overwhelmed with joy at watching this show and that's where I stop gushing. Great great show so touched.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert Dunno why it irks me so much when people lump summer 2012 into some "before things started getting really good" frame. Summer 12 is spectacular
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 Right in about fishman...he was laying fire all night last night (above and behind what he has been doing, which has been great). He had multiple Bonham level freak outs last night. Just incredible
The rest of the band was fantastic, too. It's good to be on the bus right now, people.
, comment by DudeBroMan
DudeBroMan Confusing review of an excellent show.

Excellent review of a confusing show.

No wait. The first one.
, comment by Shockadow
Shockadow 8 repeats from last year in Atlanta.
For a band that puts so much into their setlists, they need to do a little homework. A lot of us only get to see the shows that come to our town & I was totally surprised we didn't get A Day in the Life instead of a very welcome Fluffhead for the encore...
Regardless, I won't bitch much when it's so freakin' good, overall...
, comment by kidrob
kidrob I'm sorry, but this is an awful review on a show. Did you really insert your marinade for dinner? Yes. This was a review from a webcaster that couldn't feel the energy or music that went down last night. Long and boring. Can't believe I read te whole thing.
, comment by gratefulterp
gratefulterp Hey, kidrob!
You were there!
I'd, personally, like to see your review/recap posted here.
Feel free to include or leave out anything particular to your experience. I promise to read te whole thing, whatever that means.
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu Such a great recap, Dan. Thank you.
, comment by mikee
mikee I really thought they'd leave no noob songs for the second set but their was fuego!?!

Hey there kiddo how bout some GRAMMAR!! you are referring to a place (THERE!), but used the possessive homonym. personally i don't like to see this mistake made under any circumstance. But in an instance such as this -- where you haughtily pan both noobs and the band -- i find your misuse of the english language most egregious.
, comment by tweezer
tweezer @Xeyed_and_Phinless said:
Summer tour is not over... There is a little city in the west called Denver.
From the phish.com announcement of the webcast:

"To celebrate the close of Summer Tour with everyone, Phish will offer a totally FREE live webcast of their sold-out show this Sunday, August 3rd beginning at 7:45 PM ET (4:45 PM PT) from Encore Park in Alpharetta, GA at http://livephi.sh/FreeWebcast-ATL" ;

They don't consider Dick's to be a part of summer tour.
, comment by TurolfBlooge
TurolfBlooge My wife doesn't like Phish. It's not her fault; it just so happens that there are a lot of good reasons not to like Phish. At 5:40pm PDT or so, it occurred to me I needed to start preparing dinner. Instead of listening to "The Line" or the composed bit of "Vultures" I put together the following brine for some pork chops:

Dissolve 3 T brown sugar and 3 T kosher salt in 2 c. hot water. Add another 1 c. cold water, then 3 T bourbon and 2 T vegetable or canola oil. In quart-size resealable plastic bag, place pork chops with 1 medium yellow onion, sliced, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 10-15 black peppercorns, 8-10 allspice berries, 5-7 cloves. Pour brine into plastic bag, marinate 3-4 hours.


many thanks for recap which makes all but fire to our bilingual dictionaries, twisty and turny as it is like phishing jams. as unofficial communique, and not strictly as ratified from all unanimous members of phish listening club, euro division, wanted was saying your recipe. seemingly delicious as is, several of us phishing listeners, euro division are thinking: following would take, as we are reading, "three" to "four" hours. plus, one supposed, your brine cooling time: maybe one half hour. plus, getting and putting of, ingredients: a half hour yet. perhaps is optional the cooking due to high brininess, and, we at phish listening club are loving more than a little, good pork chops. do not mistake us. however, we feeling pork chops as it is better to be safe and thus can unanimously state, "we prefer them well-done." therefore, with assumed average marination of 3.5 hours, plus brine cooling of .5 hours, for safety, also previous .5 hours of getting and putting, PLUS, .25 to .5 hours cooking time, depending, is easily 4.875 hours, also stated 4 hours and 52.5 minutes, of preparation, and that's not setting the table yet! therefore, with starting at 5:40 pm, your dinner time will be of about 10:32.5 pm, though, more realistic possible being closer to 10:45 pm or 11:00 pm. is possible, yes, and each unto himself, as we say. however, is wanting, i think, in unofficial capacity with phish listening club, and i have had some positive response here from other listening club members, to say: starting to your dinner earlier! then, happier, more satisfied you will be! so may the phish be with you, in all of your dining, so well-done, timely, peppered and salted as of summer tour in 2014!
, comment by TheZink1
TheZink1 One could argue that the claps during Stash took away Fish's little wood block solos he used to do in the early 90s. Sorry...the jaded vet in me had to say that. :)
, comment by FAHTAPES
FAHTAPES Your review blows! This show had it all going on and there is no possible way you are qualified to review it. As I sit at ATL INTL waiting for my flight, I'm stunned by your commentary... Were you writing a f-ing paper for college? Drop the fancy lingo and just lay it out! Although your brine recipe sounds really good, I don't see any value in including it here... Nice add of a show poster pic! This is the best poster I have ever seen (its printed on foil looking paper - a real beauty) I missed out on the poster but will be looking for one online because this show f-ing crushed it people! Everybody gets something different from the Phish experience and ATL GAVE PHISH THE GOODS... To me its not about comparing songs to previous versions, last time played, or the IT festival... IT is about the energy! ATL fans brought the rage and the band served up a real scorcher that I will properly review! when I get back home to Texas... Nice try, but couch tour college essay bbq reviews do not apply (no hard feelings) Boarding now - Peace out for now (useless facts later) Brooks
, comment by PIEGUY
PIEGUY Re: the "woo's" in Vultures: I still don't clap in Stash because I'd rather hear Fish play something fun. It's futile, but it's my own little protest.
, comment by Sprachtor
Sprachtor Total interested in the cooking aspect. As for the show, I saw it myself. I don't need anyone to reinforce my beliefs to better validate them. Therefore I thank you for your review whether I loved it or hated it.
, comment by vtspeedy
vtspeedy Completely agree with two (at least) of the sentiments expressed in the review.

1. Jon Fishman. Wow. I'm not someone who keys in on the drummer when I hear music, but every since he moved to center stage at the beginning of last summer's tour, he is demanding more and more of my attention and respect, and last night, I was just in awe.

2. It struck me as they played that beautiful Fluffhead encore, that they maybe chose it with intention and specific reference to the Hampton opener in 2009. As if to say, yes, what we started in Hampton, we have now completed. We are back to where we want to be. This leg of the journey is now complete. But as we all know, the only rule is it begins. Can't wait for Dicks and fall tour.
, comment by Your_Trip_Is_Short
Your_Trip_Is_Short "Jon Fishman is in the best playing shape of his life. He is destroying fools. He has the weapon from Krull."

Pulitzer worthy.
, comment by kiddomarink
kiddomarink "Jon Fishman is a rolling ball of butcher knives, carving up thousands of willing victims every night."

well said.

"so many of Phish's struggles from 2009 through summer 2012 were down not to Trey failing to practice or arthritis but to Jon Fishman not being quite in shape enough, not having practiced quite enough rudiments to handle the demands of the music."

This, however, I simply cannot agree with. The period in question definitely contains some stumbles on Fish's part, but I have always thought that one of the most amazing aspects of the man's drumming is his astounding ability to recover with a certain amount of grace. When Trey would break down though, it would be catastrophic, like a fiery car wreck. I can't recall many instances of a Fish hiccup completely derailing a song.
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 @vtspeedy said:
Completely agree with two (at least) of the sentiments expressed in the review.

1. Jon Fishman. Wow. I'm not someone who keys in on the drummer when I hear music, but every since he moved to center stage at the beginning of last summer's tour, he is demanding more and more of my attention and respect, and last night, I was just in awe.

2. It struck me as they played that beautiful Fluffhead encore, that they maybe chose it with intention and specific reference to the Hampton opener in 2009. As if to say, yes, what we started in Hampton, we have now completed. We are back to where we want to be. This leg of the journey is now complete. But as we all know, the only rule is it begins. Can't wait for Dicks and fall tour.
Without trying to read too much into it (while naturally doing so), this was my thought exactly. I've felt since summer 12 (sry those that want to go back earlier) they've been consistently on the upward path. No reason to compare the last two tours, it's just great to be on this run. So, I think the Fluffhead was a bit of a bookend, yes.
, comment by newbornelf
newbornelf In regards to clapping, woo-ing, "love to take a bath", etc:

I think Phish loves all of this, including the woo-ing. It's another way (and one I bet they didn't see coming at all) that the fans can interact with and directly affect the music. As a performer who is essentially naked on that huge stage, (especially Fishman back in the old days), that woo-ing must make the Phish feel fantastic.
, comment by Jestinphish
Jestinphish I loved the recap. Fishman is hot fire!!!! What a great show to watch. 2nd set blew me away. Light> Hood was absolute money. Love Trey laughing after the slowdown in the beginning of Hood! Best Fluffhead I've seen or heard played in forever, seriously... It was tight. And Trey was so into Last Tube!!!!! Jumping up and down like a loon. Moving, grooving... Man, its so much fun to watch and listen to when they have a good time. I simply can not wait til Denver!

Also... Cracked peppercorns or whole? And where's the garlic?

"Awww yeah.... the old "forgot my name"...trick!"
, comment by gratefulterp
gratefulterp @TurolfBlooge said:
My wife doesn't like Phish. It's not her fault; it just so happens that there are a lot of good reasons not to like Phish. At 5:40pm PDT or so, it occurred to me I needed to start preparing dinner. Instead of listening to "The Line" or the composed bit of "Vultures" I put together the following brine for some pork chops:

Dissolve 3 T brown sugar and 3 T kosher salt in 2 c. hot water. Add another 1 c. cold water, then 3 T bourbon and 2 T vegetable or canola oil. In quart-size resealable plastic bag, place pork chops with 1 medium yellow onion, sliced, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 10-15 black peppercorns, 8-10 allspice berries, 5-7 cloves. Pour brine into plastic bag, marinate 3-4 hours.

many thanks for recap which makes all but fire to our bilingual dictionaries, twisty and turny as it is like phishing jams. as unofficial communique, and not strictly as ratified from all unanimous members of phish listening club, euro division, wanted was saying your recipe. seemingly delicious as is, several of us phishing listeners, euro division are thinking: following would take, as we are reading, "three" to "four" hours. plus, one supposed, your brine cooling time: maybe one half hour. plus, getting and putting of, ingredients: a half hour yet. perhaps is optional the cooking due to high brininess, and, we at phish listening club are loving more than a little, good pork chops. do not mistake us. however, we feeling pork chops as it is better to be safe and thus can unanimously state, "we prefer them well-done." therefore, with assumed average marination of 3.5 hours, plus brine cooling of .5 hours, for safety, also previous .5 hours of getting and putting, PLUS, .25 to .5 hours cooking time, depending, is easily 4.875 hours, also stated 4 hours and 52.5 minutes, of preparation, and that's not setting the table yet! therefore, with starting at 5:40 pm, your dinner time will be of about 10:32.5 pm, though, more realistic possible being closer to 10:45 pm or 11:00 pm. is possible, yes, and each unto himself, as we say. however, is wanting, i think, in unofficial capacity with phish listening club, and i have had some positive response here from other listening club members, to say: starting to your dinner earlier! then, happier, more satisfied you will be! so may the phish be with you, in all of your dining, so well-done, timely, peppered and salted as of summer tour in 2014!
kinda tough to argue with this
, comment by Cheard
Cheard Totally gratuitous and nonconstructive jab at Oak Mountain. Dominated by aggressive dirtbags? Ouch
, comment by jwelsh8
jwelsh8 Really enjoyed your thoughts, Mr. Mahoney. Especially the allusion to curling. :)
, comment by aburtch
aburtch Phish is back. I think that's something we can all at least agree on.

And it's so, so wonderful to have them back.
, comment by sykas
sykas From my perspective, a review should be receiver-oriented. People read the reviews either to find out what they missed, or to maybe validate what they heard. In this case, to immediately offer a negative review of the opener was not receiver-oriented. I was very happy to hear _My Soul_, as it brought back memories of Phish past. For new phans, it is good for them to hear some of the older classic songs which have not been played a lot. Many of us do care about the opener, and we are reading the review because we did not go to the show, so likely we were not throwing around beach balls and spilling beer. And we are reading the review to find out things like, 1) how often do they open with _My Soul_, 2) when was the LTP, and 3) how this version was compared to other versions. And as far as the version, it was a good one, I loved it. The review deteriorates, I guess, because it is not perceived as constructive. The irony is that this review was highly "self-referential", as people noted in their responses to the review, though the review was promised to be the opposite. Sure there were some missteps, sure _Taste_ could have gone more smoothly, but at least they played _Taste_, and they got it together for the jam, so how about focus on the positive? I don't think Trey goes into _Light_ out of boredom, and I don't think that the readers of the review want to be exposed to such deconstructive conjecture. This was a great show, many positive moments and musical highlights, and Phish has been "back" since 2009, having seen shows live on most tours since then, and having listening to many more via the Web, I just don't get the point of the review and think Phish and the Phans who missed the show or saw the show deserve something more constructive and positive. The most positive section, with the interplay, comes so late in the review that perhaps some readers didn't have the patience to get there. If positivity is within the reviewer's wheelhouse, how about a do-over?
, comment by Fee_Sees
Fee_Sees @tweezer said:
@Xeyed_and_Phinless said:
Summer tour is not over... There is a little city in the west called Denver.
From the phish.com announcement of the webcast:

"To celebrate the close of Summer Tour with everyone, Phish will offer a totally FREE live webcast of their sold-out show this Sunday, August 3rd beginning at 7:45 PM ET (4:45 PM PT) from Encore Park in Alpharetta, GA at http://livephi.sh/FreeWebcast-ATL" ;

They don't consider Dick's to be a part of summer tour.
I don't mean to nitpick, but according to this, they do consider Dick's to be part of the summer tour:
http://phish.com/tours/summer-2014/
, comment by tweezer
tweezer @Fee_Sees You're right. They celebrated the final Dick's show 4 weeks early.
, comment by pistilstamen
pistilstamen lulz.

I don't come 'round these parts much anymore, but I always get a kick out of the comments to these posts.

Before you go on blast to tell a Mr. sausagemahoney about how bad this review sucked, you can always click on the the author hyperlink (you know, that thing that is underlined that sends you to a new page in reference to the underlined content) and sample some of his previous work to get a feel for his perspective.

Who am I kidding, that would take effort and reading! It's much easier to tell him that he has no idea what the hell he is talking about and how "the ATL brought the rage".

Thank god they didn't play Show of Life, else there might be virtual pitchforks and torches at the gates of phish.net HQ.
, comment by dogfacedboyman
dogfacedboyman Check out the Barney Miller theme song! Sick! You know....Abe Vagoda.....was "Fish" on that TV show.....
, comment by gnosticaspirant
gnosticaspirant @tweezer said:
@Xeyed_and_Phinless said:
Summer tour is not over... There is a little city in the west called Denver.
From the phish.com announcement of the webcast:

"To celebrate the close of Summer Tour with everyone, Phish will offer a totally FREE live webcast of their sold-out show this Sunday, August 3rd beginning at 7:45 PM ET (4:45 PM PT) from Encore Park in Alpharetta, GA at http://livephi.sh/FreeWebcast-ATL" ;

They don't consider Dick's to be a part of summer tour.
What a bunch of Dick's!
, comment by gnosticaspirant
gnosticaspirant Douchiest review style with good content. I consider it a baby wipe!
, comment by gnosticaspirant
gnosticaspirant "Thank god they didn't play Show of Life, else there might be virtual pitchforks and torches at the gates of phish.net HQ."

For reals...so glad they didn't play it. Would suck to have to impale someone on a pitchfork...like Vlad the Impaler, Vlad the Impaler, Vlad the Impaler.
, comment by RobbieTwoShirts
RobbieTwoShirts Good opener and I thought the first set was awesome
, comment by fluff_hen
fluff_hen Love this review, esp. the start, finish and the Light description - just perplexed by the fierce attack on "My Soul", which is a fun bluesy number and always a blast as opener, foretelling good things.
, comment by JMart
JMart I saw it on the couch.
I have to agree with most of this review; you're never going to win any friends by criticizing the music. Fishman was on point last night, like demonstrably so. He was spitting hot fire the whole night. My buddy texted me "sick gumbo" and I was like, "don't jinx it! they were supposed to have slam the door shut on this one by now. Don't tip them off!" and just like that, right when I was zoning out, they closed the door. Why do you refuse to jam this out?!?!?
This band is so infuriating sometimes. I mean, the first set was pretty darn good. The Chalkdust was pretty darn good, and then they just kill everything with scents and subtle sounds. Phish has earned the right to play whatever they want, but that doesn't mean I've forfeited the right to say I think some song selections are poorly placed.
This tour definitely had some moments (the second night of Merriweather was the obvious highlight for me), but it also had some real head-scratching decisions as well.
Looking forward to a nice west coast run this fall.
, comment by PennPhan
PennPhan "with Trey sprinting like he has a tee time and also needs to take a shit. "

I laughed at how silly he looked.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS I'm not one to defend negative opinions but the reviewer got it right, folks. This show was very hit and miss. Doesn't mean the tour wasn't great. This show was not great. It had lots of misfires.

I felt for the most part, Trey was the only one in the band truly engaged with the music most of the night. Page and Mike offered nothing to the game all night, and both seemed tired and looking forward to the bus trip.
, comment by dorz11
dorz11 This was classic, " like a juicy date wrapped in prosciutto". That was worth a good chuckle!
, comment by rdecember6
rdecember6 Lot of joy last night! One thing that I am constantly looking for in reviews is commentary on Koruda's unbelievable work at the light stage. My GRANDMA! Last night propped with a solid group of honorable revival going Phish freaks at the apex of the pit, I was constantly amazed by Chris' work. He IS the fifth member of the band. Brilliant work!

I celebrate twenty years of life with this band. Two years from now, I will hope to have been listening to these unquestionable friends/family members for half my life. The music I indulged in this past weekend became stronger, more essential and celebratory.

I felt each song riteously placed with lovely shared exploration. Without doubt this tour has been a platform for Page and Fishman. They are both take chances and are confident in each choice. Jedi hat tip to the two of them.

The only marred moment for me that close of Fuego way too soon. Gumbo was a close second. Don't take away my food and ride! Let's see how far we can go!

Brilliant playing. Grand chance to dance with my friends out in Northwest while they BBQ'ued and danced their asses of in the sunshine. The poster rocked. The band rocked. THIS WEEKEND ROCKED! Long live the REVIVAL!
, comment by mmcnally
mmcnally Basically, they "swing the bat each night", and there will be strike outs, singles ... and a homer now and then. I find that to be the best part, following along, note for note, thinking about what I'd do at any particular point, hearing what they decide, making a mental comparison / judgement, and then it's on to the next progression. Blind alleys are a part of improvisation ... I saw the Chicago shows, and did this one couch. It was a pleasure following along ...

The review ? Amusing ...
, comment by makisupaman
makisupaman Just returned to south Florida, and I will offer my $0.02.

A fine effort on the review, @sausagemahoney, considering your somewhat distracted approach.

It's funny no one here seems to have picked up on the joke that to me was quite evident while sitting comfortably in one of the best lawns on tour. Consider the "bust-outs" played last night: Pebbles, Scents, Taste, Vultures, FEFY (perhaps STFTFP too). What do they have in common? People bitched about all of them when they first premiered and were played regularly, but now praise them as sought-after gems (except apparently FEFY in the above recap). Most of Fuego will fall precipitously from the regular rotation as time marches on, and it will be funny when Wombat becomes that rarity heads are chasing. My advice to all phans, young and old, is to maintain some perspective on how fucking fantastic things are right now, and leave the hypercriticism at home. The band is having as much fun as ever, and you should be too.
, comment by Laurville
Laurville Awesome recap!!!
, comment by SpreadEagle
SpreadEagle @mikee said:
I really thought they'd leave no noob songs for the second set but their was fuego!?!

Hey there kiddo how bout some GRAMMAR!! you are referring to a place (THERE!), but used the possessive homonym. personally i don't like to see this mistake made under any circumstance. But in an instance such as this -- where you haughtily pan both noobs and the band -- i find your misuse of the english language most egregious.
First off...they are new(noob) songs! Secondly, are you really reviewing my grammar over reviewing the show? Thirdly, you must be that arrogant to do such things! This is a site for reviewing a show in which I did! Where's your review besides being an English teacher? College starts in a month...better get packing! The only kiddo here is you....
, comment by SpreadEagle
SpreadEagle @PIEGUY said:
Re: the "woo's" in Vultures: I still don't clap in Stash because I'd rather hear Fish play something fun. It's futile, but it's my own little protest.
Exactly!
, comment by SpreadEagle
SpreadEagle @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I'm not one to defend negative opinions but the reviewer got it right, folks. This show was very hit and miss. Doesn't mean the tour wasn't great. This show was not great. It had lots of misfires.

I felt for the most part, Trey was the only one in the band truly engaged with the music most of the night. Page and Mike offered nothing to the game all night, and both seemed tired and looking forward to the bus trip.
My sentiments exactly. It was all over the place. And I don't get why people think just cause treys jumping around that brings energy to the music. Trey is always bouncing around!
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @SpreadEagle said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I'm not one to defend negative opinions but the reviewer got it right, folks. This show was very hit and miss. Doesn't mean the tour wasn't great. This show was not great. It had lots of misfires.

I felt for the most part, Trey was the only one in the band truly engaged with the music most of the night. Page and Mike offered nothing to the game all night, and both seemed tired and looking forward to the bus trip.
My sentiments exactly. It was all over the place. And I don't get why people think just cause treys jumping around that brings energy to the music. Trey is always bouncing around!
Well it's the same old thing. I wrote a long review of the show on the review page for the show itself which isn't popular either, apparently. People don't like it when reality rains on their fantasy.

I agree with you. I love this band and go out of my way to be an apologist for them and always give the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time I'm a musician and as a result my interest in the bands' music and performance has very little to do with the "scene". I'm the same age as the boys in the band and the concert scene doesn't factor in to my anaylsis when I analyze their music, it really doesn't. I'm looking strictly at the music itself.

Musically, the band was not on the same page Sunday night. Certainly not as they were at other times during the tour. They had some great ideas, such as pairing The Line with Vultures, that was clever, busting out Pebbles and Scents (though Georgia got them as well as FEFY last time), but the flow didn't work and they didn't take advantage of the momentum when they had it. The show kept shooting itself in the foot all night, and in spite of a slightly above-average 4th quarter, the show is at best average. That's just the way it is.

If someone had a great time at the show, well that's terrific, and that is, after all, the point I guess. I'm not trying to suggest that their experience is illigitimate, I'm just saying that musically the show was average for this period.

There was nothing "douchey" about the review. Not every show is going to be a home run. We're watching art in process, live. It isn't always going to work.

But it can't work when all four members aren't fully on board with making it work. The band seemed tired and out of ideas. They made some attempts, but they just didn't have it Sunday night. The fact that the show was still highly entertaining is simply because they're professionals and we love them.
, comment by ADAWGWYO
ADAWGWYO I find it funny how butt-hurt people get over a review. n00bs!! Also, Gumbo "debuted" in Phoenix 7/29/97.
, comment by MOstGhoSt
MOstGhoSt i like this review - i also like the reviewer - i loved the free cloud tour

thank you phish

and thank you phish.net - thank you dan
, comment by goatsticks
goatsticks what a muddled mess of a review...
, comment by YoureAHosemaster
YoureAHosemaster @nichobert said:
Dunno why it irks me so much when people lump summer 2012 into some "before things started getting really good" frame. Summer 12 is spectacular
To me Summer '12 was when "things started getting really good." That was easily their first truly good 3.0 tour and provided a foundation that they are still building on.
, comment by n00b100
n00b100 @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I'm not one to defend negative opinions but the reviewer got it right, folks. This show was very hit and miss. Doesn't mean the tour wasn't great. This show was not great. It had lots of misfires.

I felt for the most part, Trey was the only one in the band truly engaged with the music most of the night. Page and Mike offered nothing to the game all night, and both seemed tired and looking forward to the bus trip.
Really? I felt like they were plenty engaged during the Hood jam, at least when they got the chance to solo, to say nothing of the CDT or Light (which, IMO, is already being brutally underrated the same way Summer '11, which this jam shares a lot of DNA with, is underrated). If you want to quibble with what happened between SASS and Light, be my guest (I assume this is what you mean by "misfires" or the "miss" part of "hit and miss", though I certainly could be wrong), but I think the good stuff speaks for itself. Viva le difference, I guess.

As for the review, I've been mulling this over a few days, and I've decided the main example of why I'm rubbed the wrong way by it is this quote:

"Scents and Subtle Sounds" hadn't been played in 100-plus shows, since Dick's in 2011, but what's the point if they don't play the intro and don't bother with the jam?
Yes, why indeed?
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @n00b100 said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I'm not one to defend negative opinions but the reviewer got it right, folks. This show was very hit and miss. Doesn't mean the tour wasn't great. This show was not great. It had lots of misfires.

I felt for the most part, Trey was the only one in the band truly engaged with the music most of the night. Page and Mike offered nothing to the game all night, and both seemed tired and looking forward to the bus trip.
Really? I felt like they were plenty engaged during the Hood jam, at least when they got the chance to solo, to say nothing of the CDT or Light (which, IMO, is already being brutally underrated the same way Summer '11, which this jam shares a lot of DNA with, is underrated). If you want to quibble with what happened between SASS and Light, be my guest (I assume this is what you mean by "misfires" or the "miss" part of "hit and miss", though I certainly could be wrong), but I think the good stuff speaks for itself. Viva le difference, I guess.

As for the review, I've been mulling this over a few days, and I've decided the main example of why I'm rubbed the wrong way by it is this quote:

"Scents and Subtle Sounds" hadn't been played in 100-plus shows, since Dick's in 2011, but what's the point if they don't play the intro and don't bother with the jam?
Yes, why indeed?
Yes, viva la difference indeed! Well said. I had the benefit of watching the stream on headphones and honestly felt that Page was a shell of himself most of the night. Mike, too, seemed far too content to hang back and wait for Trey. It seemed at various points during the show, such as during the CDT jam and also during Light, that Trey went on pause mode, and waited for his bandmates to offer direction, but all they did was glance over at him and wait for him. Lacking a new idea, Trey would be left literally hanging and would change directions to a new song. The best jams over the last few years have been marked by a patient Trey allowing the other three members to toy and play around with concepts until there was a hook for him to latch onto. I think, for instance, of the great Tahoe Tweezer (the great transitions in that piece were initiated by Mike and Page), the great Hampton Carini, which was initiated by Mike and the great 12/29 Carini, whose jam was also led at the first by Mike and Fish.

Sunday night it was all on Trey for the duration. That was my perspective.

You are quite right about the Light jam, which if you read my review on the site you'll remember that I offered that up as the true highlight of the evening, but again, had Page been more involved, perhaps that would have extended and not gone so quickly to Hood. The Hood itself was beautiful but the interplay was all initiated by Trey and it seemed obvious on camera that Fishman was shooting WTF? glances over at both Page and Mike regarding Trey's antics.

That's just how it seemed to me and it's certainly how it sounded regardless of how it looked on camera.

Not that the show wasn't enjoyable. Just frustrating.

Regarding the quote you pulled from the review, I totally agreed with the reviewer on that statement. Viva la difference, as you said.

Thanks for your comments. I respect your opinion greatly.

I feel I'm being objective, but perhaps I am not.
, comment by charitytowin
charitytowin @kidrob said:
Long and boring. Can't believe I read the whole thing.
Me either.
, comment by newbornelph
newbornelph Boy, I'll tell you what...its a great idea to add your dinner recipe to a show recap! It really exemplifies to the reader that, not only were you not there, but that the show did not have your undivided attention!!! Besides, people obssessively following Phish's current tour on a site entirely dedicated to Phish might get bored if all you talk about is a Phish show!
, comment by MeatChaps
MeatChaps This review went Type 2. Got a little dark and a little weird but thanks for writing it.
, comment by smuggs
smuggs no jams and i fucking loved it because my expectations were zero. they havent acted that way on stage anytime i have ever seen them. the entire show. maybe it was the monstorous sound bouncing off of the ceiling into the pit or something else but that show was awesome.

mike and trey dry humping in the harry hood really makes your show review look great, clearly they had a bad time and were super bummed they were missing those notes and not jamming long enough for you.

this is phish we are there to see them, they cant lose only you lose when you have a bad time.
, comment by johnwcasey
johnwcasey I enjoyed the show directly behind the handicap viewing area in front of the lawn. I could have done without the lady walking up and down telling everyone to keep moving or "get to your seats", but it was a good spot.

The first set was surprisingly good. The Taste, Gumbo, Back on the Train were all good. And Stealing Time and Suzy were fast and energizing.

Best of second set was Fuego and Hood and an awesome First Tube.

On another note: what's up with the prints selling out so quickly? Is there a limit on how many one can get? They are going for over $200 on eBay and we got in 15 minutes after the doors opened.
, comment by jrock1979
jrock1979 -The author's assertion that the webcast was free because of something having to do with nugs.net and "paying off the fanbase" made little sense to me (nor did he bother to explain).

-The author's idea that Phish is trying to "harvest and ruthlessly exploit our personal information like Facebook" is a ridiculous statement with no basis in fact. LivePhish.com doesn't require any additional personal information than a typical shopping website.

-The author goes on to say that "the opener is a joke" and My Soul is "not a song any of us needs to hear again." I have no problem with someone's opinion, but you can't make assumptions about what the entire fanbase likes or doesn't like, because you WILL be wrong. I enjoyed My Soul, so I have already invalidated your statement.

-I am very confused as to why the author chose to include a recipe for pork chops.
, comment by fromtheaxis
fromtheaxis This is the best review I've ever read on this site. Or anywhere.

If you can't take a pork chop recipe with a grain of salt, you can just as easily go without dinner than complain.

Thanks for the recap, friend.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @fromtheaxis, I think it's great too.
, comment by sausagemahoney
sausagemahoney Fwiw I typically use center-cut boneless chops
, comment by Jestinphish
Jestinphish C'mon brotha... bone in for the win! And I repeat my question,,, Cracked peppercorns or whole?
, comment by SpreadEagle
SpreadEagle @smuggs said:
no jams and i fucking loved it because my expectations were zero. they havent acted that way on stage anytime i have ever seen them. the entire show. maybe it was the monstorous sound bouncing off of the ceiling into the pit or something else but that show was awesome.

mike and trey dry humping in the harry hood really makes your show review look great, clearly they had a bad time and were super bummed they were missing those notes and not jamming long enough for you.

this is phish we are there to see them, they cant lose only you lose when you have a bad time.
Is it really about winning or losing? Very odd statement. It's his review..plain and simple. His subjective view!
, comment by BillBrasky
BillBrasky Kinda surprised there's been almost no mention of all the repeats from last year. It's like they took the best stuff from those two nights, jumbled it up, and called it good. I mean Stealing> Suzy in the same closing spot? FEFY, Gumbo, Gin? Wedge was basically in the same slot as well. Similar problems at Oak Mountain with a repeat Sand that didn't cover any new ground. And they are really wearing out Cavern on these southern venues. They played a great Chalkdust in Alpharetta, sure, but they played a great Chalkdust there last year as well. Hood was great though, right? Well, they played a strong Hood last year, too.

I had a great time on my run through the south. I was jumping and juking and screaming and shouting and clapping as much as anybody. But this shit is mystifying to me. The shortcomings in song selection are a jarring contrast to how well they are playing MOST of the time. I just wish they would take 5 minutes before the show to pull up last year's set list and give it a quick once-over. I would hate to think that they just don't give a fuck.
, comment by SpreadEagle
SpreadEagle @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@SpreadEagle said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I'm not one to defend negative opinions but the reviewer got it right, folks. This show was very hit and miss. Doesn't mean the tour wasn't great. This show was not great. It had lots of misfires.

I felt for the most part, Trey was the only one in the band truly engaged with the music most of the night. Page and Mike offered nothing to the game all night, and both seemed tired and looking forward to the bus trip.
My sentiments exactly. It was all over the place. And I don't get why people think just cause treys jumping around that brings energy to the music. Trey is always bouncing around!
Well it's the same old thing. I wrote a long review of the show on the review page for the show itself which isn't popular either, apparently. People don't like it when reality rains on their fantasy.

I agree with you. I love this band and go out of my way to be an apologist for them and always give the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time I'm a musician and as a result my interest in the bands' music and performance has very little to do with the "scene". I'm the same age as the boys in the band and the concert scene doesn't factor in to my anaylsis when I analyze their music, it really doesn't. I'm looking strictly at the music itself.

Musically, the band was not on the same page Sunday night. Certainly not as they were at other times during the tour. They had some great ideas, such as pairing The Line with Vultures, that was clever, busting out Pebbles and Scents (though Georgia got them as well as FEFY last time), but the flow didn't work and they didn't take advantage of the momentum when they had it. The show kept shooting itself in the foot all night, and in spite of a slightly above-average 4th quarter, the show is at best average. That's just the way it is.

If someone had a great time at the show, well that's terrific, and that is, after all, the point I guess. I'm not trying to suggest that their experience is illigitimate, I'm just saying that musically the show was average for this period.

There was nothing "douchey" about the review. Not every show is going to be a home run. We're watching art in process, live. It isn't always going to work.

But it can't work when all four members aren't fully on board with making it work. The band seemed tired and out of ideas. They made some attempts, but they just didn't have it Sunday night. The fact that the show was still highly entertaining is simply because they're professionals and we love them.
Well that's the thing from every era of the band...you get some good/great and you get some average or to some bad shows. It's just sad that A person can't just leave a simple review with everyone jumping on the review. Some people like oranges, some like apples! Like I always say its subjective. Last fall people loved Reading...I didn't! Maybe it was the end of the tour almost that I was out all by myself..driving by myself..everything was just me.

However this show was lacking flow..lacking something. And evidentially I need to relisten to this hood but I think more people are upbeat about because of trey doing a play session with each member more than the music but once again I need to relisten!

Now I'm not a musician however I know lots of them from people who play instruments to djs! So I've been exposed to many different kinds of music that takes an ear and openness to enjoy, analyze, etc. everyone I was talking to during and after the show that have seen all eras and da mount of shows...probably hundreds more then the English Teacher correcting my grammar. But they had the same points as you and I. Now I'm sure you've seen more than I..however I've been listening to Phish since 95 and it took some time to grow on me which is odd considering I was into Pink Floyd and music from an older generation. That's like a lot of my friends give me sh't for not really liking the dead...but you know what I like Jerrys Band better! That's just me! It had a different sound to me that was different from the dead and maybe I just like Jerry out of the whole!?!

But I'm the exact way...I'm doing more listening than anything! Now I might not hear what someone else hears but that's how it goes. Just like Chicago last year. A friend and I both turned to each other and I said wow mikes killing it and he said fish is killing it...we both were focused on so etching different within the band and the music.

That's like saying MMP2 this year was a bustout. IMO it wasn't that big of a bust out...to me a bustout was burgettstown 03! That was a true bustout show! Songs that hadn't been played in forever all wrapped up in one! But for people newer to the music it was a bustout for them. And I'm glad they feel so however those weren't my views.

Now the music is tight playing and pretty good but the band has shown at moments that they can bust a jam anytime if they choose too. But it still lacked the whole summer IMO.

Anyways, theirs no uncertainty that everyone loves the band in one way or another!

And @mikee....if you ever choose to review the show instead of being a English Teacher....ill see you at Halloween! Cause I got tix! I'd rather do just Halloween over anything the summer brings!!!!
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @SpreadEagle said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@SpreadEagle said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I'm not one to defend negative opinions but the reviewer got it right, folks. This show was very hit and miss. Doesn't mean the tour wasn't great. This show was not great. It had lots of misfires.

I felt for the most part, Trey was the only one in the band truly engaged with the music most of the night. Page and Mike offered nothing to the game all night, and both seemed tired and looking forward to the bus trip.
My sentiments exactly. It was all over the place. And I don't get why people think just cause treys jumping around that brings energy to the music. Trey is always bouncing around!
Well it's the same old thing. I wrote a long review of the show on the review page for the show itself which isn't popular either, apparently. People don't like it when reality rains on their fantasy.

I agree with you. I love this band and go out of my way to be an apologist for them and always give the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time I'm a musician and as a result my interest in the bands' music and performance has very little to do with the "scene". I'm the same age as the boys in the band and the concert scene doesn't factor in to my anaylsis when I analyze their music, it really doesn't. I'm looking strictly at the music itself.

Musically, the band was not on the same page Sunday night. Certainly not as they were at other times during the tour. They had some great ideas, such as pairing The Line with Vultures, that was clever, busting out Pebbles and Scents (though Georgia got them as well as FEFY last time), but the flow didn't work and they didn't take advantage of the momentum when they had it. The show kept shooting itself in the foot all night, and in spite of a slightly above-average 4th quarter, the show is at best average. That's just the way it is.

If someone had a great time at the show, well that's terrific, and that is, after all, the point I guess. I'm not trying to suggest that their experience is illigitimate, I'm just saying that musically the show was average for this period.

There was nothing "douchey" about the review. Not every show is going to be a home run. We're watching art in process, live. It isn't always going to work.

But it can't work when all four members aren't fully on board with making it work. The band seemed tired and out of ideas. They made some attempts, but they just didn't have it Sunday night. The fact that the show was still highly entertaining is simply because they're professionals and we love them.
Last fall people loved Reading...I didn't!

However this show was lacking flow..lacking something.

everyone I was talking to during and after the show...had the same points as you and I. Now I'm sure you've seen more than I..however I've been listening to Phish since 95 and it took some time to grow on me which is odd considering I was into Pink Floyd and music from an older generation.

But I'm the exact way...I'm doing more listening than anything!

Now the music is tight playing and pretty good but the band has shown at moments that they can bust a jam anytime if they choose too. But it still lacked the whole summer IMO.

I loved the Reading show, for the most part.

This show in Alpharetta definitely didn't have "IT", except for a couple of moments.

Agree that this Hood is vastly overrated due to Trey's stage antics. I considered it a beautiful misfire. Still more interesting than most 3.0 Hoods however.

I have not been listening to Phish longer than you. I got into them actually after you did. My first show was in Worcester in '97 (the show that boasted the 50+ min. Runaway Jim). Didn't consider myself a Head until '03).

The only thing I don't agree with you on is your comment that the band can pretty much jam whenever they want to. This is true but also untrue at the same time. What I mean is that it's unfair to assume that at any point, the band can launch into type 2, or even extended type 1. There is a tremendous amount of concentration and energy required to listen to one another intently enough while on stage to be able to have "IT" happen, like flipping a light switch on a wall. That's just not how it is.

Musically, there needs to be a consesus among the whole band, and a willingness to engage (by engage I mean put in the effort) in order for that stuff to happen. I mean sure, there are techniques and tricks to fooling everyone into thinking the whole process is organic, but really Phishdom (the fan base) is pretty sophisticated on the whole and we would not appreciate it if they were forcing it on a regular basis. It would get old and trite and uninteresting pretty quick. It's better that the band just run through their songs in standard fashion, nailing all the expected points and then say thank you and good night, than it would be to force a jam.

As an example of what I mean, go see Moe. The difference between Phish and Moe (well, there are quite a few differences not to mention that Phish are better musicians), but regarding jamming I mean, is that Moe tries to jam EVERYTHING, and more often than not it's just a wall of sound and repeated rhythms that just become a muddy mess. Phish's music in 2.0 is often criticized for the same thing; just an elongated, pointless, slop of music that goes nowhere in particular. Now, there's a place for that, but really a jam is much more satisfying (for us and the band) when it is based upon spontaneous and organic ideas springing out of the live performance, and not just a pointless deconstruction of the composed song, just to say "Hey, we're a jam band and we just jammed!" I mean, that's high school stuff.

I like the fact the Phish doesn't always jam out every time. It lets me know that its real when it happens.

You mention the Dead....I loved the Dead, and I bring them up only to help make my point. For many years (in my opinion), the band was at the mercy of how Jerry was feeling, which often wasn't good, and this limited them severely in terms of how exploratory they could be. To prove the point, consider how Furthur played with the guy from Dark Star Orchestra, compared to how they played with Jerry near the end. Now, I know that this argument only goes so far. Different drummers, keyboardists, etc. But still, my point is that all the members need to be on the same page at the same time for a really good piece of experimental live music to gel. It just doesn't come together automatically because they decide to make it so.

Sunday night was a glorious and generous attempt by a tired and road-weary group of 50-yr. old men to create magic for fans that they love. In spite of their hearts' desire to do so, it did not create the magic they hoped for. The beautiful Fluffhead encore is a testament to how they feel about each other and us as fans. This is why many people bristle at what they consider to be "negative" reviews or opinions. To them, it's as though we insulted their mother, and they take it personal. This is unfortunate.

We should be able to utilize this forum for honest dialog about the music without everyone getting their balls pinched.
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu @jrock1979 said:
-The author's assertion that the webcast was free because of something having to do with nugs.net and "paying off the fanbase" made little sense to me (nor did he bother to explain).
That was speculation, not assertion.

-The author's idea that Phish is trying to "harvest and ruthlessly exploit our personal information like Facebook" is a ridiculous statement with no basis in fact. LivePhish.com doesn't require any additional personal information than a typical shopping website.
That was humor.

-The author goes on to say that "the opener is a joke" and My Soul is "not a song any of us needs to hear again." I have no problem with someone's opinion, but you can't make assumptions about what the entire fanbase likes or doesn't like, because you WILL be wrong. I enjoyed My Soul, so I have already invalidated your statement.
That was opinion, using the voice of a "JadedVet" for color/contrast.

-I am very confused as to why the author chose to include a recipe for pork chops.
Pork chops are tasty.
, comment by sausagemahoney
sausagemahoney @Jestinphish said:
C'mon brotha... bone in for the win! And I repeat my question,,, Cracked peppercorns or whole?
Whole peppercorns. And I'm generally with you on the bone-in, especially for slower braises. But I do these on the grill and boneless is easier and cleaner. But of course the choice is yours!
, comment by Just_Ivy
Just_Ivy You people.

That is all I have to say.

Good recap, @sausagemahoney

Image
, comment by Bigbadbillybrad
Bigbadbillybrad Your negative opinion of first set is a head scratcher. Probably should leave the review for someone not trying to make dinner for his Phish hating gf. Was the most energy they had in a first set all tour. Right up there with mpp2 for best of tour.
, comment by tonyaniello
tonyaniello A solid show. Watched it with my son who didn't sit the whole time. At the end of the day it was a fun show to take in. The only down side was those little things that began popping up in the mid 90's... Yelling Hood after Harry, and all the woo's. Many fan ideas that began 94/95 seemed fun at the time but have gotten old. Like many of us who started seeing the band well over twenty years ago Susie can get buried so when it's played again it can be a break out.
However the Fluffhead was a fantastic end to the summer, and a very nice show.
, comment by malachai
malachai This review sucks. Why is it on the front page?
, comment by Scott
Scott Phish has been back since 2009.
Joy is a great studio record, released 2009.
Some inconsistent first legs notwithstanding, the most telling comparison between 2010-2013 and all previous phish history was the relative lack of songwriting. This has been sublimated into all sorts of fretting about how well the band was playing and improvising.

I rather like the attempt to inject personality into the review but griping about a lack of type II jams in set I and blowing off Suzy Greenberg indicates to me that the reviewer is permanently jaded and maybe comparing each song played against the best version ever of said song, which is a recipe for disappointment and evidence of lack of perspective. Was this one of the best shows of the tour? No. Was this one of the best reviews of tour? No. But I enjoyed reading it and thank you for the effort.
, comment by jackl
jackl @malachai said:
This review sucks. Why is it on the front page?
We ran out of space on the back page and in the food & beverages section.
, comment by Fallopian_Dude
Fallopian_Dude @FACTSAREUSELESS

Well said, factsareuseless. I have not listened to the show except for the Gumbo (which was indeed a very nice 3.0 Gumbo, thanks @sausagemahoney!). But I'm intrigued by your suggestion that short songs played accurately are preferable to sloppy, forced jams. The musician in me agrees with this point of view, at least in principle. However, I wish they would stretch things out more frequently. I would abide a few self-indulgent bombs and even a little extra sloppiness if it meant that they could find the space they need to explore and really hook up. I think my feelings on this are probably what drive me toward the 1997-2000 era when it comes to my listening behaviors.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @Fallopian_Dude said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS

Well said, factsareuseless. I have not listened to the show except for the Gumbo (which was indeed a very nice 3.0 Gumbo, thanks @sausagemahoney!). But I'm intrigued by your suggestion that short songs played accurately are preferable to sloppy, forced jams. The musician in me agrees with this point of view, at least in principle. However, I wish they would stretch things out more frequently. I would abide a few self-indulgent bombs and even a little extra sloppiness if it meant that they could find the space they need to explore and really hook up. I think my feelings on this are probably what drive me toward the 1997-2000 era when it comes to my listening behaviors.
Happened to check the blog just before bed and saw your comment....
Yes it's an interesting conundrum we have with this band and it's certainly a debate that would have no satisfactory ending....so let's discuss it!

I agree with your final comments. Personally, I think that is the double-edged blade of last year's Fall Tour and New Years' runs in that we certainly got plenty of exploratory type 2 moments, but the composed portions of songs were often dreadful. Some of the best shows last year had some of the sloppiest, messiest playing I've heard from them since '09. I alternated between shrugging it off as a band transitioning to a new approach or "phase" versus being downright horrified at the prospect that we were beginning to relive the summer of '04.

I hoped and prayed that Trey was still clean, even as I celebrated some of the finest jam moments since the reunion.

I really like and appreciate many of the band's unique and creative compositions and cringe when they are given sophomoric treatment. Songs such as Foam, Reba, Limb By Limb, Stash, Mound, Horn, McGrupp, et al., are truly blissful to my ears when played with purpose and focus. I don't care if they ever jam huge portions of their catalogue. I'm content just to soak in the sheer genius of the arrangements and bask in the glow of their incomparable musicianship.

But when it's time to throw down, I expect them to have their game face. When they don't, I'm disappointed. I shouldn't be. I should always be ever thankful and stand on my heels with my brethren and shout "Kung!" and worship at the shrine called: "Just be happy they're back...."......but I can't. My EXPECTATIONS get in the way and I want MORE.

Sigh.
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