Thursday 07/21/2016 by Icculus

BGCA 3 RECAP: THE VERY LONG RUSE?

IT does not happen often: a Phish set with "bustouts" so plentiful that as each one begins, the excited utterances of fans intensify, fostering a revelry of Dionysian proportions. Although it was only a month ago that Phish performed a show with many bustouts (6/22/2016), shows like this are still rare. And when in the course of such phishy events it becomes necessary to SCREAM FEVERISHLY, in a room ablaze with vibration, at yet another song you never believed you’d see Phish play, you realize you are at THAT show. Phish reminded each one of us in attendance last night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco why we fell in love with them, and why we continue to see them whenever life permits.

Photo by Rene Huemer © Phish, used with permission

But that said, last night’s show was not without its musical shortcomings, and it is, in a sense, an exemplar of the “you just had to be there” phenomenon.

Opening-up a show with “Demand” for the first time since the Vogue Theater in ‘94, Phish immediately befuddled vet and noob alike. No one saw it coming (it hadn’t even been played since 12/31/09), and the band established early-on that we must never forget that we should expect the unexpected. While not perfectly executed, like “The Curtain With” that delightfully and soulfully followed, its frailty was forgivable and easily excused given its technical difficulty. And, more importantly, along of course with the “With” jam of “Curtain,” it proved to be a wonderful way to introduce the rest of the set, which (we now know) would unfold with bustout after bustout after bustout.

Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues” raised the roof. Having not been played in 114 shows, it was a real treat to get it, and to get it again for those of us who were at the BGCA 114 shows ago. It was an even-more-animated-than-normal version, and the “Fuck Your Face” that surprisingly came next, seeming to thrill most in attendance, further propelled the crowd’s enthusiasm.

After a timid but entertaining cover of The Beatles’ “Cry Baby Cry,” the first since Hampton in ‘98 496 shows ago, Trey remarked that the band had just finished their new album, and gave a shout-out to Bob Ezrin, for whom the bouncy, happy, poppy “Sing Monica” was performed. Given the surprises that had already occurred in the set, some initially appeared to be ambivalent about “McGrupp,” but most of us were delighted to hear it, and managed to enjoy it, even though it likely hadn’t been rehearsed (Trey had difficulty with bits of its tricky composed sections).

Photo by Rene Huemer © Phish, used with permission


The Phish original instrumental “The Very Long Fuse” came next, once again surprising us, as it had only been performed once before, last summer at Alpine, about ten months after its debut on Halloween in the improvised, all-hallowed “Haunted House” costume set. The frivolously charming monstrosity “BBFCFM” included Trey playing on his back (see photo above), and Fish at one point saying “one, two, buckle my shoe,” a quote from the count-off before the song “America Drinks” on Frank Zappa’s Absolutely Free album.

The “Walk Away” > “Sanity” -> “David Bowie” to close the set was a blast. First sets have rarely ended with such a mix of classic rock and hilarity. “Bowie’s” intro is silly, with vocalizations trailing into it out of “Sanity’s” wake. But the jam is, for the most part, expertly led by Trey, reminding one of other strong, though certainly not game-changing, performances of the song in the last decade. Trey employs his pitch shifter to be sure, but does so tastefully and melodically, reaching a clean peak in this short-but-tight version.

Setbreak was abuzz. The “vibe” at a Phish show is, of course, usually marvelous. But when a first set is replete with bustouts and everyone in attendance has likely just seen something either for the first time, or at least for the first time in awhile, the vibe is truly stunning. Just look at this show’s gap chart. Thousands of visibly-giddy fans chatted away wide-eyed and vibrantly, possibly creating one of the loudest setbreaks in Phish history. There was the feeling that, in the set yet to come, each of us present had a good chance of catching "IT," and that "IT" could happen at any moment.

No Men In No Man’s Land” (aka “NMINML”) opened the second set. The funkiest of the new-ish batch of songs from the last year, Trey yet again employed his Trutron pedal and envelope filter to dramatic effect, reminiscent, for example, of Jerry in late 1970’s versions of “Dancin’ in the Streets.” “NMINML” featured a big guitar solo, followed by a relatively brief, dreamy, open jam that fizzooled-out steadily before “Mike’s Song” kicked in. “Mike’s” jam was artfully colored both by Trey’s filthy, disgusting, echoplextactic tone, and Page’s ferocious and sustained assault on the clavinet. It was a proud return of the first jam of “Mike’s Song,” albeit a short one.

In response to a huge banner that had hung from the center balcony’s front row from the show's beginning, “Fee” was next, and would be the final bustout of the evening. The 208th unique song of this year, it had last been played at MPP, opening a memorable show there two years ago on July 27, 2014. Although Trey didn’t cleanly play the composed intro of “Seven Below,” it was improvisationally quite pleasant, though shorter than many other top versions of the song.

While one might think that the choice of “Waiting All Night” at this point in the second set was beyond rude of Trey, that would be mistaken. It is a beautiful song, which had it sprang-forth instrumentally during a lengthy improvisation, would be forever revered as a gloriously uplifting, blissful, “must hear” groove. (Coincidentally, “WAN” is also the perfect amount of time for a break to the bathroom, for anyone in need of such relief, especially during the middle of the second set.)

The “Jibboo” that transitioned the set from the third to the fourth quarter was crisp and peppy and mellifluous to be sure, perhaps even worthy of consideration among the top Phish versions (as opposed to TAB versions) of the song. And the new original song, “Miss You,” that followed (only its second performance to date) was very moving, particularly because it was written by Trey purportedly with his sister Kristy in mind. Kristy Anastasio Manning died from neuroendocrine cancer in April 2009 (shortly after the band’s Hampton return) at only 46 years of age. Whatever you may have heard (or think) about the song’s musical merit, if you deeply miss a loved one and think of them while listening to this song’s lyrics and gentle melody, it may choke you up.

Photo by Rene Huemer © Phish, used with permission

When “Weekapaug” triumphantly started, many no doubt wondered what we’d be treated to this time. While there have certainly been versions performed in the last decade that are worth a listen (including several last year), it has generally not been as consistently fierce as it had been in previous eras. In last night’s ten-minute take, after some passionate playing typical of previous versions, Trey put down his Languedoc and moved to the marimba lumina behind Fish, hammering away as he did early last year in Miami. Mike eventually set down his bass and moved to a keyboard behind and beside Page for a duet of sorts. In a sense, there were “dueling duets” for awhile, with Trey and Fish essentially on percussion, and Page and Mike on keys. The version ended with a bass bomb that rattled the room, though Mike was still beside Page and at a keyboard, and it was not clear who or what created the effect (presumably a button or key in Page’s rig somewhere)[Editor's Note: It was apparently Trey on Marimba Lumina.]. In any event, it was a musically bizarre version, but in a good way given the limited improvisation “Weekapaug” has witnessed since 2004.

The set concluded with a loose “Oh Kee Pah,” and customarily-spirited performances of “Suzy” and “Julius.” This may appear to be perfunctory. But those of us in attendance continued to be delighted by this show, hoping for the best in the encore. While it is of course typical for everyone to be genuinely amped before the band begins the encore, in light of the prior bustouts, speculation about what we’d soon hear seemed even more rampant and fervent than usual. After all, we’d been repeatedly reminded to expect the unexpected.

Thus, when “Velvet Sea” began, there was an audible, collective groan (even gasps) from the audience, which while possibly disturbing from the band’s perspective, was nevertheless hilarious. The placement of such a serene song in the first encore position seemed incredible, given all that had come before in the show, and especially in light of this song’s very heavy history (watch, e.g., its performances at Big Cypress and Coventry). Notwithstanding its setlist placement and the apparent indifference of many fans, “Velvet Sea” was a nice, relaxing version, before “Character Zero” rocked the concert to a close, with most in attendance belting-out the chorus, hands in the air, souls soaring.

The band heads south to play The Forum in Inglewood, and then Chula Vista. There’s still plenty of time for Phish to kill it some more this tour. Don’t miss LOCKN’ (especially since Fish and Page will be sitting-in with Phil) or Dick’s. And, please, remember to enjoy yourself! -$0.02.

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Comments

, comment by AbePhroman
AbePhroman At least there was Character Zero and you weren't totally Secret Smile'd.
, comment by mysticfox
mysticfox That big bass note in Weekapaug came from the marimba! I was thankfully close enough to see Trey hammer down on the low ends to create a wonderfully body rumble.

...and at least from my perspective, the crowd pretty much sang the entirety of Character Zero (with the band filling in on the chorus). Trey had a huge shit eating grin at the time, and kept looking over at Page in disbelief that the crowd was rocking it that hard. He even turned his mike stand around at some point, pretty content to let the crowd take over the vocals.

Other personal highlight for me from the show is having Page point and laugh at my "ass handed" sign as they walked off at set break. And I definitely got my ass handed to me that show!
, comment by nickavv
nickavv Pretty sure the "bass bombs" when they're doing instrument switching jams this summer come from Trey on the marimba lumina. At its lowest synthy register it can certainly shake the house
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard Take a closer listen to Character Zero. Trey doesn't sing for most of it. Except to keep the crowd on point: http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/2016-07-20/character-zero
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard As for the show, the first set and Seven Below were all played much tighter than the author may lead you to believe. This was 1.0 tightness with 3.0 love and dynamics.
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard A few points: Secret Smile'd.... if they did it like they played it at the Gorge in '13, I think there would be no complaints.

Second, every encore of SF went past curfew. Last night's second set ended at 11:32 p.m., and they gave us a very moving take on Velvet Sea, which holds up on the recording much better than any 1.0 or 2.0, or possibly even 3.0 version in memory. And that sing along on Character Zero... diss it all you want. Trey's vocals did not go beyond supporting and guiding the singalong. A beautiful calibration of the band's sound to the dynamics of the human phan's voice.
, comment by SikeMo
SikeMo A beautiful and very fun show that I was happy to attend. Haven't seen them so happy in a while. Probably the most enjoyable of the 3.0 shows that I have seen. The 4th quarter and esp the encore were a bit groan worthy, but one can't really complain. Personal highlight was Alumni. CZ was almost entirely sung by the crowd, which was awesome.
, comment by glennardskynnard
glennardskynnard Agree that the first set is much tighter than as portrayed here. One of the most thrilling 1st sets I've heard, and I'm including Guyutica! The Sanity is spot-on hilarious and crazy as hell and everything else is just amazing.
, comment by Time4420
Time4420 Seen almost 200 3.0 shows and that first set was my fav 1st set of 3.0
, comment by thesloth11
thesloth11 Great review...what a great run. I would have shit myself if I was in attendance.
, comment by User_11821_
User_11821_ @Icculus, @Mysticfox is correct, the bass bomb is the marimba lumina. It's been used to make that sound just about each time Trey has gone back there. It's easily twice as heavy as anything Mike's pulled out of the Taurus, that building had some things rattled loose, Trey had this look on his face at Page, "Too loud?" It was great.
, comment by Dignholesnconcrete
Dignholesnconcrete Insanity+respect of the past=moments that are never forgotten
Bill Graham was dancing in the sky, as Phish continues the legacy!!!!!!
Let's see if that 3 day run can be had...? Always possible with Phish
, comment by Dignholesnconcrete
Dignholesnconcrete Was Trey teasing Prince lics, at the 7:20 mark in Meatstick at the Gorge????
, comment by Dignholesnconcrete
Dignholesnconcrete I meant Gordon's lick...my bad
, comment by SaintAndrew
SaintAndrew Great and honest review--focuses on the music without confusing music with the "Vibe."

Having only listened, I'd throw my hat in w/ best first set of 3.0 if only on sheer flow of the set--a focused willingness to move directly into the next song that early Phish did so well (when they composed setlists)--those chatty breaks between songs in most sets tend to kill the buzz--this set was determined to impress and did exactly that.

Also, no mention of the return of whisper/chant/moan weirdness at the beginning of Bowie. A true sign that vintage Phish has shown up to play.....
, comment by Lee_Fordham
Lee_Fordham People groaning or gasping at the opening notes of Wading? Look, it's not my favorite song either, but 'complaining' about a song choice in the final encore of THIS 3 show run is entitled, rude and doesn't seem funny to me. Really, the band threw down for 3 nights and you don't like THIS song - and feel the need to broadcast that to everyone? EFF YOU, GET OVER YOURSELF.

Also, it's pretty obvious that a slow song to open the encore means you'll at least get a second tune.
, comment by Agentphish
Agentphish @funkbeard said:
As for the show, the first set and Seven Below were all played much tighter than the author may lead you to believe. This was 1.0 tightness with 3.0 love and dynamics.
There are some rough parts and a couple brown notes in -7, but he did play the intro, not sure what the reviewer is talking about there.

I have to disagree with you on one thing... In order to truly have 1.0 tightness there should also be 1.0 tempo, which was not there. The show is good, and the song selection in the first set is outstanding, obviously, but I still think night 2 is the best complete show. Better jamming, overall far better second set. First set songs that were well chosen (save for Breath & Burning, but maybe thats fine for some people) and were played as well as anything in night 3 first set.
, comment by imdano
imdano The Sanity is my favorite moment from the whole tour, and I've listened to every show. One of the reasons that many people first begin to love this band (at least, in the old days...perhaps not as significant today) is their irreverent sense of humor. I have really grown to appreciate the moments that make me grin and say "....those fucking clowns..."

I laughed out loud to this Sanity; it reminds one of 2/20/93 or similar shows from the 90s when they're goofing around and making each other laugh. In lieu of 25 minute monster-jams (woefully absent on this tour), moments like these are more than acceptable. The HYHU> Jennifer Dances> HYHU> I Been Around from 7/27/14 was an equally hilarious moment thats worth revisiting
, comment by jsauce
jsauce the level of apologism in the review and these comments...I don't get it. to bust out "Miss You" (personal significance set aside) in the middle of the second set is a bad call. Period. I'm starting to think I need a break from Phish if these types of song choices and (at times) thoroughly mediocre playing are what passes as good to the phans these days. There were some good moments over this three-show run, and I enjoyed them. Time to just set it down for a while. Enjoy LA and SD.
, comment by waitingallnightsyousaidim
waitingallnightsyousaidim I heard some major flubs in waiting all night
, comment by Piper72
Piper72 Why doesn't Trey just take the Lumina from Fish already? Fish I think has only played it once this summer during "Mule". Trey has played it almost every other show.
, comment by JezmundBezerker
JezmundBezerker @jsauce said:
the level of apologism in the review and these comments...I don't get it. to bust out "Miss You" (personal significance set aside) in the middle of the second set is a bad call. Period. I'm starting to think I need a break from Phish if these types of song choices and (at times) thoroughly mediocre playing are what passes as good to the phans these days. There were some good moments over this three-show run, and I enjoyed them. Time to just set it down for a while. Enjoy LA and SD.
You have a right to your opinion...AND you probably should "set it down for a while" if that is your attitude. These guys have been touring for 30 years. They're in their fifties now. Music evolves and perspectives change. If they feel like playing more ballads now, well then that is perfectly fine. They have earned the right to play whatever the F*** they want now.
It's so funny to listen to jaded phans these days and compare them to some die-hard fans of other great bands who've had long careers and gone through similar processes. Take Metallica for example. In the late 90's Metallica fans were complaining about their new stuff and wishing for more music like the Black Album. But back when the Black Album first came out, a lot of the hardcore fans were upset that it didn't sound enough like Ride the Lightning. Same old story. Over and over again. People get used to a particular thing, and then they complain when they don't get it. As much as Phish would love to, they simply cannot please everyone. In order to continue doing this, they need to stay true to themselves, which is exactly what they seem to be doing.
, comment by seano
seano @Lee_Fordham said:
People groaning or gasping at the opening notes of Wading? Look, it's not my favorite song either, but 'complaining' about a song choice in the final encore of THIS 3 show run is entitled, rude and doesn't seem funny to me. Really, the band threw down for 3 nights and you don't like THIS song - and feel the need to broadcast that to everyone? EFF YOU, GET OVER YOURSELF.

Also, it's pretty obvious that a slow song to open the encore means you'll at least get a second tune.
@jsauce said:
the level of apologism in the review and these comments...I don't get it. to bust out "Miss You" (personal significance set aside) in the middle of the second set is a bad call. Period. I'm starting to think I need a break from Phish if these types of song choices and (at times) thoroughly mediocre playing are what passes as good to the phans these days. There were some good moments over this three-show run, and I enjoyed them. Time to just set it down for a while. Enjoy LA and SD.
I was at all 3 and noticed similar groans when fuego was played on night 2. I couldn't believe it, after the Disease peak right before that. Killed my vibe for a moment until the ensuing ghost fucked my face. That being said, I can understand why certain songs can be seen as a bad choice. I think a lot of people were hoping for some sort of tahoe tweezer(or mansfield light?) to put the lid on this show proper, but thats not what this show was. The first two nights left us with plenty of jamming and this second set of this night was all about energy. Now while "Miss You" or "Waiting All Night" don't seem very energetic, I think they were really vibing on the fact that Bob Ezrin was there and the excitement of the new album must be on their minds frequently. That has some sort of energy in itself. I dunno, I noticed Mike smiling a lot this show, and if he looks happy they're having a blast. They play what they wanna play and thats what keeps it exciting. You can hardly predict what they'll do next and I have no bets for the next two shows. The fact that they played wading in the encore of that run certainly doesn't make me wanna find out any less
, comment by davidtaus
davidtaus i was there, directly in front of CK5.

First set was a mindfuck. just rarity after rarity. i think they planned Demand and The Curtain With, but past that something just gave way and they decided to make the whole set a stats phreak's wet dream. I guess you just get sick of playing wolfman's brother and need to fuck your own face sometimes. it was totally whacked, the whole place was laughing laughing fall apart. My girlfriend was there (show #3) so she didn't quite appreciate it in the same way. but now she's got better stats than your significant other, probably.

what this did mean, though, is that after a musically stellar night two they fell back to tricks and...gimmicks?...manipulating song economics to go over well is not as impressive as good patient listening and improv, to me at least. I'd trade a solid padding of my stats for a 30 minute Tweezer any day of the week. but damn set 1 was fun. Set break was spent wondering what they could possibly do next. Everyone around me was giddy.

Set two was a letdown, given the buzz coming off of set one. It started out phish-mediocre: NMINML didn't really launch from its homebase, Mike's had a good groove to it, but it was clear that coming out of mike's, Trey didn't have a vision for what was to happen next. Things simmered and there was some back-and-forth on stage. As noted there was a HUGE song request banner for fee, so there it happened. Almost as if the band couldn't come up with anything on their own. Sometimes Fee opens up at the end into textures and colors but that was shortlived as well. Through jibboo it was...meh. Jibboo had a nice build but stayed close to home, things were played very safe.

Then things came off the rails. Miss You is a pointedly sad song - this requiem for trey's sister who died is full of pain. Emotional pain isn't an experience you have with phish very often, hardly ever. Tension? Yes. lots of that. but emotional pain has never been part of the phish pallete. You listen to Ray LaMontagne or Pink Floyd for emotional pain, not Phish, because when Phish does it, it comes across as cheesey. trey/phish simply don't do heartbreak well, or explicit emotions for that matter. Phish is much more impressionistic: splashes of light, color, texture. An explicit rendering of any emotion, the "tell" instead of "show," just never works. and that range of emotions is just out of place at a Phish show. I know Trey's themes in songwriting as of late are about getting older, confronting mortality and middle age, time slipping away, and so on. Which is fine, but I'd rather he cut a solo album full of those songs and leave Phish as its original vision and bread and butter: one big overblown word salad cartoon. I'd be a much more satisfied phan if we never heard Miss You, Joy, Show of Life, Summer of 89, Time Turns, Sleep Again, or similar (although some of these are actually good songs, they're just out of place in the phish context).

I digress. Somewhere in Miss You i think Trey got into his own head a bit too much and completely shut down any ability to pull himself out of it. I mean, the song is absolutely wrenching. Trey phoned it in for the rest of the night after Miss You, never really took a leadership role to bring us all home. He spent Weekapaug absolutely uninspired, not even playing his guitar and banging on that marimba (i guess i can say i now got a drums/space at a phish show, can we count that as a bustout?), he flubbed oh kee pah, handed suzy over to Page to lead, peppered standard blues riffs in Julius that he could do in his sleep, and then again gave Page the lead in Velvet Sea. The objection to Velvet Sea wasn't to me the song choice, but the fact that Trey was sidelining himself. Even Character 0 (possibly the biggest no effort gratification of an encore/set closer in the Phish Catalog, and for that reason i don't like it) was a path of least resistance attempt to make something of the encore, but he didn't even sing the lyrics, he literally turned his mic to the crowd who did his job for him. And then he bolted off stage and was out of site before everyone else was done bowing. i haven't ever seen Trey do that before, but clearly something was off. i guess everyone's allowed an off night, but damn. Should have encored with Coil.

All in all from the BGCA run this year, night 2 set 2 is the pick to click, and while the bust out set 1 of night three was cool, it was one of those things that probably doesn't translate to tape well.

$.02
, comment by runmikeanantelope
runmikeanantelope Secret smile is something they play when there's nothing left to prove. I love the secret smile encore. Camden night one! Boo yah
, comment by runmikeanantelope
runmikeanantelope Please don't ever compare the genesis of Metallica with that of the Phish. Different tables altogether
, comment by phreedom
phreedom I have began to listen in on the evolutions of the band, for example, take the waiting all night. It's definitely got a hint billy breaths. Thus taking me a lot farther with the jam. Also, the Fuego jam with the bug licks? Nice, right? Now you are feeling it, the next evolution of the jams has taken the band beyond a simple analyzation of the set list to rather a must listen closely to detail account of intricate jam metamorphosis. however, the moment did exist when we thought we could also possibly be getting a gamehendge heavy second set, only to be doused with jam after jam, with beautiful composure and touching pieces mixed in so tastefully, that it seemed we could all catch our breath (fee reference).

Overall, San Francisco provided an incredible environment perfect storm. Only looking at the paper, I doubt anyone would understand how amazing Wednesday night was, as were the previous two nights. Even if they played the exact same songs every night right now, it would still be incredible.

Truly some of the nicest and diversely beautiful group of fans I have ever experienced. All I can say is there was a whole lot of love in that building, and everyone can thank themselves for bringing the love out there. Thanks y'all.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @jsauce said:
the level of apologism in the review and these comments...I don't get it. to bust out "Miss You" (personal significance set aside) in the middle of the second set is a bad call. Period. I'm starting to think I need a break from Phish if these types of song choices and (at times) thoroughly mediocre playing are what passes as good to the phans these days. There were some good moments over this three-show run, and I enjoyed them. Time to just set it down for a while. Enjoy LA and SD.
Agreed. I've been completely unimpressed with this tour. I'm not someone who needs to have long jams to think a show is great. I want flow and sharpness. If you compare this year's Phish to Fall Tour '10, for instance, 2010 is far, far better, on the whole. They're playing then, while devoid of any monster jams such as we've gotten accustomed to in recent years, was extremely tight and most enjoyable. I can't say the same this year.

While they've been significantly sharper than the murky sludge that was most of 2014, I just don't think they have it right now.

I don't think it's a lack of effort. I think they're trying really hard and I think they really do care, I just think they are a band in transition right now, and I'm not overly interested in enduring it right now.

I lost interest in this tour entirely after the 2nd night of the Gorge, which was one of the most disappointing shows I've heard them play in recent years, on top of five or six major clunkers earlier in the tour.

Oh well. You have to have tours like this in order to compare them to tours which are great. I'll have hopes that Fall will be different.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @davidtaus said: [quote]

Then things came off the rails. Miss You is a pointedly sad song - this requiem for trey's sister who died is full of pain. Emotional pain isn't an experience you have with phish very often, hardly ever. Tension? Yes. lots of that. but emotional pain has never been part of the phish pallete. You listen to Ray LaMontagne or Pink Floyd for emotional pain, not Phish, because when Phish does it, it comes across as cheesey. trey/phish simply don't do heartbreak well, or explicit emotions for that matter. Phish is much more impressionistic: splashes of light, color, texture. An explicit rendering of any emotion, the "tell" instead of "show," just never works. and that range of emotions is just out of place at a Phish show. I know Trey's themes in songwriting as of late are about getting older, confronting mortality and middle age, time slipping away, and so on. Which is fine, but I'd rather he cut a solo album full of those songs and leave Phish as its original vision and bread and butter: one big overblown word salad cartoon. I'd be a much more satisfied phan if we never heard Miss You, Joy, Show of Life, Summer of 89, Time Turns, Sleep Again, or similar (although some of these are actually good songs, they're just out of place in the phish context).

This paragraph above represents, to me, one of the most profoundly accurate expressions of the subconscious reality of Phish and its audience I've ever read. This paragraph (and the comments made after it) sum up my own feelings of this tour.

I think there is a major disconnect currently happening between Trey and the whole Phish experience. Perhaps Phish no longer works for Trey. Maybe he's more into the TAB thing now. That's fine, it's his right, they're his songs, but to blend the two night after night just doesn't work for me.

Love these guys to death, but I think it's time to spend my money on more of the large catalogue of their past and not expect this year to deliver. There's something off with the band but we won't know until some time goes by, because they won't tell.
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 @runmikeanantelope said:
Secret smile is something they play when there's nothing left to prove. I love the secret smile encore. Camden night one! Boo yah
Good for you buddy. I was at that show, and to me, the Secret Smile encore was still the worst encore in my experiences. They should have played something after it, that would have been alright. I see where you are coming from though, I just prefer to rock out until the end.
, comment by unoclay
unoclay Good review Charlie! Thanks for the balanced and informed perspective.
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard you know, listening to the second set now proves to me that all the complainers are a bunch of wussies. there may have been limits to type 2, but NMINML was a great version. Mike's snarled in a way that sent chills down my spine. Fee was the first perfect version since 2012. Seven Below had more creacendo than usual, and roared a bit at the finish. Waiting All Night expanded the musical canvas wide open. Jiboo received an extra 2 minutes or more, and was absolute quality, and pretty much musical perfection. Miss You is the most honest new song, and it is something that will eventually apply to one and all. Weekapaug was great type II, and although the band changed inatruments, the quality of the music was not compromised. Oh Kee Pah-> Suzy-> Julius was done with heart. Not one song was a throw away. Not one song was played to pass the time. Velvet Sea was even given the A+ treatment. And Character Zero was given to the audience.

For those who claimed that the band fizzled for set 2, I say this: "You're deaf!" That was the most loving performance of the year.
, comment by Lerxst
Lerxst TREY DOES NOT HAVE AN ECHOPLEX. It's a Way Huge Supa Puss.
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This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

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