Wednesday 10/26/2016 by phishnet

DALLAS2 RECAP: WHY ISN'T IT FRIDAY TODAY

[Please join us in welcoming guest recapper Matt Burnham, @TheRealBurnham. -CD]

It's hard to identify where to begin. Phish played the back end of a two night run in Grand Prairie, Texas, last night and anticipation was running high. The band's output this tour has been very high and although Monday's show was a bit disjointed at times, it was still executed well. Additionally, this show would be the final warm-up for the four night Vegas Run starting on the 28th. With what felt like a nervous energy, the band stepped up and delivered a first set that was exemplary.

Photo © <a href='http://www.jiggslot.blogspot.com/'>Jiggs</a>
Photo © Jiggs

"Daniel Saw the Stone" was pegged as the opener and, as usual, was a quick romp through the old spiritual number. Normal first set versions of "Moma Dance" and "Chalk Dust" followed. They were strongly played but stayed within the song structure. What followed was a very good three-song stretch of "Cities," "Foam" (a massive bustout from 2014), and "Waking Up Dead." The "Cities" was slightly extended and gave the band their first real opportunity to build layered grooves that melded together in a positive way. "Foam" was played for the first time 11/02/14, but showed no signs of rust. Trey deftly maneuvered through the chord changes that sometimes cause him issues, and everyone was smiling at the end of the song. "Waking Up Dead" was the first Big Boat song to appear at the show, and it was quickly evident that among the songs with jamming potential on the album, it should be considered a top tier candidate. To me, it wouldn't be surprising if it found its way into a second set in Vegas.

Similar to the Grand Prairie show in 2015, "Divided Sky" was the centerpiece of the first set, and it -- the second song of the night off of Junta -- was again, played to perfection. I remember thinking that it seemed like it was a longer than normal version (LivePhish has it at 16:25), and I wondered if it would be the longest song of the night (but hoping it wouldn't be). It turned out that it would. Fishman came out to some Texas Trey banter for "I Didn't Know," with Trey acknowledging himself as a true Texan (born in Fort Worth) and Page as a collegiate Texan (he attended SMU), but only Fish was a "cosmic" Texan.

The last three songs in the first set were another highlight of the set. A smoking "Walk Away," which seemed like it might be a set closer, instead segued into an unexpected "What's the Use?." "WTU" has been played more frequently lately with six versions in 2016, but it's a great ambient rocker, and I'll always take it. "More" was the first set closer, bringing another Big Boat number to the set. Personally, I love this song, and judging by the thousands of people yelling "There must be something more than this!" that opinion does not seem to be unfounded. In a different world, I could see this as Phish's "Touch of Grey," as it has crossover appeal. Overall, a great first set, which really whetted the appetite for what was certain to be an amazing second set.

And then it didn't happen.

The second set started with some promise with a high energy "STFTFP." And everyone knew that there was a chance for a second set "Number Line" due to it not being played yet this tour. This led to "Lifeboy," another large bustout that was played with precision and focus. Following "Lifeboy," however, was a string of songs that while played precisely, were not the songs that we we were expecting to get in the middle of a second set. "Meatstick" was fun and short, and then "The Line" showed up for the second year in a row in the second set at GP. By the time "Tide Turns" started, we could feel the crowd losing its energy.

"Taste" offered a faint glimmer of hope that things could turn around, but instead, it wrapped up quickly, and then Trey started up "Friday" instead. This was a pretty big shock to everyone, as the last time played for "Friday" was at Coventry. And that, to me, brought up some interesting parallels. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that in summer 2004 the band had not been playing as consistently well as they had used to play. I remember sitting in the mud at Coventry, listening to botched composed sections of most songs, and cringing as this band (especially Trey) of people whom I look up to seemed to be falling apart. Fast forward to last night, and the second set had very little flow and no real jamming. Which is a shame. But every one of the ballads played last night, to my ear, had no noticeable flubs, and should not give anyone cause for alarm as they head to Vegas this week. There's a difference between poor or sloppy playing, and bad song choices. I'll take bad song choices for one show any day of the week over bad playing.

A dark but truncated "Waves" came up next, continuing the 2.0 vibe. This was really the last chance the show had for any sort of extension, and although the "Waves" jam seemed like it was going someplace fun, Trey started "Julius" over the ending of the song. "Good Times Bad Times" closed the set in a more rocking fashion, and what would the night be without one more ballad in the encore slot in "Show of Life."

All in all, it was a frustrating set that raises the question, "just how many slow songs can one choose to play in the same show?" Perhaps Trey was feeling emotional being close to his childhood home? Or maybe the band was just taking it easy before the four night holiday run that starts this week. Only they know for sure. Still, I think they can build on this, and push to have a great Vegas run. I know I'll be watching. -Matt

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Comments

, comment by chillwig
chillwig at least you had fun
, comment by LightsWentOut
LightsWentOut The second set was certainly a "shock" in that the song choices were not typical set 2 fare. In the lot after the show, there was a general consensus that it was a very "set 1" set 2. This got me thinking about how the band is trying new things with song choices - breaking the Set 1 and Set 2 mold rules that they themselves had settled into. I think this has lead to some spectacular Set 1 this tour and tonight was certainly no exception. At setbreak people were abuzz about it's hawt-ness. I think Set 1's have more "permission" from us fans to break the mold as a lot of us maybe see that as the appetizer course before settling into a nice Set 2 meal. When a Set 2 doesn't quite Set 2 in the way that we expect, I think we can tend to be disappointed, but as I listened to last nights Set 2 roll out, I thought "This is one of the reasons why I see Phish. I WANT them to take risks and try new things. This is exactly where I want to be right now".
, comment by pabalive
pabalive "In a different world, I could see this as Phish's "Touch of Grey," as it has crossover appeal."....Oh FFS, please say it ain't so.
, comment by conormac
conormac They played "Friday" because Friday is when the tour playoffs start, and the Phish from Vermont is going for the win!
, comment by EdwardGRobinson
EdwardGRobinson There seems to be the feeling around the boards this morning that this show was some sort of "message" to fans or a punitive response to the show not selling out, or to Texas in general. I wasn't there and didn't listen, but it is hard for me to believe the band purposefully snubbed an audience for any of those reasons.

The band's tendency is actually much the opposite, historically destroying shows outside their normal stomping grounds and/or before small crowds. BombFactory 94, E Center post Halloween 98, USANA 03, the list can continue on and on. Obviously none of those shows were this week, and I get that.

Certainly didn't look like the greatest thing ever last night. I can definitely understand how that "Show of Life" encore could leave a sour taste. Truly though, I can look back at some shows that I thought were real stinkers at the time, and all that was really wrong with them was that I wasn't prepared for the band to play what they played.

Not suggesting that this will somehow "sound great later" but I do think it will "make more sense."

Onward to Vegas.
, comment by SaintAndrew
SaintAndrew A charitable and well-balanced review of an unbalanced show. My only show of the tour--and while I could certainly leverage that to complain that I didn't get the "bang" for my buck--I walked away pretty content from set 1 alone and grabbing a rare Lifeboy. First set had a fantastic structure of old and new tunes pressed to their limits--"Waking up Dead" indeed rattled the venue with a dark energy that should expand in shows to come. The highlights (Foam, Walk Away>What's the Use?) signaled an on point band will to go deep in their repertoire.

This second set didn't even pretend to jam: this was an exercise in execution within the small confines of a half-filled venue. It was weird--a second set that didn't let me dance. I left the show at the opening notes of Tide Turns--confirmation that this set would not escape "jukebox" mode--and while puzzled by the experience (first zero jam show) was happy with what I saw and accepted it for what it was--last chance to warm up before the Vegas shows. The problem, I guess, is that I'm part of that cadre of fans who attends 1-3 shows a year and attend solely for the improvisational brilliance--not a smattering of ballads. I was left simply imagining the unexplored potential of a tiny venue and attentive audience--an opportunity that the band clearly views differently than its fans.
, comment by mattybweston
mattybweston Howdy all. It seems like yet another paradigm shift may be upon us. The band sounds in shape and confident this tour and based on the song choices doesn't seem to be avoiding complicated compositions from the catalog. The vibe from the stage in Dallas was all smiles and banter so at least on the surface everyone appears on board for what's happening. What's more, the playing of all four members sounds extremely committed. Truncated, but committed.
I've read the "songy" and "dad-rock" reviews and comments (easy now- many of us old school and new school dudes are dads now) and understand that this may not have been the paradigm for the band when you first got sucked in to this. But here we are and for me song choice or placement takes a backseat to playing that is practiced & confident and a band dynamic that is positive.

Right now it all seems a bit Taoist energetically- a slice of ballady energy inserted between two scalding guitar god numbers. While that ballad may not be my thing (or it might...), it does get me to anticipate the next rocker and appreciate it when comes- and of course its gonna come.

Onward to Vegas!

Matty in Austin
, comment by Longhaireddan
Longhaireddan phish has lots of songs. LOTS and lots of songs. Their repertoire has far surpassed their ability to touch on most of it, especially in the small tours they do these days. I think shows like the past two nights illustrate this. It's difficult to touch all the bases of old and new, warhorses and bust outs, slow and rocker, and keep a smooth set flow. They have so many songs that few are ever satisfied with all the choices. I've seen many reviews where a "vet" complains how they hate classics, Possum for example, not to mention new songs. They will still pull off good flows, sometimes often, but shows like the past couple nights are just the way it goes now. I think they realize, oh, we haven't played enough songs this tour, and try to cram.
, comment by ucpete
ucpete Can anyone confirm or deny that Trey was hit in the face with a glowstick, ostensibly on purpose by an angry fan, just as BDTNL started?

If that was indeed the case, the rest of the second set makes a lot of sense -- as will their decision not to mess with Texas on future tours.
, comment by thegripp
thegripp Leaving the show definitely had me thinking: If Phish were to ever really "give a message" to their audience, tonight would be the night. I completely understand that Phish wants to try new things, shape-shift their flow. What kind of message is a succession of ballads in the second set saying? I'm torn because I honestly don't want to look too into it, but I am busy and I can only see Phish when they come through Texas, and I had to drive up from Austin. Are Phish testing my mirth? Are they saying "Hey, you know that you have to surrender to the flow - you're just on the down slope of the flow, so...sorry - you'll just have to wait until Vegas." I don't think Phish want to send that kind of message - or do they? Maybe they want to shake up the vets a little bit (I've been watching them for 20 years.) While I was there during the second set, people were just standing around, waiting to dance, and it was like being at a cocktail party - just kind of being there. I enjoyed the music, but it reminded me of a quote from the Simpsons where Lisa is at a Jazz club listening to her favorite musicians:

Man sitting next to her: "What is this crap?"
Lisa: "You have to listen to the notes that they're not playing."
Man: "I can do that at home."

Phish loves being cryptic, but if their cryptography is playing ballads, what am I supposed to do with that?

The ultimate dilemma for me is: I know they still got it. I know they're messing with me. This year, like I've said before, has been very strange. I walked out of there last night scratching my head.

Now let's enjoy Vegas. Thank you for reading.
, comment by white_lightning
white_lightning An extension of an interesting point in this recap: in my opinion in a 5 star review system, I would say generally about 3 stars can be awarded for how they are playing -- in other words, I truly don't care what it is if it is being played well. With another 1 star for song choice and 1 star for flow. By that measure, the 2.7-something stars on the site is about right.

It does seem like there is some part of them that is essentially saying, we don't want to come out and be the same thing every night. We get it that you loved the Nashville and Alpharetta shows and 5-6 song second sets, etc, but we just aren't going to do that all the time.
, comment by DrChapstick
DrChapstick Thank you Phish.net for all the great reviews. I've been seeing Phish since 1994. Started having kids in the early 90's so missed a lot of the meltdown. Since 2009 have seen 5 or 6 shows a year. They never disappoint. 2 years ago my son Jack, who is 15 became my touring partner and we've done 7 shows together. Hey got my old ass out of the stands and down to the floor. Last night he was front row against the rail dancing his ass off. It was so fun to watch.

To answer an earlier text Trey did not get hit with a glow stick. Think it hit the end of the guitar and doubt it was malicious. There we hundreds of glow sticks bouncing around the room and lots of balloons to lend a festive atmosphere. I loved the older standards in the first set. I loved the happy, happy second set. I know it wasn't for everyone but that venue has great acoustics and seeing my son one the front row grinning and dancing was really special.

Thought it was a great show. No extended jamming last night. But that seems to be part of Phish's transition. I wouldn't miss this band for anything. They are the best thing going.

It's surreal to have into yell down the hallway in the house for your kid to turn off Phish. After all it's 1140 on a school night. Life changes and I'm glad I can just go with it. Phish changes too and we've all seen this multiple times over the years. I think what they are doing makes them happy and it really translates with their playing. They love playing the new stuff and being able to exhibit their unique art to us lucky few.
, comment by spac_melt
spac_melt Poor Waves:/ It's like the new sign of a bad show
, comment by TCCBodhi
TCCBodhi I'm all smiles that Phish is now inter-generational. I saw a man with his son at the shows. He had on a "1.0" shirt and the son had a "3.0" shirt. It made me smile.

I myself saw 10 "1.0" from 94-00 with a HUGE gap until 2015, when I've seen the 4 TX shows of 2015-16. There were two songs from this run that I hadn't seen since my very first show in 1994, so I was stoked. Still rather down that I've NEVER caught a Lizards, and only 2 YEMs (the last one was in 96!).

They were playing rather well, and it was clear that they are really enjoying themselves on stage these days. If that means that they play with us and give us unexpected sets, then I'm all for it.
, comment by JahNuhDead
JahNuhDead Waah, waah, what a shocking second set! They played too many slow songs! They played nothing that jammed out! The fourth quarter was so weak! Waah, waah!

GTFOH...the band rocks. These reviews are so pointless. They should be done 6 months to a year after the show.
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard zero-jam show? what about the wolf?
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Having raged the pit on Night 1 at Grand Prairie, our seats in the 200's, far Mike's side, sounded like shit. My partner @farmho_se and I cruised the venue for unconventional dance zones in the theater that had dank sound, settling on a back wall beneath the 300's, Page side. The security guard there let us flail about, partially because we showed up first, and encouraged anyone who tried to copy us to find their seats to prevent congestion. Someone was burning Palo Santo and we were blessed.

At set break we introduced ourselves to the guard, Darrell. Darrell said that he was enjoying the second night more than the first. We remarked that it was warmer in the theater than it had been on the first night, and he told us that performers set the room's temperature.

We asked Darrell if we could rage the central aisle that crossed behind the sound/light booth, and he granted us permission as long as we stayed against the wall.

So there we were for the second set, totally dead center, cosmic-eye-level with the band in a long walkway by ourselves. Everyone else who tried to dance near us was hit with flashlights and asked to leave. The most intimate VIP-shit, courtesy of Darrell.

Grand Prairie was definitely a drinking crowd, with plastic beer cups far outnumbering roaches on the floor at the end Night 1. Shot girls were carrying trays of viles filled with neon blood thinners. Did the band pick up on this when they were taking the room's temperature? To quote 'Friday', did they "notice the danger"? Trey openly speaks of being a sponsor in AA, and Fish said in the recent Rolling Stone interview that as the tide turned for Trey, it's his turn to help out others. With GP 2's song selection, was this agenda brought to the stage?

My partner and I have been in recovery for a little over a year and are attending ten shows on this tour completely sober.

"Got a blank space where my mind should be"
"You can see a different point of view"
"Tangled in the remnants of the knot I left behind"
"Trapped here as my senses bleed"
"Clinging to the notion you'll be fine"
"When you're lost in the darkness..."
"I can see through the li(n)es"
"Notice the danger..."
"Instead I'm stranded on my knees"
"Don't blame it on yourself"
"Good times, bad times..."

In our private aisle we had the sensation that Phish was playing to us. But maybe they were also playing to the guy we met at the Phellowship table in recovery, trembling with nervousness at his first show "back." Perhaps that set was "perfectly planned" for anyone who was willing to receive its message. And as a light rain of glowsticks fell on us during the encore, I thought that while the set might seem "completely insane" to a fan listening at home, from our vantage point it was truly the Show of Life.
, comment by 46Blaze
46Blaze All you motherfuckers got down with that 12+ year bustout. Don't even front.
, comment by PeterJenningsLovedTheFish
PeterJenningsLovedTheFish Let's not overanalyze what happened in Tejas. Seems to me they were trying something different to mix things up and it just kind of fell flat.

Nothing else to see here. Please disperse.
, comment by Eirenne
Eirenne Haven't listened to the show, but nice to see you writing Al!
, comment by JMart
JMart I felt really bad for everyone who attended this show.
The heart of the issue, as encapsulated in this performance, is how phish really feel about themselves at this point. Given how long they've been around, I'm certain they have a very good idea about who their fans (of all types are), what their (phish's) reputation is, and what each type of fan expects. I mean, they definitely know that first sets are song sets with one jammer or so and that second sets are more or less jammers set out in good flow (bitchin' segues encouraged) with a breather thrown in and a raging rocker to close. That's their formula. They've been perfecting it since '95.
Sure, there are exceptions. The Grand Prairie show from last year is a good example. Not a four song second set; just lots of good tunes played well. Still, last night is an even bigger departure. I mean, that second set has, like, almost NOTHING going on. Ballad after ballad. So, yeah, I would say they are trying to send a message, either to themselves or to the fans. To punish the fans who actually showed up is bad business. You wanna punish the fans who DIDN'T show up. Also, if you want to break expectation set for certain song placements, set structures, etc., that's fine. But you still have to put out an interesting product.
Nights like these expose Phish's mortal weakness: bad songwriting. If you have an off night and all your songs are jammers, it's very difficult to circle the wagons and pull off a tight, workmanlike show with a bunch of boring ballads that the crowd hates. They know this. What's even more frustrating is that there ARE those good songs in there (wedge, horse->silent, axilla, etc) and, for this night at least, they chose to shelve them. A real dumper. I'm not sure what message this sends exactly, but it's something.
, comment by the_vultures
the_vultures Why are ballads bad for some people? I dig Friday, which is also one of the biggest bust-outs they've done in ages. Lifeboy is not really a ballad. I don't know. I appreciate the fact that the band plays different kinds of shows night to night. They play one set 2 that is not to some people's liking and suddenly people spout off all these conspiracy theories. I actually prefer that the setlist gets mixed up pretty radically over the course of a tour. I would not want to hear the same jam vehicles every night. Almost all shows feature at least a few good jams, and many shows feature much quality improv. Can they not do something different every so often?
, comment by hdorne
hdorne These conspiracy theories about the band trying to send a message or punish their fans. Jesus Christ, you people need to get out more. They played exactly the kind of show they wanted to play. Believe it or not, they don't exist to make all of their fans happy. The minute they become an object of appeasement for the people giving them money, they cease to be artists and instead become product pushers, glorified salesmen.

Didn't Trey cite this very mindset as one of the reasons for the hiatus? That people became so obsessed with what songs they played, rather than how they played them?

If you didn't like the show, that's fine and you have every right to speak to that opinion. But all of this anger at the band for not giving us our money's worth because they didn't play our dream show is repulsive.
, comment by tek9rifleskills
tek9rifleskills I get down to every song. Every. Song. You know why?? Because I get down to Phish because they make me get down. I'm into what they put forth. I soak it all in. I wish I was there now because I would've been having so much fun watching no one move except for me.

Plus, if you count last night's show, they'll have 4 full days of no really deep improvisation until Friday. You know how fresh their ideas will be? How original THEY will think they sound to each other with that little break?? Just as a ballad in the middle of sets, or multiple ballads, might appear to "break up" or become "bad space" at a show, an entire set, or show for that matter, might appear to "break up" space between shows...
, comment by KingMob
KingMob @Spac_melt

Except that 8/9/15 show at Alpine where Waves > Tweezer was the hottest sequeway I've ever seen live.

Waves is a great song, no need to pick on it.
, comment by PassThePeas
PassThePeas We left feeling confused and disappointed. I don't want Phish to just do the same show over and over either, but to me it was more than just weird song choices. It felt like they weren't playing to the energy of the crowd. People were there to dance and party and be amazed by the Phish experience, and we got power chords and sad bastard ballads. It felt like they inflated a balloon in the 1st set and the 2nd set was them just slowly letting all the air out. I know that sounds harsh and Lifeboy was a bustout and all that, but heavy lyrics like "god never listens" brought the mood down, and it never lifted. I'm not saying there weren't great moments but overall it was a pretty big let down, and I hate that I feel that way. Even the lights seemed lackluster during the second set. Where we were sitting Pageside, it seemed like the majority of people were in their seats and not smiling by Tide Turns. And the energy never came back up. After the completely dissatisfying Show of Life encore, a guy near me was yelling "NOOO you've got to be kidding!"
And I'll just say it, the band SHOULD care what the people want, at least a little. People like my friends and I don't have the kind of money or job situation where we can just go to the big stuff like Magnaball or Vegas. But we do spend hundreds of dollars, take time off work, and travel great distances to see Phish any time they're within a day's drive, so I don't think it's wrong for us to be let down by a bummer show. Still love Phish, always glad when I get to see them... but like I said, confused and disappointed.
, comment by Ravinus
Ravinus It's great when Panic and Phish coordinate their tours so that one is in a later time zone on nights that they both play and one is playing live when the other has the night off.

By the way, there's no shame in being a Texan. If you ain't into that, we don't give a damn.
, comment by ProfessorDude
ProfessorDude Phish laid an egg. That's all there is to it. It happens. Even during the strongest years it happened. Let's hope it doesn't happen again soon.
, comment by HenryHolland
HenryHolland I got in to Phish in 2003 by stumbling across Trey playing Sleep in his garage. If I'd stumbled across a 20-minute jam I wouldn't be here because I find them boring after about two minutes. I love them for their prog rock epics like Divided Sky and songs like Foam, More, Lifeboy, Meatstick, The Line, Taste, and....Friday. What *I'm* bored with is the whole "first set = songs > second set = Type II jams" thing. Plus, I often wonder why they bother with encores, I've always loved the Simple Minds show I saw years ago where Jim Kerr said something like "We don't do an encore, we think it's a really dumb ritual. Here's our last song, good night".

I like the song selection for this show but having just finished listening to it, they seem a little tired and subdued. I get it, my one show this tour (Inglewood Forum) was just OK because they'd left it all on the floor at the Bill Graham Civic the previous three shows.
, comment by Bosco057
Bosco057 You mention the sloppy play of '04 in your article. One thing about '04 though. While they played a lot of their compositions sloppy (real, real sloppy. Embarrassingly sloppy at times) some of the jams from that summer were often quite inspired. That Piper from Saratoga is probably my all time favorite version. I'd take the sloppy play but great jamming of summer '04 over the sloppy play and almost no jamming of summer '16 any day of the week. So glad they came out this fall and handled their business. Lol. I was getting worried for a little while there.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert To me it was specific song selection more than a more general lack of flow.

Fill that set with roughly analagous songs and it would be weird but doable

II: STFTFP, Number Line, If I Could, Tube, Devotion, Friends, Taste, Winterqueen, Waves, Possum, GTBT

E: literally anything elSe
, comment by nichobert
nichobert Lots of shows don't sell out . there were hundreds of free tickets all over the place at Hampton 2013. Portsmouth is similar capacity to this place and I don't think it ever sold out before day of show in however many shows there.

It seems like fans are a little slow to come to the realization that this band is roughly half as popular as they used to be outside of a couple core and destination markets, but the band undoubtedly isn't surprised by only selling a few thousand tickets in texas
, comment by Kriddaz
Kriddaz Don't mess with Texas! Been listening to both nights and loving every minute of it! 46 songs and the Trey came home. I love shows that jam, I love shows that are loaded with songs. I love Phish!
, comment by catacea
catacea I seriously doubt the crossover appeal of lyrics about the vibration and pulsation of love and light. As phans we're accustomed to the schmaltzy lyrics of latter-day Phish, but I have a hard time thinking that they would find much footing in mainstream popular culture these days.
, comment by ramperscamper
ramperscamper ...or the Waves>Undermind>Steam from UIC 8/15/11. I never thought much of Waves, but after that show, I took notice!
, comment by stillwaitin
stillwaitin It's going to be okay.
, comment by HenryHolland
HenryHolland Lots of shows don't sell out . there were hundreds of free tickets all over the place at Hampton 2013.

The prime example of that from my neck of the woods (California) is the Santa Barbara shows in 2014. The SB Bowl holds about 4,500 people, tickets for both shows sold out really quickly and were going for big prices on StubHub etc. Day of the show, plenty of tickets on the ground because a chunk of the tickets were snapped up by Ticketmaster bots and others hoping for a big resale. Um, no, Phish crowds don't work that way.

They need to scale back the venues they play to more realistic levels based on their current selling power, not what it was in 1999. I for one would love to see them at a 6,000 seater over two nights rather than one night at a basketball arena.
, comment by isawyou
isawyou To all those who think that Phish is sending a message by not jamming enough in the second set, you clearly do not know the band as well as you think you do. I caught my first show in 1992 and this summer took my 16 year old son to his first shows at The Gorge (no doubt the perfect venue for a Phish introduction). In my opinion, the band plays what they want and how they want without regard to what the fans want. That often results in higher highs and lower lows for some fans. It has always been that way. Were they more consistent back when they toured more? Of course! Now they have more songs and less shows to play those songs so you are more likely to get something different than what you expect. But if you go into a show with a set of expectations, prepare to be disappointed. If you just want them to have fun and play well, you will always leave happy.
, comment by HenryHolland
HenryHolland I caught my first show in 1992

What's funny is that if you listen to those late 80's/early 90's shows, the days of 20-minute jams dominating 2nd sets were still off in the future.
, comment by gigrant
gigrant there def was a fun energy to the '92 & '93 shows. i seem to remember a Portland Maine show in '93 that absolutely ripped.
, comment by justrelaxyouredoingfine
justrelaxyouredoingfine Also Bethel Waves ❤ my personal favorite
, comment by gratefulterp
gratefulterp @Twicebitten, Wow to your post. I'm very happy for your night and quite certain they were playing to you. Much love!
, comment by BraveRutherford85
BraveRutherford85 The true beauty of this review is when you click on the links embedded in the text such as "Friday" or "Coventry". Awesomeness. Thank you!!
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS I've been avoiding the forum for the bulk of this tour because I didn't like the person I was sounding like during the summer when I did have something to say.

I probably deserve criticism for this, but I honestly haven't enjoyed much of what they've been doing since last year's New Year's run. I'm just not into their playing lately. Maybe it's the transition I'm going through in my own life, I don't know.

I don't listen to Phish to hear what they did last night. If this is what they want to do, that's fine. I'm not mad. I don't feel hurt. I don't think (nor care if) the band is "sending a message". I just don't like the product at the moment. I have other things to do. I'd much rather listen to the Phish I like on recording than sit through what they're doing now.

It's okay folks. Music is entertainment. It's more than that at a spiritual level, of course, but at the end of the day they are paid entertainers. I'm not being entertained by them these days. Not their fault. Not my fault. Just the way it is.

Perhaps they are at the end of "The Line" and we are witnessing the final leg of their long and glorious journey. Methinks so.
But it could be as simple as "I am at the end". It's been a great ride with these chaps, but I'm moving on. I'll always cherish them as (in my opinion) the greatest jam band of all time. There isn't a close second.

But this chap has gotten off the bus. Peace.
, comment by TexasBrett
TexasBrett Thanks for the recap, Matt.

I thought both shows were lovely. I was on the rail in front of Mike for night 1, and then had a suite pretty much for me, g/f and my brother for night 2. Wherever I am I feel they play just for me; I go in with zero expectations, and every song is a pleasant surprise.

Some [most] of them blow a giant hole of sunshine in my soul, and some of them simply make me tap my feet...either way, pleasant surprise.
, comment by AustinTxNate
AustinTxNate All in all, a good show.

First set, Waking up dead could end of being one my favorites. Page and Fish killed in, and the dark tweezer-esque jam out of the chorus is friggin NASTY! I could see this opening a second set, and them going deep with it, in the future. Also More is great. My girlfriend loves that song. Gotta have a few songs for the Phish chicks.

I saw on FB that MIke met some guy in the Lot with a LifeBoy poster and he said if we play that tonight, its for you. I really love that song. I think that from Taste on, the end of the second set was great. Particularly good Waves and shreddy build up (Character Zero like) on the Good Times Bad times.

Not a big fan of SOL closer, but you can't always get what you want. Nice show.
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