Wednesday 07/19/2017 by phishnet

DAYTON RECAP: NEVER MISS A TUESDAY SECOND SET

[Recap of last night's show is courtesy of Matt Burnham, user @therealburnham.]

It's not a stretch to say that the expectations coming into the Summer of 2017 were a bit mixed. Once the Baker's Dozen shows and the tour were announced, the ruminations immediately began that playing 13 shows in one venue would throw everything off. That the shows leading up to the MSG run would be warm-ups. Tours in 3.0 have had a bit of a lag in getting on track. And although the band can usually find that high gear eventually, sometimes it can take some time to get there. Thankfully, the Northerly Run showed that that they were ready for the challenge. And although those shows were not perfect (and what shows really are?), the highlights seen in the "Everything's Right," "No Men in No Man's Land," "Simple," "Scents and Subtle Sounds," and "Carini" at the very least showed that the band was up for the challenge, and ready to try to hit the ground running.

Photo © Phish
Photo © Phish

As the real gear-up for the Baker's Dozen though, some indoor shows were in order and, thus, two on campus stops were booked in Dayton and Pittsburgh. Dayton, and specifically the Nutter Center at Wright State, has a solid history with the band, with the Fall '97 offering having one of the greatest first sets in the band's 34 year history. Less known than that, the Fall '95 show has an epic Tweezer that is must hear (amongst the other various Fall '95 high points that were typical of the time). Adding to the allure of the Dayton show was the unexpected announcement on Monday that there would be a free webcast (much to the delight of this recapper). Again, likely serving as a warm-up for the 13 night webcasts coming our way soon, it provides the tech crew and Kuroda a chance to see what works indoors and what comes across well on screen. So, that being stated, could the magic of Dayton shows be replicated this time around in 2017?

I say yes. To my ears, the first set--although not having any standout must-hear jams-- was well played, and provided the requisite time for warming up. The "Tuesday" debut was unexpected and, similar to the "Crazy Sometimes" debut later in the set, seemed to have a slightly different arrangement than when played with either TAB or MGB. Personally, I would be surprised to see either of them too frequently moving forward, as this already seems to be a transition year in terms of debuts (album came out last year so lots of songs debut this year to see what sticks moving forward). "Free" was a particular stand out point, with Mike and Page seeming to push the song further than the usual versions that are played in first sets. Standard versions of "Roggae," "Horn," "Maze" and "Sugar Shack" were played. All solidly, but nothing other-worldly. The end set pairing of "46 Days" > "Runaway Jim" was very nice. "Runaway Jim" was one of the first songs I loved once I got into Phish 17 years ago. Ending a first set for the first time since 2000 was, I thought, a cool statement. Whether or not that was intended as a statement or not, I'm not sure though.

The second set, however, was a statement. A 20 minute plus "Down With Disease" starts it off with a bang, and with a layered, minor groove segment that harkens back to the stellar version from Mexico 2016. I was probably not the only one expecting "Shipwreck" quotes to make their way into the ambiance. Post this beautiful groove, the band moves on a dime into a major progression and explodes with bliss. It's a wonderful jam to encounter and, as a song in and of itself, may have been enough to elevate the set to must-hear standards. But that's not all to come.

Poster Art © Rich Kelly
Poster Art © Rich Kelly

A surprise bust-out of the criminally underplayed "Mountains in the Mist" was layed beautifully out of the ethereal sounds closing out of "DWD." It is played marvelously and with great patience. After maneuvering through that space, the band settles into "Waves" which, although has happened twice (the movement from "Mountains in the Mist" into "Waves"), is the first segue (>) to occur between them. And it just works. The two songs to me conjure up luscious and vivid imagery of foggy passageways and searching. The "Waves" is short; it's not a behemoth like the 2.0 versions. But this works out in all of our favors, because absolutely must-hear versions of "Ghost" and "Wombat" (?!?!) follow.

The intro to "Ghost" is really pronounced and striking. The song portion is typically standard. But the jam is straight hose. Clocking in at around 16 minutes, it is a phenomenal version. Once the band has its fill there, "Wombat" starts up, and although it's a jokey song that conjures up visions of dancing Abe Vigoda's, the jam is no laughing matter here. For only the second time (and three years to the day), "Wombat" gets taken out for a ride, and for the third time in this set, an epic jam enfolds that will be required listening in the days to come. Post "Wombat," a pretty standard "Chalk Dust Torture" closes the set. "Squirming Coil" gets pegged for the encore, Page plays his pretty solo, thanks us all, and says good night.

So where does that leave us? Summer 2017 has had four shows so far. You can't count the amount of must-hear, possibly all-time jams on one hand from those four shows. It takes more than one. I have to conclude Pittsburgh will be great as well, based on this track record. Then we're at the 13 MSG shows. Last that I checked (and I just checked), not one of the 13 shows is sold out. Now, I live in Texas, and have no method of getting up to NYC for these shows (and have some large family obligations that I wouldn't miss for the world). But if I could? If I lived close by? If it was drive-able? Hell, if I had a free weekend day then I would be there. Will all 13 shows be legendary? I don't know, probably not. Thirteen is a lot of shows to be on their A-game. But with the way they are currently playing, I wouldn't risk it. I would go. -Matt

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Comments

, comment by Nigel_Tufnel
Nigel_Tufnel ADMIN: Did I miss the Chicago3 review? Seems odd to have the Nutter review up before Chicago3? Triggers my OCD. It's out of order.... or did I miss it somewhere? :) Peace
, comment by AustinTxNate
AustinTxNate Great review. Agree with everything you said. One thing that could be emphasized more was how epic the new light rig looks indoors. When Kuroda starts morphing that thing around....my mind was blown! Can't wait for BD.
, comment by FoundMyselfACity
FoundMyselfACity Wombat was a surprise. When Trey walked over to the drumkit, I could see him mouth "Wombat". Fishman laughed, and seemed to have asked "Wombat"?

My favorite times are when they are up there goofing, having a jolly time.

Last night got all involved, too. Was hoping for more vocals from Page, though. They are all supremely talented and deserve the spotlight. A great band.

Last night was fun. I enjoyed Set I.

Mike was adorned with blue lipstick.

Nutter is a great venue. Easy on/off highway access. Excellent sound. Seems very good seating with nice views. The lot was scattered. Security staff was generous, keeping the night enjoyable.

The lights were ridiculous. They would be a show unto themselves. There were six, at least, big rigs. Of all the lighting kit the crew could use, they picked well. It is a smaller stage.

The racks were moving up and down and dipping one side or the other. The moving lights on a moving platform, creating maximum visusl effect. It is an art unto itself. At set break, two fixtures came down for inspection or perhaps even repair.
, comment by Coleman_
Coleman_ Interesting to learn that Jim hasn't closed a first set since 10/01/00 - I declare it should happen more often. The explosive bliss jam in the Disease was very Allman-esque, and I think it's no coincidence that Mountains in the Mist followed the Mountain Jam theme. Ghost was tight, and Trey's needly Van Halen shredding fittingly closed it out with a bang. When they launched into Wombat I wasn't expecting much, but the extended jam was sweet! Solid review, Matt.
, comment by ls_dj
ls_dj Pretty great show, loved the free live-stream. Even though I live in Alabama, my wife and I said fuckit, and bought plane tickets to go to the Saturday MSG show (Show 2 of 13). Pretty fucking pumped up
, comment by EvenCarlSagan
EvenCarlSagan Cool review,Matt!
We were back in section 215 for this one.
My Texan wife & I both agree.
The new light show was superb.
Cheers!
, comment by Piper72
Piper72 Great review, but...no mention of the Peaches bust-out???
, comment by wombat6889
wombat6889 @Piper72 said:
Great review, but...no mention of the Peaches bust-out???


Because it wasn't a bust out. It was played on 12/29/16....
, comment by wombat6889
wombat6889 @Nigel_Tufnel said:
ADMIN: Did I miss the Chicago3 review? Seems odd to have the Nutter review up before Chicago3? Triggers my OCD. It's out of order.... or did I miss it somewhere? :) Peace
I will review that show for you. An uninspiring shit performance by trey. This is just my opinion. He was sloppy and had no theme to his playing. After carini (which was great) I became so beyond bored from trey. 20 years was merely loud noise. It seems every chance trey got, he slowed the jam down, then goes for the overdone effects. I guess the bright spot was he didn't attempt any marimba. Wooing in 2001? Something seems wrong there. Perhaps trey knew he blew and desperately needed the energy to increase. They finished fine but the show was done for me. You want an A+ phish show? 7/20/13 and 7/20/14... both at northerly.
, comment by FAHTAPES
FAHTAPES @Piper72 said:
Great review, but...no mention of the Peaches bust-out???
That's because it was basically butchered - lol.... been awhile I guess. I'm glad they gave it a go tho

Personally, I thought set I was mostly rough going until Crazy Sometimes.... The Set II jams were there and it got nutty (pun intended) but MITM stole the show with its delicate execution and extended soloing from Trey. Thank you Phish for the free webcast. I will return the favor by tuning in for at least 1 msg.... Brooks
, comment by conormac
conormac @wombat6889 said:
@Nigel_Tufnel said:
ADMIN: Did I miss the Chicago3 review? Seems odd to have the Nutter review up before Chicago3? Triggers my OCD. It's out of order.... or did I miss it somewhere? :) Peace
I will review that show for you. An uninspiring shit performance by trey. This is just my opinion. He was sloppy and had no theme to his playing. After carini (which was great) I became so beyond bored from trey. 20 years was merely loud noise. It seems every chance trey got, he slowed the jam down, then goes for the overdone effects. I guess the bright spot was he didn't attempt any marimba. Wooing in 2001? Something seems wrong there. Perhaps trey knew he blew and desperately needed the energy to increase. They finished fine but the show was done for me. You want an A+ phish show? 7/20/13 and 7/20/14... both at northerly.
I think you are talking about 3rd night in Chicago, however some of the same can be applied to Dayton. I don't think Trey felt well. He handed the reigns to Mike in first set, and opened the 2nd set with Down with Disease (was he down with it?). I too believe Trey had a less than stellar outing, and agree with you in some ways. He has played better (recently) and he'll return to top form before tour end (aka Baker's Dozen).
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 @conormac said:
@wombat6889 said:
@Nigel_Tufnel said:
ADMIN: Did I miss the Chicago3 review? Seems odd to have the Nutter review up before Chicago3? Triggers my OCD. It's out of order.... or did I miss it somewhere? :) Peace
I will review that show for you. An uninspiring shit performance by trey. This is just my opinion. He was sloppy and had no theme to his playing. After carini (which was great) I became so beyond bored from trey. 20 years was merely loud noise. It seems every chance trey got, he slowed the jam down, then goes for the overdone effects. I guess the bright spot was he didn't attempt any marimba. Wooing in 2001? Something seems wrong there. Perhaps trey knew he blew and desperately needed the energy to increase. They finished fine but the show was done for me. You want an A+ phish show? 7/20/13 and 7/20/14... both at northerly.
I think you are talking about 3rd night in Chicago, however some of the same can be applied to Dayton. I don't think Trey felt well. He handed the reigns to Mike in first set, and opened the 2nd set with Down with Disease (was he down with it?). I too believe Trey had a less than stellar outing, and agree with you in some ways. He has played better (recently) and he'll return to top form before tour end (aka Baker's Dozen).
Agree. Glad they're jamming...but he was playing and sounding better in fall 2016 imo.
, comment by wombat6889
wombat6889 @conormac said:
@wombat6889 said:
@Nigel_Tufnel said:
ADMIN: Did I miss the Chicago3 review? Seems odd to have the Nutter review up before Chicago3? Triggers my OCD. It's out of order.... or did I miss it somewhere? :) Peace
I will review that show for you. An uninspiring shit performance by trey. This is just my opinion. He was sloppy and had no theme to his playing. After carini (which was great) I became so beyond bored from trey. 20 years was merely loud noise. It seems every chance trey got, he slowed the jam down, then goes for the overdone effects. I guess the bright spot was he didn't attempt any marimba. Wooing in 2001? Something seems wrong there. Perhaps trey knew he blew and desperately needed the energy to increase. They finished fine but the show was done for me. You want an A+ phish show? 7/20/13 and 7/20/14... both at northerly.
I think you are talking about 3rd night in Chicago, however some of the same can be applied to Dayton. I don't think Trey felt well. He handed the reigns to Mike in first set, and opened the 2nd set with Down with Disease (was he down with it?). I too believe Trey had a less than stellar outing, and agree with you in some ways. He has played better (recently) and he'll return to top form before tour end (aka Baker's Dozen).
I am, only because that person asked about the review for Chicago. Dayton was certainly better than Chitown night 3. I don't even think they finished the gin before 2001. I know it will get better or at the very least am hopeful it will.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert "I don't even think they finished the gin before 2001. I know it will get better or at the very least am hopeful it will."

I know phanner, I'm very nervous. They didnt even attempt to finish DWD at Dayton, a slap in the face to professional musicians the world over who can be bothered to play their whole songs.

I totally agree phan-o
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard IN TERMS OF A CHICAGO III REVIEW:

Hating the show because you weren't in a great mood is a great disservice to all who attended and/or enjoyed the show. Hand the reigns to someone who had a good time, please.

As for this Dayton review, I read it and enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your experience of the music.
, comment by wombat6889
wombat6889 @funkbeard said:
IN TERMS OF A CHICAGO III REVIEW:

Hating the show because you weren't in a great mood is a great disservice to all who attended and/or enjoyed the show. Hand the reigns to someone who had a good time, please.

As for this Dayton review, I read it and enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your experience of the music.
Who said i wasn't in a good mood? I thought it sucked. That is why my mood was sour at the end.
, comment by wombat6889
wombat6889 @nichobert said:
"I don't even think they finished the gin before 2001. I know it will get better or at the very least am hopeful it will."

I know phanner, I'm very nervous. They didnt even attempt to finish DWD at Dayton, a slap in the face to professional musicians the world over who can be bothered to play their whole songs.

I totally agree phan-o
i wasn't saying they need to finish every song, but they usually finish gin, and i think it was just obvious things weren't clicking...if you were there....
, comment by FiveBranch
FiveBranch Nice review but the “Page plays his pretty solo” is unnecessarily glib. Almost sounds dismissive towards what I find to be a perfect finish for a beautifully played second set. As the band further develops their shows around 3.0 material, style and song wise, those earlier ‘classics’, if you will, become slightly more revered and can really ground a show back to the original roots of the band. As is the case here. Squirming Coil played and sung with emotional conviction and with added placement as an encore, the conjured effect was complete. Immediately took me back to being 18 years old, sitting in a park with a Sony Walkman, listening to Lawn Boy on a wavering cassette tape, just getting started in the adventures that were beginning to open in my life...
, comment by vtspeedy
vtspeedy I wish to say .... be patient. Every moment is not about you and your wishes and expectations. Be patient. Let the magic come to you, because that's how the magic is - not yours to command. Breathe.
, comment by WolfmansBieger
WolfmansBieger Thoughtful review and I really appreciate your regard for that Mountains landing pad coming down from the frenetic DWD. I was there, and you noticed a lot of the nuance that made the first indoor show of 2017 special. But I can't hide my shock that you didn't even MENTION the Peaches appearance. Not a bust-out in terms of last time played, but an overall rare treat. I've been chasing it hard, so maybe I'm just biased.
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