Wednesday 07/10/2019 by bl002e

MOHEGAN1 RECAP: "AND THE WORLD IS FULL OF ENERGY"

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

[Thank you @bl002e (Brian Levine) for recapping last night's show in Uncasville, CT. Please note that the opinions expressed by a recapper for a show on this blog are not necessarily those of any volunteer who works on Phish.net. We are all fans with varying opinions, just like you. -Ed]

The core of any game you’ll find in a casino is mathematics. Every card or die is given a numerical value. Vital to any winning strategy is knowing the percentages of probability. Personally, I’m not much of a gambler. However, as a big fan and participant of the maths, here’s a fun fact for my fellow numberphiles: last night marked the first time in exactly three years that Phish played a show in the Nutmeg State, continuing their 2010s trend of only playing Connecticut in years divisible by three (2010, 2013, 2016, 2019; three is indeed everywhere.) Moreover, it had been over 19 years since a CT venue made its debut; the following year saw the grand opening of Mohegan Sun Arena, our host for last night’s Phish show.

The aesthetically-pleasing sleek exterior of the Mohegan Sun casino envelops the arena. Walking around after a long, slow, claustrophobic crawl to enter, I was surprised at how closely it resembled the single-concourse hockey sheds of the Northeast built in the 1970s and 80s that I grew up with. This place has at least as many toilets as any of those larger arenas, and the concourse was roughly twice as wide. So far, so good.

Before I get into the show review, I need to be honest. Given enough danceable songs and enough room to flail about at a Phish show, I’m going to dance. Hard. I can get pretty lost in the music, lost in my head in an-almost meditative way, and miss some of the details. This is not ideal if you’re tasked with writing a review of the show the next day. Since I had a general admission floor ticket, I’ve got a foolproof plan: I’ll take notes on my phone throughout the show. Brilliant! And to avoid distracting those around me, I’ll turn the brightness way down. Courteous!

Lights. An unfamiliar tune begins. Trey steps to the mic. “And the world is made of energy.” At a gap of 226 shows, our first stop is Bustout City. Let’s consult those notes for some in-the-moment insight.

Energy? opener??

Oh…’kay. Was I wondering whether the song was the Apples in Stereo cover “Energy”? For sure. Was I wondering whether the song was the actual show opener? Yikes. Probably not?

Glad they brought this song back from hiatus, in a possible nod to the similarly rain-filled summer of 2013. I can imagine a conversation between Trey and [insert band member here] as lightning crashed last Saturday evening on Yawkey Way. “We haven’t dealt with this much rain since the tour that the Toronto show got postponed.” “What year was that again?” “No idea. Whatever year we played that ‘Energy’ cover.” “Why’d we stop playing that one anyway?” And scene.

As Energy pushed the ten-minute mark, they somehow stumble upon a “Weekapaug”-like jam. You can’t help but pointlessly hope that they’ll go into the actual song, as if they’ll ever actually do that, and then -- oh, wait, they actually did do that! Great segue into a standard-good “Weekapaug”, if we can even categorize a “Mike's”-less “Weekapaug” played in the #2 slot as standard-anything.

Up next is “Moma”. Ho boy. Notes please.

Mona 97 in a bottle

The hell? Mona 97? And the notes end there. Not the “Moma” notes, the entirety of the notes I took. Brilliant.

Depending on whether you go by the .Net setlist or LivePhish tracking, the next song up was either an extremely narrow sliver of “Maze” or the eighth “Lengthwise” of the 3.0 era. Few people would bother debating such minutiae; as one of them, this is the one example in 100 where I’d side with the official tracklist. Listening back, Fishman is singing the lyrics from the first drumbeat.

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

As “Petrichor” began, I made a beeline for the facilities. Listen, it’s not that I dislike the song; on the contrary, since New Year’s 2016, I’ve got plenty of fondness for it. But if I know that a song I’ve seen before is going to have a big chunk of time devoted to a composed section, I’m going to invest in my future comfort and well-being and take a leak. So let’s just all assume that “Petrichor” was flawlessly played and move on.

Things Something Something.” This was a song.

Despite my initial indifference, they put a bit of extra mustard on that “Sample.” With trills galore, Trey nailed the peak. It’d be lovely to see this one truly extended once more in the future.

Though it can still be a Type-II monster from time to time, as a set one closer “Bathtub Gin” is typically an exhilarating point-A-to-point-B ride, with nary a detour to be made. Not last night’s version. Starting with a mellow groove led by Page’s impressive work on the Rhodes, Fishman returned volley with an increasingly-tightening disco beat. Mike’s got some seriously melodic playing in this section, as Trey laid some 1997-worthy funk rhythm guitar on top. The groove tightened, morphing quickly into more standard “Gin” rock territory, with a few more angles explored before peaking. A set highlight for sure. “They had to butter us up for that Petrichor,” said a friend of mine at its conclusion. I asked if I could quote him on that; he agreed, on the condition that I refer to him as “the Jambrologist.” Ugh. Let’s move on.

At set break, the guy in front of me in line for refreshments was clearly having a ball and a half, and suddenly turned around. I had on a Dead shirt of a ‘67 Fillmore show poster featuring a beardless Jerry; he eyed me up and down with some effort, and with a surprisingly clear voice asked me, “Did you see Jerry throw that strike?!” Uh, Garcia? I know he sang the anthem with Bobby and Vince at that Giants’ game, but unless they rolled out a scuba tank onto the field, I can’t imagine a 1993 Garcia physically capable of successfully throwing a baseball and hitting a target 60 feet away.

“No, Seinfeld!” Oh, he saw my Mets cap. Last Friday, to celebrate Seinfeld’s 30th anniversary they gave away a Jerry Seinfeld bobblehead. I told him I didn’t know he was throwing the first pitch as well.

“Yeah! I’ll pull up the video and show you.” Loading.

I asked him if he was a Mets fan. “Huh?” After a beat, “Ohh. No, Seinfeld fan.”

The video finally loaded, and he was absolutely right -- Jerry nailed it! Full windup, sidearm delivery, 40 mph heat down the middle. If you’re out there, thanks again, Seinfeld guy. You would have been proud of me post-show, when I performed a one-man reproduction of “The Parking Garage.” Today I’ll be sure to note that I parked in the Itchy lot.

Opening the second set with a … “Soul Planet”. To be honest, I’m a bit indifferent to the song, but it certainly jams, and as we reach the 11 minute mark, Trey is clearly playing the riff to another song. A slick segue into the Phish debut of the Ghosts of the Forest song “Wider,” which soon enough segues neatly into “Undermind.”

I wasn’t immediately enthralled with the call of “The Final Hurrah” in the meat of set two. Short, but ‘least it smoked, which was more than I could initially say for the subsequent “Beneath a Sea of Stars.” “There’s no saving this set now,” said the Jambrologist. “Start the car.” While I wasn’t about to go that far, I may have eyed the pathway to the concourse once or twice. But to my absolute surprise, this ended up being the highlight of the show for me. This may be due to my unfamiliarity with the Ghosts material. I was supposed to go to one of the Ghosts shows in New York, but plans fell through. I still haven’t listened to the album all the way through or any of the shows. Last night’s “Stars” jam will be changing that.

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

Another highlight was the next pair of songs, featuring yet another full-out segue: “Ghost” and “Birds of a Feather.” It’s great that they’ve been recently treating the latter song like the improvisational vehicle is truly is. The “Waste” / “Golgi” closing pair was well-earned.

I was thrilled once “Foam” opened the encore, despite several sections being mangled. Another rarity followed in “Contact,” to the excitement of most of the crowd. The Jambrologist was not pleased. “Unpopular opinion: I hate ‘Foam’ and ‘Contact’.” The hell? Familiar with some of his odder tastes, I asked if he’d prefer a “Bug” > “Joy” encore over this one. “‘Bug’ > ‘Joy’ 1000%” You’ve got major issues, JB. “This is your song too, guy.” Touché.

One “More” song after that. One more show to go, then three at Alpine and three at Dick’s. See? Three is everywhere.

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Comments

, comment by LookAtTheEyesMurray
LookAtTheEyesMurray R.I.P. Phish...When they were alive and well, they were the best band.
, comment by Your_Trip_Is_Short
Your_Trip_Is_Short Great recap! More reviews from this cat, please. I have not heard the show yet, but plan to shortly. It's definitely getting mixed reviews as I'm sure the Jambrologist would concur. Cool looking venue, though. Casino Phish is a blast! I can't wait for Dick's to get to hear some of these 31 new songs (KV + GOTF). The only downfall of living in Colorado is chomping at the bit for the whole summer tour before we get our taste of the riches. (And I use the term "downfall" loosely...Colorado is blessed by the Phish from Vermont...well worth the wait.)
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Too jaded
, comment by Jophis
Jophis This was fun to read! Thanks for the review.
, comment by pureguava
pureguava That ‘More’ was mighty!!! Thx for the review.
, comment by title3jimi
title3jimi Absolute kudos for linking to a video from my favorite of all YouTube accounts, Numberphile. Bravo Sir!
, comment by conormac
conormac one-man reproduction of “The Parking Garage.” - I'd pay to see this
, comment by WonkyDonky
WonkyDonky Maybe my favorite review of the summer.
, comment by bl002e
bl002e @TwiceBitten said:
Too jaded
♫ You're too angry, you're too fake ♫
♫ You're too reckless, you're too bothered ♫
, comment by bl002e
bl002e @title3jimi said:
Absolute kudos for linking to a video from my favorite of all YouTube accounts, Numberphile. Bravo Sir!
Ha, thanks man! I can watch that channel for hours. One of the often featured guys has his own channel that’s worth checking out as well — standupmaths.
, comment by Nicup79
Nicup79 Excellent review, humorous writing. 2 thumbs up, brah!
, comment by lysergic
lysergic The first and last pics are some of the best from this tour. This recap is pretty great too.
, comment by Erikd
Erikd Fun review, man! “‘Things Something Something” This was a song’ Halarious!!
, comment by AaronDJH
AaronDJH So did anyone else feel the hose Tuesday night? I felt like when Trey was on beat with the jam, regardless of the song, it was just spraying notes and emotion everywhere. I also felt like he was purposefully off a half beat or something (i do accounting, not music theory)...sometimes it felt like he was challenging the band to go somewhere else and they just didn't stop the rhythm they were in...sometimes it came across clunky...similar to some moments in fenway...not to the point of jarring, but it was like a theme Tuesday...maybe it was the newish songs. anyway, my biggest take away from Tuesday was the hose. ear to ear smiling, old fashioned hose. not full-on rage level, as the whole band kind of sat behind him and let him go...but the hose nonetheless. just in awe of what these 5 can do (light show was on point!) Anyone else notice the snake like effect of the light rig? I think i said somewhere else that the lights in BASS were badass, but all night the rig was like moving! I don't think i ever noticed it as much....definitely something right going on there with the lights!
, comment by davludes
davludes Review was fine but I don’t think you need to tell us your pee break song. Anyway.....

The thing people need to realize, or at least they will soon, the ghosts of the forest/kavast vox songs Are the best written material by this band in the last couple of years. With songs like soul planet, thread, and set your soul free available for setlists you should really dig into those albums and be thrilled when you get something from those albums instead of some of the subpar songs that are available.
, comment by JMart
JMart @TwiceBitten said:
Too jaded
Heaven forbid anyone say anything negative ever about Phish, unless it’s you for criticizing them for doing so.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten @JMart said:
@TwiceBitten said:
Too jaded
Heaven forbid anyone say anything negative ever about Phish, unless it’s you for criticizing them for doing so.
I actually liked this review (unlike most of the others posted recently) I just have a funny way of showing it. On a separate but related note, no one wants to hear when you went to the bathroom.
, comment by JMart
JMart @TwiceBitten said:
@JMart said:
@TwiceBitten said:
Too jaded
Heaven forbid anyone say anything negative ever about Phish, unless it’s you for criticizing them for doing so.
I actually liked this review (unlike most of the others posted recently) I just have a funny way of showing it. On a separate but related note, no one wants to hear when you went to the bathroom.
Guess I need to leave out the last 10 minutes of my day then. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
, comment by Phunkyjay
Phunkyjay Quite honestly, this is my favorite review of the summer. Type 2 review!
, comment by Stormin
Stormin "As Energy pushed the ten-minute mark, they somehow stumble upon a “Weekapaug”-like jam."

Yes it seemed pretty organic, a surprise even to the band but...NO..."somehow stumble upon"? NO. imo inaccurate and insulting, like they were just shuffling along cluelessly and happened to trip over it. In fact, they were sailing, cruising, right off the bat, and hey, sweet, the jam took them to Weekapaug. Trey dropped it into the right key, and they punched it and roared off again. Place was rockin'. Phish was rollin'.
, comment by BuddyBrown
BuddyBrown @AaronDJH said:
So did anyone else feel the hose Tuesday night? I felt like when Trey was on beat with the jam, regardless of the song, it was just spraying notes and emotion everywhere. I also felt like he was purposefully off a half beat or something (i do accounting, not music theory)...sometimes it felt like he was challenging the band to go somewhere else and they just didn't stop the rhythm they were in...
Seemed Trey was looking at his hands through a bunch of the show (set pieces, or not), was loosened up in GHOST, and began to flow, in Ernest*, with BIRDS.
Quite psyched that some of the pedals I crave clearly have a home/space in SEAofSTARS!
This was Jon's show.
*see what I did, there
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