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, comment by ecce_homo
ecce_homo Disclaimers: Old Dead Head (first show Philadelphia 1979)

First Phish show around 1990/91 in Somerville, Mass. Previous Phish Show: Fenway Park.

Consider myself adept musically.

Impressions of show: Class venue (goes without saying). 16th row center orchestra (thanks online lottery).

Many theories of art postulate that art rotates in cycles. First there is the development of a theme, then its perfection, then its attenuation. I saw Phish at Lemonwheel and It and many other shows (probably 20 or 30 in all), and what I saw last night was simply extraordinary. Phish has reached the "baroque" period in their development where, having "perfected" their art, they actively seek to "attenuate" it, that is, draw out or emphasize certain elements for special attention.

Last night the beat was slightly syncopated, everything was held back or twisted in the most ephemeral or slight degree possible. They evinced perfect control over their instrumentation and the sound, from where I was sitting, was phenomenal, simply sonically perfect. My impression as they were simply toying with the audience last night (the 29th). Song selection was relatively unimportant, I did enjoy the Back on the Train, Simple was good and Show of Life heartfelt. But they were simply fucking with our minds Thursday night, was my impression. They could have done anything they wanted, and instead they subtly, cohesively and monomaniacally altered their "perfect" sound to produce something that was sheerly delightful, it was so masterful.

One of the best Phish shows I have ever seen. I felt it was absolutely perfect in every regard. I listened very attentively, barely moved, kept my eyes directly on the band who were about 30 feet from me. Spectacular, astonishing performance. They were holding back and it was obvious, but they were doing it on purpose and it came off as sheer brilliance.

My impressions, as someone who has played, studied and attentively listened to all sorts of rock and roll for the past 35 years.

Congratulations Phish. You hit the nail on the head.

ps an afternote. There were times they "dropped the ball" and let the rat out of the maze. The ending of Maze was once such moment, Weekapaug another, so was parts of Halley's Comet. But the people who are "kvetching" that they weren't up to snuff may be missing the "fact" that a lot of the "misses" were deliberate, in my opinion. is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

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