I think you've sold this show and especially set 2 waaay short.I'm quoting from the review above: I always feel as though the do “A Day In the Life” encore when they feel they nailed the show. I wholeheartedly agree. That set sans “Thread” was a tremendous amount of fun. The immediate reaction I heard around me was it was the best second set of the tour next to 8/3."
A perfect example is to be found regarding NICU (I too expect little from it, though do remember thinking "I'm now old enough to recall when NICU was a new breakout treat for a hot 5 minutes many moons ago) where, above, our beloved Editor, Charlie, couldn't have been more spot on when jumped in with an important "Editor's note" ...
***Editor's note: Last night's version of "NICU" was among the most improvisational in Phish history, whether you like the song and its improv last night or not. -charlie]***
Indeed, in addition to its segue in, its outro was flat-out remarkable, the post NICU jam being exceptional both in its execution and the rarity of its placement...and was the most blatant of the foreshadowings pointing to the moments of confident -- yet personal and highly vulnerable -- improvisational open-ness that was to come.
See, like Thread or not (it is inarguably odd music), there is no arguing that it's extraordinary strangeness seemed to unlock some ultra-galactic gate to what swiftly became the band's most playful, raw and truly psychedelic jamming of the tour thus far. They were considering and engaging ideas with abandon and squeezing the aforementioned metaphysical mustard with abandon. There was more than moments we picked up on whiff in the air of the sort of freedom one occasionally hears in "soundcheck Phish" or even the ultimate unboundedness of a festival ambient set. The band seemed to be truly at play, like a kitten with a big ball of catnip-infused yarn and throughout the unfolding mash-up they gave the impression of both exalting the free-wheeling power they'd stumbled on as well as self-reflexively mocking and winking at themselves about it as they did so.
The collected opinion of my seasoned friends and I as the lights came up was that the 2nd set was - though perhaps not a perfect set in terms of construction or custom -- undoubtedly the most significant and essentially Phish-y set of the tour thus far.
It certainly bodes well for Curveball - which is now the safest bet to pay off exorbitantly as a festival since IT...
Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed just about $1,500,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.