Permalink for Comment #1378084762 by mattybweston

, comment by mattybweston
mattybweston Howdy all!

Still spinning from three nights on the floor Mike's Side but back in the ATX seeking some perspective on what felt like an epic weekend (PS- thanks Right Siders between the soundboard and speaker stack- ya'll brought it hard and left it all on the floor all three nights). Night 1 felt like all business- no chatter from the stage, no ballads, no jokey songs- raw, passionate, and spectacular. And Trey's guitar tone sounds "fixed," that is- from the opening notes of Free it cuts right through the mix with that searing sustain we've been craving/remembering. Enter Night 2 as the cathartic antipode to Night 1. Starting right after Home with a blistering Wolfman's the show takes off with a sigh & a shrug and off we go. The Curveball monkey may still be on their back but it's smiling and nodding it's head.

And Night 3?

Like everyone else, I read the review above and respect the effort put in. Having raged the floor and now relistened to the show from front to back I offer the following alternative take:

Set 1 opens with the TAB newbie Soul Planet and the band hits us over the head with their 3.0 mantra- we love the new songs, so get on board. That makes SYSF, NMINML, Soul Planet as fully 50% of the set openers for Dick's 2018. Planet is a straightforward jam platform and it get's there quickly- no huge surprises but quality interplay all the way until the breakdown were Fish's high hat leads us into Possum. The floor around us went bonkers and the first of many glowstick attacks reigned down. First some silky Page lines and then a single peak from Trey and we are off and running!!!

And then we are not- long pause for the first true bust out of the run- Mellow Mood. A pretty straight take and a great sing along daaaarlin'. I'm personally pretty psyched that we collectively agreed that we could sing unobtrusively with our favorite band, a new experience that the BD took to great heights and we all seem to have decided is acceptable. This is then followed by the triptych of funk nastiness- Tube, Funky Bitch and Ocelot. Tube goes deep quickly thanks to Trey's use of his echo, gets reeled back in and we get a bit of hose before the break. A concise, quality Tube with a bit o' nastiness. The Bitch that follows also keeps it simple but tasty. The shuffling Ocelot comes next and once it dispenses with the formalities of chorus & verse it goes quiet. Then it builds slowly and starts notching up the tension (via the tried and true "anything but the eight" Trey formula). Trey seems to have officially broken in his CAE rig and we are witness to a trilling peak worthy of the venue.

Keeping It Real keeps it short and sweet, and surprisingly tight and bouncy. It seems Trey likes this Mike creation and even plays the melody line repeatedly in his solo before going slightly off the rails at the dismount. Good effort all around. Rift, the album not the song, then appears for MYFE>Horn and Maze. No flubs in the composed section of MYFE and in general all get a thorough workout with Maze reaching a typical fever-pitch peak.

I can hear the complaints of "songiness" as Miss You shows up next but I would like to remind the dear reader that each song thus far has been played with passion and pride- and by pride I mean pride in one's craft- AKA practicing the difficult composed sections to avoid flubbing or ripcording. Anyway- the song is poignant and blissful and leads us to Antelope. Mike grabs the reigns and does not let go of a good/great Antelope that closes Set 5.

The final set of the run opens with the familiar guitar & cowbell (the chocolate & peanut butter of rock n' roll) rocker 46 Days. The jam takes its time as Trey's fascination with his Leslie & sounding like Page continues. Mike hits us with a doubletime bass line at 8 minutes but it's not meant to be- the jam almost peaks but doesn't.

But the cowbell does.

And the cowbell will define the next two songs as Tweezer rises from the cowbell & synth mash up. And what a Tweezer- experimental in both tempo and playing with Trey eschewing the typical Tweezer riff for a chopped, muted note. It all lent itself to a dirty, dirty dance party on the floor. After Uncle Ebeneezer stopped by things got truly interesting- slow, dark, synthy followed by major chord bliss out but still within the unique tempo established from the top. And that cowbell infusion will follow us through a Page keyboard breakdown into Golden Age. This has been getting a lot of mixed reviews as Golden Age is played at the same slow shuffle as the Tweezer. I consider the Golden Age from 10/26/18 to be the pinnacle of 3.0 Phish and this version is a unique 180 degrees from that nugget at least execution wise. The tempo makes the verses a bit clunky to sing (and to remember Trey?) but Page rescues this bold experimentation by remaining on his clavinet for the first 6 minutes. It lends such a dirty tone to the proceedings that you cannot help but put your head down and shake your ass. The song doesn't build but instead shuffles.....and shuffles..... into a song that might could use a cowbell- Steam. Seriously- think about Steam right now but add a delicious cowbell line to it...... yeah. That'll do.

The Steam is slow, steady and surprisingly quiet until the screaming peak built into the song. Out of Steam comes a space segment broken by the hard snare intro beginning ASIHTOS. Standard good version with Trey's tone sounding particularly underwater. And now for a true curveball- Gotta Jibboo. We have finally shifted the tempo upward and Page and Trey's listening, responding & building are on brilliant display as the jam builds back to the chorus. Suzy and Zero finish off the set in typical rock star, power chord fashion, with kudos to Page for crushing both keyboard breaks on Suzy and for Fish for woodblocking (the cowbell's nerdy little brother) his ass off taboot . I think my crew burned a hole those plastic puzzle pieces on the floor. Glowstick rain, white hot lights, power chords. Yippie!!!

Horse>Silent as an encore seemed like an inside joke to last year but who gives a rip as that song is so pretty and anyway, Tweeprise is on deck. And here it comes, spitting fire all the way.

Overall Dick's Night 3 felt electric in the venue and the band sounds practiced, engaged and energetic. After Night 1 (an all-timer, in this crusty vet's opinion- never miss a Dick's Friday show?) I think Night 2 & 3 were super high quality shows but would be hard pressed to follow the energy/anger/release of the opening night's throwdown. Anyway.......If you read this far you deserve a medal. Thanks for your time and thank you to the band, the crew, the fans on the mezzanine, the ragers in the bowl, the freaks on the floor, the couch tour voyeurs and any/everyone who loves this community.

Peace,

Matty in Austin


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