, attached to 2017-01-15

Review by MrFoot

MrFoot After enjoying our Tequila Tasting session at Dreams, we boarded the first shuttle to the venue accompanied by a massive downpour of rain...the sweatband on my Stetson needed a good wash anyway. Thankfully we had our rain ponchos for the wait in line and once again we found ourselves back on the beach within 10 rows of the stage - dead center. More heavy rain ensued and people were soaked but happy to be in such a beautiful place. The rain made the sand hard but we've danced on worse. Of course the stage was soaked, equipment covered, uncovered, recovered, uncovered, water swept off stage, leaf blowers or something similar on stage to dry things out. But look the storms gone and the band came on shortly after things had dried out a bit. One thing I noticed the first two nights was that there was quite a bit of discussion in between songs. It was all very loose, like no pressure on big red to call all the shots. It was good vibes all around. But there wasn't that much discussion on Sunday night, lots of segues and high quality playing instead. Set I - despite lyrical flubs (and there were a few this weekend) Boogie on Reggae Woman got everyone shaking off the damp and dancing with Sunday show zeal. The rest of the set was ssssssolid with some stellar jamming and segues. 'Nothing' seemed out of place, but hey was this the bustout of the weekend or what? Only it's 7th outing and hadn't been played since 2015! Nothing to write home about but I'm not complaining. And the Drummer boy tease in Ghost made me feel like this was an extended New Year's run. Trey and Page were laughing - with us or at us I couldn't tell. Yamar, STFTFP and Rift brought some good vibes and Fluffhead...well come on, it's Fluffhead! It felt like coming home again. Deep joy to close a great set. Set II - We moved back for the rest of the show dancing down by the shore and under the palm trees again. There really wasn't a bad place to be watching these shows, the sound was great, and I like to see things from a different perspective. I can't really say much about the second set, except, listen to it now! If you haven't already, what are you waiting for. Great playing throughout. Apart from NMINML, this set could have been lifted straight out of 1997. It felt like an old school set list with some new school jamming. Very Nice, because I feel old school and need some of the new school to keep me young. A great Slave and Tweeprise to send us off from yet another Phish experience for the history books. The moon, looking up at Orion and other stars just above stage, the clouds, the amazing phans, crazy lights by CK5, great sound and great playing from the band...wow. I didn't make it last year but would consider selling a kidney to go again next year. It was a privilege to be there and I am so grateful for the experience. Thank you Phish, CID, Dreams, Mexico! Via Con Dios!
, attached to 2017-01-14

Review by MrFoot

MrFoot Arrived on the first bus from our resort again and found ourselves at the front of the line with most of the same people from night one minus the poster gang. They let us in from the alternating lines in groups of 30 instead of 100 as they did the first night. Set I - The Curtain With was a lovely way to open the show - my last one was the Acoustic 8 set, but Bag felt a little flat and eliminated hopes of a Gamehendge set, and Breath and Burning, while nice to hear, lacked energy. Poor heart, usually good for injecting some life, didn't quite get things moving. Moon, the Line and Waking Up Dead continued what was shaping up to be a very mellow show. Fine by me, as I did rage a bit hard on the 13th. Man it's hard to refuse drinks being served to you whilst dancing on the beach. Tube got me raging again...only to mellow out again with FEFY - I'm a bit of a sucker for the slow songs and really love Fast Enough. My wife loves Ocelot so was very happy and we were treated to a jamming Chalkdust to close the set. I'm 45 now so, 'can't I live while I'm young', doesn't have the same impact on me as when I was a 19 year old undergrad at UNC in Greeley, CO. But it was a heater and you should listen to it. Set II - The last time I heard Crosseyed was 10-31-96 and it was a great way to get everyone moving again. Blaze On was funky and fun and then we got a nice dirty Meatstick with a great jam. Surprisingly, Winterqueen kept up with the previous jam and led into an equally nice Mercury. We wandered off at the start of Light to dance under the light of the palm trees then down to the shore for Velvet Sea. Twas lovely really. The Drowned Rocky Top encore was interesting. We are huge Who fans so love this and have epic memories from 10/31/95 but Mike just can't sing like Daltrey. Whatever! Daltrey can't play bass like Mike. Oh let me get back to the see...or Rocky Top of course. Average setlist with above average playing and outstanding atmosphere - The Crosseyed and Painless themed second set is definitely worth your time...you won't regret it. It's cool, I'm still waiting too.
, attached to 2017-01-13

Review by MrFoot

MrFoot This was our 3rd Friday the 13th show with Phish. My wife and I flew out from England for these decadent destination shows and had one of the best Phish experiences we have ever had. We don't get to many shows these days, our last was Halloween 2016, classiest show I've ever seen, and before that Dick's 2012, took our 3 daughters to the 8/31 show. We are both long time fans, first show at the Roseland in 92 for me and my wife was Red Rocks 93. So we've been through the ups and downs with this band, have seen epic shows, and mediocre ones too. We have done our share of travelling to see the band and 25 years later, they still bring us so much joy. So this was Friday the 13th part III for us. Our first was 10/13/1995 and then 6/13/1997. We have a bad habit of accidentally leaving things unlocked on Friday the 13th. For the Fort Worth show we left our car unlocked with all our tickets, cash, provisions, etc for the coming 10 days...nothing was touched. For the Dublin show we left the windows and room door open at our hotel. For this night we left the hotel safe wide open with our passports, iPad Air 2 and loads of other things. Thank the blue agave nothing went missing. Anyway, more about the show and the scene. I have to say that CID did an amazing job with everything surrounding these shows. Checkin at the hotel, we stayed at Dreams Tulum, was smooth. Shuttle transfers back and forth were plentiful and had a great atmosphere. All the people we met from CID were polite, professional and cool. And many of them were having a great time at the shows. We arrived at Barcelo on the first shuttle so were at the front of the line with the poster peeps. Waiters brought us cervezas and margaritas while waiting in line. Getting in was smooth - there were two lines. One from Barcelo and one from the other resorts that they alternately let 100 people from each line into the venue. This is the first time I've been to a show where RFID tags were in our wristbands and used to gain access. As we entered there were more waiters with drinks, and we were all lead at a slow camel walk pace up to the front. Well, we were about 5 rows back at that point. The atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation. After we settled in our spot and met our neighbors, I wandered off to get some food. On my wander, I met Tom Marshall. I thanked him for writing all those great songs and bringing so many great hours of enjoyment to my life. He was genuinely thankful and is a very cool guy. The setlist didn't blow me away but the overall playing on the night was great. Free was tight and I felt the feeling I forgot , both for myself and a jaded friend in New York. But the main highlights for me in Set I ran from Funky Bitch through Horn. I really enjoyed Wolfman's but felt my fat balloon of expectations deflate after a pretty standard setlist. But as I said before, the execution and energy levels were great and the scene on the beach was delightful. I decided to lower my expectations of hearing epic bustouts, a Mexico Harpua or anything super special and just enjoy whatever was ahead. ASIHTOS was nice to hear, The Wedge is one of my wife's favorites and we got our first Fuego, and a jamming one at that. Caspian's never been a favorite but fit the context of the situation. Loved the Tequila Twist and great to hear Seven Below - I really love the Phishy feeling of this song. Golgi was pretty sloppy but thankfully followed by a smokin' Antelope. The Contact encore was a treat and you could really feel the love all around. I really like Bug and don't understand the haters. Oh well, to each his own - bug, it doesn't matter. The next day we met up with many of the same people, including Nik Orr, who said I was raging hard at this show and said "Hey, you got your Fuego." Standard setlist, solid playing and outstanding atmosphere made for a great night. Whatever happens, there is always some fire at a Phish show and there was plenty at this one. Never miss a Friday the 13th show! Maybe so, maybe not - give it a listen and decide for yourself.
, attached to 1997-08-09

Review by SkyTrainWand

SkyTrainWand This show is STACKED. Listen to it. Awesome parts of set 1: Theme, Ghost -> Taste, Reba (incredible) Awesome parts of set 2: Everything. Literally the entire set, from Wilson to Weekapaug I was only 12 years old in 1997 but this is one of the shows I'd attend if I could go back in time. Absolutely fantastic. There's humor in the setlist too, tons of lyrical references appropriate to Alpine Valley throughout the show to falling down (into a deep well) or being on the bottom / on the top, Lawn Boy references the massive size of AV lawn, Swept Away > Steep is obvious, then they encore with Rocky Top, haha. Musically I think this show is where it needs to be, about a 4.3 out of 5. Really strong showing by the Phish from VT. Set 2 is just a monster, 100% must-hear if you haven't already. An improvisational Foam (!!!), the killer Mike's Groove segment (man, those segues), a 13-minute Slave and a raging Weekapaug to close. Honestly, how can anyone not love this???? I was lucky enough to see them play Alpine in 2015 (was about a 13 hour drive) and I'm considering going back for round 2 if they do it.
, attached to 2004-08-12

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This show is very rough. In fact I would likely give it 2 stars if it wasn't for the light (or darkness) of an amazing SASS Jam. Wilson feels off to start. YEM is straight forward, and it has a very interesting vocal jam like segue into Ghost. The Ghost jam feels like another long effort to find footing, it finally gets interesting at the very end when it gets weird. Maze starts strong and YEM shows up again, it then turns into Catapult. It goes into a very rough and off outro to maze. Pebbles starts pretty rough and is standard. Piper starts rought, Fish aids in finding a jam and it works fairly well. Sally has a nice groove section. Cavern is very sloppy. The remainder of the set is average until the shows white knight SASS. It gets down to business early, as you get sucked into the darkness. It goes very deep and hypnotic. Fish lays a nice beat and Trey throws down some great sustain. Just an all time version so good! It saves the show for me. Lawn Boy & Frankenstein feels like yet another underwhelming encore.
, attached to 1997-12-11

Review by 46Blaze

46Blaze As a fan whose major come-to-Jesus moment was Bittersweet Motel, I will always have a soft spot for this show. Best DwD ever, in my opinion. 10 uninterrupted minutes of white knuckle shit–as if they are constantly daring each other to push harder–followed by the sweet and protracted funky comedown. PYITE, Maze, and Drowned are also top-shelf. BBFCFM is evil as fuck. Beautiful versions of Waste and Limb By Limb. No further rambling necessary. If you haven't heard this show yet (and I can't imagine there are many of you), do so posthaste.
, attached to 2004-08-11

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw An uneven feeling show to me. Divided Sky is pretty straight forward, but rough at times. Suzy is Stretched a little longer than usual, it is similar to the SOAM a few shows later at Coventry. Trey rips up DWD, it goes into a kind of tense yet mellow jam. Caspian is in its second set slot in the first set. Scent of a Mule is rough, and Tears of a Clown is even more rough. Antelope has a nice tense mid section, it feels like the makings of something epic. Instead of speeding up to the outro it mellows out and is unfinished. 2001 is a pretty mellow version. Golgi is in an awkward slot. Waves is pretty as usual. Tweezer turns evil very quick before ending very early at 8mins. It is interesting how HYHU is played closer to the original than usual, it's fun as usual with extra banter. Underwhelming Timber. Pretty standard Bouncing>Tweeprise encore, would have hoped for more.
, attached to 2016-12-31

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel 12 minute Walls of the Cave goes hard rockin’ type I 2001 > Carini is a pretty tight segue Trey tries to segue the Twist jam into Piper, but gets detoured by Fish asserting “Ass Handed”, which is pretty funny…. Then back to Piper as originally intended. The Piper jam goes Marimba Lumina / percussion (no comment) Third set and encore have horn section, extra percussionist and extra synth player which certainly deepens the fullness of sound, but keeps them all grounded jam-wise. On to Mexico…..
, attached to 2016-12-30

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel The Gin jam goes hard rockin’ but stays type I Sugar Shack was poetically stretched out a little, perhaps avenging the slaughter of it during an off-night on summer tour (I forget which show) Tweezer > Sparks is a smooth, naturally occurring segue Light > Party Time is also a smooth, naturally occurring segue, and Party Time is stretched out a bit Yes, there are type II jams in this show, hence the rave reviews. I didn’t hear anything in any of the jams that really stood out as “must hear” / noteworthy. Mostly deep muddy techno-funk, delay (echo) Moo-Tron type stuff which is quite fun and danceable and enjoyable of course. It’s just all a bit effects-laden and becoming somewhat homogeneous and predictable at this point. Golden Age and Light are clearly the new go-to jam vehicles, but after hearing so many similar ones, they are blending together for me. That’s just me. Remember, my goal here is to cull out “must hear” magic moments…. And I didn’t hear any. On a light note – I can’t recall exactly where – a “super fan” can be heard yelling “DON’T PLAY THE F*CKIN’ MARIMBA LUMINA!!”. Chuckle.
, attached to 2016-12-29

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel Not much to report…. Mostly a canned / brief type I jams show, with the notable exceptions being: Cool seamless segue from DWD > What’s The Use MEATSTICK. I f*ckin’ LOVE this song!! And this is a slightly stretched out, excellent version. Might be the best Meatstick I have. Did I say I f*ckin’ LOVE this song? GREAT version. Twenty Years Later has a VERY COOL Kung vocal overlaid with the outro. A very fun, in-the-moment improvisation. (Now I wanna go back to see which one of them initiates it…..) Not a true mashup since the music stays 100% TYL. Makisupa is fun, with a witty vocal exchange, but devolves into a percussion jam, and you know how I feel about that.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel That 20 min Golden Age definitely goes type II, but it didn’t really get my attention. As odd and jaded as this might sound, some of the extended type II excursions are starting to sound alike to me, believe it or not….. many of them are similar over the past couple years. The Simple is TASTY. Type I jam, but I LOVE the guitar playing in this jam, always have. MARTIAN MONSTER > TWEEZER REPRISE is definitely worth hearing! Love this type of seat-of-your-pants / without-a-net improvisation! When stuff just unpredictably coalesces out of a type II jam. FUN STUFF. Spontaneous segue. You can even hear them chuckle as they try to sing it, laughing at where this jam has taken them in the moment. Love it. Wingsuit outro guitar work is spectacular. Everything else is pretty canned, but well played with very few / negligible flubs.
, attached to 2002-06-07

Review by TanasRoot

TanasRoot gotta be the hottest TAB show i caught. [b]4 SONG SET 1[/b] with Night Speaks coming out like fire. although we were supposed to have really nice mainfloor seats at this venue, the usher said something like "there was a ticket error follow me your seats are here" and put us in the front row just left of Trey! the orchestra pit was nuts. kinda this elevator platform that when the band came out for set 2 with Tube Top > Last Tube the platform was swaying every which way with the momentum of the dancing. fucking great... smiles all around and coming from the stage too :) would LOVE to find a taping and hear this again but memories of the [b]BIG[/b] TAB band just getting nasty on all kinda afrofunk grooves all night long with their huge sound at the time. they were so hot at the time... the big horn section was just so jam heavy! lots of Trey putting down the guitar and dancing around and orchestrating different syncopations and hits within the jamming. Sand was monstrous and we were loving the surprise of catching our first Sultans of Swing unawares!
, attached to 2004-08-10

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Bag opens and gets down to business fast, with a nice cohesive groove. It picks up steam as Trey noodles around, it doesn't really go anywhere. An above average Heavy Things. PYITE sounds very off. Some nice jungle funk in Wolfman, with a strong ending. Theme is very rough. BOAF goes into a very mellow jam, it kind of meanders a little as Trey noodles around. He then finds a riff to stick with and it comes to a quick end. Mikes starts S2 with a standard version, as is Hydrogen. Weekapaug is fire as usual, and has a cool little vocal/guitar section. A decent quick Piper jam. A fantastic segue into Makisupa. And another very short Hood, but the strongest of this year so far. Possum is pretty sloppy. This show is very off. The jams don't really go anywhere and there is a lot of flubbery. However Wolfman, Weekapaug, and Heavy Things offer some notable versions.
, attached to 2004-08-09

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This show is VERY underrated. Phish did a flip flop setlist. You get a total Set 2 for set 1 and Set 1 for Set 2. The first set is just relentlessly jammed out. I don't know if this was their final treat for the audience at one of their most famed venues, or if they were using the jamming first set as a warm up exercise for their final leg together as a band. But I feel it paid off. Chalkdust kicks things off huge. It goes into a very Blissfully beautiful jam, Fish picks things up and the groove kicks in, Trey seems of top of it. It has some pretty fierce peaks towards the end. People must've been shitting themselves when Bathtub Gin kicked in, it's a slowed down version. Into the jam Trey steps in front and the guys follow him perfectly, it moves with a nice little groove. Then Jim kicks in, it feels like they get the Jim proper out of the way quick and jam. Trey once again goes off. The WOTC jam starts off similar to the Gin jam with Trey riffing and hacking away. The intensity builds into a fireball, it falls apart going back into the outro. Even Loving cup is a noteworthy version to close this set! All of these dreams is a very off choice for the second set. And one that to this day leaves a bad taste in many a fans mouth, I can't say I care too much for it myself. Trey goes off (again) in LXL. Seven Below starts off sloppy but finds it's footing into the jam which gets chaotic and eerie it melts into a serene jam. Stash is a pretty evil strong version. The segue into NICU is fantastic! Contact is even notable with a little funk jam in its center. And a Bowie Encore??? And a Strong Bowie at that!! What a show!
, attached to 2004-06-26

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Another above average show. I love the opening 1-2 punch of Access Me and SASS. SASS is played especially great even without a jam. Stash gets into a really nice groove that moves very well. Besides that a fairly straight forward first set. The 2nd set starts with an absolute killer trio of songs. Boogie on goes into a quick little Mike led jam. Top notch segue into Ghost. It has a nice little cohesive jam, Trey keeps catching sparks and things escalate more and more as Trey works on a nice pretty little riff. Free is also very strong as all the 2004 versions seem to be. I wont say I'm a huge fan of Friday in the 2nd set, but this one works better than others. Piper goes into overdrive fast , it slows down and Fish lays down a techy beat. It turns into a roller coaster ride and goes full steam into hood before fizzing out at the last second as it goes into a quick little funk groove. Yet another short Hood. Possum is fairly straight forward, but always a great encore song.
, attached to 2017-01-14

Review by dpwilljr

dpwilljr This show is slightly over-shadowed by the next night. The Curtain With is extremely well executed. The entire first set is worth listening to again. What really made an impression on me was the second set. Crosseyed is outstanding, but the flow takes form during the Blaze On jam. There is a certain fluid, unconscious playing for the majority of the second set. Every song they touched, turned to gold. I refuse to complain about the Velvet Sea closer, it was part of the canvas they painted that night. Drowned sent me over the edge....
, attached to 1995-12-15

Review by Schlitz_Guy

Schlitz_Guy Ah, my first show, down with the Dead and Phish in the same year. Suspicious Minds was always a winner. Phish was so different then, they played so fast. CDT, Hood and Wilson to start it off was a charm. Mallory debut? Try only time, why shelf it Fishman? GTBT encore is one of my favorites over the years. I remember this show and will never forget it.
, attached to 2013-10-29

Review by Schlitz_Guy

Schlitz_Guy This is the show that set me back on the Phish bus. I had seen them on and off for a while, due to little interest and not really enjoying the playing over the years, both before and after the hiatus. This show turned me around. Possibly the best show i've seen live, from start to finish. Great show to introduce newbies to as well.
, attached to 2017-01-15

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads The second set is stacked, but the jams were either short or Type I (though we did get some tasty segues.) I think Tweezer and Ghost are the highlights of this show. The Tweezer went deeply funkdafied, in a manner not typical of Tweezer these days, *and* was finished, and the Ghost took a major-mode Went-Gin-style direction that paid off in spades. Nice to see Boogie On Reggae Woman open a show for what is apparently the first time ever. I'm over DWD set-2 openers, especially ones like this that are both unfinished and jam only sparingly, but the segue from Sally into Possum, the Shipwreck quotes, and the Bowie, Hood, Slave, Tweeprise ending make the second set entirely worth an attentive listen. This is the only show of the 3 thus far this year that I consider a 4-star show. $0.02
, attached to 2017-01-15

Review by Slewfoot

Slewfoot This show is why we love this band. It is a shining example of what they can accomplish in this era when they are firing on all cylinders. Trey was utterly possessed for the second set. I've never seen that kind of look in his eye before (at least when his eyes were open!). At first you weren't sure how the show was going to go with Trey forgetting the first line of Boogie On plus some flubs during Simple. But it seemed as if right after the Uncle Ebaneezer part of Tweezer they roared forward and never looked back. The Tweezer jam was full of tension and power, much more than one would expect for the show's third song. This would have been a great version in any second set. Roggae soared, Ghost peaked, Ya Mar was full of smiles and the Fluffhead gave everyone a great big hug to end a pretty damn massive first set. But the second set is really where it's at. The DWD picks up where the Tweezer left off in terms of tension. The band was so tight and the music was pulsating. They were a beast. The transition into No Man's is as good as it gets. Head shakingly good. Sneakin Sally roared through and came with a short blissful jam with Trey closing his eyes and his jaw on the floor (the theme for this set). Killer transition into Possum that had more twists and turns than usual. Carini was raucous, but the jam never totally materialized until they locked into the dissonance toward the end. The rest of the show was peak after peak. Each song moved in so many directions while keeping it's footing until blasting thorough with its crescendos. I was so taken aback that I completely forget that Tweezer Reprise was coming. While we all knew what was happening, it was so nice to see the band obviously feeling the same way. At the end they all came out on stage together with arms wrapped around each other to take a bow. You could basically see them saying "holy shit that was fucking great!" to one another. A very special send off from Mexico. We were blessed to experience it either there or on couch tour like myself. Thank you, boys!!!
, attached to 2017-01-14

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I really enjoyed the song selection in the first set of this show. It so happened that it was bookended by great jams: The Curtain With and Chalkdust Torture. That's what I'll focus on, since most of the rest of the first set was pretty much by The Book. The Curtain With is a treat any time I hear it, and this version was typical of the song yet nicely executed with perhaps a nod to the surroundings--though I haven't heard what the weather's been like--if, as one would suspect, January in Mexico on the beach is kinda breezy and relaxed. Chalkdust was compared in the setlist/discussion thread to the legendary 7/10/99 version; I wouldn't rank it that high, but it surprised me with its laser-guided melodies and professionally thematic jam. The second set, for me, is notable for the Mercury > Light. Crosseyed didn't do much, except get teased/quoted a lot, which I'm pretty much meh about. A rarely concise Blaze On led into Meatstick > Winterqueen, with Meatstick getting extended a bit--and including the now-ubiquitous Japanese lyrics--before a stately Winterqueen which left me a bit puzzled why they would want to extend that song, though my fear that the set was gonna feature a bunch of 8-10 min. numbers was answered with aplomb by the aforementioned Mercury > Light! I'm not really familiar enough with Mercury yet to be able to analyze it from the standpoint of separating composition from jam expertly (thanks Ezrin) but I enjoyed it, and the Light that follows, though monochromatic from a key signature standpoint, was accomplished and threw me a bone on the jamhound side of things. Note: I'd like Drowned taken for a ride again, hopefully soon. It and Rock and Roll deserve better than encore status, IMO. An average-great show was enjoyed by many, hated by none. If I'd been there I'd've been thrilled, but when it comes to Phish there's average-thrilled and there's [i]thrilled[/i], if you know what I mean. The structure and setlist kind of reminds me of last year's Lockn' shows. I would've been proud to show this to a non-phan as a non-Phish-only festival show. I hope tonight is truly revelatory, as I know in my bone-marrow Phish is capable of any time they feel like it.
, attached to 2017-01-14

Review by twezer

twezer The nets unbreakable, don't worry about falling. Watched from home. What a beautiful location for a show. First set was good highlighted by tube (not 98 guality, but that's ok), FEFY and an extended fan fav chalkdust. Crosseyed opener paved the way for teases the rest of the night. Mercury is excellent and worthy of a headphone listen. This song takes you on a journey with its melodic changes. Light goes deep into the jam and back. Thought I heard no quarter but they went right into the velvet sea. I love this song (didn't back in '99) and this was a good fit to end set 2. Drowned encore followed by Rocky Top to end it with a final lick of C&P from Trey.
, attached to 2017-01-14

Review by brb2323

brb2323 The Curtain With opener was beautiful as always. AC/DC was nice. I'd like to see them take this for a ride sometime. Tube jam was short but very sweet. FEFY was nice. A bit sloppy but i don't really worry about that stuff much. It's definitely about feeling with Phish. Ocelot Ocelot where have you gone. Won't you come out to play. This show from Chalkdust Torture on was outstanding. The CDT jam accelerated into an intense darkness. Great version here! The lights by Kuroda have been amazing in Mexico. He really uses all the surrounding settings as a great backdrop for the lighting effects. Crosseyed set 2 opener was nice. Same with Blaze On. Meatstick was so smooth, organic, funky. This song has really had some killer versions lately. Last night's, MSG, MGM Halloween plus Magnaball are all highly recommended. Winterqueen is always welcome for me. Love it here in the second set. Mercury is such a beautiful song. It's definitely one of my favorite Phish songs written in all of 3.0. It was dark and psychedelic, just how it should be. Followed by another 3.0 favorite, Light. More psychedelic jamming. This second set was very nice! Great song selection and flow. Velvet Sea was a nice closer. Drowned is a great song but man sometimes its painful to hear Mike's voice on it. It's a tough song vocally, and I've heard him sing it well. Just not last night. I still love you Mike! Roger Daltrey had an incomparable voice pretty much. Then of course, what Mexico show wouldn't be complete without Rocky Top!?! It was fun and a good ending. 4 out of 5 with the strong CDT and second set.
, attached to 1999-07-20

Review by TimberCarini

TimberCarini WE... THE NORTH After a blistering hot weekend at Camp Oswego, the band came Up North to cool off and get back on point. Follow me @TimberCarini on Twitter Set 1 The band started with a tight set of fun fan favs. Saving the jams for the back half, Trey stayed in type 1 mode until they hit Ghost. Clearly the pent up energy and funk inside their soul needed to be released, and Ghost was the perfect platform. Trey laid down the loops and then laid back the gas pedal on the guitar, while Mike Gordon stepped up and took over. Thumping his way to a groove built around Fishman's driving beat, Mike was all over this jam early and often. Louder than Trey in the mix, Mike was able to carve and craft a punchy line that at times sounded like Crosseyed and Painless and at other times was just straight funk. Mike's tone is gorgeous. Full and punchy without a treble edge. Round but not flat. This was Mike's house. Mike never let's go and finally Page realizes this is the new normal. Page starts flicking and stabbing notes and chords over top of Mike's unstoppable groove. Trey builds some feedback swells reminiscent of the intro to 2001, but Mike ain't buying it. He wants this Ghost to go the distance. He squashes Trey like a bug on his windshield and sets up the next part of the jam while Page acquiesces with some wobbly chords held out longform-style using the wah pedal. That's when Trey flips the switch. Fuck this. I want in. He cranks both tube screamers, dials up the Leslie amp, and unleashes notes in a fit of fury unheard of up to this point in the show. He goes machine gun Trey. Aiming right at Mike. Mike responds by thumping harder...but this can only last so long. Exhausted, both men fall back on Fishman who swings it back into the original Ghost beat and then end the song on a whimper. Clearly Trey was fired up as he tries to back into the Ghost riff while starting Wilson, but quickly slides down to the solitary ba-Bump, ba-bump notes and then off they go. Set 2 They don't make 6 song sets like this any more. Twist is always a good sign. This Twist goes chilled out Santana style early, and drops into ambient goodness late. Trey works in some oddly shaped loops and feedback swells as the band drifts into the ether (for a short time). They return to the main theme of Twist and move right along into a funky Moma Dance. The band is listening. Having fun. Loose but focused. This Moma comes to it's traditional close as Trey gets "What's The Use?" dialed up. Another great version of this Siket Disc tune, during the only tour full of these ambient adventures. This take is slow and methodical, gorgeous and encompassing. Patient. Otherworldly. This is a prime example of a band at it's most powerful. Filling a summer shed with textures and delicate notes while capturing the attention and imagination of everyone in attendance. You cannot tell if you are going to be abducted by aliens or infused with some super human power. A flash of light to your soul lasting almost 9 minutes. Comparing this to today's 3.0 versions that last less than 5 minutes... literally, what is the use? Summoning the voice of God to start the 2001.... Everyone in the band (aside from Fish) creates a golden glow in the key of C. Build, build, build until Fishman drops that signature beat and the crowd drops 4 on the floor. Ambient funk time. This is as good as any version in '99, albeit more concise (which plays to it's favor in this set). The tempo stays up and the intro doesn't last 10 minutes (ala Charlotte '99). Page drops some ethereal tones in the jam over Trey siren loops, while Mike summons the space funk gods with his tone for the jam (almost like LCD Soundsystem's 45:33 intro). Eventually cascading into a set closer version of Led Zeppelin's Misty Mountain Hop - which was the first and only performance of this Zep funk jam. The crowd goes insane. Literally singing every note with Trey and Page. The best band ever harnessing the energy of the greatest rock gods ever. Classic Phish. Follow me @TimberCarini on Twitter
, attached to 1999-07-16

Review by TimberCarini

TimberCarini REVISIONIST HISTORY While so many shows we attend leave us feeling a variety of emotions, we often return to the shows that we enjoyed the most. I admit that I listen to (and defend) the shows that I attended much more than shows that have only heard through tapes and LivePhish.com recordings. At 100+ shows, I feel like I have a pretty large sample size from which I can draw these emotional attachments for the use of reviews. There are amazing facts about memories and re-living moments that your whole body experienced that goes way beyond hearing music on playback. Reliving those experiences is part of what makes listening to Phish so incredibly powerful. When it comes to listening and reviewing shows for a blog, you get a chance to immerse yourself into shows you never attended or re-live shows you did attend. Shows that you loved, shows that were uninspiring, shows that were "perfect," and shows that carried the emotional baggage of your own personal journey. This brings me to the next phenomenon: the PAPER TIGER. We are all guilty of judging a show by its setlist. The age of the internet allows communication to flow so rapidly that we get setlists in real time and judge a show as it is taking place. This was not necessarily the case for normal people in 1999. Setlists would pop up the next day or a few days later online (if you had internet outside of your college campus), but with limited information. Tapes/CDs would circulate weeks or months later. CD burning trees would allow you to send blank CDs off to be burned by phans in other states and then you would wait for the return burned copy in the mail. Shows were judged quickly by a setlist or word of mouth - or both. A show with a huge bustout or new cover or crazy theatrics was initially valued higher than a show with an amazing jam. Plus, jams were longer back then so it seemed like every show had a 20+ jam after a song. Paper Tigers are shows like 7/16 with the Born to Run encore. Huge bustout cover in NJ with a special guest - initially thought to be Bruce himself! That was the initial word on the street - by regular phans (not hypercritical uber fans) - that 7/16 was a crazy show. It was not (Sorry, Tom). 7/16 Set 1: I cannot review this substandard boring first set of music. Not worth anyone's time. Set 2 $$$ Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove $$$ The 2001 everyone was waiting for comes out to play. Great run of songs. They don't make Mike's Grooves like this anymore. Ambient and flowing right through the I Am Hydrogen into an excellent Weekapaug. It is great. Listen to these 4 songs from this set and enjoy. Maybe check out Tom Marshall pretending to be Bruce Springsteen for a laugh, but remember why you are here and it's not for Springsteen Karaoke. Follow me @TimberCarini on Twitter
, attached to 1999-07-15

Review by TimberCarini

TimberCarini 7/15 Will Never Lie To You & Take Your Money & Steal Your Car.... She Loves You. Set 1 Punch You In the Eye > Ghost is just a killer 1-2 combo to start any show in any era. This Ghost is a bit faster and more energized than your usual Ghost and it gets the crowd going early. The spacey ambient textures that Trey was putting into the mix seemed to drive the jam in the more aggressive ambient jam style that had been seen in various other jams that tour. Instead of a slower, mesmerizing "What's the Use?" style ambient jam the band was looking to tap into the variety of ambient jams available in their growing arsenal. As the band slowed down the jam at the end - as if an animal running in slow motion - you could tell they were locked and loaded as one propulsive unit. The remainder of the set was fun and high energy - no letdown - and it was capped off by an explosive YEM that allowed the tension and release of the whole first set to burst through everyone's synapses. Set 2 Highlight = Meatstick > Split Open and Melt -> Kung -> Jam This is the only Meatstick that I put on regularly. This ambient Meatstick jam picks up right at the end of the shenanigans around the 11min mark and just drops into an ambient groove with hovering spaceship sounds by Page, staccato slaps by Gordon, and Fishman working to stay with the crowd claps as a time signature. Trey just sort of floats above with ethereal runs and harmonics from the Whammy. A really nice drone that builds on the Page keyboard weirdness and is the combination of ambient and funk that phans really love. Why have one without the other? Phish says you can have both... The jam simmers down and feedback builds and Fishman drops into 2001. Then Mike says, "No!" and drops the Split Open and Melt baseline within a few measures of Fishman's 2001 beat. Fish doesn't care, he's just going to make the 2001 beat work for SOAM. Trey thinks it's hilarious and cannot stop laughing, can't keep up with the lyrics, and is clearly distracted by Fishman refusing to change the beat. Eventually they get to the chorus and Fishman yields. They race through the composed section and just all want to get to the jammy weirdness as fast as possible. But even as the jam starts it feels rushed, then it stalls, they seem undecided and locked into a mediocre-at-best groove. Then about 7 mins into SOAM they flip a switch. Fuck this. They are not going to plod along in some non-directional jam. They are going for it. GOING FOR IT! Trey gets nasty and weird and the band follows. They rage for a couple minutes and find a deep ambient blanket to pull over everyone's eyes. Get inside. Everyone come closer. KUNG! FROM THE HILLS! FROM. THE. HILLS!!!! It gets super weird inside the blanket and the band finally releases the tension into a screaming jam over an ambient base of fuzz and feedback and uber weirdness. The JAM that comes out is an incredible example of the ambient jams of that era. Trey gets on the keyboard for some Peruvian pan flute for a brief interlude, but quickly recognizes that he needs to be on the guitar. The rage builds for a bit, but drops into a dark and creepy place akin to the 12/30/12 Carini. Although, not like the super low tones of the NYE12 Carini, but more of a horror movie creepy. Trey creates a "rusty swingset" loop over Fishman and Gordon's reprise of the SOAM coda. Then Page goes Thelonious Monk on the piano... it just breathes.... it is ambient, yet directional and defined. Trey adds some Wes Montgomery to Page's Monk. The ambient textures swirl. Gordon and Fishman keep it in the SOAM space. It's as weird and beautiful as it looks on paper.... the opposite of a Paper Tiger. Epic in the actual sense of the word. Follow Me @TimberCarini on Twitter
, attached to 1999-07-13

Review by TimberCarini

TimberCarini FIRST SET SMOKE SHOW WITH A SECOND SET MIND ERASER Hard to top the opener energy from the previous evening (Foreplay/Longtime), so the band opted to go in a different direction: jams... glorious, amazing jams. There is nothing better than Phish outdoing itself through pure creativity. Who needs a straight out of left field cover song, when you can play your own music in such an artistic and captivating manner? Set two is anchored with a mind erasing 21 minute Wolfman's Brother. It is the ambient take on the 97 versions of the jam. Stop what you are listening to and throw on this Wolfman's Brother. I am 99% sure it's better than whatever is currently embracing your ear drums. Hell, it gets so deep that Mike needs the FIGHT BELL to call the match. Prepare thyself, the aliens are coming. SET 1 NICU opener is funky, calypso-groove fun for the masses, but it is but merely a placeholder in this set. The monster segue of THE CURTAIN > HALLEY'S COMET > ROSES ARE FREE > N02 is the "raison d'etre." THE CURTAIN brings with it a feeling of past greatness and has many of the parts of Phish that we all love - singalong choruses, intricate composed sections, slashing guitar riffs and the feeling of being transported to another world during those opening notes. Where were we going? Wherever it was, HALLEY'S COMET was taking us. We go through Cadillac rainbows, get tangled in spaghetti, get served our thick strawberry goo, all along the way to the central part of town. Trey wastes no time peeling off squealing riffs and fast-fretted runs, instead he goes straight for the ambient groove. The central part of this town is ambient funk-ville. This groove is the anti-Halley's Comet solo and jam of the past and veers towards the core of Phish as one. The 2012 Summer Tour "all are one" jams should thank this grandfather of greatness. This Halley's Comet jam is a lesson in sum is greater than parts. The monumental jam leaks into what seems like Ghost.... but then a last second right turn takes us to ROSES ARE FREE. Roses was so under-played at this point in Phish's career it was a huge treat to get this tune. The song gets the crowd going and pours into a very loopy, soupy ambient jam that seems to be spiraling out of control (because it is) as it drops into N02. This N02 is unique because it contains the actual "composed" section atop the swirling loops and sirens. A first time play. Ever. A very beautiful and almost Crosby, Stills and Nash style composed jam of delicate chord changes and patient loving playing by the band. All that over some weird ambient siren loops. Quite a sonic buffet. An excellent Reba > Carini adds another set highlight. SET 2 WOLFMAN'S BROTHER goes ambient early and often in this stellar dark and dirty version of the classic Hoist cut. Just so deep and layered and funky before it gets sucked into the galaxy. Mike's finds a very unique riff early and steers Trey towards the dark side. Soon enough the drone loops and feedback starts. Mike drops into slap groove mode. The crowd erupts for the glow-stick war. The funk gets deeper. You can feel the energy on playback. It's what you want... hell, it's what everyone wants. Darker, funkier, deeper into the groove. Page is so in the pocket he's invisible on the low clavs - like Bernie Worrell under water. It sounds like the entire amphitheater is slowly sinking into the ground and everyone loves it. Mike incorporates the Fight Bell just to let everyone know that this thing ain't over yet. The band melts into a subsonic spacey wormhole and the jam gets sucked into the vacuum. The rest of this set is nothing compared to that Wolfman's Brother, so I will pretend like it doesn't exist. Follow me @TimberCarini on Twitter
, attached to 1999-07-12

Review by TimberCarini

TimberCarini BOOM & BUST(OUT) This show will forever be known for its "electric" Foreplay/Longtime bustout, but features some nice ambient moments. Please note that their really is no "big" ambient jam in this show. Many of the ambient moments and jams are conducted with creativity and pensive precision, as Phish is clearly "locked in," only the delicate building ambient tinged jam in DAVID BOWIE is noteworthy. SET 1 Starting with a BANG! the band loads up and fires off a FOREPLAY/LONGTIME bustout for the Boston faithful and has the crowd amped early and often. Obviously they didn't take the jam of F/L to crazy ambient dissonance, but neither did they with the follow up 18 minute DOWN WITH DISEASE. Instead, Trey and the boys opted for a "meat and potatoes" guitar lead DWD with a pretty mild "ambient style" lower-tempered jam for the last 4 minutes before bringing back the central guitar riff and closing out the uneventful tune. A standard BACK ON THE TRAIN came and went with little fanfare. A bit of a pause before... WHAT'S THE USE slides into a great first set slot. Bringing a beautiful texture, the ambient tune dipped and swayed it's way through a very lowfi but awesome jam section that chose Radiohead sparsity over swirling "wall of sound" effects laden landscapes. Great minimalism ambient style. The gorgeous underwhelming continued with a rhythmic lowfi ambient tech jam in SPLIT OPEN AND MELT. A very understated but sonically strong version for Phish, probably overlooked by most. Trey channels his inner Hendrix on a scathing Character Zero set closer. SET 2 TWIST opener is always a good idea. The band decided to go minimalist again, but opted for a bluesier take and really only hinted at the ambient jam that could have been. Playing it safe. I get it. It's a two night run and maybe they are saving the "weird" for the next night. MAKISUPA features some spacey weirdness started by Page and Mike, and finished off by Trey throwing down some reverse loops. Real reggae fans may shudder to think of Bob Marley approaching a reggae jam with alien sounds and reverse guitar loops, but this is Phish and this is what we want to hear! The rest of this set and encore are standard summer fare, aside from the DAVID BOWIE. The BOWIE has a really gorgeous and intricate building jam that starts off with almost complete silence and slowly builds through some clouds of ambient fluff and mini whale calls from Trey. Gordon plays some of his most thoughtful bass runs during this jam as clearly the band is seeking more from this BOWIE than any other song not called FOREPLAY/LONGTIME. Follow me @TimberCarini on Twitter
, attached to 1999-07-10

Review by TimberCarini

TimberCarini ENJOY THE RIDE... Follow me @TimberCarini on Twitter There are so many great shows from the past 30 years. Shows with incredible jams, incredible energy, hi-jinx, theatricality, and that spirit of oneness that pulls the entire audience together for that one night. Some of the best shows are a combination of many of those attributes. We as a community are lucky to have an opportunity to see Phish in 2013, and are lucky enough to have that chance to see a truly great show... on any given night. You pick and choose the shows you are going to attend with the hopes that on that steamy night in Maryland in July, or that crisp evening in Denver on September 1st, your mind will be blown. You will be hugging strangers. You will be screaming until your lungs bleed. You will be one. This particular show from Camden, NJ in 1999 is one of those shows. It may not have the huge ambient jams that propel the ambient jam grade to a 10/10, but it has everything a show needs to be a "great" show for the ages. Phish knows this show was THAT good, because they released it in the original run of "LivePhish" remasters. SET 1 Wilson opener gets down and dirty real fast featuring a very heavy metal drone with distortion from Trey in the jam that leads to a solo with his reverse reverb effect sucking the solo notes back into the vortex. The distortion and feedback swells, Trey piles notes upon notes with the reverse effect creating a dizzying effect within the jam. Quick and powerful. Trey decides that having one first set opener is not enough. He opts to steer the band toward another first set opener in Chalkdust Torture. These are often the two summer rock openers that band uses to get a show started with high energy, and to stack them one on top of another is a sign of things to come for this show. The Chalkdust cools off a bit during the sing-song part of the tune, but Fishman keeps it up-tempo and drives the speed with his unrelenting snare hits. Trey finally gets to the solo and unleashes in his fiery late 90's Chalkdust style ...but only for a couple minutes. Then he just stops. Hangs on a two or three note combo and starts to stray towards a melodic jam unusual for a Chalkdust. He brings back some of his usual guitar runs for a few measures to see if the band wants to go back to rage mode, but quickly realizes that the Type II approach was much more fun. The journey finds soaring solo notes and whale calls (not fully used until years later). Trey uses the Whale Calls to surf the ambient backdrop painted by Gordon and Page like Bob Ross on Valium. Fishman keeps hammering the beat. Keeping the ship straight. Trey appears to be searching. Looking for something in the jam. Never satisfied. Then he finds the robot and turns him on. The robot responds with laser eyes and a chugging deep and symmetrical bass groove found in between the lines of an Isaac Asimov novel. Almost like a robot march to salvation. Page sets the alien landscape. Full invasion. The only escape can be found in the solace of Roggae which appears like a mirage in the alien desert. The Roggae takes over and steers the band into a slower, lower groove that floats perfectly as the third song in a hot set in need of a funky cool-off. Trey's use of the Leslie with distortion, as is typical with this song, sounds so perfect after the crazy Type II Chalkdust. Almost like a glimpse in the rear-view mirror at the robot behind, as the band journey's toward the delicate melodies ahead in the form of Page's fluid piano fills. The Roggae jam features more melodic playing by Trey over a droning ambient groove from Mike. Building the soft, floating jam into the harsh return of the heavy distortion power chords is such a perfect use of dynamics both in the song and in the set. While this Roggae doesn't stray too far from the conventional versions, it is the beauty of the playing and the placement in the set that really make it stand out. Set filler follows until we arrive at Bathtub Gin. This seems to be a very ordinary Bathtub Gin with your "meat and potatoes" Gin jam until the 11min 30sec mark. At that point Trey decides to go in a completely different direction, Page follows, and eventually so do Fishman and Gordon into a full on Spencer Davis Group "I'm a Man" jam. It is absolutely perfect. Funky. Upbeat. Driving. Like James Brown on his worst day. Standard Golgi Apparatus closer seems to say, "Keep your ticket; you are lucky you picked this show." Set 2 Tweezer. One of the best feelings in the world for phans is a second set Tweezer opener. The band knows it, the audience knows it, something is coming... something huge. The song builds and opens up to the jam. Ambient loops. Clav with wah. Funked out Gordon bass grooves. Fishman on a slow burning funk beat. Trey starts the build with ascending high fret funk chords. 7th and 9ths in a slower, funked out Tweeprise climb. Then Page drops the alien synth clavs on top and you have liftoff. Then around the 14 minute mark the rug gets pulled out from under the band. Trey is back to minimal riffs and picking. Page waits and comes over the top with over-arching chords similar to the No Quarter intro but in a different key and chord structure. Fishman provides an ambient soundscape with cymbal crashes and tom hits. Gordon searches for a way to bring a groove to the jam as the ambient space bleeds through everything. It's wavy. The music is blurry. The sounds unclear. The jam drifts away into the ether. Feedback echoes and slowly dissipates into Mountains in the Mist. Solid takes on Birds of a Feather (with a notable break down jam at the end) and When the Circus Comes takes us to a tremendous Fluffhead with an excellent and always appreciated Fluff jam along with its epic peak ending. Not much in the way of ambient jams on the back half of this set, but great energetic playing none-the-less. An appropriate While My Guitar Gently Weeps>Tweezer Reprise to cap the encore and send the good vibes into the dark New Jersey night. Follow me @TimberCarini on Twitter
, attached to 2017-01-14

Review by JARdale

JARdale Very good show overall. I couched it and thought that the set list was average on paper but they boys brought it up another level with their playing. The meatstick.... mercury..... winterqueen provided some killer jams/solos. Nice encores as well. Always fun when they show the people in the surf. Thank you for the webcasts!!!
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