, attached to 2017-12-30

Review by shakedown_04092

shakedown_04092 I'm just over here wondering why Phish.net isn't crediting the numerous "Homeward Bound" (Simon & Garfunkel) teases that Trey laced every show with. Just off the top of my head, see the 8:20 mark in "Light" from this show. I know there were others. But as good as this show was, it doesn't nearly touch Jam Night or Powdered Night from the Baker's Dozen, not to mention the last 3 of the BD. I actually enjoyed 12/29/17 even more, but that was probably a result of environment.
, attached to 1997-12-12

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Not my favorite show of the tour but it's got some nice bits and surprises for sure! The segue into 2001 (in a bizarre slot) is perfect and shows meaning to the opening duo of songs. Tweezer (also in a weird spot) has a nice little jam to it. It's basically the same cowfunk jam you get all year out of Tweezer but still nice to listen to. 2nd set has a surprising Saw it again opener with a nice stretch to it. Piper has a surprisingly mellow jam, and I'm assuming one of the first real jams out of it which is very significant considering the damage it will do in the future. Caspian has a nice little jam after that is very bipolar. At first it sounds similar to the 11/23 Gin but then it cools down, only to go back to a thrashing conclusion. The only other highlight from this is the Antelope to close out the show. It is great on every possible level that Antelope can be. Great execution, nice little stretch, fantastic conclusion. That's how it should be played always! 3 Stars
, attached to 1995-11-11

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This was a 3-night run at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, beginning with 11/9/95. You can see my reviews for the two previous shows on their respective setlist pages (I wasn't there; these were written based in retrospect upon the recordings on phish.in.) Cars Trucks Buses is a rad opener > a "Mike's Groove" whose "meat" of the sandwich as it were is A Day in the Life and Poor Heart... a truly imaginative approach to the standard Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove. Mike's Song takes a somewhat more inventive than usual (for 1995) approach to the then-typical Trey-percussion-rack jam (Trey, at this time, had a little percussion set that he'd forsake his guitar for, temporarily, in order to color jams in a more grid-like fashion that relied less on his prowess as a lead-guitar bandleader.) Weekapaug Groove is pretty reliably "shreddy," with some intriguing space in the jam that definitely qualifies it for Highly Recommended status. The Ya Mar and Stash from this set are also worth giving a tilt and whirl. David Bowie as the second song in the second set is long, but not really that remarkable beyond average-great qualifications: it does break into some typical-of-1995 sub-funk (not sure how to describe this other than "clattering," as coined by @waxbanks I believe, as in "clattering, Rube-Goldberg funk" about a certain Wolfman's Brother from 1997.) Fluffhead and Run Like an Antelope are probably the keepers from the remainder of the set, though I certainly enjoy the HYHU-less take on Suspicious Minds, as well as the Acoustic Army that opens the encore.
, attached to 1995-11-10

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads It's as if--after the opening Bouncing Around the Room--each band member gets a "feature": Trey in Runaway Jim, featuring arguable Dave's Energy Guide teasing that's not currently noted in the setlist; Fish in Taste That Surrounds, a drummer's workout in any sense; Mike vocally on The Old Home Place, which is briefly helped by Trey; and Page in It's Ice. There're also good renditions of Maze and Guyute in the first set. The Scent of a Mule in Set II, though a Highly Recommended Jam according to .Net, doesn't move me that much, perhaps because I'm not a huge fan of that song in the first place, but I do take note of the You Enjoy Myself -> Crossroads -> You Enjoy Myself. I'm always amazed by how Fishman-led segues tend to originate with Trey moving a motif into a jam and Fish responding somehow (telepathically?) on the drums and then they bust out the segue. The AC/DC Bag is also well worth a listen at least as a contrast lesson with the other big Bags, which were typically spacey and funky. Also listen to the Harry Hood encore, which takes a brief minimalist approach to its Type-I jam that therefore tends to verge on Type II.
, attached to 1995-11-09

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads What a great show! Hometown for me, this run was, based as I am in the Atlanta area. If only I'd been hip to Phish in 1995... Well, Tweezer Reprise opens the show, reminding me of those two nights in 2010 that had four Tweeprises. Prince Caspian is unusually short here. Punch You in the Eye and Simple contain teases on Led Zeppelin's "The Rover," off of Physical Graffiti. Reba is a wonderful version. Julius, as the second song of the second set, should be a .Net Noteworthy Jam, in my opinion. The beginning boasts some variations on the riff, and the jam is really hot. Bathtub Gin is the next big jam, and it's quite an affair. It veers into takes on the Summer '95 Space Camp jams as well as the Fall '94 atonal weirdness, and almost segues into Rift (landing instead in The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday.) It still strikes me as funnily poignant to hear tapers "shushing" chompers during the unmiked Hello My Baby... I guess by this point in Phishtory, phans already knew that we'd want to hear this music preserved with the most fidelity possible to the event itself. Please do make it a point to hear this Gin.
, attached to 1997-12-09

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Shows that start with Mike's Song almost always deliver it's science. Mike's is superb to start and get's into the Cow Funk that the other Mike's and Tweezer openers from this year have. My Soul is very strong. Stash is intense as hell, just an excellent version. I love some space between Mike's Song and I Am Hydrogen and I love the contrast between I am Hydrogen and Stash. Weekapaug is explosive and excellent. Pretty solid Loving Cup to close the set as well. Set two has one of my favorite Simple's ever and maybe even my favorite Jam from this year. It's beautiful gorgeous and transcendent. Also the Bowie tease is one of the best in terms of a "tease" and what makes it even better is how seamless the segue into Timber Ho! is. Axilla is an excellent version and a standout among all others. Hood is excellent and the outro is just gorgeous great version. More Jimi love with Fire to close the show and it leaves the energy level at an 11. Great show!
, attached to 1997-12-05

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This show is a kind of testament to how good this show is. Mainly because you might call it a "lower tier night" for this tour. Now you hear that and say to yourself "this show must be terrible" quite on the contrary it is a great show! However not among the other heavy hitters from this tour. Ghost starts off the show with a nice little mellow stretch with some great Trey hose. Wilson is a top notch version that is explosive and everything you would want in the song. Jim has a nice little stretch to it with some nice ambient work by Page. The rest of the set is fairly straight forward. Stash in thunderous, it doesn't go the places that some of it's '97 brothers do but still pretty solid. Julius has a nice little stretch to it but the jam is basically directionless and straightforward. The star of the show IMO is slave. It is a transcendent masterpiece. It sucks you in with Fish's thunderous drums, Mike's rumbling bass, and Trey's noodly wankery. Just like the first set the rest of this set is fairly straightforward. Good encore song, maybe a prelude to the famous Tweezabella the next night? Go Jimi!
, attached to 2017-12-31

Review by Mcrothers

Mcrothers This show IMO was just OK, but deff not my favorite. I thought the playing in the first set by our main man Trey was sub-par to say the least. It was lacking a lot of emotion and defiantly sloppy as hell. The 2nd set was a killer and so was most of the 3rd with the exception of Soul Planet. I mean some of these new songs.... I just really don't get whats going on here. I know what Trey is trying to say to everyone in the song, but its just so damn corny and the worst version of bubble gum music I have ever heard.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by crepu

crepu Everyone knows 12/30 is the show of the ’17 NYE run. Perhaps. But there’s something about 12/28 that I prefer. 12/28 was the show that said this is Phish, and that means this isn’t going to be a rehash of the BD, nor would there even be subtle nods or gestures towards those shows. This would be new, different. That’s what Phish does best - evolve. To that, we must acknowledge. And might I add the near lack of filler in any of these shows? 12/28 was my New Years show. Where folks heavily predicted a space-themed gag on 12/31, that’s precisely what we got with 12/28: the spacey jams, layers upon layers, and CK’s lights turned the Garden into a spaceship. Sure, we got that feel from “I Always Wanted It This Way” from the next night (which was fabulous and changed many minds about the song, and one has to wonder if those who detest those particular songs off BIG BOAT like "Waking up Dead" are familiar with XTC or that 80s quirky punk style), or 12/30’s “Steam” (Ok, that was so good). But most of 12/28 worked with the space theme. No, this maybe wasn’t as totally Parliament-dance as some wanted it (although there was plenty of funk), but it was the Mothership of ephemeral zone and drone. I cringe when fans say Phish does shoegaze. They never have, and a soundcheck of My Bloody Valentine sounded nothing of shoegaze. 12/28 was not shoegaze, either, but there was a blending of sounds and layers that some wrongfully dismiss as Trey hiding behind his effects. For those who don’t merely come out of the classic rock scene, for those who kinda like some sloppy or loose play (a la Pavement or Built to Spill, or maybe in the vein of Okkervil River’s lyrics: “And this film we once saw was reviled for its flaws/ But its flaws were what made us have fun”), for those who actually seek the shows many call listless (see those ’99 gems), or for those whose transcendence comes out of ethereal layers without any hint of the blues, 12/28 was special. And it signaled a new kind of Phish in their old tradition of moving on to nuanced territory.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Another exceptional "Front to Back" show. The first set is just as good as the second which is expected from this tour. PYITE is strong as always to start. Drowned is a random surprise in the slot it's in and has a great mucky funk jam. Gumbo is pretty strong. 2001 (also in a weird slow) is excellent and although doesn't trail far off is an excellent version. Bowie is notable for it's long intro with several creepy "take me out to the ballgame" teases. About halfway through it breaks away from the typical Bowie structure and into a nice groove that is very rhythm driven courtesy of some great work by Fish and Mike. At the end is has an excellent pulsing segue into Possum. Possum is straight fire and has an excellent peak and is followed by a random jam that is very similar to Tube. Hood gets a little stretch and is very well played. And the cherry on top is a great cover of Crossroads which leaves the place ablaze after. Just another excellent show. Don't let the lack of noteworthy versions steer you away lot's of excellent stuff packed in each set!
, attached to 1999-12-18

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I rate this show more highly than many others might, primarily because I love the potentially neverending groove of the Do You Feel Like We 2001 (my pet nickname for the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" with Peter Frampton teases.) That jam is a testament to how the cowfunk of 1997 was permuted by this time in Phishtory to a comparable yet disparate version on Phish's sound that was highly rewarding, caveats involving the lot scene aside. Harry Hood opens the show with a long jam. The banter surrounding Dog Log is phun. The Tube and You Enjoy Myself are both worth hearing, even if you tend to avoid sets with lots of TAB tunes in them, especially in rapid succession (Heavy Things, Back on the Train, First Tube.) The Do You Feel Like We 2001 seems like they could've just jammed that out for a whole set, but eventually it > Sand. I also really enjoy this Sand, which kicks into a higher, peakier gear than Sand usually tended to in Fall '99. Possum is also kind of "shreddy," but the remaining big aspect of this show, for me, is the segue (->) from Weekapaug Groove -> Buffalo Bill > Weekapaug Groove. One can hear Fishman cottoning on to the transition and shifting his drumming pattern accordingly. I might've been a little disappointed with the encore in person if I'd been at this show--as I'm not much of a fan of either Ya Mar or Sleeping Monkey--but as I believe @Icculus said in reviewing some other show years ago, "at this point, it just didn't matter."
, attached to 2015-07-24

Review by Abe_Froman

Abe_Froman Both band and crowd seemed to take a few songs to sink into this one, but once Reba dropped, it felt like everyone took a deep breath, and we were off. It was a fun blur the rest of the way. I took my time leaving, just staring at the big, lit-up Shoreline tent, and feeling pretty damn good about Hood.
, attached to 1999-12-17

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I'm kind of puzzled by the current ~2.7 rating on this show: it may just be "average-great," but it's a high average-great. The setlist is a high recommendation in favor: you get a show-opening jam in Piper followed by Meat > Sparkle, with Meat placed quite intelligently so as not to gum up the works with its methodical funk. Sparkle is a spirited rendition and then there's Gotta Jibboo > Punch You in the Eye, with Jibboo taking a solid Type-I turn as one of the centerpieces of the set. I know some phans don't love that song as much as I do. The lyrics may be silly, but I really dig the groove of it. Not much to say, here, about When the Circus Comes, Water in the Sky, but the set-closing Twist is great! Birds of a Feather to open the second set is marked down as a Noteworthy Jam here on .Net, and I must say I agree. The most unusual thing about this show, however, is that there's about a 5-minute Ambient/Shoegazer Jam between The Moma Dance and Bug. Then comes Jennifer Dances, a song which I'm truly disappointed was abandoned so quickly; I'm mostly a stay-at-home phan, so I don't really care whether something "rages" or is a "dance party," or whatever... I just want to enjoy the songs and the shows. Split Open and Melt is a long version that leaves me feelin' kind of hazy... it's almost 20 minutes, which is rare for Split nowadays and was in 1999 as well. Character Zero is a particularly good version to close the set. Now: the triple encore is outstanding! The Old Home Place doesn't often get played in encores, and then there's a The Squirming Coil > Loving Cup, and though Coil is abbreviated somewhat (only about 7 minutes long), Loving Cup sent phans back out into the Virginia night with one to grow on! I'm not one of those phans that idol-worships Hampton '97 to the exclusion of '98 or '99. Hampton Comes Alive was one of my first Phish purchases, and this two-night run--as you'll see if you read my review of the following night--has a lot of weight to throw around.
, attached to 2014-07-13

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Sand is a worthy opener, though not jammed Type II, and the remainder of the first set has a commendable setlist. Reba, Possum, Runaway Jim, Maze, and Split Open and Melt are all heavy hitters. The real story of this show happens to the Chalk Dust Torture > Light > Tweezer from Set II, comprising almost exactly 56 minutes of JAMS. However, not much here is all that memorable stylistically in the sense that a watershed year like 1997 would have you thinking of a specific jam for years to come--perhaps even to this day. The Tweezer to end the triptych is pretty peaky. I also like that Sing Monica appears in this set; it's one of my favorite newer Phish songs, predominantly due to the very clever lyrics. Backwards Down the Number Line makes an abbreviated appearance in the encore > Tweezer Reprise. This is probably a slightly over average-great show, mostly thanks to the breadth and depth of jamming on display, but the lack of truly time-honoured music makes me rate this one just a 4 out of 5.
, attached to 2014-07-12

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Just one reason that this show remains notable is a triple ending to Back on the Train. Trey says that to prove it was intentional, they'll do it again, and they do, twice. Personally, I like to hear Devotion to a Dream in its slot in the first set, but otherwise, especially with A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing taking a pedestrian turn, there's not that much to recommend it. Punch You in the Eye in the second set pushes 10 minutes, and is followed by Carini > Ghost, where Ghost takes a Trey-delay-led turn that metamorphoses into a typical 3.0 quasi-peak, but the rest of the set is not that spectacular, particularly regarding the Harry Hood that is introduced by a hi-hat roll rather than the hallowed tom roll. We do get a triple encore, which is great, but if pressed, I'd qualify this show as the least essential of the 2014 Randall's Run.
, attached to 2017-12-31

Review by yemyourface

yemyourface This was a really fun show. Carini opener brought an immediate energy into the Garden which remained consistently throughout the night. Each song played fit just right. The Fluffhead -> Reba segment was truly a bundle full of joy and sweet release early in on in the game. This whole first set encapsulates Phish at its heart and soul. Set two Possum kickoff gets everyone on their toes. Fuego->Jibboo opens up the floor in fashion and displays the light hearted flush of ticklish riffs and grooves letting everyone boogie down and feel good about it. Golgi is the classic Phish always welcome and celebratory, continuing the theme of the night. What’s the Use has a way of captivating the audiences attention in this subtle way that just erupts in everyone’s face and showers everyone in lightness before kicking it into hyperdrive, launching the Garden deep into the depths of space with a raucous YEM. Soul Planet opens up set three and it’s game on once again with a full on dance party done right. The band was flowing with so much energy at this point it felt as though the music was all just gracefully unwinding, pouring out with love and gratitude and happiness. ASIHTOS was the deep space cannonball of the night and erupted in constellatory psychedelia. The descent from the peak of this massive journey is again back to the heart and soul of Phish with emotionally felt renditions of each song played and a particularly tasteful tease of Auld Lang Syne in Moma Dance. Caspian>Wading>First Tube are lumps of space gravy, and Loving Cup is the cover on the whole enchilada until next time. What a beautiful buzz.
, attached to 2014-07-11

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads The Bathtub Gin and the Down with Disease are the "long jams" of this show, and Bathtub Gin is remarkable for retaining its peaky integrity from pre-hiatus versions and Down with Disease takes a 3.0-ish turn towards exploratory jamming that pays off pretty well, retrospectively, for a 2014 jam. The Moma Dance, 555, Stash, Limb by Limb, and David Bowie all have faithful Type-I readings here. It's, in fact, this version of 555 that re-convinces me that it's a worthy addition to the Phish song catalogue. This is not necessarily a God-tier Phish show, but with two jams approaching 20 minutes, it deserves a listen from even the most sclerotic of phans. Fuego gets an interesting rendition contrasted to the two most previous Type-II excursions. It's an average-great show, but one that phans of 2017 should probably revisit, as it features Trey playing his guitar during the verses of songs, something that happens less and less as 3.0 projects, and which I wish he'd address because it dampens the jams from shows as fertile as those of the Baker's Dozen or the New Year's Run 2017.
, attached to 2004-06-20

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads The first three songs of the first set are arguably negligible for a longtime phan... a well-versed one who has probably heard those songs rendered better before (though Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home? is always good value.) Waves takes the first extended turn for the night, and it's thoroughly satisfying. Drowned is the next big jam, and though it sounds very "in the mold" of 2.0 as a whole, it has a patient build that rewards careful listening. Seven Below to open the second set is much along the same lines, and Ghost takes a Ghosty turn, but Twist is probably "the" highlight of the night. I don't know how many phans currently active really "get" 2.0, but this Twist is a good encapsulation of what it was all about. Personally, I sat 2.0 out, with the exception of listening to a few shows post facto or watching setlists roll in on PhantasyTour, but this is still a great show for the era and for any era of Phish, and I would be disappointed if phans just overlooked these years for whatever reason.
, attached to 2004-06-19

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Reba is an interesting opener (maybe last opened a show on 7/6/00 Toronto?) and ekes along beautifully as Rebas are wont to do. Runaway Jim sustains the energy, but the next big song, Scents and Subtle Sounds, isn't that long, and doesn't compare so much to the Walls of the Cave that stretches 20 minutes and segues into David Bowie. Walls of the Cave boasts a Mike-led ambient jam that is very satisfying. In the second set, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing approaches 20 minutes, but just kind of treads the typical 2.0 water. The Piper to follow, however, features a long segment of patient improvisation approaching hose levels, especially towards the end when Trey really lets loose. The segue into Gotta Jibboo is also notable. Limb By Limb keeps up the energy > Cavern, and then there's a poignant "2.0" encore of Wading in the Velvet Sea. This is really a representative show of Phish 2.0, if such a claim is tenable, in that it displays some of the characteristic jamming of the time period, and a few of the jams are given quite enough room to breathe.
, attached to 2003-07-31

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads The Setlist Team has definitely got it right that The Moma Dance is a Recommended Jam. It's the big story of the first set, except perhaps the very satisfying tension-and-release peak of the Wolfman's Brother that precedes the set-closing Possum. Piper kind of goes into ambient passages that are very palpable but may not have that much replay value, but Weekapaug Groove tends towards an high-energy sustain that carries over through to the end of the set into a Harry Hood that has a lot of 2.0-typical jamming, namely the double-stopped kind of Trey playing that integrates so well with Page's and the rhythm section's. I tend to want to find a lot to love in any era of Phish, trying to ignore whatsoever "flaws" there may be in favor of the heights, and though I would rate the previous show more highly due if only to depth of jamming, this is a great show... one that would be oh so welcome now in the 3.0 era, if only people had the diligence to listen to the forest for the trees.
, attached to 2003-07-30

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This show is an odd duck at least in the fact that the "strong meat" (to misquote the Apostle Paul) seems to be skewed towards the first set. My Friend, My Friend and Lonesome Cowboy Bill are nice enough, with a particularly nice turn on vocals by Jon Fishman in Lonesome Cowboy Bill, but Scents and Subtle Sounds includes the Intro and is over 30 minutes long. There's nothing compelling in the way that I remember the 6/11/94 You Enjoy Myself to this day, for example, but it is a good journey, thrilling, perhaps, for those in attendance. Then you get the Phish debut of You Ain't Goin' Nowhere followed by the extreme rarity Spock's Brain. Chalk Dust Torture also jams for a while followed by On Your Way Down, Fast Enough for You > Taste, with the first two of those being highly welcome and rare additions to the 2.0-years catalogue. Twist in the second set jams out and then some, and the improvisation is really quite thrilling, perhaps evinced by the follow-up number: Bug, but You Enjoy Myself and Walls of the Cave don't really strike me as a fitting conclusion to this show. Secret Smile in the encore slot is very welcome, to me, as I'm a more mellow kind of phan, and, all said, I certainly would'n't've left this show disappointed.
, attached to 1999-04-17

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads It's easy, and perhaps commensurate, to view this April '99 Phil and Phriends Warfield run as one big show spread out over three nights. That said, Trey tends to take a more patient approach to his lead guitar in this show, not really ramping it up to Phish levels of intensity until Down with Disease in the second set. This is wonderful, because it means that Steve Kimock has more space in the music for he, himself, to shine on lead guitar. There's a good deal of Phil on vocals in this show, and I'm really a grate phan of Phil on vocals. Dark Star is interwoven throughout the show, making it pretty much the centerpiece--though one could maintain that Terrapin Station to open the second set at about 20 minutes long is a centerpiece in itself--and that's also to the good, because these shows feel most to me like a celebration of Grateful Dead music, and an extension of the musical spirit of Jerry Garcia. They're essential for fans of Phish and Grateful Dead and any of Kimock's various projects, and frankly I feel they carry the legacy forward in a way that set somewhat of a template for future incarnations of The Other Ones, The Dead, and Furthur--and Fare Thee Well and Dead and Company--that had been left partly vacant heretofore.
, attached to 1999-04-16

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Though the jams aren't as a rule as long as the previous night's, there's still quite a bit of emotional resonance to be found here. Page takes the vocal lead on Franklin's Tower to delightful effect, and then you get two almost consecutive hymns to the much-beloved Jerry Garcia, with Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here as well as an instrumental version of Stella Blue with Steve Kimock on pedal steel guitar. I personally feel like Phil's vocals sound great here, especially since Trey seems to struggle a bit with the lilting rhythms of Tennessee Jed and Fire on the Mountain. Chalk Dust Torture, though, displays some "Phishy" jamming towards the end that makes me satisfied that Phil looked carefully to include Page and Trey into this incarnation of Phil Lesh and Friends, and also to generally seek a meld of the styles on display, including those of his own as well as Kimock's and John Molo's. It's worth pointing out, I think, that Molo really holds his own on a catalogue that's built primarily for dual drummers.
, attached to 1999-04-15

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This Phil and Phriends run is very near and dear to my heart. It was early on in my phandom that I heard the recordings from the Warfield, and my high interest in Phish to some degree ran parallel to my high interest in Grateful Dead, so... Hello Old Friends is a touching soundcheck/opener, as Phil was recently the beneficiary of a liver transplant, and was just happy to be alive and sharing music with his family, as has always been the most important thing in his life, excepting perhaps his own blood relations. Viola Lee Blues opens the show with a big 35-minute jam, and along with Uncle John's Band, Sugaree, Shakedown Street, and Not Fade Away, comprises the jamming highlights of this show. Trey gets quite a bit of vocal room to move around in, as does Page. The chemistry of this quintet is quite remarkable, due primarily to Steve Kimock's and John Molo's adaptability to exploring new terrain with the band, which is all the more remarkable due to the fact that they were playing with Reddy Kilowatt himself, a founding and primary architect of the Dead's legacy. It's a foregone conclusion that you should listen to this run, but please take care to note the synergy beyond the simple flash of half of Phish guesting over the duration of these shows.
, attached to 1990-12-31

Review by RunawayJim4180

RunawayJim4180 This is pretty funny, but if any of you reviewers who actually attended want to relive that terrible Chucklehead set, here it is in all its glory: https://archive.org/details/chead1990-12-31/chead1990-12-31d1t08.flac It runs about 75 mins just in case you were curious. Not good enough to ruin Phish's encore!
, attached to 1988-05-24

Review by MarcReyn27

MarcReyn27 Good gravy, how is it that no one has commented on this "With" jam??!! My personal all-time favorite, and I can safely say without hyperbole that it is the greatest 5 minutes of music ever constructed in the history of human evolution. It literally gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. I command you all to immediately drop whatever you are doing and listen to this right now! :-) Also a kick-ass Sally in there. The vocal jam back into the 2nd jam is really well done.
, attached to 2017-12-31

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Great Carini to open the show! The band sounds very sharp here, not in an hurtful sense of the definition but just a focused-yet-loose intensity that bodes well for the rest of the night. Fluffhead is reinvigorated a bit with some small alterations, which is very much in the spirit of Phishtory. Reba, although not "shreddy," is comfortably (warmly?) emotive. 46 Days brings a bit more heat to the affair, which is welcome. I don't really like the "song" portion of that song, and rarely even enjoy its jams, but this one is in and out before it grows cumbersome. Possum > Fuego > Gotta Jibboo is quite a run, but as per usual, the jam is perfunctory out of Fuego (one longs for the extended Fuegos of July 2014) and Gotta Jibboo is extended a bit but doesn't really gain particular traction. You Enjoy Myself starts out a little weird, like maybe the tempos were unsynchronized, but it plays out rewardingly (though I could handle them doing something more interesting with the vocal jam.) Set III opens with the Phish debut of Soul Planet, and Trey is working really hard to emphasize the theme. I haven't seen video yet, so I may be alone on this. A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing gets jammed out somewhat, and that's great. The rest of the set is not thoroughly thrilling to me. Overall, regarding this year's New Year's Run, I was pleased with some of the enthusiasm shown by the band; Mike was large and in charge for the duration; and another successful New Year's Eve stunt was brought to the table. I was underwhelmed by Trey's new effects; the tendency towards sloppiness almost entirely on Trey's part in the composed portions of songs played over the run; and the over-reliance on the bliss jam as a fallback in the jamming that precludes true exploration the likes of which we have every right to pine for from days of yore.
, attached to 2017-12-30

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads What can you do with a Mike's Song opener? Followed by I Am Hydrogen for the first time in a while? Then Tweezer >'s out of Weekapaug Groove for the first time ever... Tweezer jams well in the first set, and I appreciate that. Ass Handed out of the jam is a bit unhinged to start out. The other big things of note in this show's first set are a Bathtub Gin that bubbles under for several minutes before peaking satisfactorily, and then a slow Brother which is an interesting take upon that song's usual frenetic energy. Down with Disease to open the second set is certainly a long version, but it winds around towards yet another bliss jam, and I'm really over the whole bliss jam thing as long as Trey is gan'na play in virtual half time, if you know what I mean. Thoroughly exciting, though, is the synth-led coda to Steam (one of the first true jams out of that song) that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Page's new synthesizer palette has been well-integrated into Phish's 2017 sound--and hopefully further. That's about it for this show, which I feel merits 4 out of 5 stars. I really think Trey would behove the sound of the band by leaps and bounds if he would reintegrate some of his fabled "shredding" style from circa 1994 into the current melange, or maybe just even find something non-electronic to do with himself that would contribute to the sound as a whole in a more drastic way than his current arguable rut.
, attached to 2017-12-29

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This night starts off quite a bit more focused than the previous one. Cavern is rare to open a show, and it almost seems like Phish is going for a reiteration of the legendary 4/5/98 Cavern (but not really?) Blaze On and I Always Wanted It This Way are the other highlights I find in the first set. Sand is a nice Set-II opener, but it's not until Chalk Dust Torture that things really get chugging. The jams in this set take a turn towards developing the 2017-standard-issue "Bliss Jam," which Ghost particularly develops into something interesting (only to be curtailed for an early > Backwards Down the Number Line.) I personally love the placement of Split Open and Melt, here. Finally, Julius has some "extra mustard" to complete the show with a rocker of an encore. I think this is more of a 3.5 stars than a 4, but lacking that option, I give it a 4 in the sincere and justified hopes that Phish will deliver an all-timer of a show over the next two nights. I kind of hope that the band either consummates the potential of the aforementioned bliss jam or works it out of their system. The dynamics are getting a bit predictable.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I feel confident in rating this show 3 stars. The song selection and setlist construction--especially in the first set--weren't all that interesting, and Waking Up Dead in particular had trouble of the same sort that Mike's newer compositions tend to have in its reading (although unlike recent Sugar Shacks, this doesn't seem to have been due to Trey.) Wilson to open Set II is interesting, and you get a fully >'d set (though nary a -> to be found in the whole show) with long jams in No Men in No Man's Land and Twist, both of which feature novel synthesizer usage by Page. Everything's Right is stretched out a little bit, and without the benefit of another relisten, I'd call it my jam of the night, even though both NMINML and Twist were longer. 2001 doesn't really get off the ground (wasn't there; 2001 is often a "you-have-to-be-there" kind of song) and Harry Hood closes the second set. A The Wedge, Slave to the Traffic Light encore is poignant, but this show just didn't have its precision or experimentation fully involved. Trey and even Fish seem a little disengaged from the entire affair. I'm also not a big phan of Trey's octave effect that unnecessarily muddies the bottom end, which already suffers from a lack of definition on Fish's kick drum.
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