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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

Slewfoot , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
I somewhat intentionally did not listen to this show throughout the week. I felt that after the webcast I needed to let it settle. Needed to see if it really would live up to the hype.

It did.

In fact, it may be even better than I remember which I thought was an impossibility. A monumental show for so many reasons. Amazing set list, the band having so much fun, the segues, the Tweezerfest. The list goes on.

What is perhaps most distinguishing about this show to me is that it really harkens back to the days of old. To my ears, no show has sounded as 1992 or earlier as this show since 12-31-92. It's raw, old-school Phish in the 21st Century. It's good to have them back. We'll see how long it lasts, but for now we should all bask in the moment.
Score: 0
solargarlic78 , attached to 2014-07-30 Permalink

Review 7/30/14: Mixing it Up: Fresh song selection and surprising jams

I am a real sucker for Phish simply deciding to play rare/unusual songs. When Mike Gordon posted a photo of the band rehearsing yesterday afternoon, I think most of us expected them to play something rare (what a cool look into their daytime routines — who knew they rehearse?!). I mean this is why we love this band right? 99% of all bands out there have either play the same set every night, or have a very tightly circumscribed set of songs they may choose from. This band practices and rehearses old ballads (“Mountains inthe Mist” and “Billy Breathes”) and very difficult composed songs (“Guelah Papyrus”) during the day — just because they know the fanbase thrives on fresh song choices (early in the tour I was worried they were not going to branch out and mix up the setlists at all).

Set 1 had all three of my criteria for first set enjoyment — jams (“Gin” and “It’s Ice” — with another funk breakdown), bustouts (“Guelah”, “Mist” and “Meat”), and classical Phish composed material (“Guelah” and “It’s Ice.”). That being said, the “Gin”, while a really great opener choice, was pretty darn formulaic and in my opinion the weakest of tour so far (Trey’s playing felt halted and uncertain and the peak was fine but unspectacular). “Devotion” and “Yarmouth” is not a great pairing. And, unlike other songs this tour which have branched out, “David Bowie” appears to be in a kind of predictable rut. The jams are always great, but predictably so.

Set 2 opened with “Fuego”. They will play this song in any placement. Early set 1 (Mansfield), late set 1 (MPP2), early set 2 (SPAC, MANN) and late set 2 (CMAC, Randalls). I’m sure they’ll encore with it this weekend. Obviously, the lovers of the “jam” would prefer the early set 2 placement for “Fuego.” This version did not disappoint. While the Chalkdust’s in Charlotte and nTelos1 were a bit “searching” for my tastes, this jam was pretty focused on a groove orientation from the start. About 12 minutes in, it switched the groove to a more ‘major’ key feel, but Page’s clavinet and Mike and Fish’s repetitive and circular rhythms made this a droning, deep, groove attack (reminds me of the underrated Chicago “Golden Age”). Eventually the jam repeated the “2 beat” rhythm that has been so apparent in Phish’s groove jams since 2013 (in minute 13 it is mostly heard in Trey’s deep bass notes — 1-2…….1-2). At 15:45, the jam became more happy and “calypso” oriented, but Page’s clavinet kept the feel dark enough.

“Gotta Jibboo” feels like a song that needs to be taken for a ride. Given what came after, it was fine it was its normal bliss-groove type I self — even if this version was cut off a bit early. I have to admit when I was at CMAC and “Meatstick” came up, I was not thrilled. This really interesting thick groove song that almost never goes anywhere. Well, it finally did something. Instead of the normal happy solo over the V-IV chord changes (same as “Fire on the Mountain” btw), Trey got on his wah and stayed on the V chord (I think). The jam quickly escalated into a deep funk groove, colored by snarling blues-rock licks from Trey. In the 8th minute, the jam started to rise up with tremendous energy and it felt like it was about to build to a rock peak, but once again it kind of seems like Phish is avoiding these “easy” peaks. The jam segued into “Piper” which was by far the best version of the tour if not the last couple years. After it’s normal high-octane rhythm jam (which was well above average), it finally slowed down a bit and explored more spacey bliss territory (around minute 9:00). At 10:45 or so, Trey found some more happy sounding ‘classic rock’ chords (he’s been all about this since at least the 7/20 “Wedge”), Page added some nice colorful melodies underneath and Trey started trilling beautifully. It felt like we were primed for an uber peak, but once again (and probably the low point of the set) the band backed off the groove and let it dissipate into “Billy Breathes.” After a rough start getting going, this was a well played song. It is one of the rare songs/ballads that has a written Trey guitar solo. All things (re) considered, he did a pretty good job finding the notes. This is a beautiful song. Another rarity, “Seven Below” was perhaps not a classic “type II” version — the basic rhythm was maintained by Fish and Mike — but this was a very atypical “Seven Below” jam. Instead of its groove-minor key type jam, this one was major key oriented and blissful. It kind of felt to me like the peak I was waiting for in the “Piper” jam. Nicely done, Phish. “Waste” might have been too much for the ballads, but another rare song for 2014, so its hard to complain (this one got off to an awkward start as well). “Backwards” actually had a really fun playful jam with lots of interplay between Trey and Page (and Trey on rhythm for a lot of it). People hate, but this song really had a happy “Dead” feel to me. “First Tube” has been raging the set 2 closer all tour and “Lizards” is a ‘effin fantastic encore choice. Trey still struggles with the super-fast arpeggios leading us out of Page’s solo (and he actually started them pretty early, not giving much time to Page on the keys — maybe curfew??).

All, in all the mixed up song choice and rare/interesting jams on Fuego, Meatstick, Piper, and Seven Below made this a really great Phish show overall. I’d have to say it wins the nTelos competition for best show of the two. Three more to go. Get ready for a Jerry tribute on Friday. You heard it here first. :-)
Score: 9
ivorytusk , attached to 2014-07-30 Permalink
I love all hometown shows (except Hampton 04!!!), and this year in P-Town was no exception. Took the kid to the rock and roll/greatest hits fest night one, then took my brother and sister in-laws to their first shows night two. All walked away impressed.

7/30 was the winner between them. The odd kick down songs in the first set didn't create much flow but were great to hear (we got that "Ice" jam!!!, my first "Meat", and--I'm really going to say this--a hot "Alaska"). The second set, for me, was pure Phish. Big wall of sound, with Fishman and Page trading back and forth in long, staccato, psychedelic jams. The Billy Breathes>Waste was the perfect down note after the 50 minute session to start the set. And then Lizards.

Tired but happy for my trip down to Oak Mt and Alpharetta.

Lizards Up!
Score: 4
Hood91 , attached to 2014-07-03 Permalink
I think this show is getting a bit of a bad rap. Yes: the strange Farmhouse opener, the subdued middle section of the first set, the questionable Monica encore, the ending of Tweezer in favor of Caspian, two down-tempo Fuego tunes in the 3rd quarter, etc. But there were some excellent moments. I personally felt - both while being there and listening long after the show - that the Wolfman's and the Maze were superbly played and really got the show going. Mound > Roggae > Possum was an awesome way to close the first set, with a particularly tasty Roggae. I think the Gin is underrated, especially since the last two SPAC Gins, as excellent as they were, stay firmly within the bounds of a standard type I Gin. I feel this Limb's reputation is exceeding its value somewhat, but nonetheless, both were really creative moments and highlights of the run. In retrospect and on paper the Winterqueen seems like a bummer (and I'm sure it genuinely was for a portion of the audience), but the major key bliss provided a nice break from two dark, more dissonant jams, and they played it longer and more intensely than I think anyone expected them to. It's not a remarkable show at all - justifiably overshadowed by nights 2 and 3 of SPAC and the rest of this tour - but it's far from a clunker either. There is more good material here than many are acknowledging.
Score: 0
jsauce , attached to 1997-12-06 Permalink
So...the second set is awesome. To say it's the best set of phish ever, I mean, come on. Oh sure, you can say that. Who am I? Your dad? Well, if I were, you'd be talking about 12/11/97 set 1, 11/22/97 set 2, 11/17/97 set 1, and on and on and on. Anyway...

This Antelope, how is it not the consensus Antelope of all time? It's the second song in the first set. After they run through the initial segments, Mike and Fish start thundering cow funk. And just when you're sure Trey's going to start soloing, all of a sudden he's like "fuck all that, ima kick straight kurds for a few minutes." Which makes it all the worthwhile when he actually drops in. The (I love each and every one of you, by the way) copy is an AUD, so you can clearly hear the crowd following every single twist and turn. In retrospect, it's the ability of the band members to tolerate the dissonance that invariably occurs in each jam and the ability to guide it back to the theme that separates Fall '97 phish from all other phish. This Antelope is a prime example. Trey's effects at 12:00 are one of my favorite 5 seconds of phish ever. The whole's just top level 16 minutes of phish music.
It's probably not kosher to write this in a review, and I'd get it if you're irritated with it, but, MAN I miss this psychotically in-control-of-everything version of this band.
Score: 0
feckless_animus , attached to 2014-07-26 Permalink
feckless_animus @solargarlic78 writes, about this night's Ghost, "It eventually led to a chord progression — much like the Northerly “Wedge” — that immediately had everyone asking “what is this????” We are still not sure, but it sounded like the best of ‘80s hair metal."

Sounds to me like "Electra Glide" from the first Vida Blue album, no?
Score: 0
solargarlic78 , attached to 2014-07-29 Permalink

Spoiled: Review 7/29/14

Last night was a perfectly great Phish show. A well balanced first set that featured the “Spit Open and Melt” of the tour, followed by a second set that was anchored by yet another long-form “Chalkdust”, a bustout of “If I Could”, and some very interesting improvisation on “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing”, “Weekapaug,” and even (gasp) “Prince Caspian.” Yet, why is it, that many, were kind of “ho hum” about this show? In 2009-2011 this would be a 5-star show. It was a good to great Phish show. The answer is that ever since this band has elevated its game in 2012-2014, we have become spoiled. Suddenly a nearly 20 minute second set jam simply isn’t enough. Where were the bustouts and (crazy) segues, and ever more jams??? Why won’t they jam out “Mike’s”??? Why do they have to play so many songs in the second set? It’s a Faustian bargain for Phish. The more awesome they are, the more awesome-er their fanbase expects them to be.

Shockingly, last night’s first set featured the first “Timber” opener…ever. After I thought about it, this makes sense: Timber is a droning Bb minor jam that requires tasteful and developed musical ideas to pull off well. It is not a jam for a player who is not warmed up and in a musical ‘zone’ so to speak. That might explain why the jam last night lacked its usual bite and fire. To be frank, “AC/DC Bag” really was also lackluster last night. Trey seemed uncertain in his early solo, and then it was cut off even before the drums kicked into full on ‘double time’ (you could tell the band was surprised Trey started playing the ascending lick to signal ‘the end’). Yet, another “555" was followed by “Divided Sky” which featured Trey actually playing around with the melody within his sol0 (a rare occurrence). “Ocelot” was the best version of the tour as it departed from it normal ‘bluesy’ feel and flirted with very pretty major key jamming (in early 3.0 was a blues jam over a B major chord which featured a blues scale with the minor 3rd note — that dissonant contrast of a major/minor third is what makes the blues. But, last night was more of a B mixolydian jam with a much more upbeat and major feel). The low point of the set was “Halfway to the Moon” and “Kill Devil Falls” but most first sets will have such low points. The real highlight was of course the “Split Open and Melt” which (like the MPP Stash in 2013) vacillated between major key and minor key and dissonant themes. A lot of people think these jams are “too weird.” I personally love when Phish gets weird (whether its this “Split” jam or the Northerly “Ghost”). From 8:50 onward toward the end of the jam, there was a lot of dissonant and hypnotic repetition — very interesting textures. A “Good Times Bad Times” closer was a nice addition (and it’s amazing how these covers feel like bustouts now!)

Set 2 was anchored by the “Chalkdust.” I hate to be a “debbie downer” but I’m still not entirely satisfied with these ‘stream of consciousness’ “Chalkdust” jams. Once again, we saw the band doing what @phishcrit calls the ‘mercurial approach’ — cycling through a number of themes very quickly — a major key ‘bliss’ section, a hard rocking pentatonic section, a groove-funk section — but, again, nothing really stuck and built to anything significant. It almost seems like Phish is avoiding the obvious (and perhaps easy) peaks. Check out 12:21 thru 13:11. This is a very simple ascending melody that feels like it will build and build into a glorious peak eruption ala the SPAC Fuego or Reading Disease. But, Phish pulls back and goes into a more ethereal blues lick. Maybe the peak builds are too cheap in their mind — too easy. Regardless, I rather like them, and this jam was great but didn’t lead to anything mind blowing in particular. “If I Could” is a beautiful song. They kind of flubbed the intro, but the solo/jam was as delicate and gorgeous as possible. All it needs is Alison Krauss on back-up vocals. The low point of the set was the straightforward pairing of “Birds of a Feather” and “The Line”, but, after those, we finally go a set 2 “ASIHTOS.” A song that is made for type II improvisation finally saw some last night. Going from droning loop jams to a delicate, quiet and blissful section that built some beautiful textures anchored by Mike’s fluttering bass lines and (oddly) Trey’s wah pedal. “Mike’s Song” did it’s thing and “Prince Caspian” actually went type II (even if only for a minute or so to create a hypnotic set of riffs between Page, Mike and Trey) before being ripchorded for “Waves.” Where art thou, “Waves” second jam? This one just quickly descended into beatless abstract mush — impossible to go anywhere. Thus, Fishman ended it with the closing of the groove with “Weekapaug.” Like previous versions, this one started funky, then it went into a “Shock the Monkey” jam (finally a riff/tease that we can all put a name on!). The tease was followed by your generally awesome soaring Trey solo. “Cavern” and “Golgi” played the role of closer fake outs and we got “Antelope” (which really was due). This song has been nothing special this tour, but it is always a rip roaring ride.

The encore of “Wingsuit” and “Squirming Coil” is a pretty spectacular combination. You get the glorious Lydian jam in Wingsuit and then the emotional closer of Page’s “Coil” solo (I personally don’t care that much if people clap during it — some people have murderous rage towards these people for some reason???).

Again, this was a good-average-great Phish show. It was not the mind blowing craziness of 7/13 or 7/27, but it was really good. If we’re not too spoiled with where the Phish is these days we should appreciate such shows for what they are (and what they have to be to create the very possibility of ‘crazy’ and ‘rare’ shows in the first place!).
Score: 6
legba223 , attached to 1994-06-19 Permalink
This show was far from "meh" and saying "meh for '94" doesn't really say anything. Everything on that spring/summer tour was Phish at the very top of their game. Also 1994 was the end of the relatively small shows. This was one of those. Especially when compared to the night before. Those small theater shows were so intimate the band could play truly acoustic as they did with MSO. No mics, no amps and it sounded great throughout the theater. Fish on the washboard, Mike on banjo an when they sing together it really projects and sounds rich. I really miss those small shows. At this one, I remember dancing right up to the stage during that rippin' Antelope with lots of space, it was very chill. Anyway about the music, like I said Antelope was top notch, definitely the highlight. Otherwise 1st set: Julius, Lizards, Curtain, Stash were all exemplary. 2nd set: The very rare Fast was amusing, If I Could was beautiful(I really love that song), a well played Reba> a cool jammed (then rare) Makisupa, and a riotous classic rock ending. All of the 1000ish people, including myself, left with big Felix the cat grins.
Score: 0
TimbersGottaRoll , attached to 2014-07-29 Permalink
Set 1
Timber Ho
First song of the night and already a bustout. Hasn't been played in 32 shows and never as a first set opener. Got dark early in jam with Trey snaking around the theme and Fishman cycling through his toms with precision. This is clearly one of Fishman's favorite song to play with so much of it centered around the floor tom drum rolls. It's a great and somewhat rare cover song that doesn't really sound like anything else in their massive catalogue. The whole band hits a great peak before taking it back down to the verse and the closing of the song. You can tell they want to go places right from the start.

Solid singing from Trey and great pacing overall. Page gets all over it from the jump on his first solo and passes it smoothly to Trey. They are really enjoying the rhythmic interplay, locked in similar to MPP2 Set 1 when they played a rocking but tight 46 Days in the 2 spot. Trey doesn't want to stop ascending, dedicated to sticking to a theme and playing the hell out of it. Playful ending with Fish fills ending on a dime.

AC / DC Bag
Crowd favorite and always fitting early in a first set. "Lets get this show on the road". Mike really letting his presence be known and his funk propels them into a jam around the 4 minute mark of the song. Fishman refuses to go into the double time segment keeping the groove rolling with Trey and Page going higher and higher until it finally segues into 555 at the 6 minute mark.

I like this spot a lot. Its an early to mid 1st set song that gets the funk out. The groove is sounding real thick as they stomp through first small jam segment. Mike's vocals are solid. Trey is playing with incredible focus from the start of the final jam. Great phrasing oscillating between minimal dark themes and spiraling expressions that bring the song to its conclusion at 6 minutes in.

Divided Sky
This song is the perfect choice to play at dawn. They start the song up at 8:15 with sundown scheduled to take place at 8:20. They sound connected. There is a confidence here that is palpable and they are playing this classic with great energy and precision. Page extra loud in the slow part leading up to the note. Place erupts on schedule. Def feels like there is a lot of energy at the venue right now. Everyone is taking the opportunity to recognize Sundays show. Once it picks up Trey misses a small run before the big sustained notes but it doesn't hurt the flow. You can really hear the difference a little more body would make to his tone when he is playing the long notes in Divided. Right now its still a bit too shrilly IMO. Trey doesn't take an opportunity the band provides him to go for a peak. Chooses to stay delicate and patient and they eventually get to some smaller peaks. He then rips a really long note across a bunch of measures bringing the theme back and missing one note in the riff before the song ends. It is definitely a really solidly played Divided that had some headroom in the jam. Almost entirely flubless and played with a lot of passion.

A bit of a breather as this song is just breezy by nature. Trey gets into shred mode towards the end of the jam and is showing the ability to play with a lot more speed than earlier in the tour. In the end it turns out to be an above-average version. Page talk to the crowd mid set with a thank you.

Halfway to the Moon
Page lets everyone know this is his song. Love how proud the band is of their new material. Page sounds great singing and leads the initial jam. Background vocals high in the mix along w the organ giving the chorus a lot of sonic width. Jam has an almost Stash-like quality with Fishman and Mike spinning gears around the melody. Really cyclical and dark jam with a small peak before the end of the tune.

Kill Devil Falls
Would rather see this played early in a first set but they are playing so well and you know this is a Trey fav. He is really singing with vigor. They are ripping this jam like it is Chalkdust and Trey continues to play extremely fast and precise ideas with direction. It is on the brink of a big moment and could go to the next level when Trey awkwardly goes back into ending vocals. Still a real high energy take but could have kept going with that jam.

Split Open and Melt
Great call as this jam can be a mind-blowing display of improvisation when they are locked in and I get a strong sense they feel really hooked up. Played perfectly up to steam dream. Vocals are solid but not outstanding. Jam gets out there in a hurry with Trey and Fishman running counterpoint to one another interweaving an abstract pattern. Fearless playing here and it takes the jam to a real type-2 moment. Fishman and Mike switch the rhythm up but the feel remains lyrical and the band remains dedicated to seeing how far out they can go before they even get to the 3 note flourishes that end the song. Aggressively attacked abstractions woven together through intensely idiosyncratic interplay.

Good Times Bad Times
Fiery from the start and Page really belts out the vocals, embellishing the last note to extend and blend right into Trey's guitar. Trey goes into guitar god mode without hesitation. About a minute into the solo Fishman cuts into the beat to meet Trey and they begin an upward ascent until the drum fills commence to end an exhilarating set with a classic cover. Choosing to forgo the seemingly prerequisite big rock ending to close a first set out they end the song and leave the stage.

Overall, I think it was an exhilarating set. Bustout opener plus a great mix of songs from all periods of their career that were all above-average versions. All signs point to a 2nd set that will be heavy on improvisation and with the way the are hooked up right now, the potential is there for a special jam.
Set 2
Chalkdust Torture
Starting a second set with Chalkdust is now a near assurance of the band's intention to go for a big jam. They did not disappoint and wound up taking this movement to just under the 19-minute mark. It ventured deep into Type-2 and the band quilted throughout most of the jam shifting into many themes without settling into any one pattern for too long. Trey played patiently. The tapestry built and expanded but no big thematic breakthroughs. It is great to see them venture from the structure and even though they now have another long Chalkdust under their belt they still remain on the verge of cracking the sky open during one of these, as soon as this weekend.

If I Could
Next, they segue into this Hoist classic that hasn't been played in 68 shows! Thats two big bustouts already this show. They play it exceptionally well and if Im not mistaken they had sound checked it earlier in the day and it showed.

The Line
Trey takes the opportunity to play a new one in this spot with the crowds energy so high coming off of a 20 minutes jam and a bustout. The song is improving but the jam still hasn't had that aha moment, until now. Trey finally reveals the songs potential during the jam section. He whips the main theme into a frenzy, wrapping intricate phrasing ideas around its axis. Creating a moment that was both sonically and emotionally present. It took a while to get going but that solo by Trey had moments I wanted to hear again right away.

Birds of a Feather
Solid composed section with energetic from Fishman. Trey starts the jam off with the main theme instead of building to it. Branches off into jam and Page continues to all all the right flourishes. Fishman playing propulsively throughout with Trey building and building until one of the biggest releases of the night. Page shines throughout this song and the show.

A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing
First time played in a second set since 2009. Band really pushing the limits, oscillating between types to unfold a sea of space. Page takes the lead and begins the push towards the unknown with the rest of the band following suit. Mike's notes get louder and louder until they are generating a great rolling mountain of sound that shifts and struts like a glacier in fast forward. Trey scratches rhythmically while Page bangs out dissonance. Fishman starts to shuffle the beat until the whole band winds into what sounded like it was going to be Possum then turn into Mike's Song.

Mike's Song
Solidly played Mike's with a dark and heavy jam that was a bit longer than the standard version. Mike's time to shine, his second opportunity for lead vocals tonight. Solid playing and singing before the jam which swerves into a "Birds of a Feather" tease from Trey before segueing into Prince Caspian.

Prince Caspian
A Caspian played mid second set has the opportunity to feel like the perfect call or too chill for the spot. This one gets off too a tepid start with the band taking the volume down and looking to build slowly. Fishman is eager to take it up a notch and stays at the crest of the wave until stage volume climbs and he settles into a beat on the ride that Trey smartly segues into Waves. Fishman stops playing the ride for a couple seconds before realizing what Trey is playing and heads back to the ride and the song takes off.

Always flashing the potential for extensive Type-2 possibilities, this carries the water theme forward after ASIHTOS and Caspian. The ride cymbal is the catalyst into heavily psychedelia with the melody undulating above its lilt. The jam floats down until it is buoyed up by Fishman segueing into Weekapaug Groove.

Weekapaug Groove
Mike and Fishman own the intro and the funk is extra thick. Its a hard edged groove and Trey and Fishman start singing Shock the Monkey by Peter Gabriel for a couple seconds before going into jam. The jam is straight ahead and unwieldy and builds some of the most tension of the night before a big peak release moment into the songs ending.

With Cavern you know what you are getting, a chance for the band to sing silly lyrics and rock out with a smile. Mike tries to color it a little more brightly with some upper register funk and other than that it is a stand version.

Cavern and Golgi back to back is odd due to both of them being songs that serve the same purpose. A short rock song with funny lyrics used to close sets. I much prefer Golgi though with its composed middle section that, to me ,embodies the classic Phish sound from Junta-era. Only the 2nd time played this tour and the ending build was perfectly played.

Run Like an Antelope
With the curfew being a half-hour later than usual the band had enough time to turn to the real 2nd set closer of the night, ensuring another big tension and release moment. The jam builds in signiature Antelope fashion until Fishman goes into double time and Trey goes absolutely machine gun crazy until the jet engine disappears into the tropical grove.


First time played as an encore. Sung very well by Trey as he had to be excited about putting this song in the encore slot for the first time, the last climax of the night. The challenge in this song so far has been to keep the momentum of the jam going when it is so static rhythmically. This is a strong version but doesn't go far passed where it has been so far. Trey gets a chance to shine and solos for about 5 minutes right up to 11:30 so it looks like that is it.

The Squirming Coil
Curfew be damned! They choose to finish the night off with a classic. Fitting ending for an evening in which Page really shined and is now the official spokesman for the band onstage. His piano outro was even more extended than usual leading to an audience clap along segment that Page seemed to dig. Even when that was through he still took his time to bring this great night of music to a rousing conclusion on the wings of his ivories.


All together it was a really solid show top to bottom. One of the most consistently hot and well played of the tour. They had extra time to play and made the most of it, even going beyond the curfew by 10 minutes.

It is great to see that are continuing to build momentum. They played two bustouts and a 18+ minute jam with other Type-2 jams popping up in every direction. The ASIHTOS being one of the biggest highlights of the night especially the Mike-lead steamroller funk section.

The biggest change I have noticed about the last two shows compared with the majority of the tour to this point was the intensity shown in the first sets. Both at MPP2 and tonight the band came out of the gates wanting to play with a level of immediacy that had too often been conserved until the second set.

Here's hoping tomorrow night continues the momentum they have built. With only a handful of shows left before Dick's, it feels as if the band has turned the corner and now has a full head of steam heading into the home-stretch of summer tour.
Score: 4
Danjo , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Danjo This is why we love Phish. It's Phish being Phish. This is what made all of us love them in the first place - these kind of shows. Enough has been said about this one already. An instant classic.

No other national band even has this much fun at a show!
Score: 1
Fonzie , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
I have had serious some serious fun at Phish shows over the last 22 years. All I have to say about this one is that there were multiple times throughout both sets that I thought my head was going to explode. We were fortunate to be in the pit for this one. This effort deserves all of the praise that it is receiving. It doesn't matter when in their careers or 1.0, 2.0. or any of that. It was a high energy spontaneous dance party that I will never forget and was proud to be there. Cheers to Phish 4.0, it is here...Thanks again Guys, keep up the good work.
Score: 2
phishatmsg , attached to 2014-07-29 Permalink
phishatmsg Nice setlist mixup, their energy seemed a tad bit lacking though - on the other hand Trey seemed to have the energy in his fingers but consciously checks himself - this isn't 1997. Loaded 2nd set, wouldn't have been too shocked with a 4th Undermind song(Scents, Grind, Access me) - Chalkdust was alive and well, kept the 1st half of the 2nd set alive until we get to a modest Mikes, Waves> Paug, Golgi, Lope...they did good.
Staple Fuego tunes included minus Fuego itself but I'm willing to bet my retirement fund it'll be displayed this evening and quite gloriously.

I think we're going to see the rest of this tour won't be so much about Fuego the album. I think they get it, that we get it. And as stated at MSG by Page, if you really want them to stop playing certain songs just read the book!
Score: 5
dscott , attached to 1996-07-05 Permalink
Disclaimer: I wasn't at this show. If that bothers you, then feel free to drive to Firenze and wash the f***ing Uffize instead of reading further. ;)

In terms of the overall Phish canon, this show is well below average and not essential listening. Still, it's plenty enjoyable if your ears happen to cross its path.
Unfortunately we will probably never hear the first several minutes of the show, as the Funky Bitch "soundcheck" reportedly became the opening song of the set, transitioning into Chalk Dust Torture. The tape begins midway through the latter, and graces us with 4+ minutes of typically incendiary tension and release for a mid-'90s CDT. AC/DC Bag is standard, but is played with a fusto (look it up) full of gusto. Possibly the most compact version of YEM since the 1980s comes next, squeezing every usual part besides the bass jam into a little over 11 minutes. Scent Of a Mule comes galloping out of the vocal microjam, and it's a spirited but standard delivery. Bowie is solid but unremarkable in length and execution, with some dissonant and effects-laden tension and release towards the end. Some funny banter about the encore being acapella so that the band could say that they performed a song thusly, and they finish this brief opening act set with a typical Sweet Adeline.
Score: 0
Toast16 , attached to 1985-04-06 Permalink
This show was amazing!!
Early Phish at their greatest!!!! The quality of this show is amazing too!! And a TWO SONG SECOND SET!!! Holy Shit.
Let me start with the first set.

It starts out with an I AM HYDROGEN. What!!! To open a show!! I doubt you'll see stuff like that nowadays. And it was the debut of it too! WOW!!

Next is DON'T WANT YOU NO MORE. What an instrumental!! Page's playing is on point and I love the outro jam that the boys play after this one.

After that is CITIES. I love the Talking Heads, and I love Phish so this song is perfect. Trey's guitar is absolutely sublime on this one. Loving this shit so far.

Next is WILD CHILD. Wow! Phish covering Lou Reed!! Page is the real Wild Child on this song, as his playing is wonderful.
This is turning out to be the best first set I have ever listened to.

The song after that is SLAVE TO THE TRAFFIC LIGHT. Damn! I am turning into a slave to this band because this jam was so good, it rocked my socks off!!

Next is a JAM. Wow!! How often are Jams played? Well I just listened to a wonderful progressive one and it was a killer. The whole band is on point.

Next up is Alumni Blues. I was feeling sad because of the name but this song is amazing.

Then I fell asleep.

But you should get this. Best show of all time
Score: 0
NickSalv , attached to 1997-11-26 Permalink
NickSalv Amazing stuff, obviously. 11/26 is a standard above-avg Fall '97 show. Though, I think I would give this one 4/5 stars, especially when looking at the EASY 5-STAR shows surrounding it (Hamptons, NC, Worcester). I don't feel a need to give a full review here, as quite a few others have already touched on mostly everything from this show, so just some quick notes for those skimming through...

The Tweeze opener is big but doesn't sit as high as the other great ones from that tour (11/17, 12/6). Rather, I think it's on par with the Island Tour 4/4 opener - tons of sick funk morphing then growing into big arena rock and settling into stop/start or space. Perfect opener, but nothing out of the ordinary for the tour. Some more great funk in Gumbo, of course, but a smaller serving than the big bowls from the summer. Always love McGrupp; Melt is nice, pretty average though, similar to the Hampton take; Taste is intense, as was the case for the entire year with the tune. 2nd set means MORE FUNK in 2001>Cities, mix of very tight then loose playing. A bit more fun for the crowd with YaMar>Punch. Caspian serves as the big arena rocker to counter the opening rock from Tweeze, bringing the show closer to its end. Goofiness ensues with the RockyHeart mashup. Reprise fire. Cavern is unusual as well, as it features an alternate lyrics/hard rock section and an ATC tease. Definitely a fun(ky) & rocking show, but I'd still give it 4/5 (which isn't really a huge step down, considering I wouldn't give any show from the tour less than 4 stars / maaaybe the opener 11/13 which still has a Top 5 Stash all time, or 12/5 but even that one had a unique 2nd set)...

What I left out above and what I mostly wanted to point out with this post, however, was the lack of mention of Character Zero in the Noteworthy Jams section. TBH, that is the biggest "highlight" of the night to take away; that is, this is the unique marker for this show. Lots of standard/avg Fall '97 material throughout the show, no question, but nothing they haven't done before in that tour or months leading up to it. This is the standout tune that people should recognize from this show, as it's the most unique version to date. I'm barring those versions that feature guests (Gullotti, Perazzo, Grippo, etc) because I wouldn't say those break far from the tune proper. Now, this one doesn't go completely Type 2, but it definitely stretches a bit and tries to break free from the pre-97 shackles.

To sum it up: Char0 starts with a couple minutes of space almost like they'd planned on rocketing into 2001 before Trey starts up; I'd say the rocking section goes faaar harder than some other Zero's from the tour; then there's a segment at about 13min where they bring down the heat on a lower-key groove while Trey uses his pitch shifter(?); they soon lock into a unique hard-rock riff (~15min) and ride it for a few min (oddly similar to Foxey Lady, no? am i the only one? lots of Jimi in Trey's soul during those shows); MORE FYF ROCK & WAH ACTION, never gets old for me; Page on the organ; Trey starts adding eerie looping effects as Mike puts this one to sleep with some odd basslines. Finally, Fishman---->>>> into 2001 with a very solid segue. I know it's not a top 15, or maybe even top 20?, jam from the tour. I just wanted to make notice of this standout version just to give a bit more credit to the band's ability in that period to turn ANY song upside down/inside out during that period (as if more credit is actually needed, CHYA RIGHT). Bet you never thought anyone would get this excited about Zero.....

Welp, there's my two cents. Clear your schedule for the next couple weeks, download the whole tour ASAP, let it envelope your entire life/being/soul, dwell on it, dwell in it, dwell around it, REFLECT, rinse, repeat, reverse, rewind, recalibrate, rejuvenate, TRANSCEND . . . . . .
Score: 0
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