, attached to 2010-08-14

Review by brendan

brendan Phish is playing very well right now. They are clearly enjoying the tour and they are playing a very nice balance of old and new. The ways in which they are playing some songs--a part of "Reba" or the tempo of "Down with Disease"--are better than ever. Reading the reviews of this show, it seems that some of us are easily distracted at the shows: focusing, for example, on how others are reacting or not reacting to songs in order to consider how good or bad the show is. My advice would be to focus on the music at all times--not the scene in the parking lot, not what the guy next to year is wearing, and not on how someone reacted to "Fuck Your Face."

To get specific here, I thought that the highlights of this show were the "Reba," "Taste," "Antelope," and the entire second set. "Taste" was good, but it could have used a little more gun powder. The song was originally called "The Fog that Surrounds." When it was first being played, it seemed to have more vocal harmonies and more of an individual vocal from Fish. I miss that a bit. At the start of the second set "Down with Disease," I was recalling one of the greatest versions that I heard back in my touring days: the one they played in West Virginia in late June of 1994 (during set when they played all of Hoist). I was thinking that they would never be able to play it at that level. However, there were really good moments--new twists--that made it really good: though they just don't do the version w/ the ten minute insane ending. The "Antelope" was good, but a bit too short. However, I think they played 14 songs during the first set. It seemed like an entire show in some ways.

I have been seeing Phish for 18 years and did my fair share of touring in 93, 94, and 95. And I used to host a radio show back then called the "Phish Hour" for a small radio station in Carbondale. The best show that I ever saw them play was on October 18th, 1994, at Vanderbilt, in a show that saw Trey dueling on a banjo w/ Bella Fleck. Other shows that stand out to me were the shows in 1994 at George Mason U., the whole NYE run of '94, the NYE run of 95, Vancouver in November of '96, and the Europe tour from 97, especially the Lyon show. I have seen them in very small venues that fit 400 people and enormous venues like MSG and NO Jazz Fest. However much I miss that part of my life--I was in college in the early '90s--the way they have played this year and last year makes me feel good, quite good, about Hood.


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