, attached to 2003-07-10

Review by dscott

dscott This is not one of Phish's stronger efforts. Antelope is inventive enough to merit a few extra listens. Otherwise, the modest highlights aren't especially noteworthy, and much of the time the band sounds clunky + disjointed.

Spices is an interesting opener, and not necessarily in a good way. In hindsight, it sounds compositionally like a "beta version" of Time Turns Elastic...before the song's positive qualities got added. A couple minutes of generic mud-crunching improv leads into a blissful, but "by the book", version of Waves. Reba is a little bit underpowered, but enjoyable enough. Lawn Boy is standard. Moma Dance gets into an atmospheric funk space for a bit before fading into Antelope, which has a little extra spring in its step and a couple of interesting thematic twists.

Set 2 starts solidly with a worthy, but not spectacular, version of 46 Days. Unfortunately, the added length to Divided Sky is more a matter of the band trying to find its footing, as opposed to inspired improv. Uncharacteristically sloppy version. Friday is extremely well-played, richly mining the intended emotions. Free starts off with a simmer, instead of the customary thunderous intro, but this works well in its context. Otherwise, it's an ordinary version. Seven Below is tight and crisp. Very brief jam at the end before it comes to an album-style stop. Velvet Sea is somewhat off-kilter, but solidly delivers the cathartic finish. 2001 is plenty good for a short version. Down With Disease is tight and energetic, a straight-ahead rocker to finish the set.

A two-song encore. Rift is well-played and does what it usually does. Character Zero is uncharacteristically tepid and murky, lacking its usual punch.


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