, attached to 2012-06-24

Review by gravitysrainbow

gravitysrainbow In brief, a decent first set and an incredible second set. Trey lead the show all night, particularly in the second set. Old school rock n roll Trey. Page settled into a supporting role and had some standout vocals (really, Page's voice improves with age). Mike had more of a Phil Lesh night than a Mike bomb-- Seinfeld funk night. Fish had a standout night on the drum, constantly experimenting adding the necessary changes and textures to launch into type 2 jam.

Set one highlights:

Bathtub had a beautiful jam. Having not seen a show since 2011, I was really really pleased with the evolution of the jam. Very fluid. Trey is opening up some really interesting runs. The band supported his efforts amazingly on this Gin. A must listen.

Limb by Limb has always been a favorite of mine. The jam section on this one is exceptional. Trey really syncs up with Fish--- floating on top of the undulating rhythm--- crafting some beautiful type 2 licks. A really special Limb by Limb.

Possum woke up the lawn. Seriously, I think they were falling asleep during Free. Definitely not a Possum for the ages --- like last year---but very high-powered near the end. Classic Trey rock n roll riffs --- setting the stage for the second set.

Wedge almost pushed a decent set into great set territory-- but the delivery was average and the jam didn't really take root.

Corrina was a sweet beautiful moment. Sun just setting. Rain threatening but refusing to ruin the moment. Definitely a treat.

Meatstick--- what can I say? It was a spectacle. You had to be there. Haven't seen that many people on stage since Ken Kesey in 97. It is really good to see the boys being so spontaneous. The joy is definitely present. On a sidebar --- Mike and Trey were chatting it up extensively throughout the show ---plotting, or so it seemed to me. It really add to the fun and the suspense of the night.

Now for the second set.

Golden Age was a bit of disappointing opener choice but the jam went straight into type 2 and the boys never looked back. It goes to show --- never let your judgements and expectations ruin a solid night of Phish.
A must listen as is really the remainder of the second set.

The song selection of Ghost --- next -- completely blew me away. My buddy has been waiting to hear it again since the late 90s. Let's say he had a great night. The jam took its time growing sea-legs. At times Trey twisted into dark to bluesy to cheery intimations (leaving us all in suspense--- What kind of Ghost is visiting us tonight?)--- but finally settled by blended bluesy and cheery into pure rock for the rest of Ghost and the second set. Very experimental segue section. Not aimless or overly ambient. Trey was really intended to connect songs in a meaningful way and delivered time and time again in the second set.

Sweet Virginia --- a little bit of amp down --- but I was hoping for a Stones cover.

Rift --- beautifully executed. Trey deliver on 90% of the runs. It dawned on me while listening to this song and Silent that such songs were written as pure show off moments. The Rift solo sections are akin to dancing a jig in a field of landmines. How could one not flub at least a small portion of it? Imagine writing something like that knowing you will have to play it time and time again for the rest of your career... near perfectly. Needless to say, it takes balls.

Tweezer was an effective jam vehicle --- creating a few real old school chaotic moments --- followed by heavy rock/funk chord rotations. Under Pressure eventually emerged --- Trey calling Fish to rap or sing or something... But Fish did not know the lyrics and Trey bounced the jam effortlessly back into Meatstick with a moment's later bounce back into Tweezer. As I said, the key word is effortless.

Walk Away's solo was long and impressive. Relentless is more like it. Joe Walsh would have been proud. A must listen. Extreme highlight of the evening.

Horse --- Silent. What can I say? A bit of an amp down. Most of the post-show analysts agree on this point.

Piper redeemed. An actual Piper jam of sorts. After some attempts to start a jam within the original chord structure and tempo of Piper --- Trey bounces into another R n B jam fest. Excellent finger work. Check it out.

Waste wasn't a waste. Some nice melty guitar work in the outro.

Antelope ---- although not the song I expected to end such an explosive second set --- the jam was lucid and focused. The highs reached just before the vocal section were mind-melting. Dissonant screeching blazing Trey Anastasio. Definitely a must listen moment.

On my walk out to the gate--- I got my second Stones cover. And the reprise sounded like sweating, energetic religious rite.

You could have fooled me --- that this was a Sunday night show. The energy and fun is really back. If you have the chance --- take a vacation from your life and follow these guys for the rest of the summer. Who knows what we are in store for.



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