, attached to 2013-10-31

Review by PisoMojado

PisoMojado I can't fault Phish for trying something different or playing new material, but let's just say there's a time and place for everything. The irony of Halloween 2013 is that the musical costume was ill-fitting, despite the fact they made it themselves.

The first set was bland - they didn't take any chances and were not loose. In retrospect, I can see why: playing an entire set of unreleased material is daunting even for these 30-year veterans.

The second set itself had its moments - good and bad. I will have to re-evaluate the songs but some sounded like they had potential, some will probably never be played live again. I felt the limits of their lyricism (and vocals, for that matter) on several of the songs. For example, who else criged at the Jack and Jill one? Some of the songs felt like Phish songs (or like they would become Phish songs) but in other ones I felt like they were trying to channel by-the-books alt rock (e.g., the wordless choruses a la every single g-damn alt rock band these days). I will admit that the Wombat schtick was weird/great Phish but the rest felt wooden.

And then this all culminated in Ernest Joseph Anastasio III's awkward/overtly earnest speech at the end of the set - about how lucky they were to have such an open-minded audience etc. etc. Did it almost feel like an apology to you too? For as much as Trey can slay audiences with his guitar, is it me or does he have an inferiority complex/fragility about his songwriting/lyrics/vocals?

They created some momentum in set 3. The Ghost and Carini were well jammed and the Hood wrapped things up nicely, but I don't believe they quite reached the heights of some of the earlier jams this tour (Hampton Carini still gives me goosebumps).

With as high as expectations are for Halloween shows (and this one in particular given how good the Fall Tour has been), I felt like this show was a letdown.

Now that they have taken off their wingsuits and changed into some more comfortable clothes, I expect the last two AC shows to pick up where Reading left off.


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