, attached to 2012-12-31

Review by n00b100

n00b100 I'm confused - @themindpilot definitely heard last night's show, with a second set oozing with Summer 2012-style jamming, and yet one big huge party show is leaving him "nervous"?

And, of course, this IS a big huge party show, far more tilted towards the goofy and joyous (if not particularly deep) fun of a NYE '91 or NYE '97 (which some folks seem to conveniently forget when bringing up The Ghosts of Christmas Run Past); comparing this to the Kansas Cities and Riverbends of the world seems entirely pointless, especially given the insanity of tonight's third set. Set 1's just a set, probably interchangeable with 12/29 or 12/30's first set, although I enjoyed the Mike's/Walk Away combo (Mike's was about as good as it's ever going to be in this incarnation of Phish), and you have to like that they got a lot of the "song" songs out of the way early on. Set 2 would probably be *infuriating* if they played it at any other show this year - not only was the Ghost/Piper/Light sequence, a guaranteed 45-50 minutes of kickass jamming normally, just barely 30 minutes here, but the jamming within was good enough (a relaxed groove in Ghost, a killer peak in Piper...well, Light was standard, but still) that you'd WANT that 45-50 minutes, and to not get it was a bit of a buzzkill. But, again, it's NYE, and it's a damn party, so you'll have to excuse them if they wanted to get things wrapped up a wee bit early for the 3rd set.

The third set, as you all know by now, is yet another example of how good Phish have gotten with gimmicks, and given the age bracket all four members have entered, focusing on golf (the ultimate middle age signifier, next to a fast car and a girlfriend 20 years younger) shows that Phish are still funny bastards. The Wedge had a neat little jam at the end, Fly Like an Eagle was an inspired debut that needs to come back in the future (don't tell me you don't hear jam potential there), and the encore was definitely sloppy but still funny as shit (and who honestly gives a crap if the ENCORE is sloppy?).

Think of it like this - there are 3 actual NYE shows that have passed into legend for their music, those being 93, 95, and 99 (maybe throw in 2011 or 1998 if we're being generous? 91 for sheer nostalgia?). Every other year has basically been a big old party, just like this one, and nobody feels the need to hold any of those years up to the standards set by the big three. There's no need to hold this show up to those (probably impossible to reach) standards, either. I bet everybody in that arena tonight had the time of their lives. I just listened to the show, and I might not be going back to this one too many times in the future, but it was still a damn lot of fun, and it sure as shit beat getting drunk at a party and passing out before the Times Square ball dropped.


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