, attached to 2013-07-05

Review by mattyb5000

mattyb5000 Couch tour. I'm still recovering from all the Sour Diesel I smoked at tour opener in Bangor. Overall, a great show. A solid double.

Set I:

Mostly singles this set, no surprise there. Lots of old school stuff. KDF opener was bland, followed by a shaky Moma Dance. Sample and Roses were nice but otherwise not worth revisiting. Birds of a Feather featured some nice in-the-box funk, followed up by a debut of a new original: Yarmouth Road. Pretty bland reggae tune so let's see how often it gets played this summer and what they do with it. Bathtub Gin featured a standard Type I jam. If you've heard them play this live more than twice in 3.0, you already know the jam they played. Cities had some real potential, and it seemed like they were going to jam it into interesting territory, but then Trey pulled the plug early to segue into Bowie, always a great tune but as with Bathtub Gin, we've all heard this Bowie jam before (which is still loads of fun, don't get me wrong.)

Set II:

Okay, now we're cooking. Debut of a new cover, Energy was a nice sounding 4 chord rocker with some real emotion to it. Things really got going with Light, which made it's 2013 debut. The jam went into real ambient territory, getting very quiet at times. They guys traded some ideas and had several significant "movements" within the jam into different keys or vamping on new ideas. Some worked, some didn't, but it was fun nonetheless. Mango song was a fun landing pad, and then starting with 46 days the jamming really took off. Lots of rock licks, with trey blazing all over his fretboard.

I'll note that on 46 days, it seemed like Trey wanted to close the jam early, but the rest of the band relented and then it was back into jam space again. Quiet jamming, then more clav from Page. I love his use of the clav A LOT these first two shows.

Steam was excellent, a song I hope they play more of this tour. Dirty blues mashed up with 1997-style pornofunk equals a wicked good song. The jam on this one became uplifting and inspirational, elation through and through.

Drowned featured some sweet jamming and was my personal highlight of the evening. Everyone stepped back a bit into ambient territory, with more "whale calls" and experimental grooves. It was a bit of an abrupt ending to move into Slave, but that was a nice ending. Blissful, uplifting jamming on this one leaving me wanting more.

Encore: Character Zero. Trey shredfest is always fun, and we got it on this one.

I give this 4 stars - it wasn't an upper echelon type of Phish show, and you can skip the first set to get straight to the jamming of set II. We're still waiting for the start-to-finish throwdown that the boys were giving us every night of the second half of leg II last summer, but something tells me nights 2 and 3 of SPAC have something special awaiting!

Phish on!


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