, attached to 2013-10-20

Review by n00b100

n00b100 When Phish plays shows like these, it's tempting - maybe even necessary - to go back and pore through the first set, to look for clues as to what the second set would have in store for us, any sort of inkling at all. And this first set certainly offers up those clues - everything is played with a crisp efficiency, Back on the Train has a little extra snap, Divided Sky features two different key changes and sets a marker as different from the 3.0 pack, and (most importantly) Roses actually steps out for the briefest of moments, offering a sneak peek to what's in store for the rest of the night. A first set like that either leads down two avenues - one where it's the better of the two sets, or one where people end up talking about this show in hushed tones.

That being said, you could also argue that studying the first set is a fruitless exercise, because no matter how good that set is, how can you possibly - *possibly* imagine what the band would have in store for us in this second set? How could you imagine that, just listening to the first set, we would get:

- a surprising fan-related bustout;
- a Tweezer that slowly and hypnotically winds its way into a midnight-dark groove, Trey taking the lead (this is a Trey show, through and through) all throughout, then goes Godzilla-destroying-Tokyo heavy like Tahoe's did, *returns* to deep waters (with two different Mike-bomb moments), enters a contemplative space not too far removed from the famous Island Tour Roses, and ends in a squalling, feedback-drenched guitar solo;
- the best Golden Age yet (only 7/3/12 is close), immediately rolling into a thick spacey jam out of the turn, exploding into powerful funkiness, and then puddling into dark ambience and ending in a flurry of effects and massive Fish percussion, all with no muss or fuss;
- a beautiful, *joyous* sequence where Piper heads off to the races like it always does, then suddenly finds an upbeat classic-rock riff and segues *neatly* into Takin' Care of Business (it's like something out of 1994, it's so slick and unexpected), which the band laughs through and then ends with a bubbling ambient fog, from which of course 2001 makes its presence felt, and this is a *wicked* 2001 to boot, easily a cut above the usual 3.0 2001;
- and, finally, a powerful Sand and a delicate Slave that peaks in glorious fashion, a fantastic way to end a massive, massive set.

We've got nine shows left in this Fall tour, but not only has the bar been set, that bar is practically scraping the stratosphere right now. This is a "dig into your couch cushions for the download money" show.


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