, attached to 2013-10-31

Review by 3point0raised

3point0raised Sorry that I wrote so much, but a lot happened in this show!

Couch touring from the other coast here. First things first, let’s take a look at Mike’s look. Good to see his Anthony-Bourdain steeze in full swing, but by the time his bell’s six seconds of fame have passed, he appeared to be wearing a bullet-proof vest. Anyways, on to the first set:

Things started up with heavy things, not my favorite but also not a bad thing. Page shows early promise here, which he will continue to throughout the first set. Next up is Moma, I was really down for Page throwing down some funky keys this early on, and Moma continued to build some energy. Unfortunately Trey couldn't seem to match Page this early on, and misses some key opportunities on this and KDF. It should be said though that, both Moma and KDF did have glimmers of that massive-energy consistent jamming that we all love. Speaking of this massive-energy jamming, can we appreciate how much of this has come through BOTT has been in the last few years? This version is no exception, but like many other BOTT’s, isn’t one for the history books. And then fuck yes Camel Walk. Always way too excited to hear this. Love the simple clean funk and the “strut your stuff” interplay. Trey finds more of his grove in “Free” using delay effects and spacing his notes out more, it works well with the rest of the band. I love Stash, and this was a good stash, but I don’t have much more to say about it. And just as I think the first set is over I hear the first notes of Gin. By now they’ve fit it into their type I jam formula perfectly, and the jam itself is pretty good. However, it briefly reflects some of Trey’s playing that I’ve found a little less enjoyable recently, which is sustaining a note for a really long time, after the rest of the band has played through their riff a few times. Overall, first set was good, Trey got his warmup, Page brought the heat, and Mike’s coat is off.

So lets see if Fishman can step it up from the last set. He usually just needs decent synchronicity from the band, and we all know they’ve been practicing this album for a long time. Indeed, Fishman kills it in Wingsuit, clearly overpracticed by the band. They’ve been putting hours of playing away. This song starts a long chain of new songs that all show potential in similar directions to previous songs, as well as entirely new directions. You guys really just have to listen to these songs to really understand the significance of them. After a nice power drill ending by mike, Fuego is up next. It also shows potential for exploration and excellence, and is nicely sectioned in a way reminiscent of YEM or Mike’s song, among many other classics. Fishman and Trey’s quotes make sense now. The new album appears to be more driven by what their fans have liked over the years and less of the jamless-single-backwards-down-the-number-line direction that Joy went in. Trey doesn’t seem able to think fast enough for his hands at certain points, limiting some of the jams. He has lots of success however, when he utilizes his awesome arsenal of effect pedals to do what he did in Free. The Line is nice. If they played the peak segment out of a tweezer people would lose their shit. Different that the sweet taste of a peaked jam though. Monica is next. Love mike’s vocal role in this song and his standup base of course. Nice to see the donut dress in it’s flowing entirety. In wombat, huge energy starts up with fishman rap? Some kind of fast speaking made boss by fish. At this point it seems like some songs have been foreshadowed by first set songs. Camel walk is similar to wombat, poor heart resembles some of the more folky new songs among more similarities I don’t remember. Love the initial jam sound that comes out of wombat. This song here has much potential in years to come believe me. 92-year old choreographed wombats aren't bad either.

Snow is a great melody sang by Mike; straying again from his electric bass. He shows the most potential for new instrument incorporations out of anyone else in the band so far on this new album. Hard to see nice jam segments coming out of snow one but I’ve been surprised a time or two by this band before.Don’t know if I feel positively about Devotion to a dream. Again I could be wrong in the long run. Mike continues his chain of impressive new roles in a very driving bassline in 555, a nicely placed loop by trey segues the song nicely into a space-organ segment. Trey proceeds to add in his two cents, making for what I consider the highlight of the night so far in a transition into winter queen. Sounded like improve to me. Very cool. Next is pearls of laughter, and my stream got caught up for a minute or so, but Page started very strong on the jam section of this song. Trey seemed more comfortable talking with his people before the start of you never know. Page seems to motion to start the song, and they end the set with a surprisingly personal account of some robbery through song. SO EXCITED about this new album. I see why Fishman is too. Lots of new exploratory directions in many new songs, all well executed. Mike is MVP on the new album! Fishman kicks ass too. The album is so well played too. This not only suggests copious practice but a well-formed ability to explore themselves as a band. I’m usually not one for phish album work but I can see myself keeping a CD of this in my car for years to come.

What can we expect in the next set? Third sets are always tricky. Ghost completely shattered any concern for lack of type II in the next set, solid type II. Very entertaining. Carini is up next? I’ve been loving the song selection since Moma. Jamming starts of well, even better than the ghost before it. Trey begins to fall into where has groove has been for the night, using loops and effects to supplement an on-point band. But suddenly, out of nowhere, he releases intensity greater than the peak of the most recent DwD on 10/29. He continues to graceful lull us to sleep with dream, well-coordinated loops. Skillfully, the rest of the band all contributes on the second massively successful spacey sequence of the night. The song selection gets even better with bird of a feather up next. It continues the streak of good jams, although not exploratory like the last two. Next is Hood. What I know to be the more universally loved song by the band starts of fantastically with Page’s talkbox sorcery, and Mike’s continued effective and varied use of his sounds. Hood continues to be patiently and effectively built up with the help of Trey. Similar patience to what we’ve seen out of recent traffic lights. All in all, beautiful hood. Bug is next. Well played. Minute jamz. Antelope slowly and skillfully creeps in. Well played antelope but hard to match what went down at the beginning of this set.

Encore starts with a heartfelt thanks from Page, and Mike continues the momentum he gained with a lovely Quinn. Three sets don’t leave much encore time, and the show ends there.

Summary for those with a short-attention span:
Set 1: Page kills, trey warms up effectively. Average/slightly above average for 3 stars.
Set 2: New album is the most musically mature album by far. Lots of new direction with potential for innovative and powerful jams. Can’t get 12 new songs placed in your lap every day, 5 stars.
Set 3: Ghost is great, Carini is glorious. Hood is great as well. Among the best 3.0 sets. 5 stars. All together, that averages out to 4 stars, but because of Mike’s bell contributions I’m giving it 5.
My ordering of the highlights:
1. Carini
2. 555>
3. Ghost
4. Wombat
5. Hood
6. Free
That’s right SIX highlights. Impossible to cut any of those out.


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