, attached to 2013-10-31

Review by Knox_Harrington

Knox_Harrington Last night was truly a watershed moment for the band. With all the talk of a new album coming, and not a whole lot of new material being debuted over the past few years I was growing a little nervous that things weren't completely kosher behind the scenes and the guys weren't jelling. Last night completely alleviated any apprehension. Sure the first set is nothing crazy, but it was a perfect set up for the band to debut the material of the second set. They played what they enjoy and played extremely well. I think when you look back at this show many years from now (and I will) the first and third sets will be a pretty perfect snapshot of where the band was 30 years into it. Mature and well played tunes in the first set and fantastic on the fly improv-composition in the third set. Now, for my money the second set is one of the most impressive sets of Phish music I have ever heard. Full disclosure I'm a late 30's father of 2 and I think that really helps me relate to the current style of the band. I consider myself extremely fortunate that their progression over the years has largely paralleled where I have been in life and last night re-affirmed that the two are again in perfect alignment. It was Phish grown up. It really seemed to sum up their playing style over the past few years and gave it context. It hasn't been aimless noodling. It has been a style building to something fresh, focused yet beautifully familiar. These are four fantastic musicians and it is thrilling to hear the mark 30 years of influence, dedicated playing and passion leaves on the music four fantastic musicians can make together. It's really their perfect Halloween "album cover". You can hear song structure (The White Album), big arena rock (Quadropenia), funk (Remain in Light) and classic 70s soul-rock (Waiting for Columbus) in their playing. Not to mention some classic Phish sinister space at the end of 555 (what a freaking tune!). I'll admit when I first saw that they were debuting a set of new songs I was not at all psyched. I wanted a classic cover and was actually planning on skipping it to get some work done. Thank God I didn't. By the end of set two I didn't even really wanted to hear a third set. I wanted to re-experience everything I just heard...and that's what a fantastic album does. It makes you want to listen again and again and again. Yes, last night was most definitely a watershed moment for Phish. Now we all know exactly where their heads are musically and what to expect from here on out...for the next year os so at least. If you weren't into it that is completely fine, but at least now you know where they stand. And to my ear, it's a pretty cool place.

Oh, and the Carini jam in the third set is pretty ok too.


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