, attached to 2013-12-31

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: You surely don't care about Set 1 in a show like this, do you? Ocelot got a bit of an extended ride, Divided Sky was really quite nice, and Fluffhead was a perfect way to end the set. That description should suit you, I think. Great Type II cake distribution, as well.

Set 2, the short version: Well, now I totally understand why people still love the early 90's shows so much.

Set 2, the longer version: A brilliant gag, maybe the only way they could have properly celebrated their 30-year anniversary, by taking it back to where it all began. It's quite clear that they put a lot of effort into making this set truly sparkle, both in the "stage" design (the hockey stick mic stand, "no drinks" on Page's organ) and in the songs themselves (everything was very well played, even the tougher stuff like Mockingbird). The song selection was perfect - I love the way that they spread out songs from TMWSIY, as well as in Set 1 - and breaking out some rarities made it all the more special. Reba found a beautiful semi-Type II groove midway through and SOAM was all fierce and ferocious dark energy, but the jamming was hardly the point. This was a celebration, plain and simple, and a truly glorious hour indeed.

Also, they played Icculus*, so automatic thumbs way up.

* This is the first time we got more than one Icculus in a year since 1994. How awesome is that?

Set 3: The band could have been forgiven if they simply victory-lapped their way to the end, but they made one last room for improv in 2013 (well, "2013") with a glorious Light that combined the snappy groove of Worcester's version (seriously, the bassline and Fish's beat are very reminiscent of that killer groove) with the blissfulness of the beloved 8/7/09 version (with a near-calypso guitar line from Trey and sympathetic electric piano accompaniment from Page) before building to a sharp rocked-out finale and closing with a fog of noise. Light has taken a bit of a backseat as a jam vehicle this year, so it's nice to see that it still has legs as a set-maker. YEM, slinky and stripped back like the better versions from this year, was a nice way to finish the proper show.

Encore: Grind made me laugh.

Final thoughts: A really, really fun show - if you're searching for deep improv, 12/29 and 12/30 have you covered, but if you're searching for a celebration of this band that we all love so dearly, this is the show for you. This is as good a way as you could imagine to end a benchmark year for Phish. Happy new year, everyone!


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