, attached to 2014-07-03

Review by Cerias

Cerias I don't want to sound ungrateful, I'm not. I'm happy they are out touring and have really had a spectacular resurgence in the last few years. I have tickets to see the boys this summer, and I eagerly await those shows. But, I would be remiss not to give my opinion of this show. I have not attended a lot of shows, but I have seen some really excellent ones over the many years since my first and have listened to thousands of hours of their music. I am certainly not a jaded vet, but like a good meal, or good movie, there are ways to determine the good from the bad. It is no different with an artists' performance. The way that Phish puts themselves out there each night of a tour (not repeating songs, willing to improvise, etc.) there are bound to be some clunkers. This was one of them. I am certainly not perfect, and neither are they. I had some very strong opinions during the broadcast last night. I, like others, do not like every Phish song. There are probably, at most, 15 songs that I just don't care for. And when they place six of those in one show (and even open with one), it adds to the disappointment. I can honestly say that this was the first Phish show that I have either attended or couch-toured that I have been disappointed. I look to Phish as a source of entertainment, an escape; and like going to a favorite restaurant and getting a bad meal, it is a bummer. They are certainly not in the business of pleasing me alone, and I hope that I see more of the things that I love about this band tonight and for the rest of the tour. With that said...

If you asked me what song would be the worst possible choice to open a show, it would be Farmhouse. Maybe Bug, Joy, Summer of 89, Yarmouth Road, or Sugar Shack would be a close second. And, in my opinion, that set the tone for a not-so-great show. There wasn't anything remarkable about the first set. Though I like the new album (mostly), one of the songs I don't particularly care for is Devotion to a Dream. It sounds a lot like another new-ish song that I don't care for either - Backwards Down the Number Line. With so many recent excellent shows filled with exploratory jams, tight focused playing, and a willingness to show their goofy side, there was precious little of that last night. The Bathtub -> Limb sequence was nice, but it felt like right when Gin had a chance to distinguish itself from a lot of other Gins of 3.0, it segued into Limb by Limb (which was slightly above average). I would have liked for them to flesh that Gin out a little more before switching gears. It wasn't that I was disappointed by their choice, it just would have been nice to have more. The rest of the second set was similar to the first, unremarkable. The word I choose to summarize the night is - bland.

Unfortunately, this qualifies as a show I will never go back and listen to; it was unremarkable in every way. It wasn't that any band member was particularly off, or not in sync with each other, it just lacked flow and any discernable high points. I certainly do not expect them to be amazing every night, it is not possible. But if this turns out to be the worst of the tour, then we have a lot of great shows and moments to come. Thanks for reading and I hope I didn't offend anyone.


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