, attached to 2014-07-19

Review by MailOrderTicketStub

MailOrderTicketStub Easily the best Northerly Island show Phish has played between last year and this year with one more show to go on Sunday (review written morning of the Sunday show).

From weather to music quality this show was better than good and just short of epic. Which is to say yesterday's show was good, had moments of greatness but was not great top to bottom. This show as great top to bottom. It was just shy of going epic.

The Moma Dance opening offered a great Blues / Funk opening to a Chicago show with perfect 78 degree weather and the Chicago Skyline in the backdrop for great atmospheric mood. This was some seriously tight funk jamming. Trey nailed this one.

Wolfman was a great tune to follow this up and seemed to be a great selection to keep the funk energy going from Moma. It was a tight and very sound Wolfman, not super jammy, but certainly crisp and right on target.

Gears shift into Devotion to a Dream. Trey. His voice sounds so strong and exact these days. Great vocals from the whole band which I must say stood out on this song and all the Feugo songs I've heard in 2014. WOW Trey's vocals made me smile here. The pace worked great to keep the crowd energy at a nice building incline.

46 days has become a pretty awesome tune and was a tune that keep the funk going. Some fast and tight jamming here. It was vertically deep and not long and sprawling jam. Hot jamming nonetheless.

Yarmouth Road - WOOO HOOO!!! This just fit great and the energy the band had - especially Mike on the vocals was a great call. What a steamy sound with a Bob Marley and the Whalers type beat to it. It was a happy sounding blues funk jam sound. Never heard this one before and it just sucked me in. Such a catchy tune and great fit in this set.

One of the better Brian and Robert renditions I've heard. Not better than Alpine 1998, but better than any I've heard since. During this song, the sun was just setting in a pinkish transition toward dusk against a city skyline with lights just coming into view. A good cool down song choice to let the audience catch their breath and enjoy the backdrop of a great skyline and beautiful night in Chicago.

Wingsuit - sounds SOOOOOOOOO much better live than it does on studio. They just nailed this song. Trey was so soulful and full of emotion which the band also pumped into this song with their vocals and again I have to say I'm so impressed with their vocals this tour more than any other since 1998 and I think perhaps their vocals are the best they've ever been at all ever...

Brian and Robert and Wingsuit let the crowd catch their breath for an explosion with Tube. They pace picks back up and Cactus (Mike) got filthy on the bass with that thumb slap!!

Free was played with a high paced energy and was nailed by the band! Some great building jams that are always a crowd pleaser. Trey was hot all show and brought a flame thrower out for this one. What a ripping version of the song. Vocally, song started a touch off and got better as it went on.

Roggae - If there was a song that kept this show from being epic... It was this one. Just didn't sound right, sounded like feedback issues, and feedback issues seemed to effect tempo and band vocals. Wish I could have heard set without this tune. It didn't hurt the show so much as it just didn't go that well tonight.

That sag was totally tightened up with Heavy Things believe it or not the band freaking nailed this Heavy Things and may have busted out the best one you'll ever year to date. Jamming made this overplayed Farmhouse track a new tune to me. Holy cow!!!! Page goes nuclear on keys at the end and the band jumps in on the Page show with some filthy filthy high paced jams to pick the set way back up. Mike's bass was even more pronounced in this song than ever too.

The band follows with a knockout version of Antelope. This sent the crowd into a frenzy!! What a hot rendition of this song and they NAILED IT. This closed a long and blazing set for the band. They had the crowd jumping with an energy not seen the night before and they had built it through this set. Very high energy set with great song selection linked up through it. VERY VERY VERY HAPPY PHANS!!

Set two opens with Carni keeping with the tone and overall beat mentality of the first set. This gets the crowd right back into the swing of where set one left off.

Waves - I'll just say wow what great technical precision by the band on this one and Page and Trey just seem to be so on point through the speed and complexity here. What awesome guitar work from Trey. Was X for the ears.

Fuego - what can I say but the band plays these even better live. They got funky and energetic in this one. Heavy booming sounds and the band was just perfect on this. I can't say enough of how impressed I am with their vocals this year. Can't say it enough.

Twist - Light followed and again great vertical sharp jams that were fast and complex. High energy and keeping the crowd pleased. Great song selection from first to second set.

Twenty Years Later - I love the vocal arrangement on this song. They kept it safe and enjoyable in execution. No risks on this song, but solid and one I had wanted to hear for a long time. They didn't blow the hinges off this song and if there were songs they struggled vocally it was this one and Roggae from the first set.

Harry Hood - WHAT A HOOD THIS WAS. One of the most solid Hoods you'll hear. This one had a crowd jumping and the vibe this monster jam put the city in was great. Like this is WHY YOU GO TO PHISH SHOWS!

Cavern followed Hood like a great uppercut in the late rounds of a fight. Just such wonderful energy and set the crowd on fire.

Encore - AWESOME rendition of Grind and they really opened up the jam on Bug and played it with what I call loud force that has really showed the evolution this song takes on from it's days appearing on Farmhouse as a studio track. SUZY to end a three song encore??? Suzy is ALWAYS a great opener or closer. With all the songs and the vibe this show had in great tight jams, speed, and spirit... It just fit. Great choice to end the how. The crowd was jumping and shouting to close this out.

Again, great show and best they've played at Northerly. With the weather being picture perfect too. Top to bottom a great show which was just shy of Epic.


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