, attached to 2014-08-01

Review by CreatureoftheNight

CreatureoftheNight When summer tour was announced, I eyed the last 5 southeastern shows because they were the last of tour and I had never really seen Phish in the deep south. A month before the show, my brother in law texted me that he noticed Phish would be playing at a resort they had booked for their vacation. What are the odds that my sister's family would unknowingly fall right into my tour plans?

My brother in law had for years asked me to describe why I go on tour. After Coventry, I moved from Baltimore to Oregon. I stopped in my hometown of Lexington to see my family on the way out west. He bet me $50 or a concert ticket that Phish would eventually get back together in the next 10 years. On 08-01-14, I was able to gladly pay my debt and take him to his first Phish show.

The venue was a strange place, part mall, marina, amusement park and condominiums. After driving from Portsmouth, we just wanted to get to the lot and start vending. That was quickly squashed by security. Outside alcoholic beverages were confiscated and K9s were spotted at the entrance. No open vending allowed. Please spend your $ at our mediocre restaurants instead of Christy's quesadillas on lot. Buy our overpriced alcohol, not Jeff and Tara's delicious liquor concoctions.

There were tickets all over the place and the venue looked about 90% capacity when the lights went down. Security booted people out who were missing wrist bands in the pit and there was plenty of dancing space down low. My brother in law couldn't stop watching the crowd and other distractions. He did listen to the music, but there was so much to take in at once. This was a completely different world than what he was used to at a concert. I walk the aisles thanking staff and police at every show and he said, "You know you don't have to do this. Their getting paid." I just smiled and agreed with him.

Musically, the first set was pretty standard, but with each new song he would mention how diverse its style was from the song before it. People singing along to Curtis Loew was my highlight.

The second set changed the vibe completely. The Orange Disease was fantastic and everyone around me was dancing up a storm. Phish liked it so much they released it as an official video. Grooved based riffing that chugs along until finding some direction around the 11 minute mark. What follows is a cascade of Trey and heavy dose of whompy Mike. By 13 minutes, we have found bliss pasture once again. That's when my brother and law says, "this is really good!" The intensity builds slowly over the next few minutes and by 17 minutes, we have segments that sound a lot like Sonic Youth. Cycling down, the logical transition into Theme proved a great landing pad. Tweezer brought the crowd right back up again and the jam reached inspired territory around the 8 minute mark. Delicate and democratic with Trey playing a complimentary role. This has been common with much of the year's successful jams. This Tweezer may not get much press, but the last few minutes are divine. Keep going, keep going I said to myself, but Trey had Caspien on his mind. We are on a barrier island after all. Waiting All Night belonged exactly where it was played. Although we haven't heard a jam in this song, it still works very well for a second set exhalation. Fuego was one of my brother in laws favorite songs on the night. He even danced and chanted a little with the rest of us. Now he's totally invested in the music.

The transition into Slave was insane. Everyone in the audience let out an ahhhhh at the same time. Slave to the toll booth became our mantra after some spent an hour trying to cross the bridge from the mainland. Trey's solo brought the usual fire and another smooth transition got us grooving to a short 2001. Page still had enough time to put his mark on this version. Next it was Mike's turn to Boogie On. I'm glad to see some cover tunes stay in the rotation. One of the greatest moments of the SE shows was the transition into Antelope. The band was on FIRE for the next 11 minutes. The crowded responded very loudly to Fishman taking total control of things. My brother in law had his proudest moment when he correctly identified the Munsters theme before anyone else. I will forever laud this 'lope as one of my favorites. Bouncing and a thunderous T. Reprise finished the show and I could tell he felt something he had never felt before. He put a Team Phun sticker on his Corvette when he got home and plans to see Phish with me again next year, when convenient. He said several days later that music means a lot more to him now and he feels a strange feeling of empathy towards others. Mmmmm, after glow.

This isn't the greatest show Phish has played this year, but it deserved more recognition for the second set cohesion, jams and transitions that show this band can create great art night after night.


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