, attached to 2014-10-31

Review by Pipertheredworm

Pipertheredworm Phish review 10/31/14
Las Vegas MGM

Back in September we celebrated 18 years of marriage. My wife,being who she is, agreed to Halloween in Vegas with Phish as our way of celebrating. This is what I wanted. You see, we first met at a pregame party before Phish played 7.25.1992. (You've got to check that set with Santana if you have not). We married years later. For both of us this band has been a central theme in our lives. She got on the train early while (briefly) attending UVM in the mid eighties. I was the guy holding a sign for tickets for "Fish"tickets not long after. Eventually, we hit several of the big festivals together. So it wasn't to big a stretch to hope we could celebrate our union in Vegas this year.

Halloween got off to a rough start for us. Convinced our flight was at 9 am, we would arrive in plenty of time to relax and rest up for the big weekend. The excitement and anticipation may have led to the consumption of a beer or two more that necessary on Thursday night. At 7am Halloween Friday, I discovered my error, first flight had been at 6 am. Obscenities flew, urgency took over. Instead of a casual start, we had to start sprinting. The ticket agents at Jet Blue were very helpful. Yes, we had missed our flight, but they could still get us to Las Vegas. There was a catch, a 6 hour layover in JFK. And a 9 pm arrival time in Vegas. Well so much for the first set. Maybe it was the martinis, but for what ever reason we decided that airport sushi was a good idea. By the time we landed my favorite girls belly was messed, she needed to sit this one out. Armed with an extra ticket I sought a friend in need to miracle. Then there she was, a Pfamily friend, recently relocated to the west coast who like us had a crazy travel day, flew in ticketless but with the faith that it would all gel. "Well then, here you go friend." In we marched as the second set began.
I will do my best to review the first set by ear, but as many of you know, "it ain't nothing like being there".
Burried Alive has become a favorite opener for all of us and this did not disappoint. Page and Jon start the counterpoint rhythm. When Treys overdriven tone starts,the panic begins. Clawing my way to the top is what I hear.
Ghost starts next, the Clav is right up front where I like it. A patient Ghost from the onset. No urgency here, "you see people we have got all weekend to blow it up." Let's enjoy this time together, have I ever told you the story. Yes, you have, tell it again I love that story. Intro blends into jam. Stories are being told. Mike and Jon keep the steady pace. Piano and guitar chat it up. Trey starts to heat up as the lead soars. Sweet string benders. Rhythm starts to drive it harder as the song closes.
Mike gets the Scent of a Mule going, things are building here in Tomahawk county. I smell it. Page franticly crushes his lead piano piece. Then the duel. Balm, balm, balm, balm balm balm balm. Crowd loves it, but can not wait for the tension to break. I always think of some kind of Yiddish celebratory dance before Mike then finishes sounding like a Muslim prayer. Here we showered ourselves in lightness.
The chords to sample in jar ring out. In your grasp the fears don't last. After the crazy mule it's nice to settle into this anthem. The simple songs and good times feel all wrong. Pretty sure I could here 19,000 voices here. Trey builds it up. Jon hits those skins hard as the solo concludes.
Reba. Bag it tag it. Intro into jam per normal greatness. Mike drives this one from the down low. Bum bump. Guitars soar. Bum bump, bum bump, bum bump. Everybody working together through the jam. Listening, but working it together. She peaks then starts a wind-down. Then she peaks again. Whistle while you work, it's always more fun that way. And we are to the outro. Bag it.
46 days. Cow bell heavy. Taste the fear. 46 days and the coal ran out. Organ pans, things start clicking. That guitar is talking to me. Piano peaks in. Counter play all around. Mike and Jon are locked. 46 days continues to build to climax to the out.
Big black Furry creature from Mars are all around. We can punk too. Why do I try to kill you? Because. We will punk you haters. We will kill you. Ready? Ha.
Lawn Boy. Moist green organics. Michael Gordlione. Cactus makes that bass a jazzy tool to complement Pages Vegas lounge act. Complete with Fishman solo on cymbal and then the whole kit. Everyone is back on the grass, anticipating.
Saw it again. A form in my window, wants to come in. I try not to look. And I am fully awoken. I saw it again. The spooky tunes go on. Fine Phish form here. Everybody is clicking as it jams out. A great build up.
Tube. Funky Clav rules this one. Love how the bass fills the spaces between. Then we take off up the tube. So stupendous. So stupendous living in this tube.
Wolfman's starts with a cheer. You shouldn't have took more than you gave. Mike steps it up. Trey fills in behind him. Or is the other way around? Here comes that Clav funk. Everybody has got something to say here. The boys are having some fun stretching it out. Complete synthesis. Doing what they do best right here. Everybody is talking at once, but the conversation is so coherent. It just makes sense when they do it. Everybody keeps adding to the conversation. Wolfman's.

Spooky wind to start the costume set. Nothing to compare this set to, just go for the ride. Creaking. Erie Dracule sounding synth. A foreboding guitar lead crescendo leads to a drumming build up to a creaking door. She introduces the Haunted mansion that you investigate, but from which you never return. Cats shriek. Pounding piano stress. Screaming lead tones bring everyone into the present. Then we start up the stairs to investigate. Screaming wailing voices unsettle. dissonance. One and two and three four.
Creaking again.( whoopy cushion)
The fuse is lit. Plink. Plink. Da da da plinko. There you go. Gonna blow you up. We are gonna blow. There you go now. Bam bam bam bam. Boom!
Mans best friend? Awoken in the stone hut by the Dogs. Better get going now. They howl and snarl. They are coming for you. Terror. Power chords hint at the severity of the situation. Here they come again. Closer. You scream. Hear the the dogs come. You better run.

Timber. Woodsman sawing. Wah wahing. Dun dunt. Dun dunt. Love this one. Layers build in a phamiliar way. Until it all comes crashing down.
Your cat. Your pet is a friendly one. Until one day. Cat screech samples kick this one off. Lots of keys and deep bass. Leading the way to the plink/ screech solo. All the while Jon keeping it in time. I think Mikey likes it. Meow. Page keeps bringing back the funk. Huge roars from the crowd.
Shipwreck. "Are you too near the shore with its crashing surf and jagged rocks?" Felt like a rock opera intro on this one. Foreboding guitar hints at impending disaster. Sample is fragmented, hinting at a bubbly siren call. Your vessel creaks as you realize your mistake, is it too late to correct?
The unsafe bridge. Spanish guitar. You venture across the suspension bridge. You don't want to fall. Bass and drums hold it down. Piano counterpoint to the guitar until you fall.
Chinese Water Torture. It never failed. Operatic intro. Drippy piano. Dan-ant guitar. Wow. A very clever sample. Here comes Page. Driving you crazy. Wah. Plink plink. A very clever race these phish are. Chinese water torture. Trey is raging, frothing as we go insane.
The Birds. "You fear the feathered creatures with their sharp beaks and their clutching tallons." You fear. They attack. Bass pumping the Rhythm. Plink plink plinky plink - Into wailing lead tones. Bump a bump up. Here we go again. Che Che Che goes Jon on the splash. They attack. Ba ba Ba bump. They attack. For each time you step outside your house they attack. They attack. Snare like a shot. Scary fun.
Martian madness.
"Your time is short." The count down is progressing, because of the incedible speed of your rocket your trip is short. Palm muted lead. Mike putting it down. Jon holding it together while Page brings the funk on organ once again. Your trip is short. Your tripping. Your about to blast off. Here we go. These boys are on fire. Samples trip us out. Ba bump da Ba ta da bump. Your about to. Ba bump ta da ta da bump yeah. Blast off. When you reach Mars your are met by a Hungary welcoming committee. Crunch. Sirens. Blast off. Your trip is short. This funk machine does not quit. Even though your trip is short you've got a smokin soundtrack to listen to on the ride.
Blast off. Trey hammering. Sample warppling Bubbling bass sample brings the boys out of their box to take a bow with the zombie dancers.

Back to familiar ground for the start of the third set. Punch you in the eye. Killer bass thumping. Hey! Oh! Wilson. Hey. Ascending guitar riffs to solo. Nice version.

Golden Age. Oh It's gonna drop. The age of sound. Coming round. What you viewed as gold pollutes this space. Age of miracles. It came around. Don't you falter. There you are. You arms in the air. Clap your hands if you think your in the right place. Crowd roars its approval, because we know we are in the right place. The love from within the crowd became palpable. We will not falter. Into into jam as you would expect. Then we settled into the groove. Mike started to bring some of that swirly, slippery, whipping, envelope follower effect to bear and the jam took off between Page and Trey. Everybody listening. Unsure of who was to lead? Page took it to the Clav as Trey started foot tapping. Whaling? Crowd all ears as groove settles down and breaks to Tweezer.
It's gonna be cold cold cold. But not at the MGM tonight. Anticipation following this song is to be expected. Of course Tahoe, but more recently at Randalls there was another epic version. So won't you step into this freezer? Normal intro into slow down until a second phase build up. Slight dissonance then back into the main riff. Page takes over with piano, then hands it off to Trey. The interplay never gets old. Searching for a theme. Page suggests ascending scales. Trey jumps in on that idea. Jon and Mike may have something to add here. Page leads on to phase three build up to which Trey seems eager to play with. It's gonna be cold, but not in here. It's gonna be cold. Jon switches the tempo up for the segue into Heavy Things.
Steals my one remaining breathe. Stumbling as I fall from grace. Things are falling down on me. When I tried to step aside I moved to where they hoped I'd be. Nice little plinko & keys segment within. Woo woo whoa! Trey breaks down a descending line that leads towards the end. And Guyute.
He lectured me in language strange then scampered quickly out of range. It's such a triumphant tune. The march to the summit. We have such positive direction for a moment? Are we sure? Confused,we fall down unsure, until we get back up again and resume our direction with renewed confidence and commitment. I hope this happens once again.
Sand. Of course, what else would they play out in the middle of a oxymoronic city oasis such as this. "I would choose my own religion." It is to be here.
You can heal the symtoms and not affect the cause. Rage side more than holding his own here. Funkmaster P, growling. Rolling it up. Trey soaring. Jon the center, Mike right with him. Trey soars higher still, then he starts to tear it apart. Wrestling the gun from the hand. The Jam goes higher into a sweet "schools out for summer" tease then breaks. Overtones from Page and then it starts up again. Where are we going. Fire up that Clav brother, we swirl together, wondering where it will go. Loopy? Out of the Sand Jam. woo? We attack. Time & Space blend into, woo? No , we go to tweprise.

Possibly the greatest three and a half minutes of any show. My personal favorite rock of all time. This never disappoints. Step into it.

This night is a complete winner. The vibes from the crowd in the room were incredible. So much love you could taste it. The sound crystal clear. The venue dressed to impress.
Then the encore.
Is this what you wanted? So freaking insightful. Leave to these guys to point at the very special relationship, the inextricable bond between the band and the fan. We are different sides of the same coin. A coin that you hold on a table with your index finger, flick it with your opposite index, watch it spin, and hope that it never stops spinning. This is what I want. Not to live In a house that is haunted, but instead to occupy one where you feel our love. Like a happy marriage going on for decades. Ups and downs and spin arounds yes, but a marriage without skeletons or Frankinsteins left in the closet. Thank you Phish. Thanks for the efforts. The sacrifice, the commitment to each other and to us, your fans. Are all our lives enriched?


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