, attached to 2015-07-21

Review by ProfJibboo

ProfJibboo Not quite sure where this sits on the list of all time tour openers - probably towards the middle. The complaints will likely be the lack of a 18 minute-plus jam that will surely leave some "fans" butt hurt... and neither set really had a flow going until the end of the second set - when they strung 4 nice energy songs back to back. And its true, the show lacked a standout long form jam - but that does not a bad show make. To the contrary, it was a solid (if unspectacular show).

A surprise early set I Sand set a nice tone for a great trifecta with 555 and Rift. Page particularly shined early in set 1. The band took a bit of a breather with (arguably) three ballads in a row - in what may be the most new-school first set they've played - including 4 songs that debuted within the past 21 months. Three back to back breathers may have been too much for some, but they recaptured the energy with Blaze On followed by Tube and, the song that is the under-appreciated first set savior of 3.0 - Wolfman's Brother - again brought the house down.

Wolfman's and Tube set a theme for the evening of compact but strong playing of some normal heavyweights (Ghost, Birds, Fuego).
One thing that really struck me, particularly during a compact but strong Ghost, is how fresh Trey's guitar sounds compared to past years. I can't speak intelligibly about the equipment but his guitar had a truly uplifting sound to it. Page was particularly grooving last night as well.

Any show that sees Phish debut new songs is a welcome show - its a sign that creative juices are flowing and that they are inspired - it makes me feel great about the longevity of the band. First impressions was that both Blaze On and No Men In No Man's Land stole their respective sets (and the > into Weekapaug was nicely done). The jury is still out on Shade but it strikes me as following the same formula of many of the less popular 3.0 originals (slow intro that kind of drains energy, before picking up in to a nice mellow jam) - so I'll be very curious how the community warms to this one - I suspect some will hate it and some will dub it their new favorite. To that end, the new songs were welcome, but did serve to make the show feel a little choppy. Thats fairly standard in shows where multiple new songs are dropped. As the band adapts and the songs adapt, and as we get used to them a bit, they will blend more seamlessly into the set I'm sure.

One thing was evident from the show - the practicing was there. The communication was there. How soon that translates to epic jams - its too soon to say - but they are definitely coming....


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