, attached to 2015-07-25

Review by Matty1222

Matty1222 Disclaimer: This is my first Phish review. I was not there. I wrote the review in real time while listening to the show this morning. I do not play instruments and do not write for a living and my grammar sucks. But man, this was fun.

Saturday nights show blasts off with a trick and treat opener with Martian Monster. Page really lets it go with the effects on this one while Trey provides some tasty licks before this one really blasts off. Great song, great opener. Expectations are running high for Phish's first Saturday night gig of the summer.

Songs ends, Gordon's base rumbles, then the band kicks into a first set Disease. Pleasant surprise for a song that's usually reserved for the 3rd quarter. This Disease doesn't linger too long. They keep it pretty uplifting, short, and to the point. They take it dark for a second till Trey provides the light. You didn't think they would go type 2, on song 2 did you?

After some discussion among the band they opt for "Waiting All Night". After a botched beginning, the boys provide their first ballad of the show. Though I enjoy this song, I would have used this opportunity to grab a cold one and take a breather from the one two punch that was just served up. Trey and Page feed off each other until the song reaches a peaceful ending.

After a few seconds of silence you can hear Trey faintly strumming what seems to be one of their more poppy tunes. After Trey counts off, the band busts out into Heavy Things. Page provides a nice solo while Gordon finds a nice groove. Trey takes his turn as the lead before this quick hit comes to an end.

They could have taken this first set in a lot of directions at this point. They decide to keep it souped up for Saturday and explode into Axilla. If song doesn't get the blood flowing you should check your pulse. Phish nails it, the crowd loves it, what's next?

My guess is that they would break out some funk right about now. Then you hear Gordon's opening bass licks for a song of their new album, 555. Coming from Jersey, we always get a kick when taking the thruway to see Phish at SPAC, that the toll cost $5.55. Coincidence, I think not. Pretty standard 555, besides a little flub during the ending.

Quickly after its ending, they go into Limb by Limb. This Limb starts off smooth and gives a little extra mustard at the end. Well perceived by Cali crowd and it's always nice to hear a first set Limb with a little off to see the wizard tease.

Yamar is next up and it is a pleasant surprise. After reminiscing about his good ol' Pa, Leo is given the strict instructions to "play it". He keeps this solo very tropical and Fishman adds a nice touch to the ending.

They keep the show rolling with a first set Fuego, a song, again, usually reserved for the second set. I brought up our trip to SPAC previously and who could forget the Fuego / SPAC 14' jam. Highlight of the weekend for me. Ao needless to say I am pretty anxious to see how they would approach it this time around. I feel like Trey kept coming back to playing the melody and never really let this song take off. Two second set titans butted heads in the first set and Disease was the clear champion. The ending was pretty cool with Page playing what sounded like the ending of Coil or the beginning of Reign over Me, but it was actually a flawless segue into Walls of the Cave. A great Saturday night choice. Sing a long lyrics, rock and roll power cords, and an explosive ending. Perfect song choice to end this wild first set adventure.

We all take a short break to return to newest member of the funkaholics, "No man in No mans Land". My personal favorite of the new tunes to date. Kicking off the second set with a new tune shows they mean business. This song really shows that Phish still has IT. After some hard jamming to start, a brief return to the chorus, the boys decide to let this one fly. It's not long before you get the "this is why I love Phish" feeling. They go back into the catchy chorus one more time and even explore a brief but spacey ending before Carini rears his lumpy head.

Carini has been a great jam vehicle for them over the last couple of years and this one seems to be keeping up the trend. Beautiful beginning to the jam with Trey and Page exchanging licks before Tweezer crashes the party and kicks Carini to the curb. I was kinda surprised how fast they exited Carini and found some thing Phishy about this Tweezer.

As my ears were perked up, they started the jam very slow, building up the tempo smooth and methodically. The boys really start to take this one to a beautiful place before Trey cuts it short and let's his friends, his friends into the party. No Phishy gimmicks with this Tweezer. I also felt they should have stayed with Tweezer a bit longer, it was showing some real potential.

My friend, My Friend sticks to the script. They play the composed section flawlessly and just when you think they are going to give you the last Myfe with a little laugh, they sugue into the slow tune of the second half, Roggae. After each of them sing their piece they let this airy tune breathe a bit. As each of the members play a little and listen a little, this song soon finds a comfortable place. Probably a point in the show where you look at your buddy and give them the "I am happy to be here and so are they" look. I love Roggae, love its placement here and love that the band really delivers. Get ready 4th quarter, cause like it or not, here we come.

Phish decides to go for a feel good song with Backwards Down the Number Line. My wife and I had a line to this song read out loud during our wedding ceremony.

"Laughing all these many years
We pushed through hardships tasted tears
Made a promise one to keep
I can still recite it in my sleep"

So regardless of what the majority thinks, this song has special meaning to me and always manages to put a smile on my face. The jam portion is what you would expect...positive, energetic, and happy, happy all my friends. The ending even has a little side of hot sauce before coming to a close with Trey opting for some self reflecting time with Slave to the Traffic Light.

This slave starts to slowly build, Trey starts to make his face, then we are off to no mans land. Trey builds the tension allowing the rest of them to fill the gaps before taking this slave into a eye closing, hair raising, goose bumping ,perfect peak. Slave never disappoints and this one ain't the exception. The three power cords with Trey thanking the crowd lets us know that this set has come to a close. Maybe if we cheer loud they will play one more song.

So this encore begs the question, do you enjoy yourself? Can you still have fun? Phish answered these questions and more when the opening cords to the ultimate encore rang though and You Enjoy Myself decided to give this show the explanation point it needed. The beginning was perfect. The trippy part has a very serious dark tone to it. Fishing keeping the beat and Trey letting the darkness poke through until all the sudden the light comes through with Page letting them know their are clearer seas ahead. This part was played exceptionally well before they pass the reigns to Mike for his solo. He keeps it crunchy before the power cords come back and we are off into the land of milk and honey. The build up is fantastic and Trey absolutly nails "The Note". You know the one the makes your eyebrows go up and head tilt back. Yea, that one. Pure craziness ensues before the boys let out a big scream, then BOY the funk breaks out and everyone's got Saturday night fever. Page kicks off the jam with a solo that the crowd is gobbling up. As the jam quiets down Gordon starts slapping his bass while Trey is following suit. Page joins in, with Fishman not far behind and we have arrived at IT. Powerful playing with a purpose. Things start to get a little hot and heavy before this song absolutely explodes. A definite must hear. Gordon lays down the funk while Fishman is complimenting it some (more) cowbell. Page is raging, Trey is patient and this sucker comes to a close with my frenzy feet still moving. The vocal jam allows for the boys to get silly one last time before the curtains close on this magnificent Saturday show.

This show has something for everybody. A crazy opener, two jam songs in the first set, a new song explored, and an encore guaranteed to leave you smiling. I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I liked writing it. My intent is all for your delight


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