, attached to 2015-08-14

Review by raidcehlalred

raidcehlalred If ever a show deserved to be reviewed upon a song along (aside, obviously, from some epic jam) tonight might be the night.

Anyone who can remember - or who dials up - say, Auburn Hills 97, you can bring to mind's eye one funked out Trey, strutting from side to side, shaggy head flopping, grin widening, literally pointing, like Peyton Manning, audibles from his expansive playbook. There is this side to last night's Llama....

Then there is Page upon his piano.

If you ever get a sense that a certain member of Phish 'owns' a venue, Page seems to control the shares over at Walnut Creek. Yeah, it's Page who sends us off last night, and it's Page who comes to mind during 97's electric Taste.

If, during Llama, Trey's playing is going to take a 'back seat,' it makes sense - assuming Bela Fleck - isn't on stage, that Page's playing will shine. Such is the case here. He is active, bright, and he has some nice runs.

I'm not a Phish purist; I'm not a Phish anything, aside from a fan. And this Llama (300, or thereabouts) was cool. In the summer of anything goes, it makes sense. And while Llama may not 'depress' 'depress,' a few ideas compress to coalesce.

But Llama is one song that I do associate with Phish 'magic.' A cool experience, here's hoping Trey reserves this style of playing for Funky Bitch.


A standard CDT follows, as if to ensure that, as we hear later on in the evening, 'everything is going to be all right.'

Moma works well in its semi-customary set-up spot, giving Page a chance to get up and, well.... The playing shifts after the six minute mark, becomes decidedly uptempo, and Trey's playing to cool, backed, in full, by Page on his piano.

There's a nice Yarmouth (not much else to say).

Tube is as Tube was before Tube became something else. Tube will continue to polarize. But, keeping in line with Page, it does give him more room to Moog (and whatnot; his playing is great....), and Trey is whipping up some serious, serious, licks. So easy to see Trey flip on the Mu-tron and the tune once again take off. Who's to say.... Clearly the band know what they are doing.


And then a fine Maze, another tune that going back I have always associated with Page (despite catching some crazy, demented Trey); moreover, when the band was once again finding its way, Page continued to shine and infuse fire with his inspired play amidst Trey's chording; there is more of that here.

This is terrible, but what the heck. I don't know how many people literally wait all night for Waiting all Night, but people seem to dig the tune. As the band digs all things Fuego, I see how the tune fits there evolution as people/musicians, and aside from the chill Trey playing, Page's accents on the piano are pretty. It's a nice song, especially when well-placed. (It seems to fit these 'sorts' of shows in lieu of Wingsuit)....

Lawn Boy.... Of course.

One thing Phish has done well this tour has played well within sets. To some, DTAD may seem uneventful, but, vibe-wise, it works well with what the band has going on in not so much a cool-down song, as a cool-down set.

A nice Wolfman's and a fun Suzy wrap up the set.

When it seemed as though Phish might 'abandon' covers, Golden Age was one of the first to enter the 'new' age. Things do get interesting around the six minute mark, with some really cool 2001-esque effects, and the almost Manteca-like playing from Trey, evinced so much this year. The playing is fine and while a lot of the year's great jamming seems moored in Mike's playing (and he's playing well here), Page is really active.... There is more of the playing which suggests a SOAM might emerge, some Tweeprise type chording, but we get an interesting ambient passage which is exciting, as it might mean anything.

At first listen I thought Simple.... Going back it's a weird transition into Reba. Love the song choice, and they band pulls it together into a nice jam.

What's not to like about a Mike's / Ghost / No Quart / Paug (aside from
the fact that it seems a little redundant? and the 'second' jam is absent? Nothing at all really.

A First Tube sends people home dancing.... Almost.

Love the attention Phish has given to encores this year. Farmhouse is a great, feel-good song. It's just a classic Phish song, in the way Cavern is. And then a bit of a bust out with Fire.

Of course this won't constitute one of the best shows of the year. But if this is considered one of the weakest (and many of the Raleigh shows rate that way), more proof supreme that it's a great time to be following this great band.


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