, attached to 2015-07-21

Review by phrench

phrench I've just listened to the second set again, now that the main leg of this tour is over (next are Magnaball and Dick's), and: it has all it takes to be great ... except greatness. Look at the setlist: a Ghost/BOAF opener, then a Mike's Groove sandwiching four songs, including two new ones: a nice breather (Shade) and a funky asskicker (NMINML), a grooving cover (Boogie) and a CDT to wrap it up. Yet, even though everything is well played, there lacks the over-the-topness of a great Phish show. Everything stays strictly Type-I, with Page and Mike quite shy, and although Fish seems to be having quite some fun, Trey-only improvs are a bit sterile (his solo on BOAF is great though).

Thanks to Icculus's Holy Ghost, all these ingredients cohere into something gigantic in many shows afterwards.

Steve Coleman once said (at a talk before a concert last year) that anything can affect live performance: your mood, what you've done that day, your phone call to your mom, etc., but since these guys (meaning his band at the time: J. Finlayson, A. Tidd, S. Rickman) are professional (and then some), they play at some minimum quality level anyway. That's what's happening here: Phish can deliver a show even without magic, and you really can't complain, it's a good, solid show. But without the magic.
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