, attached to 2017-07-25

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Phish gave an amazing performance in this show, and one that shows a dedication to satisfying their fans that some bands don't put the energy into (or so consistently pay off, in doing so.) Songs that are usually not jammed Type-II were, here, and in the first set! Five-song first sets are as rare as they come. I really appreciate that Lawn Boy, rather than tacking a jam onto its usual song structure, departed into a Stubblefield-influenced, Fishman-led, Fuego jam-sort-of rhythm to begin with. For me, the most successful jam of the first set and maybe even the whole night was Bathtub Gin, which I'll explain thusly: Gin jams tend to have an inspirational, sometimes soaring, usually victorious cast to them, which seems entirely fitting to end a five-song first set. That Phish is more than the sum of its parts depends upon all four members being locked in--listening intently, which is a lot harder to achieve even upon playback of their shows than one might think, let alone in the moment and surrounded by 20,000 discerning listeners, as well--but it also has to do with the individuals comprising the band sharing a musical adventure: one that's coherent because of a kind of serendipitous magic that also results from decades of blood, sweat, and tears invested in the project to the point that its vision comes across clearly to phans and innocent bystanders alike... There's something wholly profound happening at any given moment of Phish. I think maybe the constant push-and-pull (Loving Cup pun intended) of trying to remain wholesale true to oneself and the band is delicately balanced in this band with trying to attract, welcome, satisfy, and namely improve the experiences of an ever-regenerating, immanently oncoming barrage of perspectives about what this thing means, whether it means anything, what it should mean... maybe you can see that what I'm trying to say is that there are so many variables involved in the Phish phenomenon that the willingness to offer up experimentation and vulnerability in a context as visible as this is staggering in the first place. It's the sort of thing where maybe the journey is the destination. I know that listening to this night's show and seeing the reactions to it here on .Net have caused me to adjust at least one priority in my phandom, to wit, that I promise myself to direct more energy into supporting the band the way I would a close friend or even a romantic partner, and I'll tell you why. I was born in 1983, a few months before the band was founded, and so I have a lifelong connection temporally with what's happening in this milieu, but beyond that, Phish has aligned so closely with my own personal zeitgeist or spirit of the age so many times and even over sustained phases of my life, that my relation to the band really has come to resemble a love affair. And what is the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I understand more fully now--and this is rambling reflection will soon come to a pause--that Phish represents and comprises something unique and valuable on its own merits and for its own sake, and that if we're not careful with it and respectful of it, we could lose it. Logistics require that shows be scheduled in advance, that some ideas have to take a backseat for a while or be put on hold (Page has been quoted as saying that the idea of a Baker's Dozen residency circulated before 2007), and through it all, I'm pledging myself to remain open to changes within the makeup of what makes Phish what it is and who they are, and who we are, because this is something I believe has power rarely precedented and scarcely seen, and which will continue to reward good faith as long as we all shall live. Amen.


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