, attached to 2016-07-06

Review by Fondue

Fondue A small venue. Indoors. Close to their homes. Middle of the week after a few days off. The formula for success? ...YMMV, but for me, it sure was fun to be at. That being said, last night, and much of this year, have been average, middle of the road Phish shows - a handful of moments I dig and will probably re-listen to, some nice/standard versions of tunes that I won’t re-spin, a song or two I didn’t like, and some flubs that were a little cringe-y. As usual, I met some nice people, got sweatier than myself or anyone would have preferred, and. Had. Fun. The whole point of attending.

A few other show-day observations:
Lots of fingers in the air around the venue on my way in. I got in line at about 6.15, and was not surprised to see how many people had already gone in. GA bowl, GA floor and a very different poster likely the cause. The lights went down at Phish o’clock, and the heat started to rise. The energy in the room was actually similar to the first night at Wrigley, but with 40,000 less people, and 40,000 more degrees of heat. Surprised to see them a capella the start of the show, but as with the opener of set 2, it felt like we started both sets with an encore, which was a nice change. The energy and heat won’t be apparent on the recordings, but if all you spin is Stash thru Mike’s, you probably won’t be mad at the 45-ish minutes of music in this chunk of show.

Every tour I make a playlist of my favorite moments. Last summer, the playlist was crazy long. This year will be less long for sure, but it’s not that different than the ones I put together after summer ‘11 and ‘13... And for fuck’s sake, tour’s not over. I’ll probably re-spin Stash, First Tube, Tweezer, Mike’s and the encore, maybe also Yarmouth and Things People Do.

Ok. Soapbox time.

I have no idea how many shows I’ve seen. Never kept score. I started going in the early/mid 90s and have lived mostly around the Northeast, so it’s safe to say a goddamn shitload. I caught the first six shows this year, skipped SPAC, and made the drive to Portland from New York for last night’s show. I don’t regret it in the slightest, because I love Phish shows (a shocking revelation to find on this site, I’m sure.)

No two ways around it, last year was special. Yeah yeah yeah, Trey came off Dead 50 boot camp, everyone has pointed that out. But Mike also came off a number of shows with his band, which I think made an equally huge impact. Judging by his Insta feed, he enjoyed it immensely… I digress.

To me, this year is what ‘98 felt like after ‘97 and ‘96 after ‘94-95. There’s nothing “wrong” with the band. IMHO, that’s just ridiculous chatter. Bands with something “wrong” don’t write new material at the rate these guys have in the last three years plus all the Halloween ‘14 material that is still appearing in sets. There’s nothing wrong. If anything, this is kind-of a pupa stage, and yet another version of this band will come out. Maybe you won’t like this one as much. Maybe you will. What-fucking-ever. Recordings are your time machine. At 1600 or so shows, there’s probably stuff you haven’t heard yet, and riches to be found if you don’t like what’s happening right now. It’s not nearly as depressing as 2004 was to me, and for all the shit those shows get, there was some goddamn good moments then, too.

See you in SF, my next trip. I’m already excited.


Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal

© 1990-2019  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation