, attached to 2016-07-20

Review by phattyhank

phattyhank first set was a rock concert. just sick. curtain was great, not amazing, but enough to get me locked in for the next 60 minutes. alumni blues is the kinda song every high school kid loves and when you hear it for the first time in years (me last night), it all comes back to you. does anyone not like fuck your face? is there any better rock song than one about an awkward teenage gordo getting a guitar and fantasizing about violating listeners with his chops? also, wtf is this time signature? cry baby cry is a beautiful tune - one of the first songs i fell in love with when first diving into hampton comes alive. nothing amazing about this version or any other, but trey's guitar tone complements the song so well that the beatles version is left in the dust. cant tell if i like sing monica, but at this point - who the fuck cares? they have earned the right to do and play whatever they want in this particular show and i am going to respect it. did you just go take a piss during sing monica verse? fuck your face. get off my lawn. respect your elders. mcgrupp is a true old school song that prompted me to listen to zappa all morning. BBFCFM was beyond sick. back to high school again, but this time with a chain wallet. why does my neck hurt? oh yea. trey lied down with the microphone next to him, guitar on belly for about 2 minutes shredding this. it was fun. got another walk away and who doesnt love the james gang? rapists, that's who. sanity to bring us back down and then a nice, tight bowie that features some cool trey work towards the end of the peak. all in all what a set - 2 songs written after 1988. not bad. 42 minute set break! (cant remember where, but we had funky bitch, tweeprize teases that went for a few bars in one song)

second set was a phish show. no man's is gonna be around for a while and i love it. i say this every time i hear it, but the groove is undeniably "dancin in the streets" and i am beyond fine with that. this song has so much potential and is a great way to start a 2nd set. really got the place moving. mikes brought the rock concert vibe back but then fee was a very welcomed change of pace. huge fee sign hanging off the balcony, so people went apeshit and trey started yelling about nipples and nectarines. ck5 matches lightboard colors to those of the fee sign. these guys are all pretty good! what's that a jibboo? you're not hungry? sure put it on my plate. could get that every show and i wouldnt complain. even got a whale call started. then they played miss you. good for you, guys. i miss you every time i dont see you and i will gladly put my pop rock hat on for three minutes. solo actually ripped, once again proving they are the pros and we are a bunch of snotty pre-teens bitching that our parents are making us go to an SAT prep class on saturday morning. at this point in the night/run/tour, being disappointed in a song choice signals that you do not get it and/or dont want to enjoy it. paug>julius was a lot of fun. very straightforward and all featured excellent work from all the boys.

character zero encore after wading was easy to call, but a new one for me. trey got about 3 words into verse, pushed the mic aside and let the crowd do it all. full crowd vocals, harmony and everything (i took on the "eye eye...... eye!" portion). perfect way to send off this run that truly was special and i think became that way because of a lot of factors, not least of all the intimate nature of the venue and the fact that the vast majority of attendees were there 2, if not all 3, nights.

so after the last three nights i think there is a very clear distinction between the shows. 3 legitimately unique shows. i would say night 2 is a clear champion, with nights 1 and 3 slightly behind (yet 1 and 3 are about as different of a phish show as i could imagine). great run. they could box set those 3 shows tomorrow.

rant portion of review:

as with everything, your opinion of your interests invariably changes with you as you grow, mature, and change as a person - for better or for worse. i have been on every inch of the phan spectrum, from "i think i dont need to see phish anymore" to "i am going to steal a homeless man's kidney to get a pav ticket". i have also, but self-servingly for a short duration, failed to appreciate the skill, devotion, and pure willpower needed to do what this band does, night after night. however, post-mexico i reached a point where i trust and respect these guys as musicians to such a point where all i really want to do is see them have fun. and if you see enough of that, you will see them show those flashes of magic that make them so revered. saw some of that this weekend.

i raise this issue because this tour, moreso than i remember in recent years, has been scrutinized for what the band is doing wrong, or probably more uninformed, what they arent doing right. everyone is now the leader of 30+ year old band. everyone knows what songs should come next, what songs should be shelved, what songs should be in the 1st set, etc. truth be told? nobody does. maybe not even the band, but they are the best people to make those decisions.

i have been thinking over this analogy for a few days now, and i think it fits pretty well. phish is like your A+, #1, ace starting pitcher. doesnt matter what his season is like, he is starting game 1 in every playoff series. he will pitch on short rest. he will come out of the bullpen. doesnt matter. earlier this tour, it felt like he was struggling with his command, missing pitches, looking shaky, but he would always seem to get out of a jam. by the time the gorge was rolling around, people's opinion of the band and their "inability to jam" or pointed ability to nutpunch you with the line 2nd set reached what i would call a trip to the mound. much like a baseball manager, phish's fans have very little impact on the true quality of their playing. make the lineups, guess on matchups, hope for the best. to be honest, we deserve no credit for their sucess. so here we are, walking up the mound, telling phish we are taking him out. you know what he says "sit the fuck down, i am the pro here, not you. i got this." he then proceeds to strike out the side, finishing another gem of a game, and fuck the proverbial faces of every peanut and cracker jack in the park.

`Cause when I get mad, I get red, and then I start to steam.
And this guitar is gonna fuck your face `cause it knows how to scream!


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