, attached to 2017-07-18

Review by sdbaird

sdbaird The Nutter Center, home to the famed 1997 funk-fest with the masterful first set. What was in store on this night, many years later? How would Phish start the show, set the narrative? Maybe a Tube or Ghost or something along those lines. Well, no, a Tuesday. I love this song—I love the studio version and all of the TAB performances. But Tuesday was, to say the least, unanticipated. Maybe that was the point. And so the first set commenced, as it typically does, with relatively short, structured songs, which at times seemed like they were going to take off (e.g. 46 Days), only to be abruptly curtailed. That being said, it was a highly enjoyable series of songs; everyone was having fun, dancing, embracing the night.

First sets are not always the best predictor of what is to come in the second half, especially for Phish 3.0. Nonetheless, it always creates a sense of unease: where is all of this going? Phish answered that question last night, as they often do, with an amazing, exploratory second set. It’s as if they are toying with us, daring us to doubt their chops, their ability to take songs to a blissful place. DWD quickly swirls into a wonderfully spacey jam. Page continues to be the 2017 MVP in my book, adding new layers and textures that are strikingly beautiful. Trey responds with elongated, trippy effects, taking us further out, until a new jam emerges; this is great music.

On paper the Mountains > Waves may arise suspicion regarding placement, but it really worked; the boys were in sync and the pairing felt like one seamless jam that eventually peaked at the end of Waves.

And then the Ghost. I thought the transition from Waves was haunting in all the right ways, which seemed only fitting for what ended up being a stellar Ghost. The interplay was incredible throughout. If that wasn’t enough, we were also treated to an extended rendition of Wombat--one of my favorite studio tracks from Fuego that always seemed to have the potential to be a catalyst for interesting jams. Bravo, Phish, bravo.


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