, attached to 2017-08-05

Review by 3twenty6

3twenty6 My first ever Phish show was on 7/30/17 (the "Jimmies" show), and for my second show, I got "Boston Cream". We all knew this flavor would make an appearance, and when the word dropped on Saturday, we knew we were gonna get something.... but what?

Phish may not be the only band on the planet that would open a show with a reggae cover, follow it up with a bluegrass cover, then drop a rocking original number in the 3rd slot, but they're probably the only one who could pull it off so easily. While all three tunes were well-played (as was everything else on the tour), there was nothing really AMAZING about any of them. Then the Gotta Jibboo came along. It was the first moment in the night when things went a little bit crazy, and it was a great version with a big fat jam and a funky groove that went kinda deep into those exploratory places that we all love. What more do you want?? So far, a good show, but nothing outrageous. Then we got an FYF. Always cool to hear, still, nothing special.

Then came the moment that people will be talking about for years, the moment that put this show on the map, the moment that, apparently, the entire run was created around. You have to hear it. You just have to. It's not even one of those things that could be explained (believe me, I've tried). The crowd went apeshit at the start of what we thought was gonna be "Sunshine of your Love", and, listening to the tapes now, I can hear it in Trey's voice as he sings the first verse of the Cream song with full knowledge that he's getting ready to drop something big. There's an anticipation, an excitement in his voice... He knows that minds will be blown, and when it happens and the band turns on a dime, dropping into "More Than A Feeling", the overjoyed, already apeshit happy crowd went into a higher gear of apeshit and took it to a new level of bliss. High fives, jaws on the floor, eyes bugging out of heads, roars of laughter and cheers of approval.... but it wasn't over.... The merry-go-round called Sunshine of Your Feeling is must-hear material and this Cream Boston Cream Boston Cream Boston Cream Boston Cream mashup was a triumph of epic proportions.

How do you follow that up?
What do you do to top that?

Nothing. You don't top it. You cleanse the palette. That's what Frost did. Great tune, great placement. Gave us all a chance to catch our breath and lift our jaws from the floor, get our heads back on our shoulders. SOaMule got weird (as it is wont to do), Fire was hot, Alaska was Alaska (which to me is a good thing, but I know it ain't everyone's favorite), and this performance of Plasma was sublime and all-around fucking amazing, but because of Sunshine of Your Feeling it will probably never get the love it deserves.

Second set....

Ghost!!!! We knew it was coming. Math told us. Simple and YEM were obviously reserved for the grand finale show, and they'd been in the habit of (mostly) opening the second set with big fat hairy jam vehicles. So it was pretty clear that Ghost was coming, and so it did, and a damned fine Ghost it was. Like so many other second set openers in the Baker's Dozen, it went deep and got weird and found some groovy spaces before sliding into another tune we all knew was coming at some point (but weren't quite as eagerly anticipating), Petrichor. Now I dig Petrichor. I dig all the complicated arrangements and dramatic shifts and such, but the placement of this one, after that Ghost... it seemed to suck the life out of the room. It was a fine performance of the tune, but the placement was just not the best in the world. The energy picked back up as the band moved into Light, and by the time The Lizards started, we were back in our high energy happy headspace. Horse > Silent was its typical great self. Then along came the mighty eskimo Quinn. Man, look... I fucking love Quinn the Eskimo. It was Bob Dylan's music that opened my mind up in the first place, and to hear the Phish from Vermont cover the Bard from Minnesota was a special fucking treat for me. Aaaaaaand Rocky Top. I'm a southerner. I grew up on this shit. Of course I'm gonna dig it. And that wrapped up the set... Good time music by a good time band.

Joy. Say what you will about Joy, but I'm of the opinion that any song that includes the words "we want you to be happy" is a fine fucking song and the kind of light we all need in this world that seems to want folks to be anything but happy. I'm also partially deaf and have a cochlear implant, and there's a certain tone and a certain note that come out of Trey's guitar that hits the cochlear and sends the signal into my brain that gives me a feeling that I can't put into words. The sound is something more glorious than anything I've ever heard. I call it an eargasm because I don't know what else to call it. So if you don't like Joy, that's fine. But there are some of us for whom the song brings unspeakable joy. My eyes leaked. It was good.

Anyway, that's it.
My second time seeing the Phish in person.
I'm anxiously awaiting my third.


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