, attached to 2017-07-19

Review by phishyeducator

phishyeducator The buildup to this Wednesday night began way back in the spring. Once this small jaunt before the Baker's Dozen was announced, it was decided that a large group of us from all over the country was going to get together and celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first show just days before the actual anniversary (7/22/97) in a city hungry for some Phishing. As well, Phish hadn't played in the city limits of Pittsburgh since 1996, and this is basically a hometown show for me, as I live just 2 1/2 hrs away and see all kinds of shows and games in the 'burgh. Arrangements were made, and entries in the PTBM lotto were made. The force was with us as we were all successful in the lotto. Each set of us would be scattered inside the building, but the Pete is small enough that we all ended up seeing and waving at one another once at our seats!
Day of the show rolls around and our phamily has gathered at a buddy's house outside Pittsburgh and we head out in two cars to the show. We really wasn't expecting much of a shakedown, being in the heart of the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, but to our great surprise there was a small but thriving shakedown kicking right outside our parking garage. After meeting up with everyone and exchanging hugs and greetings with friends from near and far, it was time to head into the Pete.
The security and ticket scan went smoothly, and soon we were saying our parting words before heading to our respective seats. After locating one another with a wave of a hand or hat, we settled in for a night of hoped-for magic. Soon enough the houselights dimmed and out they came.

Set I
My Soul - tight version, good shake-loose opening number to dust off the dancing bones.
NICU - Greeted with a cheer. Feel good tune, lots of singing along.
Halley's > Well play Halley's, and the band appears to be getting warmed up a little bit.
Undermind - aahhhh yeah, that's more like it. A nice little jam here that portends things to come.
Divided Sky - Such a needed song, for me personally, and boy do they nail it. Trey is on fire, and is hitting all the key notes of the composed sections and just a bright feel to the whole song. They are really playing well - together - this tour. Sounds like their chops are up too!
Marissa - neat little tune from Mike. Good feel to it.
Home - The jam out of this one was tasty. I even labelled it on the setlist on the back of my ticket stub as "Pittsburgh Jam" after Home, as they just hit a whole other gear!
Prince Caspian - What can I say? Jam of the night? Mr. C may have something to say about it in set II, but I think it goes right here. So many interesting places and themes are hit on in these 16 short minutes. Is it better than Magna-Caspian? You be the judge of that, but my money lays here. Great way to end the set! Once the house lights came on, many of us stood there - in stunned silence - needing a moment to collect our thoughts on what just transpired.

Set II
PYITE - great way to open the set, got all of us up and dancing right away. Led into...
Mr. Completely - first time played in 14 years, and only second time ever, and boy do they hit it hard! Another hard to beat jam weaves through the very fiber of this one, and there is no way to put into words the places we go together during this jam.
Mercury - Always glad to hear this one. It doesn't disappoint and although it isn't long, it's meaty in the jam department, leading into the first Phish version of...
Come Together - Well played and fit nicely into this slot in the set.
Contact - a good cool-down number and one not too commonly played.
Steam - Revving the engine up again, a good Steam leads into
BDTNL - I love this song, and I don't care! The jam leading out of Number Line really gets everyone rocking again. The version is fire!
Encore:
Things People Do - this little ditty from Page is quite catchy.
Bug - powerful meaning for me, and well played for the most part. Just when we thought we were blessed with a double encore, they play a quick...
Rocky Top - great way to end this show!

The aftershow included the mindless wandering up out of the bowels of the arena and up the multitudinous steps leading back up to the parking garage. The whole way just trying to digest what just happened. Was it the greatest show in history? Nope. Best of tour? Who knows? But to me it's just amazing to think that we still have these four guys up on stage still out there making fresh, quality, ground-breaking music. The Caspian for the ages alone makes this one to listen to. I'm glad we were here, and can't wait until the next one...


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