, attached to 2017-07-21

Review by dublindeuce

dublindeuce So a little personal backstory before I get into my review of this show. Feel free to skip ahead of this next paragraph if you don't care about my personal attachment to this show and why it means a lot to me.

My first Phish show was 12/31/15, which was an absolutely fantastic show. However, at the time I only knew a handful of Phish songs and was incredibly stoned. As a result, I have very few memories from that night. I remember getting Possum, Wilson, and Wolfman's Brother at that first show and being excited because I actually knew those songs, but that's about all I remember from that night. Fast forward a couple months into the early months of 2016, and since that New Year's 2015>2016 show I had transformed into a huge Phish fan. My favorite song when I first started really listening to Phish a lot on my own was Tweezer, and it's still my favorite Phish song now. When Phish announced the New Years run going into 2017, I knew I had to attend a couple of those shows. My second and third Phish shows were 12/28/16 and 12/29/16 respectively, and while those were also great shows, I was dissappointed that the Tweezer I was hunting for kept eluding me. This brings us to Friday, July 21st, 2017. Today was the first night of the Baker's Dozen, and my fourth show. Now let's get to reviewing the show.

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After a pretty hot first five nights of tour, Phish finally rolls into the Big Apple to start their highly anticipated Baker's Dozen. Each night of the Baker's Dozen has a different Donut flavor as a theme for the show, and it appears that Phish will play a couple songs each night to suit the flavor Donut of that night.

So Phish starts the first night of Baker's Dozen with the debut of Junior Senior's Shake Your Coconuts, a rocking and high energy song to get the Donuts rolling and the fans dancing.

Martian Monster came next, which is always fun and a little trippy.

Timber Ho! is a good addition to any setlist, but this version was way too short. The boys have probably been dying to play Timber since the "Chimple" 6 days prior, which was filled with Timber teases. They finally decided to jam on Timber proper, but the song only lasted seven or eight minutes. They should've jammed it out more to follow up the "Chimple".from 7/15.

Strong versions of 555 and Pigtail came next. At this point I was a little underwhelmed with how the set was panning out so far. Well executed versions of each song, but shortish jams and not much to write home about.

The Halfway to the Moon that came next got things much jammier. Page and Trey particularly shone in this excellent version. I much preferred this version to the one I got on 12/28/16.

And now finally, after a full calendar year and 31 Phish shows, our little lady friend REBA was dusted off and taken for spin. This wasn't my first Reba; I got one at my first show, but for reasons mentioned prior, I have no memory of that Reba taking place. But boy was this a good Reba. Trey nailed the complicated composed sections, and during the bliss jam towards the end of the song I truly felt like I was going to start crying from joy.

Moonage Daydream, a song debuted last Halloween, was given a kickass reading. Trey sounded fantastic with the grungy riffing.

A nice Walls of the Cave ended a good first set, with Reba and Moonage Daydream being jams of the set.

Now during setbreak my friends and I were debating what would open the second set. The two most likely candidates we came up with were Tweezer and Mike's Song; two typically second set songs that can be used as monster jamming vehicles. These songs also had both not yet been played during summer tour.

When the opening notes to TWEEZER kicked in after a 40 minute setbreak, I screamed as loudly as I ever have in my life. Finally after more than a year and a half of waiting to get my favorite Phish song, it was finally happening. I headbanged my head so hard during the first 10 seconds of the song that I think I may have concussed myself. Whoops. This Tweezer had some great tension build ups and releases, and the band quickly left the composed section of the song behind for a bliss jam that had me enthralled. 16 minutes of glorious bliss jamming ensued, and I was digging every second of it.

The band cools down the jam and moves into Seven Below. Seven Below felt extremely mellow, groovy, and funky. The composed parts of the song were once again quickly executed and the band jumped right into improvisational mode. This Seven Below jam was quite excellent, and almost itself reached the blissful peaks that the Tweezer did prior to it. This Tweezer > Seven Below should really be listened to together as one jam. All 30 minutes or so of it are incredible.

Billy Breathes and Sparkle were interesting, yet enjoyable picks to round out the first half of the second set.

Everything's Right is a new TAB song that was debuted by Phish on the first night of this tour, 7/14/17 in Chicago. I remember livestreaming that show and being impressed by the jam potential on that version, but the version from tonight just blew the cover off of the debut. This was another glorious and happy jam that the band took farther and farther out there. Mike especially was strong in this version, and I felt he moved the jam along perfectly with his playing.

When they went into the joyous classic Slave to the Traffic Light, I thought that this would end the set for sure. But nope, the band treated us to an energetic Suzy Greenberg with a little extra mustard. I was even more sure the set would end after Suzy. I couldn't believe it when the band walked to the front of the stage to perform an acapella song. "Coconut" by Harry Nillson was a hilarious and goofy way to end the set, all keeping within the theme of Coconut for this night's show.

For the encore, the rare "Mango Song" was played for the first time in over a year, and I was so happy to get this song. Just earlier today before the show I was telling a friend about how I really wanted to hear a Mango song, and like magic, I got it. I thought that Tweeprise would for sure close the show, but instead of doing the expected, Phish surprised everyone with a rocking version of Good Times Bad Times. It was great seeing Trey get so into these Zeppelin licks. It proves that Trey can still shred like the master guitar player he is.

The show ended on Good Times Bad Times, the second time I've gotten that song as an encore.

This was all around a terrific show. The first set highlights were Halfway to the Moon, Reba, and Moonage Daydream. The second set highlights were jammed out versions of Tweezer, Seven Below, and Everything's Right, and a joyful Slave > Suzy.

All I can say is that this is definitely the best Phish show I've ever been to. The emotional weight of getting a Reba and my long awaited Tweezer is what makes this show truly special for me, but overall the band played excellent from the beginning of the first set to the last notes of Good Times Band Times.

I can't wait to go back to MSG and do it all again tomorrow.


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