, attached to 2017-08-01

Review by dantheman

dantheman Just an awesome show. A lot of people are complaining about the pacing, particularly in the first set, but to me the slower/newer songs at the beginning were the appetizer to the first entree that began with The Wedge and ended with the absurd Walk Away. The appetizer may not have been exactly what you had in mind when you ordered it, but you ended up enjoying it more than you thought, and you subsequently enjoyed the main course that much more.

A quick note - after attending some of the first shows of the run, I was legitimately worried that the band has misplaced their 'hose'. The band was incredibly cohesive and was able to carry the songs/jams to interesting places, but Trey seemed to be timid. There was a lot of noodling, but no soul-crushing solos. Last night (and parts of the Jimmy's show) totally put that concern to rest.

While I had not heard 'Leaves' yet, I have to say I've never heard MSG so quiet and attentive as when Trey sang the first verse by himself. Nobody left to go to the bathroom or started talking to each other...it was just silent. Maybe it was the attention they demanded after the Golden Age jam, or maybe it was the product of a tired weekday crowd, but it was incredible to see/hear.

I personally LOVED the Swept Away through Piper segment...it's kind of like Phish's version of the Abbey Road medley in that once the first song of the medley is played (Swept Away), your ear expects to hear the rest of the associated songs, and the band delivered. The insertion of 46 Days was a nice segment within this medley.

Did anyone else pick up on some friction between Trey and Fishman at the beginning of 46 days? Fishman was really trying to keep a slower tempo (from my memory, closer to the tempo from Round Room), but Trey was insistent on a faster speed. From what I could hear, this led Fishman to mess with the rhythm of the jam segment...there was a lot of abrupt speeding up and slowing down by Fishman, all punctuated by particularly heavy drumming. Trey looked back at him several times throughout this, and I wasn't sure if the vibe was that of 'messing with each other' or 'I see how you want to do this'...

Normally not a fan of Piper, but after the hose was turned on from the first set, they weren't able to turn it off - Piper and Possum were a great ending to the 2nd set.

While I love a good Bowie cover, the encore very much took the air out of the room, but while it was slow, luckily didn't affect the show's overall punch.

In short, it was a very balanced show. The slow songs, which normally kill momentum, only helped to improve the show's pacing, and in the faster songs, the band really brought it. I could sense an overall relaxed feeling both in the band and in the audience.

Final note - this run specifically has reinforced to me that who you're next to at a show affects your overall enjoyment of the show as much if not more than the actual performance of the band. At the Jimmy's show, the person next to me flail-danced the entire time, which normally would not phase me, except that they were in full dance mode throughout the Harpua narration. If you're going to wildly dance and take up several seat spaces, at least just do it when there's music. Last night, I was between two great folks who were very much there for the music and not for aimless gyration, and having that company in the same mindset as me allowed me to enjoy the show that much more.


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