, attached to 2017-08-06

Review by Coleman_

Coleman_ The excitement and energy in the building before the show was unlike anything I had ever seen - strangers were literally stopping strangers to shake hands and high-five before the band had even taken the stage!

Despite having played 217 of the songs in their catalog without any repeats prior to this show, Phish was still able to surprise the crowd when they launched into Dogs Stole Things to kick off the first set. Rift was played exceptionally tightly. The spirited composed section after Trey's "soul to ignite" cranked up the energy and by the time the familiar opening riff to Ha Ha Ha rolled around you could tell they were just loving the moment. Camel Walk followed and continued the set's early feel-good, old school vibe.

Then from the abyss rose a trio of dark songs like the band had taken a cue from the red "Make Phish Evil Again" hats that were being sold outside the Garden. The first highlight is Crazy Sometimes, a strange new Mike song, that showcased Page's willingness to take the synth to spacy, cerebral places. Bouncing brought with it the return to equilibrium, setting the stage for the next highlight. Immediately after the last verse to the Vida Blue song you probably hadn't heard before called Most Events Aren't Planned the band pauses before Fishman ignites a punchy '70s detective groove with a quick snare fill. I'm reminded of the Murat Gin when Fishman gives everyone a swift kick in the ass before the second jam. Easily the best song of the first set, the intensity doesn't let up for a second of the 7-minute jam. Additionally, it should be noted that aside from the amusing I Been Around dialogue between Trey and Page, this can be considered the only earnest nod to the Glazed donut theme of the night in that there seemingly hadn't been any planned mention of the theme otherwise.

For the most unpredictable run of Phish's career it is perhaps fitting that the set closed with Izabella - a rockin' Jimi bustout they hadn't played in nearly 20 years! The novelty alone is worth a listen, but they really nailed this version and had clearly been in a Hendrix mood given that this was the third night in a row they played one of his songs.

I managed to get my first donut during setbreak and fuck it was delicious. Pretty much everyone and their mother could have predicted that they'd play Simple in the second set, but regardless the anticipation was nigh unbearable. Surely they'd give it its proper Baker's Dozen treatment, but I don't think I'm alone in that I was wondering how it would ultimately stack up against the glorious Chicago Simple from just a few weeks prior. Well, in short this Simple did not disappoint! Not only is it the third longest song of all 13 shows, but similar to MEAP this one does not lack in intensity in the slightest. Trey's beautiful, no-space-between-notes noodling reminds me of Jerry's style and Mike does a fantastic job of keeping the energy high. In my opinion, this surpasses the version from earlier in this summer hands-down.

After this is a new Trey song that has yet to grow on me, and then a couple of ace classic rock songs bookend the best YEM I've seen live! Starman was such an epic celebration, and I'm glad to say I witnessed all Bowie songs of the run. It was good to see which Halloween songs may make it into normal rotation. When they launched into YEM, I don't think I had ever seen so much excitement from such a huge crowd all at once. The you-know-what-I'm-talking-about notes and the "BOY!" were absolutely explosive. This was a very fiery version and they even did a little Izabella jam! Loving Cup was an awesome way to end the second set, I don't care what anyone says about this spot for this song I will always defend it.

Before the encore when Phish raised their banner to the ceiling of MSG I thought to myself, "Damn, these guys have earned it." On the Road Again was teary-eyed, I guess, but I couldn't hear from the crowd and though I've never been one to well up at shows I can certainly see why folks would. Then the Lawn Boy Reprise - are you kidding me?! It was all Lawn Boy all along, I knew it! I really hope they revisit this groove in the future. The Tweeprize encore was the most epic way to end the run of a life time, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Twitter posts like, "The Baker's Dozen Tweezer lasted longer than Scaramucci in office." The greatest band on earth just did the greatest thing on earth and it is a wonderful time to be alive.


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