, attached to 2009-12-29

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This show is a nice surprise to revisit given the relative retrospective disregard of 2009 among many Phishtorians. For one thing, the band's joy (pun intended) at being back together is very palpable, as it had been from the moment the music began again at Hampton on 3/6/09. It's a very well-balanced setlist, as well, though my peskily least-favorite yet often-played song Ocelot pops up to spend up 9:44 of playing time. The Golgi Apparatus opener is snappy and energetic, as it should be, and Driver, The Connection is poignant pairing that I don't think we've seen since. Wolfman's Brother qualifies as a noteworthy version, in my opinion, but even moreso does this show's Reba, which features some addictive, quasi-funky "grid-style" playing that reminds me of Trey's declaration around 1997 that they were going for a jamming style that sounded that way. (It's odd that this should appear 12 years later, and in Reba of all songs, when the truest commitment to that type of jamming could previously be heard most superlatively on 10/31/96 and the other shows with Karl Perazzo that Fall.)

Kill Devil Falls opens the second set with a rocking groove that finds its way > Tweezer > Prince Caspian, both of which are also noteworthy jams, IMO. I'm not a setlist buff to the extent that I can recall off the top of my head how often that song pairing has occurred, but we all know what happened with it at Magnaball! Gotta Jibboo > Wilson -> Gotta Jibboo is fun and makes sense given their similarities in key and tempo. Heavy Things gets a good recital > 2001 > Slave to the Traffic Light, which is a fine version before Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise slips us into the night. There are some moments in this show that fall short of the 4-out-of-5 stars I give overall but the highs keep it moving and the relative lowlights are sustained by the infectious energy of the first Holiday Run since the reunion. I'll definitely have to head back into 2009 more often to remind myself of those feelings of renewal.


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