, attached to 2009-12-04

Review by phanoftheband

phanoftheband The stars were all aligned for this one. My 60th show, my brothers 61st. The four of us had never seen a show together. We have all hung out as a group many times, been to many shows with each other, but surprisingly never did the group thing for a show. It was a hometown show for me, and my two friends. My brother had to travel 4 hours to get to my place. My brother and I remarked how great it was to not have to drive this night while taking the train into the city. Early on I had convinced these guys to go and to do it up and get floor seats from Stub Hub. Besides tonight, since Phish has been back I have yet to get denied for mail order any show I wanted to go to. So we got the floor seats towards the back but they were perfect. We were section 9, row B which is the first section the seats were elevated so us short guys can see. It had been a long time since I had floor seats at an indoor show, way back at my first show, Syracuse 1994.

Security getting in was non-existant but once on the floor the "Keith Hernadez" look alike was on a mission. This guy was relentless taking pipes away from kids. After the show I over heard him say this show he tied his personal best at 16 pipes. That's like one every 10 minutes. Normally that would slow me down but on this Friday night it did not matter.

I had gone to Thursday nights show but that was unfortunately a rare blur for me. I guess knowing that I had the next night left I took some risks and I think the one too many beers at the bar did me in. Well this night I was not going to take any chances, it was back to basics for me to ensure the memorable experience. My one friend had not been to a show since 12/31/98 and what a night to reunite.

By the way the show was over two weeks ago and now I am finally getting around to write the review. I have read no other reviews and I have not listened to the tapes. It has been torture, believe me.

You look at the first set list for tonight and it does not jump out at you as being anything special. Let me tell you the first set was quite special. Now the music: Heavy Things-ordinary people still finding their seats, Possum as always excites the crowd, great at the Garden with a crazy crowd, Wilson yes we still can have fun, nice placement have seen a bunch of Wilson as the second song, nice to see it making it's way later in the set, 46 days - œ wow, love this song, so great in the first set, Reba - œ are you kidding me!, Dinner and a Movie was raging - œ should make this song a regular part of the rotation, then they played Guyute. I am not usually a Guyute fan but I am coming around, I thought this version had some out of the box moments although a dude I spoke to after the show thought it was ordinary. It was high energy none the less with some great explotration. At the end of Guyute, I though the set was over. Then came Maze which was action packed. At this point I was more than fulfilled ready to call it a set and then they bust out First Tube. This was hands down the best First Tube they have ever played. I am sure others are saying the same things. I can't wait to hear it again. My god it had over the top energy and at times the whole place was peaking. One of the highlights of my entire career not just this show. The set ended and there were hugs all around. It was just that type of set. Confirmed why I go to shows. I could have gone home at that point, it was that good.

It was great to stand next to my friends during the first set. I knew how much fun they were having and since I organized the event, it felt even better that they were having as much fun as I had.

An important thing to note and you can file this under things you blurt out during a great Phish show, I yelled out to my brother that MSG was such a great place to see a show and the dude behind me confirms by saying "the best". Seriously MSG is the best place for an indoor show. I have never been to Hampton but the energy at this place is over the top at times. I also think SPAC is my favorite amphitheater after seeing this summer tour closer.

Second set we changed the standing arrangement. I sat in my normal position, next to my brother. Always a treat and to top if off he is a walking Phish encyclopedia. Going into the second set I did not think the first set would be topped, how could it be. Rarely is the second set better when you have witnessed a first set like that. Scents opener was great. I don't think I ever saw it live before. Loved it. Rock & Roll is never my favorite, Seven Below is always a treat, Twist was good. I had just seen Twist in Syracuse which was phenomenal so it was hard to compare. Then the set took off with Mike's groove. Perfect, perfect, placement. The crowd got settled in, a decent glow stick war. Horse and Silent, again just saw those in Syracuse but still good in my book. Then a perfectly placed YEM. The crowd was loving it. My friend asked me if I thought the set was over and I said, no way, they have at least two more in them. Did not have a watch but I was convinced. Unfortunately the band did not have two more in them. They exit and come back for a quick encore, Shine a Light which is the first time I ever heard it. It was played at 8 during the Exile on Main Street Set. I really liked it. Thinking they were going to extend the encore, they did not. Ohh well, like usual they left me wanting more.

Overall a stellar show. First set was one of the best I have ever seen. I will go out on a limb and say best First Tube ever. MSG is the greatest venue that they play at with super energy. Great company. Great seats. I have a new found appreciation for the floor seats. I nkw believe the light show was intended to be viewed from the floor. I will always remember this show for sure.


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