, attached to 2018-12-31

Review by yam_ekaj

yam_ekaj took the last couple nights off from reviewing due mostly to how in awe i was of this incredible band. but it's only right that i review the last show of 2018. and what a show it was!

first set begins pretty standard with a nice moma. stray dog is the first of 4 kasvot tunes played throughout the night. i enjoy this song; it works well as an early 1st setter. 555 is not my favorite, but the jam segment is always solid. i was very excited when sand began---i thought we could be in for another big first set jam. plus the way they've been playing sand this fall (see vegas and chicago versions) has been incredible, with each version reaching ridiculously high peaks. this one was not a huge jam, but it did deliver on the huge peak promise. MSG was rockin' indeed. the next segment, steam > chalkdust > WTU > play by play is definitely worth a listen in full. i certainly wish that they jams in steam and chalkdust had continued (particularly in chalkdust) but aborting a jam to beautifully settle into WTU is definitely fine by me. Play by play might be my favorite kasvot song, and this version featured some inspired grooving from the band. never gonna complain about a waste, or an ass handed, or an antelope for that matter. this antelope featured some great tension and release (as they all should) and ended the set on a great note.

set 2 was a monster set, with one blemish. disease predictably starts it off, and this disease really delivers. a deep type-2 exploration that ultimately winds up in an awesome minor key hose-jam. at 18 and a half minutes, this version certainly went long enough. however, the move to go into farmhouse was certainly not ideal, and the crowd responded with some audible expressions of dismay. according to those who webcasted, mike gordon himself shot trey an annoyed look, which just makes me laugh. regardless, farmhouse is a pretty song which i certainly don't hate, i just wish it wasn't played so early in the set. but phish powered on, dropping into a wonderful 7-below. another 15+ minute jam, this is a sick version that deserves a relisten. -7 drops into twist, which as a song seems to have shifted roles from big jam vehicle to 4th quarter energy boost. i certainly have no problem with that. after the economical twist, those familiar tom-tom hits come, and we drop into harry hood. this is an awesome hood, in which trey steers the band into deep type 2 territory. the jam moves into passing through, the 3rd kasvot song. this is a great song, but i found myself wishing that they would have finished the hood. sure enough, as passing through winds down, trey starts back into the hood jam. it gets finished after all! an awesome ending to a great set.

set 3 was truly awe-inspiring. the music was great - some absolutely sick playing during the mercury as the acrobats performed, a la the clifford ball acrobat jams. the SANTOS was also awesome - again some sick playing even as mike and trey were literally flying! the fourth quarter is standard 3.0 NYE show fare. simple thru suzy was just a rock n' roll dance party. i'll never be upset about the lizards as an encore, and zero caps the night (and the run) off with some amazing energy. i definitely wish we'd heard YEM, Fluff, Reba, divided sky, etc, but in general the song selection this run was excellent.

As for the gag itself, i personally loved it! the pyro effects were really cool, the acrobatics were awesome, and seeing mike and trey fly around was really amazing. it was reminiscent of the petrichor choreography for sure, but i enjoyed this one much more.

as a whole, this was an unbelievably strong New Years run. 12/28 was a solid phish rager, 12/29 was maybe the show of the year, 12/30 is top 5 show of the year and last night was another rager that is no slouch in the jamming department. the last two NYE runs have been just so money. amazing to see that each year the band just improves. god i love phish. what a year.


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