Set I: Frankenstein is not a creative selection, but nonetheless, comes nothing short of opening prowess. Great way to set the tone of the night - good rock n roll fun. Sparkle is one of those songs that strays from its format, but always is great fun. Thus, continuing the tone of the night. Standard, but good stuff. Simple sounds really sounds a lot heavier, if you will. Maybe a little sped up too. Once again, fun song and somewhat standard. This Divided Sky really transcends how Phish goes about with the beautiful tempo and volume relationship. What would be a Halloween typical, it really warms up the guys and is a nice change in pace. Again, this song isn't too much of a jam song, but it really feels like one in this version. And then Harpua happened. Halloween vibe manifestation! Great story alterations. The Vibration of Life is it? or is death? Harpua's always awesome, so I'll move on. Julius is standard. The Horse > SITM is standard as well. It's always a good combo, but I feel as though this one is not as good as most due to it being placed after Julius. Jerk of vibe you could say. AND THEN REBA HAPPENED! After the standard set of songs, this one is much more then refreshing. It also is not a premonition of great things. This concert could have been done after Reba. In fact, it Reba were the only song for the whole show, people would not be too disappointed. Well maybe a little exaggeration, but this the best Reba I've had the privilege to enjoy. Surrender to the flow with this one. Golgi brings us back down to earth with some realistic rock, if you will. Not to compare in a bad way, but Reba was extraterrestrial in auditory bliss. Golgi is Golgi.
Highlights: Reba, Divided Sky, Harpua -> The Vibration of Life -> Harpua
Set II and Set III: The White Album is a genius album, but wouldn't it be a little too slow paced for a Phish Halloween show? The answer is NO! This part's a tic to review, but what I can say most confidently is that this was an extremely fun, high energy cover. The White Album, in my opinion, is not one album that should be considered being covered. It is so distinct, so exploratory, so diverse. It requires to be played with great ambition. The one band that could have a chance to make it an energized crowd pleaser live would be Phish. And guess what? Phish nails it directly on the head. Covers should not be note for note renditions, especially in the case of this album. Phish plays this album with an upbeat, electric pep that is played for the majority of their originals. Let me say that compared to the Phish cover, The White Album seems lethargic and run-on. In my opinion, this is the best Halloween cover to this date.
Highlights: Dear Prudence, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Rocky Raccoon, Helter Skelter, Revolution 9
Set IV: Opening with a 13 minute rendition of David Bowie, this set does not let up. With 3 hours of music already played, it's a wonder that the guys played arguable the best original music they had played all year up until that point. David Bowie is fantastic and feels like a great transition from the costume back to the original stuff. Mike gets funky in this one. Bouncing Around the Room is one of the standard un-jammed songs, but I'm sure gives the guy a much needed slow song. Slave is one of the best versions I have ever heard. Any version of this song brings pure bliss to the listener, but this one is a gradually building masterpiece that almost steals the show from Reba. Rift is next, and really didn't appeal to me all too much because I was still in disbelief of the Slave. Maybe it wasn't that it appealed to me, but it really wasn't the foremost thing going on in my head. Sleeping Monkey is another slow one (3 in a row), but I have no problem with that. It's a really nice version as it is most of the time. The only problem I can think of is how less drawn out Page's organ sounds than other live versions after Fish's solo. Alas, not perfect, but pretty darn good. Poor Heart picks up the energy again. Great Phish bluegrass to get you pumped for what's to come. Antelope is one of the monsters played in this show that can be listed as one of the greats. Not Type II jamming, yet it's so solid that I cannot find any missed notes. Those versions are quite underrated.
Highlights: David Bowie, Slave, Antelope
Encore: After 2 minutes of zealous cheering, fans were rewarded with a singing of Amazing Grace. I really don't know how to review that, but it is a small treat. Then the finalists of the costume contests are presented. I won't review this musically. It is pretty valuable groovin' though. The Squirming Coil rarely disappoints. Everything is standard until the awe-inspiring piano solo from Page to close out the show. Amazing finish to an amazing show.
Overall: If you're a newbie to Halloween shows, this is what you should start with. It's one of my favorite Phish shows overall and has a great costume. It's over 4 hours of good old fun for Icculus' sake! Wowzers! If you've been listening to these costumes for a long time, I still suggest you to re-listen. Musical genius is subtle at times and can be easily missed when listening casually.
My Rating: 4.9/5.0