After listening to all the shows of the first leg up to this point on couch tour, I had a lot of high hopes going into this show and I was not dissapointed. The band has been playing on such a high level and having such a good time while doing it and that was only solidified in this show.
Right out of the gates you could feel something special when they all came out a capella and hit The Birdwatcher perfectly. I guess you could say that was the calm before the storm. Once the first notes hit for The Curtain With I looked over at my buddy and gave him the nod and started running in place. There was a lot of us before the show looking for this one during the run. And we got it right out of the gates. Little did we know we were going to get a 14 minute mammoth. For the first 7 minutes we were in an all out battle with heat literally and musically. Then those soft notes that Trey hits to segway into the second 7 minutes that really hit me hard. I panned across the whole venue and really started to take it all in. We made it. We were here. Phish 2012 was about to begin. The remainder of the set was just peppered with one highlight after the next. Pebbles and Marbles is not usually a song that I write home about but this one gave new meaning to this song for me. Seeing it form itself into a jam vehicle this year just proves even further that the band is taking more chances with different songs as jam vehicles than in other 3.0 years. Pebbles had parts that reminded me of DWD Clarkston which was a highlight for me in '11. The jam just kept climbing and lifted me to the clouds. Landing itself in the beginning of the highlight of the first set...Pebbles, weigh, chalkdust, wolfman's....it set the tone for just a all out barrage of sick Trey licks and bass bombs from Mike throughout The Chalkdust and Wolfman's combo. I've probably listened to this segment a good 5 or 6 times since the show. Once Wolfman's ended we were all drenched in sweat. The heat was at about 110 degrees and the band was only contributing to that. Cool It Down was placed perfectly to let us take a breath and then get right back into a quality Tweezer that only assured me that this was one of the best first sets of the first leg. Too many heavy hitters and down right spot on JAMMING to disagree. Tela and Stealing time rounded out the first set and were both above average versions. Damn...I needed a shower and about a gallon of water at this point. Little did I know what to expect going into the second set...
Mike's started and the journey began. Clocking in at about 9 min this Mike's had all the crunchiness we expect and could be a highlight in any other show but what would then follow is what we all went home writing about. The band did not break once throughout the whole second set and we got down and dirty jams with Mike's and McGrupp and BOTT to funky Fishman antics with HYHU->Bike->HYHU->Weekapaug to out of this world spacey melodies with Caspian->Waves->Bug and we were all chewed up and spit out with the Bowie set closer. If you ever want to go on a intergalactic space ride into another dimension then take a listen to Waves. This song has now emerged into my Phish top 10. This version or UIC '11 are two that will forever remain in my Phish lore.
The encore of Show of Life and Tweezer Reprise let me come back down to earth and gather my thoughts sort of. There was so much running through my mind and soul after this one. I gave everyone in our large crew big hugs and high fives. The look on everyones faces affirmed that we got a good one on this scorcher at the Creek.
Of the 4 night Creek->Alpine run I put this show and Sat. Alpine up there as 2 of the better shows of the first leg. Something about this night though I have a feeling will stand out for me for so many reasons.
All I can say is THANK YOU PHISH! I needed this night more than you know.
I'll let you all know how I feel about the other shows of this 4 night run in other reviews.
I'll see you all in San Fran and Denver!!!