I have a minimum standard quota of at least one song that is around TWENTY minutes chock full of extended improvisation. It should be definitely more than that...but at least one second set song should meet this quota...and I am sorry when there is nothing...it is kind of a disappointment. Unfortunately, that has been the norm as of late (3.0) and then we got spoiled randomly again at Long beach...and here we are back at no extended improvisation. I liken 3.0 to like '92-94...but even back then there was much more jamming and the fat has been trimmed off of a lot of songs these days to the point where I am in shock. I am always waiting for that ace up the band's sleeve...where they will do a PROPER version of a song...and sadly it never seems to come. I am not asking for a one song set here...but can't we just get like four more minutes on an ACDC, or just like ten more minutes on a halleys, can we break the high water mark of 9 minutes on a 2001? Where's my twenty minute antelope or reba? Hearing a song that traditionally has always been jammed out...cut down to three minutes like Ghost last summer is like a dagger in my heart. If they are too sick of a song...don't play it...but in my personal opinion I don't want to hear a 5 minute halleys comet...it hurts too much.
I love this band so much it is pathetic...and I will still always obsess over their tours, and setlists. However, the improvisation is why I'm here...they are the best at it...and any attempt they made at it now would be openly embraced. I find it hard to believe that Trey who was obsessed with it in the nineties (Surrender to the Air?) doesn't want to do it anymore, Page who wrote 'The art of improvisation' just doesn't think they should do it anymore, Mike whose main strength this whole time is putting a unique spin on what he's simultaneously hearing the other band members do and contributing in a brilliant way, Fish who has eras of listening and changing with individual members.
I know Phish is unpredictable, but this is more uncharacteristic, than anything else.
I don't think that it is too much to ask for a mere twenty minutes of a three hour show to be dedicated in memorium to the rare breed of fans that remember and celebrate the first jamming TWENTY YEARS the band played, and save the rest of the show defined by the last three years they've played. There is a vast difference, and one can only speculate its meaning. Peace.