Second set is extremely cohesive and interesting. The Rocky Top is like a mid set victory lap. The band loves Bug in these situations. I can't say I understand why, but I accept it. Part of me thinks another gut wrenchingly beautiful and unique 3.0 version of Farmhouse or If I Could would have fit like a glove, but I called Bug, YEM the second they fired up Theme and from Phish's perspective, it was clearly the right call.
The only underwhelming thing from this show other than my petulant preference for a different late show ballad was the Theme. Everyone in the band seemed to have a moment where they were under the impression that they were going to either ride this one out longer or take the jam into a different direction. It's a shame they didn't all feel the same way at the same time and eventually bailed on it, because the improv from this show- both sets- was notably spectacular.
Props to the Crowd Control opener. Hilarious choice, solid song, and every time they play it the song feels like a reminder that yes, Phish DOES have their grubby fingers on the collective pulse of the fan base. Party Time, Axilla drives the point home as a tip of the hat to the comically negative response to the Merriweather show in 2009. They got their eyes on us.
So I say to you, Phish- 40 minute Bouncing!
All in all, a very solid contender for the show of the year, but perhaps not a runaway favorite. I'll need to digest it again for that kind of hyperbole.