This is the long review I've been asking other people to do because I am too lazy to do it myself. The only thing that competes with my laziness is my finely honed sense of procrastination, of which this review was done in a blissful state. Aside: don't even try to read Husserl. That guy is a dick to the face in his own right.
As was said before, a patient first tube that still grabs you. Not a sonic assault, but still shakes you and says wake up this is a phish show.
Uncle Pen is sharp. Not 94 sharp, but this is pretty darn tight. I think people tend to forget just how hard it is to play these bluegrass songs. The breakdowns require rhythmic precision as there is just no faking it through these turns. Trey comes pretty close to nailing it and of course everyone else is on point.
Carini, ahhh, Carini. How far has this song come in 3.0?
6:45 a switch towards major key melody, amazing fills by mike at 7:00 sustain turned melodious run at 7:30 by trey. Just gorgeous stuff in here, complete understanding of the spaces between notes.
Locking into a repeating ascending/descending run by mike and trey 8-9, then trey takes the helm pushing the little theme with more force, hiiiigh notes by mike 9:15.
9:30 whammy-esque effects by trey leading to more space/ambience. Some power chording by trey around 10-10:30 followed by start stop and siiiick mike effects. A haze enveloping leading to some powerful trey licks, a la fall 97. Think of if they took an Izabella waaaaay out there. Just a patient crescendo here punctuated by some scratch, as things turn ambient again at 12:45.
High hat by fish as the swell washes out to a more post-apocalyptic feel. It gets louder as the rhythm slows down. Fantastic bleeding out.
And here comes Kill Devil Falls. First solo break shows a patient trey that is not hitting us over the head with the chordal changes. Heating up to a mini-peak of sustained tonics around the 5 minute mark. When you get to a hot peak its just so much more satisfying after stretching out first. Like foreplay. Bringing a bit of heat around 7 with some nice runs that culminate in a mash up of double-stop strumming and sustain.
Trey saying how phish loves dicks, and a nice rimshot (haha) by Fish punctuated by a crowd chant of "we love dicks" too. I think they had to add "Sporting Goods" between "Dick's" and "Park" to try and alleviate some of the obvious hilarity but I still label as simply "Dick's Park." Which leads us to YEM. So I'll put on my best Charlie Dirksen face and go after the YEM. But really, the guy has done enough, like 500 reviews.
Pre nirvana has a spacy interlude, showing some patience again. Nirvana at 3:31 and the dancing page runs are gloriously good as always. I think we may all sometimes forget just how good this portion sounds. If we had to win over friends and neighbors to the dark side, playing the YEM composed section alone might be enough.
Darkness in the pre-charge mike section at 4:15-4:30. A splash of yang to the yin of glorious melody. Good sustain at 5:43 and 5:53, not quite the *note* though. Ah 6:26 monsters in the machine at the real attempt at the note.
AHHHHHH BOY!! Emphatic after a whole band scream. Funky ass Mike between the "lyrics" A little clop by Fish at 7:30 or so.
Pre- Tramps take off by page on what I think might be the clav before the second Washuffizi. And organ proper on the tramps segment. Using rhythm to emphasize the changes in the first half of the 9 minute mark. Greeeaat run using the left hand by page here to fill the low end with chordal emphasis while running along with the right at 9:45. Just locked in groove, well done sir.
Peak at 10:05 and trey enters chording along nicely. 10:22 trey proper. Low end slaky groove with a perky rhythm. Emphasizing the ends of the runs with quasi-staccato. Sustain at 11:18 cloud-like support by Page here (I can't think of any other term). And Mike steps into the space! Funking it up in dreamy fashion. Trey steps back and then enters again with a bit more passion around 11:52 especially. 12:11 for real. Taking the helm during the 13th minute by trey. Just a good solid lead in here (nothing to die for mind-blowing) but still a reasonably passionate take on the old warhorse. Things get dirty at 13:45 with some double time strum-lead by trey leading to Mike's section. B+D I suppose.
Mike is his usual funked out self with the filter. Following the melody with some nice changes at 15:00-15:25. Ok, he definitely stepped out of the box at the end there. Well done. Most hilarious and best Vocal Jam by faaar. Cheesecake can eat a dick for all I care. They are cracking up here at 16:40. Seriously, a must hear VJ. Ends 18:35: 18:56- "I hope you're all having as much fun as we are" Trey.
Ocelot: this little jam has finally earned its lot-T. Its been a little-extra decent lately and goes from being enjoyable both for the song and the little type I mini-jam it contains. The song itself has such syncopated tension before the tonic chord that its a great listen on its own. You know, where you get the extra-hard hod bop when it comes to that chord when dancing.
Jam at 4:05 with a coy trey taking slow lead sustain. Dirty note at 4:27. Very solid playing all around here wIth trey swelling in and out and dancing around some trills at 5:37. The slow-played dirty emphasis on the notes leading to a more rapid peaking reminds me of (dare I say it) a really solid Ten Jed. But of course trey's a very different guitarist than Jerry with more concern about the build-release. Which is excellent here by the way around the 8 minute mark. Repeating trills up and down the neck at 8 to 8:30 with a big drop back into the structure-rhythmically nailed.
UUUUNDERMIND….aaaahhhh. Flashbacks to the Element at UIC. Also, the lyrics are far more appropriate to 3.0 than 2.0.
1:55 and we're in the organ, trey pull-ups (chording or soloing?) with mike bouncing on the notes. Fish at slight syncopation not playing the downbeat. Just great great standard type-I in here, trey playing the melody outright at 3:30 and again at 3:40 reminding us all what song is it we wanna hear??
Fantastic staccato runs at around 4, trey puts on a bit more sustain and we're back to the verse.
Lryically fading away into the jam with trey "undecided undefined" how is THAT for a jam mantra? Amazing interplay between trey and mike immediately. Trey's playing a two chord structure that (while I repeat is not, not in any way a tease of FOTM) can be best described as similar in structure to Fire. But in no way at all is a tease or a jam or anything else. Just a musical reference point here of my own device for review purposes. Between the rhythmic stressing of the two notes by trey's chording there, is a really fast Mike run that is just prefect contrast to what trey is playing. A role reversal from the traditional guitarist-bassist interplay.
Anyway, hear it. Hear it. Just hear it. That little bit from 5:15 to 6:15 alone is what I'm referring to above (and I'm not even describing page in here, tasteful organ accompaniment). 6:30 things open up quite a bit punctuated by the occasional woodblock clop. A hazy escape from the song structure itself towards new horizons. Sustain by trey at 7:43 signaling further departure. reaching upwards in the still-probably-type-I soloing from trey at 8:15- 8:45. Finding a theme at 8:57-9! Which trey shows us (this could easily be a key change but of course I am deaf so someone else can fill in on this one) and then proceeds to immediately trill away from. Yet, the rest of the band is LOCKED into. Subtly running around the theme without playing it exactly, while the melodic structure is intact. Trey picking out which notes to emphasize here at 9:50-10:15 turning on some kind of elfin phase shifter blocking the build the rest of the band was going to go after.
This does not deny the build, just causes its tensions to be EVEN larger. This is a slow dripping glorious run up to the mountain top. Trey's jedi glory melody building in here 11:40-12 ahhhh that run at 12. Just exuding happy melody WITH a build. I might have to consult Charlie or Benjy Eisen, but I believe this is the DEFINITION OF HOSE!! Just fantastic repeating trilling three notes building and building and building ahhhhh fish 13:25 pushes a gear shift trey sustain at 13:30!!!! This is seriously orgasmic.
Just absolutely transcending playing, they alll hit the same peak at 14:18 and *hold on* till 14:45 washing the jam out to the end. This is the Dick's show so I'll just get extremely homosexual and say it: this sounds like all 4 of them coming at the same time. Subtle and patient, extremely connected to each other, they almost know what each will do before they do it. They all hit that final peak at exactly the same time, and the music's over. Not because they have decided to end the jam but because when everyone comes the sex is over.
Sorry for that excursion into homo-erotic group orgy imagery, but I cannot think of a better way to illustrate the kind of connectedness in jamming I mean here. This is definitely one of those "music plays the band" moments where they are just receiving the language of the gods beamed into their souls by a culture of aliens much further advanced than our own. This is what best YEMs and Gins of 1.0 are made of. This is their exact DNA filtered through the consciousness of the band at this stage of their career. Go back and listen to your favorite 1.0 jams and I'll tell you, this holds up with any of them. When you glimpse perfection, it can only be repeated and never bettered.
I feel at this point, regrettably, a disclaimer is warranted. I don't mean to be that guy claiming that his "phish dick" is the biggest, but I feel that given the Undermind review I have to give some context. I am not a fluffer and this isn't Mr. Miner speaking. There are 497 shows in my phish collection and I have heard every note of all of them. So I don't just go giving praise where it isn't warranted and trust me when I say I know the historical context of phish.
And that, my friends is the end of the first set. I'll say it again. The. First. Set. Also, they have spelled out "FUCK YOU" as everyone who with a pulse has recognized already.
"Hey, Hey, we're not finished" from Page it sounds like. Audience already yelling Fuck Your Face!! Happy B-Day to Matty from Waterwheel.
AND we're off into Runaway Jim. Which, fwiw, I thought was a great left turn when everybody was thinking Rock n Roll after the recent excursions. Standard tightness, with the Mike lead on the melody at 2:30 building up to the classic trey intro. God, it takes a show like this to remind me how much I love Phish songs. Remember when you first heard them? Quiet part and slam! into the archetypical Jim dynamics.
Solo at 4:45 adding a little flavor, very patient. Not emphasizing the notes again but the beautifully textured spaces between them. Playful runs by trey around 5:30. Picking up a little heat: sustaaaain, quick run, sustaaaain, quick run. Chording at 6:52 interspersed with runs. 7:05 dark direction, could be key change to minor. I always felt the mark of a great guitar player was the ability to play lead and rhythm at the same time which trey evidences. Some space at 8:15. Kinda losing the previous hold of direction. Still searching at 9. Great turn to punctuated higher notes at 9:06 by trey. Mike offering direction at 9:25. Gorgeous filtered runs by trey around 9:35. Chording with more purpose at 9:50 and more heat from trey. Biiiiig upstart of new direction around 10:30 from trey. Fully locked at 10:56 awesome page loooow chording. Smoky flavored.
This direction is taken hold of and explored through the 12th minute with great trey wah mutes scratches. BAM BAM ba da da BAM BAM. Best I can do, sorry. Hendrix mute scratches again. This is definitely underscoring the rhythm of the jam more than melody through 13:15. Mike takes over a lead at 13:25. Space opens up at 13:45.
Filtered stuff from Mike at 14, more introspective but very engaging still at this point. Long sustain by Trey and Mike filling in with an Arabian scale lead. Very awesomely Floydish. Mike making it his bitch at 14:50. Backwards guitar intro by Trey at 15. AHHH, there we are. Walking down the hall, father!, yes son?, I want to kill you! Spin 3.1.97 again. Darkly done. Losing the grip a little at 16, Trey turning more melodic. Another key reversal in this jam.
Kind of in between major and minor, like a sunny day with clouds on the horizon. Sorry for the cheese. Sustain by Trey at 17:22 and its a nice descending waterfall trills at 17:35, with power chording at 17:40, page fills at 17:48 repeating trey chords of power at 17:55. great Mike run at 18:15, organ swells by Page at 18:25 mixed with light piano (nice). An almost rhythmic stop and some melody by Trey at 18:50. Mike bomb 19:08 watch out! Page plays something on the clav I swear is something recognizable, sounding a bit like Kraftwerk. Machine robot melody glory.
19:45 strange effects. Highhat and tom roll. Farmhouse.
Beautiful sustain 3:35-4:24. Yes that's right almost a minute of sustain from trey. One of those teary-eyed moments at the show for sure. Gorgeous soloing, a must-hear Farmhouse. Haha, its awesome to be able to say that. How far has this song come in 3.0? I mean, wow. Bigtime effects from all present 6:20-10:53. No other way to say it, others have already said it on the review board here. Very pleasant to hear and another great fake out. I repeat, very pleasant. Okay, I have to mention the Floyd run by Mike at 10:35. Listen.
Like a cop knocking on your window when you are right about to spark up a J, Alaska comes in instead of 2001. Talk about a slap in the face. Wow. Again, hate to be that guy but I like this song much better when it was called Tennessee Jed. Once the awful awful cheese lyrics are over, things get better. A buddy of mine said, "Hey its your favorite!!!" right when they played this at UIC and before I could get a word out about what an asshole he was the girl right in front of us said, "Me too!" Hahaha, I guess you get what you deserve at a phish show.
Seriously though, crunchy chording by Trey who seems very enthused to be playing Alaska. Dirty bend by Trey at 4:37 to enter the solo/jam. Really nice tone and bends. Nice fill from page at 6 repeating the descending bridge which trey locks onto at 6:20. Heating up at 8 fuzzy dirty sustain with trey nailing the peaks.
Chalkdust with great rhythmic punctuations between the change to the main riff by Trey and solid Mike fills. "CAN'T I LIVE WHILE IM YOUNG?!" at 2:08. This song is such an energy beast. Solo at 3:15 which we shall see turns into a *jam* instead of a solo for the 2nd one. Standard chalkdust soloing at this point though. Nice first release at 4:08. Big energy strum to release at 4:30 and another ascending run peak at 4:50. Oooh, 5 min mark TRILLS UP THE NECK! Nice stuff there. Main theme return and back into verse at 5:33.
Hmm missed change at 6:20 by Trey turned into gold by a power dive at 6:45. 7 Mike comes in in a big way, they all seem to be on the same page here about the jamming impetus. No false endings. Trey developing rhythm bouncing off mike at 7:30. Niiice quote of the original melody in low register by Page at 7:38. Funk funky playing at this point with Mike and Page in fine form and Trey really fastly chording in mute wah. Maintaining chalkdust pace here yet space opens up in the jam. Reminds me of the "quiet section" of a Weekapaug 7:30-9:00. Trey comes in soloing off this pace at 9 with force, the pace not dictating an early peak but the semi-staccato. Hitting the peaks with lead-rhyhm emphasized here. 10:06 nice spunky line by trey picked up on by Mike. Neeeeearly plinko but not quite. Things turn melodic in a big way at 10:30 simultaneously by Trey and Mike. Great melodic chording in here.
This point sounds like a sped-up chordal version of the Alpine Fee. If that makes any sense. Trey picks up on a repeating pattern/run and throws it through permutations 11-12 min mark. Things shift with a 5 note slice of glory at 12. Righteously repeated by Trey and Mike into a beautiful little jam. Melodic and fast, this is very very nice. Tease at 13:15 of Linus and Lucy perhaps? I know its something I just can't place. Jessica? Maybe. Either way it sounds glorious and is interwoven with the lead lines of Trey through 13:35. 13:50 things become lighter with a nice Mike run at 14. 14:15 wow! Trey picks up this some melody but, instead of playing the lead, he chords to a chalkdust pace, this heavenly melody. Very nice stuff in here and demonstrative of slight shifts that go a long way in big jams.
Back to to solo in 15:13 with the band locked in more passionate soloing over this intricate band play. High notes from Trey at 16. Forceful single punctuation notes at 16:25 through 16:40, just amazingly inventive guitar work. Fading in repetitious effects haze at 16:55, using the digital delay perhaps, that sounds like sonic lasers slicing through a sunset. Seriously great and mesmerizing stuff at the 18th minute mark. Exactly at 18 things turn reflectively haze and the smoke clears.
Top notch stuff here. Top notch. Very close to hose if not actually so. I would be absolutely drooling over this jam if it weren't for the fact that I just heard the musical voice of baby jesus speaking to the Community of Phish in mystical reassurances in the Undermind Jam.
Hilarious falsetto by Mike on Emotional Rescue. Seriously though, he's got some vocal skill. Will this be another 20 minute '97 style dip? No. And that would just be greedy anyway. Nice chordal bass work too.
The capping glory of Fuck Your Face comes. Further humor by the encores.
Taken as a whole, I'd say this is the best show of 3.0. Others have there moments but this motherfucker was crafted. No moments of uncertainness or adolescent anxiety. A dick to the face for sure.