After the fourth row middle Wednesday and fourth row Page on Thursday, I was further back tonight, in line with the front "railing" of Front of House. While you don't get to see the guys' expressions, it was nice to be able to fully take in the lights (and then glance back at Kuroda working his magic, with Warren Haynes looking on).
First set seemed one dimensional to me -- lots of rock and pedal-down kind of songs with really only Reba to add some "beauty" (I guess Glide could be thrown in there). The first four songs actually felt like four openers. Not to say that songs were not played well, or that they didn't excite the crowd (as both were true); I just wasn't as excited as maybe some others. Dinner and a Movie was a nice treat. And I liked First Tube, but not the Sand that I was hoping for.
Observed that Guyute was pretty much in the same slot as Time Turns Elastic was last night.
The second set was a completely different story. Just about perfect, imo. (I was told that tonight was actually a setlist; the previous two were "songlists.") Enjoyed everything -- the songs flowed well, from Scents up to the New York-centered Rock & Roll back down to 7 Below (with memories of seven years ago) up with the woos of Twist and then the goodness known as Mike's Groove. Horse Silent to breathe, and the YEM to wrap it up. Capped off with a fitting Stones cover.
Certainly a great three nights. So happy to have been able to see these shows to cap off my Phish 2009.
Spectacular R'n'R > etc. > Groove segment, *damn*, particularly those encouragingly patient, sly segues in and out of this fine Seven Below; and the YEM is as good as Albany's roaring closer (though very very different - great newfangled funk in this version!). The all-time great Twist happened nearly a decade ago (6/14/00, baby!), but this version lifts up my heart too. And Shine a Light is the perfect encore, like a non-stupid cousin to Sleeping Monkey in that final jam. A triumphant finale to the northeast run of shows, which peaked with the breakthrough at Albany but offered a hearty improvisatory assortment night after night.
I was in the section directly behind Trey for this First Tube. The energy build was insane. You felt like you were going to be lifted off the ground. The guy next to me was yelling to me "Did that just happen?" after the song finished. Mike's Groove and YEM in the same set is like a double serving of dessert.
The stars were all aligned for this one. My 60th show, my brothers 61st. The four of us had never seen a show together. We have all hung out as a group many times, been to many shows with each other, but surprisingly never did the group thing for a show. It was a hometown show for me, and my two friends. My brother had to travel 4 hours to get to my place. My brother and I remarked how great it was to not have to drive this night while taking the train into the city. Early on I had convinced these guys to go and to do it up and get floor seats from Stub Hub. Besides tonight, since Phish has been back I have yet to get denied for mail order any show I wanted to go to. So we got the floor seats towards the back but they were perfect. We were section 9, row B which is the first section the seats were elevated so us short guys can see. It had been a long time since I had floor seats at an indoor show, way back at my first show, Syracuse 1994.
Security getting in was non-existant but once on the floor the "Keith Hernadez" look alike was on a mission. This guy was relentless taking pipes away from kids. After the show I over heard him say this show he tied his personal best at 16 pipes. That's like one every 10 minutes. Normally that would slow me down but on this Friday night it did not matter.
I had gone to Thursday nights show but that was unfortunately a rare blur for me. I guess knowing that I had the next night left I took some risks and I think the one too many beers at the bar did me in. Well this night I was not going to take any chances, it was back to basics for me to ensure the memorable experience. My one friend had not been to a show since 12/31/98 and what a night to reunite.
By the way the show was over two weeks ago and now I am finally getting around to write the review. I have read no other reviews and I have not listened to the tapes. It has been torture, believe me.
You look at the first set list for tonight and it does not jump out at you as being anything special. Let me tell you the first set was quite special. Now the music: Heavy Things-ordinary people still finding their seats, Possum as always excites the crowd, great at the Garden with a crazy crowd, Wilson yes we still can have fun, nice placement have seen a bunch of Wilson as the second song, nice to see it making it's way later in the set, 46 days - œ wow, love this song, so great in the first set, Reba - œ are you kidding me!, Dinner and a Movie was raging - œ should make this song a regular part of the rotation, then they played Guyute. I am not usually a Guyute fan but I am coming around, I thought this version had some out of the box moments although a dude I spoke to after the show thought it was ordinary. It was high energy none the less with some great explotration. At the end of Guyute, I though the set was over. Then came Maze which was action packed. At this point I was more than fulfilled ready to call it a set and then they bust out First Tube. This was hands down the best First Tube they have ever played. I am sure others are saying the same things. I can't wait to hear it again. My god it had over the top energy and at times the whole place was peaking. One of the highlights of my entire career not just this show. The set ended and there were hugs all around. It was just that type of set. Confirmed why I go to shows. I could have gone home at that point, it was that good.
It was great to stand next to my friends during the first set. I knew how much fun they were having and since I organized the event, it felt even better that they were having as much fun as I had.
An important thing to note and you can file this under things you blurt out during a great Phish show, I yelled out to my brother that MSG was such a great place to see a show and the dude behind me confirms by saying "the best". Seriously MSG is the best place for an indoor show. I have never been to Hampton but the energy at this place is over the top at times. I also think SPAC is my favorite amphitheater after seeing this summer tour closer.
Second set we changed the standing arrangement. I sat in my normal position, next to my brother. Always a treat and to top if off he is a walking Phish encyclopedia. Going into the second set I did not think the first set would be topped, how could it be. Rarely is the second set better when you have witnessed a first set like that. Scents opener was great. I don't think I ever saw it live before. Loved it. Rock & Roll is never my favorite, Seven Below is always a treat, Twist was good. I had just seen Twist in Syracuse which was phenomenal so it was hard to compare. Then the set took off with Mike's groove. Perfect, perfect, placement. The crowd got settled in, a decent glow stick war. Horse and Silent, again just saw those in Syracuse but still good in my book. Then a perfectly placed YEM. The crowd was loving it. My friend asked me if I thought the set was over and I said, no way, they have at least two more in them. Did not have a watch but I was convinced. Unfortunately the band did not have two more in them. They exit and come back for a quick encore, Shine a Light which is the first time I ever heard it. It was played at 8 during the Exile on Main Street Set. I really liked it. Thinking they were going to extend the encore, they did not. Ohh well, like usual they left me wanting more.
Overall a stellar show. First set was one of the best I have ever seen. I will go out on a limb and say best First Tube ever. MSG is the greatest venue that they play at with super energy. Great company. Great seats. I have a new found appreciation for the floor seats. I nkw believe the light show was intended to be viewed from the floor. I will always remember this show for sure.
Gosh what a night...huge rock and roll phish in the world's greatest arena. this was just a plain jane throw down. pure rock and roll from the start to finish...great list, great energy, inspired playing...a classic
I want to just share how special of a moment it was during the First Tube. It was the highest energy and most encompassing collective energy I have ever experienced at a live music show. It wasn't even during a particular change or peak in First Tube, rather it was a spur of the moment occurrence whereby seemingly everyone cheered, screamed and hollered.
Even if you were spaced out of your mind or you were talking to your neighbors, it was impossible to miss this moment.
Took my wife to see this show so she could see what all the fuss was about and she was blown away , when they opened with Heavy Things i thought it would be a lame show but they tore MSG up , i have never seen or been a part of such an energetic crowd that was actually drowing out the PA at times
highlights for me were Maze, R&R and First Tube which i dont care for but got the crowd into a frenzy i have never witnessed in 20+ years of concerts
This was a good high energy show, with many great songs. But here is the thing, my friends and I sat in a bar after the show, trying to piece it all together, we went through the setlist a few times, we all commented on how solid the song selection was and how the songs all sounded good, and yet, we couldnt remember any real highlights from the show apart from the amazing crowd noise and intensity felt at the end of the first set during First Tube.
From start to finish the second set was composed of songs that I like and would always want to hear, yet it just seemed like all of the versions were short and relatively uninspired. That first four song grouping of SASS, R'n R, 7below and Twist is ripe for something special, especially given the band's proclivity to expand modern R'n Rs but it just didnt happen. Mike's brought the red and white lights out, but in keeping with quicker less scary versions, the band seemed to just go through it with little interest in expanding it. The YEM was solid, and we all thought the version belonged toward the top of this years YEMs.
Im not dissing the show, the crowd was electric, my phriends and I had a great time, but given this setlist and the stage they were on, we all just thought the actual music was of the standard variety. Standard Phish is better than most anything else I'd be doing on a Friday night, so no complaints here, but its not one for the archives IMO.
A pretty heavy show from start to finish. "First Tube" was a pretty amazing closer for the first set, super high energy as always and the lights were perfect. The second set brought some of the powerhouses like "Mike's Grove" and YEM, both played to perfection. The encore left a little to be desired, one song? at the end of an MSG run? Regardless, i had never heard the song before and who doesn't like hearing Phish songs live for the first time?
Nice building energy early on. Possum rocked, but never completely exploded, going instantly into a similarly rockin' Wilson. KDF had one painful flub where Trey played the lead line in the wrong key or something, but was overall solid, with a very energetic jam. Nice purpose and focus to these tunes. Glide was a great surprise, and the rockin' part rocked much harder than I remembered it. That was kind of the theme of the night -- a lot of the composed stuff just sounded really aggressive, and it absolutely worked.
Bouncing was Bouncing, Reba (unfinished) was pretty and excellent as always. D&M was sloppy but still a welcome surprise. Guyute absolutely killed me; I'm still sore form head-banging. Thrilling rocker. Mike was loud, Trey's tone was crunching and shrieking, and Fish was punishing the kick and snare. I needed a break, but they went right into Maze. Another key to the energy of this set was the lack of pauses between songs. Good Maze, with a nice little chaotic tension and freaky light show going right into the climax riff. First Tube follows Maze so naturally I hope they play that combo in the future. The biggest disappointment of the night for me was that Trey's distortion on this solo made all his high notes physically painful. Shoulda worn earplugs for this.
After the first set's thrills, the second set started out kind of slow. I like S&SS and was glad to hear it, but the jam stayed pretty tame. Likewise with R&R -- good jam, but nothing super exciting. Seven Below got a little more interesting, the jam got a little more out there. An excellent quiet jam sank into an ambient sound wall -- oh well -- before launching a dark-sounding Twist. The Twist jam packed a bit more punch, and the cumulative run of the 2nd set reached a satisfying point. At this point, thanks to the first set, I had pretty much gotten my money's worth. When they started Mike's, I only prayed they would play the whole ending. Boy did they ever. Fantastic high octane jame, and absolute thrasher. The red & white lights were strobing like lightning, and I pretty much used up my reserves of energy jumping up (way up) and down to the beat. I rested during a well played Hydrogen and nodded along to standard Weekapaug and Horse->Silent.
YEM started, and I figured a concise, rocking version would mostly close things out, maybe followed by a 4-minute rocker like Cavern. Wrong! This YEM brought the best few minutes of funk I've seen in my 17 shows. Great Page solo evolved into terrific funk groove. Highly recommended tape listening. Mike's solo was nice. Fish dropped out and then came back in to finish it up. Vocal jam started out with almost distinguishable words, then became murky staccato as the white lights glided around the audience with the band in blackness. The guys got louder, and the lights added some color and began swinging around the arena. This built and built until a frenzied lightshow accompanied a near-screaming wail. Awesome! They had a nice climax to end on, but kept going and took it down, ending it a few seconds later. Wow. What a set.
Carini encore? Would have been perfect after all this rock. The guy next to me and I called it simultaneously. Alas, some 4-minute song I didn't know followed. Minor letdown, but at least it was catchy, sing-along-able, with a punchy, short solo.
I'm not sure how much of this will translate on tape without the high volume and the section 1 floor-seat experience of the lights. Seven Below is good jamming, Mike's Song is a heat-seeking missile, and YEM is a very, very good YEM.
For some reason based upon Phish-karma I got to go to a sky-box seat right above the stage, at the highest of heights. Such an amazing experience to cap off my 97th show. Killer Twist > Mikes Groove. Glad glad glad to be a glide! From B-Rad
I loved this show..
One of my hands down favorite Heavy Things & Scents and Subtle Sounds.
After the Heavy Things fireworks of an opener, the more typical early first set Possum got the crowd smoothly groovin' into the set. I won't go into anymore detail other than the Bouncing was nice to hear everyone taking part.
Seven Below, I never thought I liked it.. but it meshes so well to Trey's 2009 "Whale Call" year.
Rock and Roll. Mikes>Hydrogen>Groove, Horse>Silent all worth hearing
But really,the Scents and Subtle Sounds and Heavy Things opener were highlights for sure. Give em a listen.
My first show. Wasn't too well versed in Phish at the time and I went by myself so don't have too many memories of the music at the show. I was calling a Possum or Wilson opener and it was cool to get them in the 2, 3 spot. I didn't know too many of the songs they played other than those though. I knew Maze and Mike's and YEM but not much else. Looking back I enjoy the Reba and the YEM is the best of 3.0 as of this post (1/21/12). Shine A Light has followed me around since then though, I've seen 5/9.
Friday night throwdown in one of the best indoor venues in the world. The energy in this room was palpable, and there were a few times (notably during First Tube) that the PA system was drowned out by the crowd noise. Just surreal!
As for the music, we missed Heavy Things (no loss from what I hear), and started rocking immediately with a fairly standard Possum. Wilson took the energy level up a notch, and the KDF that followed was solid. The Glide was a real highlight of the first set, especially considering the fact that it was the first time Phish had played the song since the infamous Coventry butcher job. They nailed this one, and there was a real sense of redemption in the air. From here the show took off, steadily ramping in excellence to the peak of the frenzied First Tube. Absolutely explosive version, check the YouTube videos on this one.
As for the second set, the real keepers are the Rock and Roll-> Seven Below, the Mikes Song (best of 3.0 IMO, serious heat and crunching riffs galore) and the YEM (which foreshadowed some of the staccato funk we see later in 2010, a la 12.28.10 "Hood").
Overall, huge energy throughout, probably one of those shows that is solid on tape, otherworldly in person due to the MSG crowd losing their collective minds as one unit at several points throughout.
Keepers: Glide, Maze, First Tube, Rock n' Roll->Seven Below, Mike's, and YEM.
got much better seats for this night's show (LL PAGE SIDE!). I was kind of surprised as they opened with heavy things but it didnt matter to me much, i was still at a phish show! possum i thought was ridiculous. always a favorite of mine. I think first tube and maze were the highlights of the first set for me easily. as for the second set, rock & roll and weekapaug were my favorites. in noooo way am i saying that mike's song, YEM, and twist werent good, ohh cuz they were! I thought this was an all around good show. I wasnt completely blown away by anything but it was still a great time no doubt
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