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Link Sunday, 07/08/2012
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Set 1: BagAC/DC Bag > My Soul, Camel Walk, SampleSample in a Jar, Wilson > Party Time, Gumbo, Nellie Kane, Driver, Foam, If I Could, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt > La Grange

Set 2: Axilla > Light > Twist > KDFKill Devil Falls -> My FriendMy Friend, My Friend[1] > Swept Away > Steep > Piper > Free > Kung > HoodHarry Hood > Cavern > BowieDavid Bowie

Encore: YEMYou Enjoy Myself

[1] No "Myfe" ending.

Teases:
· In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida tease in Twist
· Theme from Jeopardy! tease in Kill Devil Falls
· Kung quote in Harry Hood
· Flash Light and Theme from Sanford and Son teases in You Enjoy Myself

Noteworthy Jams: Party Time, Split Open and Melt, Kill Devil Falls, Piper (highly recommended), Harry Hood

Average Song Gap: 25.52

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: La Grange was played for the first time since September 22, 1999 (301 shows). Twist contained a brief In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida tease from Trey, Kill Devil Falls included a Jeopardy! theme tease, and Hood contained a Kung quote. My Friend My Friend did not contain the "Myfe" ending. YEM contained a Flashlight tease from Mike and teases of the theme to Sanford and Son in the vocal jam.

Song Distribution:
5 Stash
3 Farmhouse
3 Billy Breathes
3 Junta
2 Joy
2 Hoist
2 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
2 The White Tape
1 Party Time
1 Rift
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "2012 Early Summer Tour."

spocksbrain , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
spocksbrain I am so blown away by this tour that I literally don't know which show to comment on...or even what to say. I was at all of these, jones beach, worcester...SPAC was magical...crowd at jones beach an interesting mix of douchebags...worcester was an absolute shit show. I guess for future people reading this...you should definitely download and study almost every show of this tour. Absolutely masterful musicianship. I've noticed a lot of the other guys who know what they're talking about on this site have been pretty speechless too.

Now for my actual 'opinions:' Back in the old days before mp3s there used to be these things called cassette tapes that tapers used to make and then they would get circulated. If you didn't go to the show, and you didn't know a taper...and when I first started listening to Phish I was in high school...then you pretty much had no idea what you were missing excluding the gracious reviews on dotnet of course. So the many tapes I did have typically were from '93, '94', '95...and the easiest way to listen to Phish was to actually buy their studio recordings of course. I've owned at one point or another all of their albums. Rift twice, junta twice, lawn boy twice, picture twice...literally wore them out, and bought them again. So I think for the 'jaded vets' out there...it's a little different starting out at 1.0 ...than it is for someone who's first show was '09.

All that being said...I feel like I stepped into a time machine and Phish is crushing like it's '94. The intricacies of their playing are probably lost on the vast majority of the crowd. All these noobs are so 'let down', and the hipsters are 'so dissappointed' because they heard from people that the 'jamming is so weak and always aborted.' These sets are so 'meh'...and these versions are so 'standard.' I'm sorry but a flawless Foam with all of the added complexities is fucking awesome...and I think there is definitely a division between people who just don't get it (posers essentially, not necessarily their fault...they never had to work to be a phish fan...they didn't have to earn anything to pretend to understand Phish...they have everyshow at their fingertips...they never had to blast a shitty AUD on their tape player in their car while all of the passengers cringe at the awful hissing sound.)...division...yes...and the people whose eyes are filled with tears of joy that their favorite band of all time is not only still playing but absolutely destroying, and I can only speak for myself but I've devoted a substantial part of my entire life to this band, and I am sure their are others that can share that sentiment.

Dude...the days of four song sets are OVER. They are back to where they were at the pinnacle of their musicianship, before the thirty minute loops. They are too good to play a repetitive funk jam, everything they play leads into something else, and they don't stop. Musically...they are probably too embarrassed to pull that off anymore...I can't see Trey playing the same three notes for twenty minutes again...I can't see Page playing the same five chords for an hour over a loop...and so on. But if you listen very carefully...you will find the richest jams you've ever heard compositionally obscured (purposely arranged this way I imagine) in the middle of a 'meh standard version aborted jam vehicle.' This tour in my humble opinion is by far the best since 1.0...and they are playing with such a fiery passion, and joking around...quite frankly...I think that it is the best Phish ever. I will always be a harbinger of how awesome the various eras of 1.0 were (very distinct eras...(write that down poser))...but this is the tour I have been waiting for my entire life. I would advise trying to catch some shows, to say the least. The four greatest musicians on the planet, are also quite good at one other thing: fucking with you. The more of a 'jaded vet' you are, the more these pranksters are going to take you for a musical ride. (Insert opening riff to possum) I hope you aren't too 'let down,' and with any luck you might join me in saying Phish is Destroying yet again.

And for all the haters, I hope you had fun at camp bisco and don't forget to catch further while missing Phish at SPAC we look forward to your insightful comments.
Score: 16
funkalunk , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
funkalunk Where to begin? I know! Party Time! That's the first time this show got interesting. And yes, that may seem insulting, but the praise I am about to lavish onto these sets will offset that.

A great jam in that Time. It does exactly what the song sets out to do: Be fun! You dance along to it, and enjoy yourself. It's called "Party Time" for christ's sake. And yet, the band *always* seems to keep what could be a throwaway tune extremely interesting. Tonight is no exception.

The fun flows on until SOAM. Kind of an opposite take here, instead of happy-go-lucky, we have extremely sinister and dark, as a good SOAM should be. And is this a good SOAM? Hell. Yes. I'd say get it for it's own merits, but then one can also talk about the La Grange bust-out following it, which gives one all the more reason to pick this up. The latter is exactly what you imagine it'd be: Phish playing La Grange. Sound like something you'd enjoy? Of course! And this version is!

An odd choice in Axilla opens set 2, but after that the band kicks it into high gear. An absolutely stellar Light follows. Twist also doesn't let down. (But really, if there's one pairing of songs I think we expect to deliver, it'd be these two. So consistent)

But an odd thing happens. KDF begins. It's almost as if they thought it was still set 1. But then the song goes on, and we have that delicious second set jamming, and our faces glow with smiles.

Personally I'm not a MFMF fan, so I can't really speak for this version. Well played, but does nothing for me unfortunately.

Swept Away > Steep cool us down the way a good ballad does, and then Piper grabs your throat and demands your excitement. We happily oblige as this jam *goes* places. Loved it!

Not sure if Free was the best choice to follow it up, but hey, I'm not in the band/position to make those calls. What I *am* sure on is that Free was also a great version. Above average for sure.

Then I thought the set was going to end, it seemed about time. Then all hell broke loose. "Kung? Is that Kung?" It WAS Kung, and it was fantastic.

Harry Hood was played next. My words can't accurately describe how awesome Hood's can be, so you'll just have to imagine on this one. (Or better yet, grab a recording!)

Cavern was as energetic as always and Bowie capped off the set well.

Throw in a fun YEM we all feared would be absent from the weekend and you have our show.

I hope everyone else had as much fun this weekend as I did, all three shows were simply a blast. Enjoy the rest of your summer, especially you lucky ones hitting up leg 2.
Score: 12
CreatureoftheNight , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
CreatureoftheNight Out of the 8 shows I've seen so far this year, this one was my favorite. (Alpine 2 would be a close second.) The band was on a mission to jam and they continued to knock off songs I've never heard live. If I Could twice in the same year? A pumping La Grange? This is the year to knock em off. It's almost like they've been looking at my stats before each show!

For my $, the best shows have several jams that show the boys are telepathically connected at a very high level. It also helps to play my favorite and most heard song, Piper in impressive fashion. Melt and Light will take a few more listenings to digest, but we all knew their majesty right away.

Surprises also helped to elevate this show. I never thought Steep/Swept Away could be so beautiful. Jamming on Party Time? A KDF reprise even better than Denver? Old staples like Hood and Yem sounded fresh again. The band moved to a level of patience and creativity night in and night out that I haven't seen since 98.

The scene also changed a lot on Sunday to make for a more enjoyable experience. Not to put anyone out, but I really enjoy being surrounded by people who share the same enthusiasm I do. Gone were the Saturday night talkers, drunks, shovers and bumpers. You could feel the positive, musically focused energy all over the venue. We are very fortunate people.

See you in Long Beach!
Score: 9
macbethsharem , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
I got on couch tour toward the end of KDF so perhaps my review will only receive half credit. However, the 4th quarter of this show was so amazing that it evoked various emotions at different times throughout. There were some dark, scary moments and some happy, joyous moments and then there were some downright hardcore rockin' out moments and it all felt natural and free flowing.

I am not a huge fan of any of the songs that were played in the latter part of the set this night (except bowie!) but it didn't appear that Phish was playing this song and then that song. It just felt like music rising up, unfolding, blossoming. It was very enjoyable!

The end jam of KDF was fast, and overwhelming, bluesy, and the transition in to MFMF was almost indecipherable of where one song ended and another began (just like all of the transitions between songs in late set 2).

MFMF was pretty standard until the end. You know how Trey makes his guitar scream toward the end? Well, I have never heard his guitar scream that loud, at that pitch in MFMF before. It was absolutely haunting and bone-chilling. I was very surprised and happy with no myfe ending. Thought that part should have been truncated before it was put on the "Rift" album.

Swept Away > Steep is a great vehicle for slowing the pace but not killing the energy created in previous songs. These two songs paired together maintain the intensity of the set and yet give the listener a mental break to prepare for what comes next. Also, needless to say I was swept away by KDF>MFMF and what would come next would be STEEP.

Piper. Numerous people have been lamenting the short intro into this song and praising the long jam afterword. That is exactly the kind of Piper that ensued. I like the short intro. The slow build on some other Pipers has caused me to lose interest. This version gets going right away and after the looping chorus a beautiful multi-faceted jam follows. I am also a big fan of Page's theremin and toward the end of the jam it gets really spacey and somewhat "scary" and I hoped the thermin would make an appearance. Didn't really matter though, this Piper jam was superb in every way, every way...

Free is not a favorite of mine but this song was very intense. So many Frees in the past have just been "the same" with no real emotion to them, like the band is trying to fill time and space with something that is "okay" instead of transforming. I could feel the intensity in Trey's voice as he sang and almost thought he would start screaming the words. At this point, I was connected. To the band, to the music, and not necessarily to the song. That is what it should be about right? Not hoping for this or that, not wishing for this song, or a long jam, or a theremin sighting, not wanting at all, but being satisfied, and perhaps more than that, elated by what you are hearing. I witnessed free flowing creation. Yes, I had heard all of these songs before, but they were new again to me on this night and I was happy to be there. (I really did feel like I was there, thank you streamers!)

I love Kung. First heard it from the 93 roxy shows, and again from the Brooklyn show in 04. It is voraciously alternate. It reminds me of a poem I wrote once while on mushrooms. It all makes total sense at the time, but the next day it just makes you shake your head and laugh. This song enveloped me in a blanket of joyous darkness. Tasted like dark, dark chocolate.

Harry Hood was the type of song on this night that would make you turn to the total stranger standing next to you and say, "I know you don't know me, but I love you man!" It is the type of jam that makes you want to call your Mom and Dad and thank them for making you. Wonderful feeling of gratitude and bliss.

Cavern then the end of the set right? Great set. Wait. Fishman goes into the Bowie intro! I could listen to a cassette tape of Bowie over and over again. In fact, I used to when I was in college! Anyway, you know the ending when Trey keeps going higher and higher in the solo followed by the band deconstructing and briefly stopping before going back into a still higher solo? Well, Trey took this part to a whole 'nother level. He stacked the boxes on top of columns, then pulled out the fireman's ladder and climbed up to hit notes unparalleled!

YEM is yet another great version and the perfect ending to an exceptional and noteworthy second half of a second set. I will be coming back to this show again and again to see if it stands up to the test of time. Some shows lose their luster because no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to rekindle that same feeling. Other shows skin it back over and over in spades. We will just have to see with 7-8-12.

Again, don't take it from me, I just listened to the stream and only caught part of the show. Listen for yourself and see if you don't disagree, this one is worth taking notice!
Score: 6
pete722 , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
I'm a novice when it comes to Phish shows, the three SPAC shows being #3, 4, and 5! So my review will just be a quick commentary and shout out to Jessica the girl behind me on Sunday :) I have seen Phish in Cali but never home in NY and never at SPAC where I grew up seeing my favorites The ABB and others since 90'. Phish at the Bowl last summer was when I started to see how special this band, the shows, and the Phans are! This SPAC run was really mind blowing. I'm so glad my buddies kept hooking me up with tix and making me come back for more. I thought the music and the energy were outstanding. The old favorites were great. I learned some new ones too! The covers were unreal! So much fun for a guy like me! Each closer was better than the last. La grange and the "Nice Girl Out There" sitting behind me, Jessica, had a smile on my face for the last two days. I certainly enjoyed myself, I hope you enjoyed myself too! Heading back to Cali in a couple weeks. Already got tix for Long Beach and maybe if I can swing it head to at least one in Frisco too! Jessica if you, your brother or Caren read this please contact me at peteaccardi@yahoo.com. Jessica you have a ticket to the Long Beach show already, and a place to stay, if you can get that pretty smile to the left coast.
Score: 5
ajcmixer , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
I'm very glad I'm a 3.0 noobie. It allows me to take it in without preconceived notions. I barely listen to them other then when I'm in the building because I want it to be as fresh as possible and it seems to work. For me. As this show did. A lot. Along with my peeps Ali and Angela we helped Phish rock the balcony. A lot. In '96 (Hershey Park, my 1st show) I took this way too seriously. In '09 (Jones Beach, 1st night, my 2nd show) I took this for what it is meant to be: the serious business of having fun. And though the 1st five songs may not have been "best of" versions, I was feeling the vibe: serious fun. Then the Party Time sealed that and it was a personal "best of" version, the band ripped it a new orifice. And me and my peeps were off and running. The next four songs were rather unfamiliar to me but that didn't matter, I was having a great time. Then If I Could. Beautiful. The (and my) 2nd SOAM of the tour. Blessed to have caught the both of them, they were a bit different but this one rocked the balcony and left me exhausted. But the band instructed me to pull on the bootstraps just a little more. Have mercy, indeed.

The 2nd set was, as Neil Young so succinctly put it, "...one long song" with multiple titles such as Axilla (rock and roll), Light (beautiful exploration) and Twist (no label, lol!). The KDF was a personal "best of", it slayed. The MFMF was typically scary, the Swept Away>Steep just downright gorgeous. Piper was the highlight, 15 minutes of band jam bliss and then they reminded me that I can truly be Free of the issues confronting me at this troubled time of my life. Then they bought it all home with the Kung>Hood>Cavern>Bowie, couldn't have asked anymore from them and, gauging from the crowd's reaction, neither could the assembled masses. Then Paige thanks us for showing up when it is us who should be thanking them. For the YEM encore. And for allowing us to have some serious fun. Thank you, Phish, for entering my life. Exactly when I needed you the most.

Next stop: My birthday show Friday night@Dick's. I'm a lucky dude... :)

Peace,
Alex
Score: 5
TheEmu Phish.net Staff , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
TheEmu The 2012 Summer Leg One Tour Closer is a tale of two sets. Set one is mostly average, with just a couple of highlights...until the end. And set two is perhaps the best overall set of the first leg.

The obligatory AC/DC Bag opener gets the show on the road in solid fashion, nothing extraordinary, and the same can be said for My Soul. Camel Walk is fairly slow, which is OK, but is fairly sloppy in the middle, too. Sample is Sample, and Wilson, while not razor sharp, has a little bit of a jam thrown in to spice it up. The King of Prussia segues into a surprise highlight, Party Time, which finds both Page and Trey going out for a spin in rockin' fashion. Maybe they found inspiration in the version with Gears from P'Mouth, who knows? It's an excellent jam and an almost 9 minute party time, a nice change up. Gumbo, though, seems absolutely perfunctory, as many 3.0 versions have. Now, I love Nellie Kane and I love Driver, but both tunes back to back seems to disrupt the flow a little bit, and neither are very sharp. It seems to be a trend recently, that instead of having one song filling a given slot in a set, be it opener or cool down or closer, they play two or even three, almost like if they can't quite decide on just one, they play 'em all. Sometimes it works out OK, but in this case, I think it's too much lag time. Anyway, Foam is decent, but again not razor sharp, and to this point in the set, the highlight is an unusually jammed out Party Time.

If I Could, again, may not be perfectly placed in the setlist here. It is, however, absolutely gorgeous, despite some Trey flubbage and the entire band (it seems) forgetting to sing the ending. I enjoyed it nonetheless. In the spirit of saving the best for last, however, set two ends with a hook and a right cross to send you reeling. The Split Open & Melt jam starts out as a solid but traditional Melt deconstruction exercise, which is fine. But Trey hits a lick just before the 8 minute mark that changes the game, and by 8:30 the jam becomes a real excursion, a somewhat frightening glimpse of furious insanity, chaotic and musical at once in the finest traditions of SOAMelt. That would have been a solid enough end to the set, but the La Grange bustout puts the cherry on top. When Trey returned to the traditional closing lick after only two minutes, I thought it was going to be a fairly disappointing return of the ZZ Top classic. But instead of just wrapping up in standard La Grange fashion, they jam it out for another three minutes for a truly excellent end to a somewhat shaky first set.

Set two starts strong right off the bat, with a nice Axilla > Light combo. There are certainly better versions of Light from this tour (Burgettstown) but this one is no slouch. Solid though inside the box until about 6:30, the jam gets moved by Page up into the clouds, majestic and soaring but anchored by Fish's rolling beat. 10 minutes in, Trey goes down low and starts building, and the jam really finds its voice, repeating a theme for a while before descending into looped whale calls. The segue into Twist here gives me goosebumps, with Trey leaving his looped effect on until well into the song. Twist itself doesn't stray to far from the norm, but it's OK and segues well into Kill Devil Falls, which is a kick-ass version even before the three minute outro jam which really makes it special. The blends right into a really well-played My Friend, with Swept Away/Steep in place of "Myfe" and a nice, gentle jam instead of a scream at the end of Steep.

This leads us to the centerpiece of the evening, Piper. Even though Piper remains on a racetrack leading to the jam, it is an excellent version, rocking majestically and echoing the earlier Light jam before ascending into psychedelic space accented wonderfully by Mike's vocals. As for the rest of the set, Free does what Free has been doing recently (providing a few measures for Mike to thump), Kung is a nice drop-in, Cavern is fine, and while Hood and Bowie don't go amazing places, they are solid, even above-average and perform exactly as they're supposed to. Then, after all that, a YEM encore which is exceptionally well played, moving from sly licks to straight blazing. Again, not amazing as YEM goes, but a really nice, strong way to cap a wonderful set and fantastic first leg.

One of the reasons I think this is one of the best sets of the first half of the summer is that it really feels like one long jam from start to finish, with songs flowing well and complimenting each other nicely. Between Light (and its segue to Twist), KDF, Steep and Piper, you've got some amazing jamming, plus solid versions of Hood, Bowie and YEM. Add to that the SOAMelt, La Grange, Party Time and If I Could ftom the first set, and its easy for me to give this one five stars. I may have had more fun at other shows, but on tape, this one is probably the strongest overall show of Leg one (although there are quite a few I haven't heard yet). Definitely one that will come up repeatedly in your playlist.
Score: 5
TwiceBitten , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
TwiceBitten Quite a good show and my favorite of the SPAC run. at 15+ minutes this Piper is one of the longest jams of the tour and it's rather gorgeous. I'll never complain about getting 3 set closers to end the 2nd half. Driver through La Grange is a great sequence in set one and I actually found myself enjoying Kill Devil Falls this night. welcome back Phish

p.s. I still think the first night of the tour contained the highest highs, but the boys have kept it very consistent during Leg 1 this summer
Score: 4
phearless , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
phearless Well well well, the good ole' fashion tour closing Sunday show. Everyone on tour was so positive, there was a feeling in the air that is truly indescribable. Nothing but smiles, and everyone trying to sell all of anything and everything they can that they had. I mean, this is the last show of the tour! Purchases, legal and not quite so legal ;) , were abundant by my first leg tour group. I myself got a sick 5 dollar print that was initially 15-20 dollars when I had hopped on tour in AC. I had wanted it since then, just didn't feel like dropping 20 on it. Hey, you know what they say, the price is right :) . oh yeah, where was I now?

The first 2 nights of SPAC proved a few things to me: 1) be ready for the bust outs 2) get ready for some very inspired playing and 3) this is the last show of a tour showed 4 guys from Vermont doing that they arguably love most, and the last night of a month straight of doing it. There was no place I'd rather be.

At this point in the tour, it had been made clear to everyone that the first sets were no longer "standard material". In fact, there were several jams to brag of that came in first sets earlier in the leg (c.f. Alpine Fee, AC Wolfmans, Jones Beach Susskind Hotel, Jones Beach SKIN IT BACK!, Deer Creek Tweezer, the Burgettstown Scent of a Mule, just to name a few...) and as well as SO MANY BUST OUTS! It felt like you truly never knew what songs you were gonna get in the first set. Seriously, who saw that Head Held High comin at Jones Beach Sweet Jane at Deer Creek, and Happiness Is A Warm Gun at Jones Beach? It felt there was a constant surge of past Halloween costume cover songs were emerging. Only album left really was Remain In Light. Now personally, I thought we were gonna get some RIL bust outs at SPAC. They never did come though...

Wow, sorry for the distraction. Lol this tour closer at SPAC was just awesome, and let's get to it now shall we?

Set one took a little while to truly get cookin, A short but sweet AC/DC Bag kicked us off, and went into My Soul. It was nice to see My Soul sort of make a re-emergence after not being played since Fall Tour 2010 at Utica and at the 1/1/11 MSG show. It started to lose its spark after seeing it for the third time this tour, but whatever. This went into a very mellow Heavy things. Heavy Things is included in the batch of songs that they are just killing every time they play it now. The Trey-Page jam at the end is beautiful, almost on level with the blissed-out version from AC. The Heavy Things went into Camel Walk. Yeahhhhh buddy, now we're talkin. Camel Walk struffed its stuff, and funked out the lower pavillion. Sample was next, and was sample. Wilson showed up early in the early half of this set, right before things got cookin. Speaking of things gettin cookin, that's where Party Time came in. After the awesome version at Portsmouth with good ol' Geerz on trumpet (still can't believe I missed jedi Trey.. ah well) I was excited to see it. This Party Time also has sentimental value, since it was me and my buddy Marks first time seeing the song together (his first time seeing it) he ripped off his Joakim Noah jersey to show off the tattoo on his back that says Party Time. Party Time indeed.... Trey tore the back end of that one up, really cutting loose for the first time in the night. Gumbo was getting a lot of play in the first leg, so it was fitting to see one at the tour closer. Nice pick, although it was just played at Jones Beach.... hmmm, Nellie Kane shows its head. Nice little bluegrass ditty that I never get sick of. Along with Ginseng and Rocky Top, I just love seeing Phish play bluegrass. I also loved the Old Home Place they busted out at Deer Creek the first night this summer. Nellie Kane was over before we knew it, and lead into a very soft and mellow Driver. It was nice to see the boys mixing up the ballad songs; this was my first time seeing this one, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Foam was up next, and boy do I just love this song. It started to grow on me alot, and seeing the version I saw it UIC in 2011 made me respect this song a whole lot more. Loved it. Great Pick. If I Could, are you kidding me?! YES! Really wanted to cross this song off my list this summer, and at the 15th show of the first leg for me I didn't think I was gonna see it.. but Phish proved me wrong. As always. Loved it, even though it seemed to be adding on to a set that already had a rather dis-proportionate amount of chill songs. Didn't phase me though, I was in heaven. Absolutely beautiful version, even if they didn't do the beautiful return to the chorus at the end as they had in years and eras past. Still great to hear. Split Open and Melt, wow this is some good shit. Me and my tour crew had been chasing this one big time, and after missing Portsmouth, it seemed we weren't gonna get it. My buddy Ben was really chasing this one, so it was great that he finally got to see it since chasing in AC :p. Not the longest version ever, but still a DAMN GOOD SOAM. Great psychedelic jam, just what you expect out of a good SOAMelt. SOAMelt ends, and wait. What's this song they're playing? It kind of sounds like Julius, but wait. What's this?! LA GRANGE!? No way!!! When's the last time they even played this?! Hard rockin La Grange, literally blew the roof of the pavillion. So much damn energy! Now that's how you end a set!

With the huge La Grange bust out to send us into set break, there was nothing but excitement. Not the excitement that you constantly talk about (not for this guy anyway) but rather a calm, quiet excitement. Because I knew what was to come was about to blow my mind, so I figured might as well just take it all in. Like I said, it took a while to get cookin, but overall it was a very pleasing set of tunes. And rarities.

Lights are off, and its the last set of an awesome tour.

Axilla gets us up and dancing, and quickly slammed into a Light. Light had been one of if not the jam vehicle of 2012 first leg. Every reading of the song turned out to be a keeper, extended type 2 improv all over the place. All starting with the infamous Lighteca at Bader Field. Light was par for the course though, meaning it did exactly what all other Lights did on the first leg. Quick composed part, quick shift to a somewhat extended type 2 jam. I prefer Burgettstown and AC over this version, but this Light was still pretty good. Light eventually faded and Twist emerged. Very standard Twist, if anything very average. Twist twisted around into a wicked awesome Kill Devil Falls. Some people hate on this song, but boy... 2nd set KDF's turn out to be the real deal! Type 2 exploration and jamming, starting with the first set 2 KDF I saw at Dick's 2011, KDF had proved to me that it could be a serious 2nd set jam vehicle. Especially the now infamous KDF outro jam --->Twist from Riverbend earlier in the tour. The Twist was a real psychedelic masterpiece in itself, but the KDF outro jam truly was a thing of its own. Type 2 improv everywhere! So this SPAC KDF was another highly exceptional version, which did contain a type 2 jam at the end, and eventually fizzled out into a high energy and psychedelic My Friend, My Friend. Bringing back memories of the AC goofiness. God, this tour was an awesome one to be on. The first half of this tour closing set sure did appear promising, and only went higher IMHO. The MFMF was followed by a mini-bust out of itself, the quasi rare Swept Away>Steep. The only one of the tour, and year of 2012 if I'm not mistaken...? Excellent choice. And perfectly played. Loved the little jam they tacked on at the end of Steep. Up next is Piper, and this is your type 2 jam of the night, along with Light. Piper was an extended version, longest Piper of the tour (and year if I'm not mistaken) was very exceptional. I prefer this one over the recent monster MSG 2011 version, but that MSG one was very exceptional nonetheless. This Piper was very experimental, I thought it went out of the box and into type 2 territory very quickly. Just for Trey to start playing some serious awesome rock riffs around the 10 minute mark. Full band peak, glorious shit. Please listen for yourself if you haven't. Good stuff, definitely worth the listen. The Piper jam eventually faded after some rather ambient and psychedelic yelling and playing by the band into a hard rocking Free. Not much to say about the Free though, other than Gordo tore his solo up and Trey brought down the house with his solo. Out comes Kung. Foreshadowing the NYE gag maybe?? Lol, kung is always so goofy, and I'll take it whenever. Kung went into a very high energy Hood. Last show of the tour, a beautiful rippin Hood is par for the course. However, this par was a birdie ;) lol average-awesome Hood. Nice peak at the end, came a little too soon, but whatever. This is one awesome set, and must be wrapping up soon. Out came Cavern, the FORSURE set closer I thought. Nope, the boys busted out a bonus David Bowie! Which they knocked out of the park, all-the-while staying in the type 1 box. Great Bowie. Top notch playing by all.

What an awesome high energy 2nd set, with some killer jams taboot. Now, let's put things in perspective. 2012 first leg saw the band hold back on some of the more renowned and beloved tunes, such as Divided Sky, SOAMelt, and YEM. Divided Sky only got 1 play on first leg, and 1 on second if I'm not mistaken? SOAMelt only appeared at Portsmouth, and YEM only appeared at the guns blazing Star Lake/burgettstown show. That said, I think everyone and their grandma was either hoping or expecting a YEM encore. When the boys came back out for the encore, they meant serious business.

After a quick thank you from Page, the boys kicked off into a KILLER YEM. Tons of cheering and hugging going around, the way it should be. The YEM was so damn glorious, even if it wasn't 30 minutes long with an extended type 2 jam. It was everything you want out of the composed part, beautiful, thoughtful playing by all 4 and especially Page during his runs. This is how you end a tour boys...

All in all, it was sort of a bittersweet walk to the car. We had just seen 15 of the best concerts any of us had ever seen, and it was a damn blast. This tour closing show at SPAC was a damn masterpiece, from start to finish. I would definitely place it in my top 10 shows attended, along with the first night at this place.

Seriously, what else could you want from a show? It's got bust outs, it's got extended type 2 jamming, it's got 5 star playing, and great song selection. Highlights are IMHO of course the SOAMelt, Party Time, If I Could, and La Grange in the first set. Second set highlights are the nice Light jam, the Piper jam, the Swept Away>Steep, and the YEM encore of course. Definitely worth the download if you haven't heard this show.
Score: 4
ThinMan , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
I have not listened to much of this tour but was at DCU and the 3 SPACs and there is something about this show that was very, very special. The amount of care, patience and straight-up fire displayed in the 2nd set is unmatched by anything I have heard over the last 3 years. SPAC3 (and SPAC1 for that matter, aw hell, really the whole weekend) renewed my faith in Phish and has ignited a roaring blaze under all of us fans.
Score: 3
deeben419 , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
I totally agree with SPOCKSBRAIN 100%, he summed it up for us so called "jaded-vets", this tour was hands down the best tour since the '90s and brought me back to the phish I truly love. Keep it up guys can't wait till N.C.!
Score: 3
phunky58 , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
wow 4.7 out of 5 stars. this was definitely a good show but definitely not a 4.7 out of 5. IMO this show was the best of the three night run at spac. The show really began from if i could onwards. Split was menacing and may give this portsmouth version a run for its money for best split of tour but I give the edge to portsmouth. Once again Light was an absolute must hear as the boys wove a beautiful tapestry of sounds during the jam. The other must hear of this show comes in the form of piper. And what a monster this piper was. This piper goes head to head with the alpine piper and I have yet to decide which was the best of the tour. Give them both a listen and you can decide it will be well worth your time invested. Bowie and Yem were also very good versions though the lyrics were flubbed a bit in yem it didnt take away from the jam one bit. Overall I would have rated this show higher if they didn't cut twist short AGAIN. Something we saw happen more frequently toward the end of leg1 but not the begininng. Twist has so much potential to take us to that magic place only phish can take us. and once again last night it definitely had the makings to do so again as the jam started to take off but unfortunately was cut short. Overalll this is the best tour i've heard in a long time and I'm excite as a kid on xmas eve for leg 2. I give best show of leg 1 to star lake or alpine night 1 (because of set 2). But thats just one my opinion. cheers everyone
Score: 2
gladtobeglenn , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
gladtobeglenn i was in the pav for this show, dead center, row gg iirc. sweet spot sound-wise. i was still reeling from 2 superb shows at jb, and was so pumped to end my summer tour on a high note. happily, this show delivered the goods in spades. i can't really comment on the high points, as there were too many to list. lets just say i was blown away from note 1 to note last! i'm not good at comparing shows, but i'd put this one squarely between 7/3 and 7/4, with 7/3 on top (just based on the "skin it back" and "happiness" bustouts - i'm an original beatles nut!). can't really say much more that another outstanding performance by some of the most talented, creative, progressive and interesting musicians in the history of music!! keep it going fellas!!!
Score: 2
vtspeedy , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
Never was a Piper fan. Until this night. The second set just oozed and flowed it's way through so many different places (after a strong finish to Set 1 sent this John Lee Hooker fan happily how-how-howing to set break). I know the lights had something to do with it - spectacular. Whatever it was, the moment was right, and they just took me on a journey during that jam, as if they were reaching out and shaking me - pay attention, boy. Attention paid.
Score: 2
Jevers , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
Jevers Any one know the soundcheck for this show? I heard them play Dog Log and then had to leave.
Score: 1
Frizz , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
Frizz Uhh Kung, YEM, La Grange... ect ect ect.
Had a ball.
Score: 1
iriesdad , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
The energy after Bowie was very organic, raw, and symbiotic. I hadn't gotten down and dirty like that in years. Thank you Universe!
Score: 1
thebubba , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
thebubba For me the highlights were SOAM - LaGrange; Light - which had a part that sounded like some of the 2009 Gorge jams; and then Piper, which I have combined with the 8-31-12 Dicks' jams for a stellar combination.
Score: 1
Phluphphhead99 , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
Sunday night at SPAC was real good, but certainly not a show that would be measured in the high ranks of Phistory. While I admit my thoughts may be skewed because this SPAC run may be the end of the line of my Phishin days. My nostalgic moments with friends and the band swirled my emotions around all weekend so I wasn't in my normal Phish frame of mind (kinda like a Coventry feel)
I personally think Friday and Saturday provided more moments. The Psycho Killer thrown in the Tube, Fishman tucking and running around the stage before Cracklin Rosie, and the amazing Light Up or Leave Me Alone were Friday set 1 highlights. The Sand on Friday ignited the crowd about as much as I've ever seen. The Ghost really fell apart but the mood picked back up with the appearance of Tom and Dude.
Saturday started a little slow and was cover happy, but what a choice for covers. Only Phish can pull off the Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, the Violent Femmes, Stevie Wonder, Deodato (Strauss), TV on the Radio and Beastie Boys all in one show. The Cities
Score: 0
harryhood92 , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
harryhood92 A good show IMO. They played well but the energy just wasn't there. This was a tour closing show and I feel like they should have brought more heat before closing out with the YEM. Hey, can't win them all, at least they sound good and are having fun.
Score: 0
iriesdad , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
Hood>Cavern>Bowie, and YEM encore = LIFTOFF...Thank you gentlemen!
Score: 0
iriesdad , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
Hood>Cavern>Bowie, and YEM encore = LIFTOFF! Thank you gentlemen!
Score: 0
Jevers , attached to 2012-07-08 Permalink
Jevers Lope G seemed to be really enjoying this show
Score: -1

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