Wonderfully intimate audience.
Limb By Limb starts off the show. Audience very reactive and appreciative. Trey explodes after the lyrics stops, and the anticipation of his solo begins. Limb features a very mellow, repetitive, trance-like proto-whale call jam. Early example and effective example of the whale call!
Straight forward, chugging Back on the Train.
Next, Sample. Not much to say. Straightforward.
First Tube: For orchestrated song, the intensity can vary at times. This one gets off to an edgy start with some feedback. Let's see where this takes us... It's taking it where most First Tubes take us, to dopamine induced goose bump territory. Great, high energy, jam, with some variation from Trey. Great build up to wall of sound. Ends, and fizzles out into more feedback. Beautiful.
Golgi. Once again, not much for me to say. It's Golgi. As always, a beautiful middle jam. I always find the Golgi jam in Bittersweet Motel, which serves as a bridge to the next scene in the movie, where they are in Rochester, to be quite beautiful. This is as well, and it is nice to hear it in such an intimate setting.
Heavy Thing: Ever since Big Cypress, I have compared every Heavy Things to that version. Let's compare. Ok, so far it sounds just like Big Cypress but about 84,500 less people in the audience. Let's see how the jam goes. Love Trey's note loop throughout the song including the jam. Nice metronome of sorts. Very pretty, distinct note playing by Trey. Fish is a human metronome. Fish should hereby be known as The Metro Gnome. Mike and Page are so low in the mix I can hardly hear them. Trey starts getting very note happy near the end of Heavy Things. I enjoy it a lot.
Dirt: Another pretty straightforward song. The intimacy of the venue really is conducive to the beginning of Dirt. Very attentive crowd. Pretty jam.
My Sweet One: Very unconventional start to My Sweet One. I love it. I've always been a sucker for this song. I mean, who doesn't love an Oom Pah Pah in the middle of a song? "PLAY IT LEO, PLAY IT! PLAY IT!" "WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!" They're having fun. Must've been a blast to be at this small show.
David Bowie: Dark, dark, dark intro. High hat starts. Mike plucks minor notes...Oops! Aborted David Bowie. Reba instead. Love it.
Reba: Wonder what that was all about. Solid composed section so far. Virtually flawless. Looking forward to the chill. And we are now chilling. Mike takes strong lead. Beautiful chugging by Mike. Trey dropping pin notes with Mike starting to fall into line with the musical canvas being created. Page lighting some beautiful harmonics with his keys. I have no idea what that means, but I like the sound of it. Very chill, and very beautiful. Trey is worming his way out of the chill. Creating striking melodies against this textural backdrop created. Some feedback from Trey as Page starts hitting notes harder. Trey takes on a slightly harder tone. Mike and Fish still laying down groove, far in the background. Trey repeating the same phrase over and over. Then trilling higher, and more often, fluttering further away from the chill. A certain growl is beginning to come forth from Trey's playing. He is lighting up, bringing the majestic IT that is Phish into this song. The band continues to support this, and then Trey hits the first high note. He continues with his sonic performance, incorporating more feedback, chirping, wailing now. Pure, compressed notes, creating a beautiful tapestry of music. The rest of the band finally strays from groove and for a few seconds drop off into dissonance. They pick the groove back up, and Trey continues to play more notes than Mike would like. I love it though. Reba is really soaring now at 14:11. Whale calls begin. Tasteful whale call, with Fish hitting the tom toms to end the jam. Whistling. Great Reba. I've heard better, but for a room that size that was one hell of a treat for those in the room.
Character Zero: I've never been a fan of this song, yet I always enjoy it once I'm immersed in Mulcahy. I bet I'll like this one. I'll report back in a few minutes.... Strange. Trey seems to be singing the chorus a bit behind the timing of the song. Well, now it sounds normal, except Trey seems like he's in slo mo. Getting back to normal. Maybe I'm hearing things. Oh well. Wait, there it is again. Damn it. Trey, sing it right. Ah. Ahhhh. Ah. Guitar. 3.0 Zeros are better. Damn, I never thought I'd say that. But, this uncompressed Trey does sound quite nice. It's about this time that I'd start getting all introspective, and then annoyed with myself. Damn it. Compress that guitar! Wait, I like this! Forget about 3.0's being better. This is nice! Aha, Trey really is screwing with the timing! Go Trey! Gamehendge Time Machine! Mulcahy! Still uncompressed guitar. Fish riding that cymbal. Trey now creating dissonant feedback coupled with his uncompressed growls. Love it. Now this is just wtf territory. I think I just mentally face palmed. Wow. Great jam, what song is this again? Whoa, breakdown!? Huh? Ouch. Yikes. Hot coals, jumping all over the place. What the hell is this? Oh, Character Zero. I'm not a fan of Character Zero, I almost forget.
Runaway Jim: Ruh oh. Off the bat, this is different. Trey is singing it a bit different from other Jims. Great middle jam, notes are slightly different from the usual. Trey is all over the place, ultra silent, then explosive response. Taking this middle jam into all sorts of places before Jim came home, when he was 17. You need to hear this. Whoooooooooooa, Runaway Jim. Now onto the meat of this Jim. Echoing, minimal note playing by Trey. Band filling in nicely, creating a textured groove. Mike sounds great. Page and Fish creating a beautiful tapestry for Trey and Mike to interplay and create magic. Feedback increases. Trey starts whistling notes with guitar through feedback. Minimalist, yet soaring. At the 8:40 mark, and it sounds like Phish is playing Runaway Jim from behind a filter, behind a wall, behind an amp, with a drummer on stage playing along with them. It sounds like song is coming to an end at 9:30. But wait! No, it's not. Instead, the jam takes on an elvish quality. More lilting quality. Feedback is disappearing. And playful, spritely playing emerges. Very percussive guitar playing now, no sustain. Strumming, drumming, no humming. Page lays down some great synth. At least I think that is what it is. Takes the jam in a totally different direction, Trey is now bursting with notes again, and the jam moves into a frenetic pace. Halfway mark and this is simply gorgeous. Crowd is eating it up. Trey is playing a cyclical riff, over and over and over and over. Page is joining in with this rhythmic jam. Beautiful complementary jamming by all four. Trey has a note sustained, and seems to be dragging his pic down one of his strings while note is playing. This is creating a descending vibe to the jam. It starts dropping into a chugging, dark place. The trolls are now coming out to dance. They have now landed on Saturn. They are right at home. Organ now takes a prominent role, but still very minimalist. Electropop Phish 2000! Totally percussive jamming across the board. Elves and trolls hopping arm in arm. Little worms wiggling in pairs. The troll kicks his boot in the elf's face. The Elf laughs and shakes his foot in time with the music. People are clapping along with the 4 minstrels from Gamehendge as they continue playing their nose picking electroTolkienpop. Now it sounds like HAL has inhaled helium and is letting out random vocalizations. Burping on helium in a melody. Woodblocks filtered through Mars. Peter Frampton eat your heart out. 23:00 mark. It sounds like it's over. Feedback is emanating. Deep bass note. Feedback continues. More ominous bass. Sounds like ghosts "booooooooooo"ing. Trilling note from Trey rising above ominous sounds. More electrospookiness. Could be music during a horror scene in a movie. Something is going to happen. I can tell. Twilight Zone-ish now. Don't step into the darkness. High-hat from Fish over ominous sounds. Sounds begin to evoke being underwater. We're in an underwater planetarium. Seek this Jim out. A must hear.
Theme From The Bottom: Beautiful outro from Jim into Theme. Man, seriously, you need to hear that Jim. Might be my new favorite. Haven't heard anything like that in a long time. Gorgeous. How the hell do they play music that "makes sense?" What does that even mean? Anyhow, back to Theme. Dig under rocks. This song always makes me want to rock side to side. I'm doing that right now. Keep what's important and know who's your friend. Now my heading is bobbing too as he's swimming by. Ok, lyrics out of the way. Trey comes in with riff, but not before plucking some jammy notes. Seems like he forgot about that fantastic riff that always should have been in Theme, but there it is again, now we hit the full jam, and Trey hits it! Beautiful choice of notes. Soaring guitar lead. This song never fails to get me grooving. Jam enters trance-like, loopy section. This goes on for a couple of minutes, and then Trey (or Page) comes in with high, piercing notes. Loopy, high pitched feedback notes continue, and then familiar ending of song emerges, but then it fades into gorgeous melodic guitar playing by Trey. Very mellow. Chill rock. And then we have…
Dog Faced Boy: Wow, right from Theme. Jim > Theme > Dog Faced Boy, must hear. Beginning notes of Dog Faced Boy evoke Summer of ’89 melody. Never heard that before. Nothing else stands out in DFB other than its segue from Theme.
Driver: Nice additional cool off after Jim > Theme. Not that they raged, but they were hard on the brain.
Slave to the Traffic Light: Interested to see where they take this after the Jim > Theme. Very interesting atonal (is that the right word) beginning. Then, slowly, you hear the notes of Slave begin. If you haven’t noticed, the music evokes driving down a road. Traffic light is green. As you approach it, it turns yellow, then red. You wait, and it turns green. You continue driving. Yellow, red…..GREEN! Lyrics happen, and then instrumental bridge. Trey is playing an ascending monstrous note, and gets higher and higher. He then plays the reverse descending monstrous note. Dark, dark stuff. Now we get the green light, and off we go for our drive. I think this will be a rough drive. Audience is loving this. All 30 people (or so it sounds). Oh to be at this show. Ok, very mellow playing, yet the audience is clapping and cheering ecstatically. Something happened there, and I have no idea what. But, the audience loved it. Wonder what it was. Anyone know? Ok, so jam is proceeding. Fish is just starting to lay down mellow snare hits. Trey is slowly building up the Slave jam. Typical Slave jam so far, not dark like I thought it would be. Stil the chordal layering, uplifting jam that we are all familiar with in Slave. Growing more intense. There is the signature wail! Slave is now siaring. Guitar reaches higher. Evocative of the Clifford Ball Slave. Soloing Trey, rising and rising. Higher and higher! Hands in the air. Soak this in. Chills down your back. Lights flaring up. Phish is louder, more transcendent, glorious! Reaches its peak! Yellow, red, green! Yellow, red, green! Yellow, red; yellow, red; yellow, red, green! Segues into…
Julius: Another Character Zero song. I don’t like it. Yet, I always love it when I hear it. So far I’m not loving it. But, I am loving the fact that it sounds like they are playing in my living room. Give me a few minutes, I’ll be babbling again about how glorious the jam is. Let’s see if I’m right. There’s that weird timing again. Trey seems to be slowing down. Speed it up Trey! Oops, little flub by Trey, he’s just itching to hit the improve section. Not much passion in the lyrics, but the jam has now begun. Very playful. Very jazzy. Very not Julius right away. Yet, it’s very Julius at the same time. Yes, this is Julius, but again, very minimalist. Deconstructionist Trey is at it again. Let’s see if he can tear apart Mr. Caesar. There’s that stuttering guitar that I know all too well from Clifford Ball Fluffhead. It’s reared its ugly head again, if only for a second. Oops, there’s Machine Gun Trey. Make up your mind, Ernest. Well, that Julius did not blow me away, but as the outro chorus comes back in, Trey lays down some wonderful ascending notes. Very great guitar play. Just wailing along at the end now. End song, Mike blows into the Mike as he runs his hand down the neck of the bass. Great ending to any song. Seek out the Julius that was on Letterman, you can see what I’m talking about.
Bug: As with Heavy Things, I compare all Bugs to Big Cypress Bug. Many people dislike this song. I love it. Very meaningful to me, even though it is cryptic. Somber bass….BUG! It doesn’t matter. BUG! It doesn’t matter. BUG! It doesn’t matter. Over rated. Much prefer these versions to the current reworked Bug. And there is the end jam. Will always remember the red lights from Big Cypress. Must be incredible to see this in Zepp Osaka. It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter! Love Trey’s guitar work here. This song reminds me of life. Majestic, yet sad. Happy, yet questioning. Machine gun Trey at work again. Introspective sums up this song. Good, solid version. Rocking out at the end. PLAYING HARD! Really, really raging. Trey has a loop going, and has multiple solos playing. At least it sounds that way. More and more layered. Deeper and deeper. Head baffling, jamming. Slinking out. The note pulls me along. There are the lyrics again, I am brought back to earth. It doesn’t matter.
Bouncing Around the Room: Bouncing. What else can I say? Actually, I can say something. Page’s lyric, “I awoke and faintly bouncing round the room, the echo of whomever spoke,” sounds like it’s sung by Fish. Is that possible?
Harry Hood: Into Hood. Weird vampy Mike solo in beginning. Crowd eats it up. Trey feedback. Weirdness. Bass, cowbells. Back into reggae groove. Mike is leading this intro, along with Fish. Fish is all over the place. Drum solo….of sorts. Back into Hood groove. Mike solo again. Greatness. Mike is now all over the place. Now Page solos. Page sounds like he burped, but it was a Saturnian burp his keys. Trey might’ve done something really strange there. Whole band weirdness now. Speedy jazz now. Mike is milking that bass. HARRY! HARRY! WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT? Where do you go? Enter whimsical bridge. Twirly. Bouncy! Smirking. Lip curls. Squinted eyes. Who’s there? Goodbye. Hello! Goodbye. Uh oh. Jump, squat, jump, squat. Jump, squat, jump, squat. Up, down, up down. Left right. Left right. Bamp bamp bamp bamp bamp bamp. Drum roll, orchestrated jam builds, audience soars. Everything quiet. Ascending, descending keys. A monster emerges from Trey. Wailing guitar. Thank you Mr. Miner. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. Thank you Mr. Miner. ……………………………………Thank you Mr. Miner. Thank you Mr. Miner. Thank you Mr. Miner. Thank you Mr. Hood. Enter glorious section of Hood. Gentle soloing by Trey. Soft notes, high in the register. Building in intensity. Standard jamming. Major key, uplifting, enjoyable. Floating above the music. Bird flapping its wings, disappears into clouds. A wave approaches. The wave breaks. Gentle. Notes playing in the ether. Floating still. Drifting away. Softer. Gliding along, over nothing. Gliding. Speeding up. Flying faster. It begins raining. Flying faster. Shooting upward. Flapping wings. Fluttering. Darting back and forth. Sun breaks through the clouds. Flying faster, join the flock, mass of birds flying en masse as one whole unit now. Trey’s guitar pierces the scene. Trilling the same notes over and over, harder, faster, feedback. Glorious note arrives. Shooting light in every direction. Hosing the audience. Sustained note, feedback. Embracing this jam, letting it fill me up. My head is spinning. Headphones melt into my ears. Heading towards the end. Feedback, more feedback. Ending arrives. You can feel good, I feel good, good about Hood. I feel good! Although that ending didn’t really happen. Instead the show ends with massive feedback. Loop. Feedback cuts. Band slams down to finish.
Great show. Totally arbitrary, but I give it a 3 out of 5. The Jim > Theme was a solid 5 out 5 though. 5 out of what? I don’t know.