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Link Monday, 12/27/2010
DCU Center, Worcester, MA

Soundcheck: Heavy Things, Halfway to the Moon, Meatstick, Jam [Unconfirmed and possibly incomplete]

Set 1: SampleSample in a Jar, Funky Bitch, Cool It Down, Roggae, Heavy Things, What Things Seem, RosesRoses Are Free > It's Ice, MistMountains in the Mist, Julius

Set 2: Mike'sMike's Song > Mound, WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, Farmhouse, Seven Below > WTU?What's the Use? > Twenty Years Later, Velvet SeaWading in the Velvet Sea, Possum > Cavern[1] > BowieDavid Bowie

Encore: Loving Cup

[1] Lyric changed to "take care of your boots."

Noteworthy Jams: Roggae, Seven Below

Average Song Gap: 12.05

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

Notes: The end of Cavern was changed to "take care of your boots."

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
3 Farmhouse
2 The Story of the Ghost
2 Hoist
2 Rift
1 Joy
1 Round Room
1 The Siket Disc
1 Stash
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Junta
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Songs by Debut Year:

david_bowie , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
david_bowie Heard complaints after the show that it was too mellow, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. After opening with "hits" Sample and Funky Bitch, set I was all soothing ballads save for Heavy Things, Ice and the frequent set closer Julius. They certainly did cool it down quite a bit. The VU cover and Roggae were first set highlights for me. I got my two favorite songs to open and close set II, so I was more than happy to wade in the velvet sea for a while. This show was like a cup of warm cider (with just a splash of whiskey) by the fire. Something to warm your bones after a day of playing in the snow. Ahhh.

Met up with some college buddies and hired a car to take us to Woostah. That was a good call. Thought we might need a snow cat, but the Lincoln made good time until we got close. I was surprised at how crowded it was given the weather and non sell out. One friend hadn't seen phish in 20 years. Damn. Time flies. It was very apropos to get Twenty Years Later as the sole "new" tune. Phish sounds better than they did 20 years ago, no question in my alleged mind. I love it when Mike or Page takes over. Trey is still the star of the show but he is listening and playing fewer, better notes. Big fan of v 3.0. Thank ye, Gods of rock.

We had fun trying to predict some of the set list before the show. Ice and 7 Below were obvious choices. I had an oddly specific premonition that nearly came true. I called the Loving Cup closer - a song whose ubiquity has been lamented here, but it is still one of my all time favorite covers - and predicted a change in lyrics from "I'm the plowman in the valley with a face full of mud" to "I'm the plowman in the *driveway* with a face full of *snow*". So close. If that had happened, we would have directed the car straight to Foxwoods.

Expect tonight to be a more rocking, more typical set I. But, you never know because this band still can surprise. Looking forward to the rest of this new years run.

Peace.
Score: 14
waxbanks , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
waxbanks (Before we continue, read Andrew Rose's review, to which I say YES, MOSTLY.)

It's a weird night that counts Roggae, Mountains in the Mist, and Wading in the Velvet Sea among its highlights - and weirder still when a NYE Phish run kicks off with the mellowest, most delicate show in a decade.

The Worcester shows (both of which I had the privilege of seeing) sure look weird on paper, and the MSG highlights (Simple > Sally, Ghost, Tweezer > Light, etc.) seem to be hogging fan attention, but the best of this night is equal to the best of 2010 without question. What's more, this show achieves greatness in a manner unlike any other this year. Despite a few uneven moments, I can't recommend it highly enough.

There's some fine upbeat playing here (definitely check out Cool It Down in the first), but I like the mellow tunes best of all on this night. This best-ever Roggae floats from delicate interplay to harrowing intensity and back in nine of the year's most interesting musical minutes; Mountains is hushed, intricate, welcoming ensemble music; Farmhouse and Wading both descend magically (atypically) into soft spacious jams rather than riding Trey's guitar crescendos; and of course the uplifting -7 jam is built around a WTU-like major chord progression that gives way to a soaring, enveloping take on the thing itself.

That said, the second set draws some of its power from its up/down/up structure, and the up bits sure are up: Mike's > Mound > (experimental) Weekapaug is all ferocious energy, then we enter the subterranean Farmhouse/-7/WTU/20YL/Wading passage before emerging for a closing Possum/Cavern/Bowie triptych. (In keeping with the tone of the night, Bowie is all understated complexity.)

Tuesday night's Hood jam has already entered into the 'best things they've ever done' canon, but this hushed outing shows Phish's extraordinary maturity and (unexpected) restraint. For such a legendarily musically indulgent band, they generate tremendous power at low volume; the dynamic range here nearly equals that of 6/14/00, and if the jams are less expansive now, they're no less deep (and vastly more emotionally rich, as I hear them). Never in 15 years of seeing and hearing this band would I have imagined making a mix of the *ballads* from a Phish show, but that's been my preferred way of revisiting this one during (say) nighttime bike rides after baby falls asleep. They're not a young band anymore, not by a longshot; now more than ever, Phish are making music by and for grownups. And they extend the invitation to their still-young audience to come on along and join them, step by step, no hurry, one free flight or feather fall at a time. Maybe their best days are behind them; maybe they're happening right now, or yet to come. The answer has always been the music, now and next. Hush now and listen.
Score: 11
SolarGarlic , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
SolarGarlic A lot of people around me thought this show was a little mellow. I think another review mentioned this. I definitely noticed the peaks and valleys throughout. With that said, each of the more mellow songs were played really well. A song like 'Farmhouse' or 'Heavy Things' can really fall flat, but when played well, are magnificent. I think too many people are caught up on how much "high energy" a show has. If all people want to hear is 'Mike's' 'Possum' 'Weekapaug', 'Antelope' and all that, it makes me wonder how much people actually like the band's catalog. It could be cause I'm getting old, but a nice 'Roggae' 'Brian and Robert' 'Mountains' 'Bug' or something like that is a nice change when played well (I can live without the 'TTE'). Those upbeat tunes can get monotonous after a while. Personally, I like the varied set-lists. The only tune I question the placement of is 'Wading'. Perhaps kept the level down a little too long.

In the end, the band was having a great time and they sounded great. Even if it wasn't the best show you've seen, this show was NOTHING to complain about.
Score: 4
newyorkgumbo , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
Sloid show, good long jams, solid performance as usual.
Score: 4
andrewrose , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
andrewrose This show was a bit of a mixed bag, ultimately, but the highlights are definitely worth hearing. After a somewhat underwhelming Sample, Funky Bitch start to the show, the Cool It Down, Roggae, Heavy Things sequence featured a lot of interesting jamming and awesome performances. Cool It Down had an extended funky jam and Roggae was bent inside out, eventually raging by the end. Heavy Things features some of Trey's most agile and well chosen phrasing of both Worcester shows. Momentum in set 1 was up and down after that (including an enthusiastic Roses that seemed to beg for a little jam treatment to no avail).

The Seven Below->What's the Use in Set II is terrific. Absolutely gorgeous jam in Seven Below. Someone brought a What's the Use sign to the show on this night, and Trey began quoting it in the Seven Below jam, eventually bringing things down and starting the song in earnest. Otherwise Bowie showed some signs of life to end the set (though nowhere near the beauty they delivered on 10/30 a couple months prior in Atlantic City).

To sum up, must hear: Cool It Down, Roggae, Heavy Things, Seven Below->What's the Use. Optional hear: the rest.
Score: 3
Phriendly_Phil , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
I enjoyed this show. I wasn't there unfortunately but still found it to be a exceptional opener for this mini-tour. Nice touch of some VU in Cool it Down. Always love the Roses. Mist is still good in my opinion. I loved the rare Mound after Mike's. Also I noticed the crowd trying to clap along with the beat at the beginning of Mound and it was terrible. But that's ok. Seven Below>What's the Use? was a definite slap-happy number into a beautiful jam that was almost already in What's the Use? 2 minutes before it started. I just Love What's the Use? Got my first one back at Alpine. Watch that DVD a lot. That was all I cared to say. As for the people that get to actually go and don't like some of these mellow songs, at least they won't be playing them the rest of the run.
Score: 2
jwlabrec , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
It's all been said above; the middle of the second set was a bit of a snoozer. I was glad to see Farmhouse (3rd time) but it seemed a little off. Vocally, Wading was pretty good and Cavern was note for note perfect.

I'm 32 now and saw my first show when I was 16. Being a bit of a fanatic I keep a running tab of how many times I've seen a song performed. Last night marked the 12th Mike's Song, Weekapaug and Possum. However it was the third consecutive show I've seen the three! (Augusta, Manchester, Worcester). I love all three but you can't always go back to the well. I'm looking forward to tonight 'cause I'm guaranteed not to see those three, right?

Highlights: Funky Bitch (so much Page!), What Things Seem (never heard it before), Roses Are Free, MOUND!!, Cavern, Loving Cup

Lowlights: Julius (predictable), Twenty Years Later (just not sure if it's up or down)
Score: 0
Phillipanthony , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
Phillipanthony OH this was a fun night!!! The floor of course was GA and I went inside as soon as doors the opened and was able to get FRONT ROW CENTER!!! Haven't seen Trey that close since Hampton '97 with that amazing Emotional Rescue opener! Highlights of the evening were : Roses Are Free>It's Ice and my favorite new tune, Twenty Years Later...as well as the uber-jamming Cavern :-)
The only negative of the night was the annoying drunk newbie jock that forced himself through the crowd to our front row section...all while spilling beer and saliva on everyone in his path....ugh...hence why I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE dry venues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
Score: 0
hmi1892 , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
hmi1892 Many have criticized this show for being "too mellow," but personally, I think that is exactly where this show gets its strength. In my opinion, it is one of the most delicate and tender shows Phish has played. Ballads, a facet of Phish's music that is often under appreciated, are played with a melodic intimacy that has me coming back to these versions time and time again. This is a perfect example of a show rising far above it's setlist.

Set I opens with a standard Sample in Jar, Funky Bitch one-two punch. Nothing special, especially for 3.0, but the Funky Bitch does smoke. They've really been obliterating this tune the past few years, and I have no problem with how frequently it pops up on setlists. Next up… Cool It Down! A probable nod to the snowstorm that hit Worcester during 2010's NYE run, this is a very welcome addition to the set after the safe opening run of tunes and features a shuffling, laid back bluesy groove. A perfect tune for Phish's sound coming off of Fall 2010 and their cover of Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus.

Roggae is, in my humble opinion, the most psychedelic song in Phish's catalogue. It is one of the few Phish originals that has a "Dead-esque" feel to it. This version is incredibly powerful. Mike is especially strong in the beginning of the jam. The band really shows off their ability for delicate, four-headed interplay before building to the strong, rolling chords that signal the end of the song. The Heavy Things to follow is also pretty hot. Trey is so nimble and quick fingered on his solo in this song, I can't help but enjoy it. His tone also sounds absolutely perfect. What Things Seem is a typical Mike song with eclectic lyrics and a nice bluesy groove that fits nicely in the context of the set.

Roses > It's Ice brings the set nicely back into "standardsville," although there are worse tunes to hear in the middle of a first set. Mountains in the Mist is my personal set highlight. First of all, it is a beautiful song to begin with and one of my favorite ballads. This version however, is spectacular. The jam is tender and melodic, and really demonstrates the emotional depth the band has acquired over their almost 30 year career. An energetic Julius closes out a decent first set. I can understand why some may think it's a little TOO mellow, with lots of slower ballads and a lack of much jamming, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

An above-average (just for 3.0 of course!) Mike's Song opens up Set II, and segues into a surprise Mound. The jam in Weekapaug is melodic with great Trey and Page interplay and a machine gun peak, definitely a highlight of the night so far. Farmhouse follows as the first "cool down" moments in this Set II, but, surprisingly, tonight these are the very moments that shine the brightest. The "jam" (if you want to refer to it as such) in Farmhouse picks up where Mountains left off in the first set. Just absolutely gorgeous playing, much different from the often guitar wankery that can follow such tunes. If you are someone who typically writes-off or skips over tunes such as Farmhouse, I beg you to give this version another listen.

Seven Below -> What's the Use? > Twenty Years Later provides the unquestionable show highlight and the piece of music with the most staying power. Seven Below, perhaps played in response to the cold weather outside the building, melts almost immediately into type II territory from the onset of the jam. As the song winds down around the 3 minute mark, Trey comes in with some weird rhythmic chops while Page solos on the piano and Mike and Fish maintain the bounce of the song proper. Page eventually moves to the clav and Trey continues to play rhythmically. Mike's baseline remains locked into the cadence of the song until around 4 minutes when he breaks free and the band begins to drift into deeper waters and Trey begins to solo. By 5 minutes into the song, the music has already reached a blissful melodic plane with Trey leading the charge. This is dense jamming at it's finest! At 6 minutes he has developed a clear melody that vaguely resembles "What's the Use?" although with a quicker pace and a more uplifting build. This eventually dissolves into brief space before What's The Use? proper begins. Twenty Years Later is an excellent landing pad, although I guess technically the composed WTU is the landing pad to the Seven Below jam, but no matter. It works well in this spot.

Wading in the Velvet Sea… wow! Instead of repeating myself, just reread everything I wrote about Mountains in the Mist and Farmhouse. Listen to this Wading. A trio of set closing tunes; Possum, Cavern, Bowie; finishes the set off in style. The David Bowie, while nothing spectacular, is definitely "above average" for 3.0. Awesome interplay between every instrument. (NOTE: upon multiple listens to this Bowie, I enjoy it more and more every time. Really great playing in this one. Patient.)

Loving Cup sends everyone home with a beautiful buzz, four more shows left in the run. It is my humble opinion that this show is vastly under appreciated. I revisit highlights from this show often - even to this day. There was some phenomenal music played this night - sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper and look in unexpected places to find it.
Score: 0
dutchbug , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
dutchbug Looking back a the setlist, I can see why I was 'meh' on this one. It's like they chose to perform all of my least favorite songs.

We showed up to this show after leaving a ski resort in the afternoon. I was still wearing my snowpants as we sat down. I was totally exhausted from driving from Vermont.

It just felt like they were going through the motions. Songs were short, nothing interesting really happened. I remember security running around during a song. My girlfriend and I were curious and followed them to find them trying to subdue this totally spun out fatguy.

Yeah, this was the worst show I've seen. A lot of it had to do with my mindset. If I were to see the same set tomorrow, I'd think differently, I'm sure.

I'm giving this 2 stars just because the other shows I've seen were _so_much_better.
Score: 0
mister , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
Really a so-so start to this New Year's run.

On one hand, everything was well played. Roggae, Heavy Things, What Things Seem, Twenty Years Later...all above average renditions that laid down a heavier than expected energy.

On the other hand: Sample, Bitch, Roggae, Heavy Things, Mist, Julius, Farmhouse, Velvet Sea, Possum, Cavern, Bowie, Loving Cup...what, is this 1999 again?

All around, far from the best or the worst. Roses, Mound and What's the Use were nice rarities. The Seven Below -> What's the Use pairing was probably the highlight.

But, much like 12/28/09, this show was painfully standard and way too mellow for a NYE run, especially after the wild ride that 2010 has been.
Score: -1
downtosnuggle , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
it's ice
cool it down
seven below
mound (icy clump of lies)

it was really cold.

take a moment to forget about the inexplicable atrociousness of some of the song choices and bask in the warm glowing warming glow of mikes>mound>weekapaug. the mikes grove alone was worth the price of the ticket. third mound since 1996
Score: -1
IdRatherBeOnTour , attached to 2010-12-27 Permalink
IdRatherBeOnTour Coldest show I've been to, wind chills musta been below 0. Tons of empty seats/floor room due to a snow storm and not being sold out.

Extremely slow and mellow show. Peaks and Valley's throughout. Mound was a treat and the Possum>Cavern>Bowie was rocking. Loving Cup solo encores piss me off.

I honestly thought it was one of the lowest rated shows I've ever seen. But even a "shitty" Phish show is better than most things in life.
Score: -1

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