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Link Wednesday, 08/22/2012
Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO

Soundcheck: My Soul, Sleep Again, Summer of '89 (3x) Unconfirmed and possibly incomplete.

Set 1: CDTChalk Dust Torture, Skin It Back, MomaThe Moma Dance > Rift > GinBathtub Gin, Stash, Curtis LoewThe Ballad of Curtis Loew, KDFKill Devil Falls > Funky Bitch > AntelopeRun Like an Antelope

Set 2: Tweezer > Piper > Mike'sMike's Song > Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room > BDTNLBackwards Down the Number Line > Heavy Things, If I Could > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, HoodHarry Hood > SuzySuzy Greenberg

Encore: Loving Cup > TweepriseTweezer Reprise

Teases:
· Stairway to Heaven tease in Suzy Greenberg

Noteworthy Jams: Stash

Average Song Gap: 4.68

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

Notes: Suzy Greenberg contained a Stairway to Heaven tease from Trey and added lyrics from Fishman: "Todd Akin is a neurologist” in reference to embattled Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin who made controversial comments about rape days prior to the show.

Song Distribution:
4 A Picture of Nectar
3 Stash
3 Lawn Boy
2 Joy
2 Farmhouse
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Hoist
1 Rift
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

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

nichobert , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
nichobert I'll keep this confined to the part of this shoe which will likely spawn endless hyperbolic venom.

Bouncing, Number Line, Heavy Things, If I Could.

The first word that comes to mind is bliss. The second is cohesive.
The criminally underrated Bouncing, one of- hell-THE best actual songy song that Phish ever wrote has a little history with Mikes and feels great right here. Following that up with Number Line feels so ecstatic as Trey once again pours his heart into a song that seems to be appreciated less with each rendition. Probably not as cathartic as the San Fran version that rocketed out of that wooly Simple jam, but so sweet nonetheless. Then Heavy Things drops and you can feel the joy emanating from the band as again they make this song gut wrenchingly gorgeous.
Following these two up with the quietly resurgent If I Could is almost an unfair bounty of riches for those who want to share in the joyous groove.

There is a lot of chatter. Most of it stems from a mistaken belief that there are thousands of teenage top 40 radio fans flocking to see Phish play some songs that may have been on the radio once or twice. While I understand the sentiment, and while I sympathize with those who feel that the middle of second sets are a needlessly improvisation free wasteland, I'm kind of in awe of Phish for pushing these concerns aside and playing 24 minutes of beautiful uplifting music without worrying about the peanut galleries siren call requests of 73 minute Lushingtons. You will be hard pressed to find a recent second set that crafts a singular narrative without hiccups the way that this one does. Will it be remembered over the ages? Perhaps for the only appearance of the word "rape" in show note history and nothing else. But when your politicians are preaching hatred and doom and you're curious as to where you can find an ACME safe to Drop on their head like an erstwhile Wil E. Coyote, you may want to dip into this 24 minutes of Phish and let Trey soothe your soul with 3 timelessly heartwarming solos that are engineered to sweep away the complex emotional webs that can trap us in a never ending coral maze of malaise.
Score: 67
pyjamakarl , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
I actually just opened an account this morning to tell Nichobert how nice it was to read your review. It is so nice to hear the voice of others who feel phish in a way that is similar to me and not just the usual disregarding of the greatness of the bands songs.Great review and thank you!
Also, I would just like to assert that along with Roggae, Heavy Things has to be considered a song that has truly come into its own in the 3.0 era. I don't recall it having such a beautiful blissed out ending back in the day. Now, it has one of those great Page-Trey peak endings that just make me close my eyes and look skyward. Yes!
Score: 13
Kodiakfloyd , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
Great review by @nichobert. Such a beautiful show. The band shined and Gordo was out of his mind. KDF Funky Bitch Antelope is a sequence that I didn't want to end. A lot of highlights and could go on forever...If I Could I Would! Great Show I recommend a listen. Free code: 64390639346763 because I enjoyed this show that much. Full of Groove!
Score: 10
KansasD , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
Last night was only my second in-person live Phish gig. My first was over eighteen years ago, June of '94, Kansas City, Kansas. I've also heard soundboard recordings of almost every show for the last two years.

For a fan like me, last night's gig was perfect. I heard a night of solid, A-list repertoire played with strength and precision. The idea that repeating songs from previous tour stops is bad is kind of absurd to a lot of us. A lot of Phish fans may only see the band once in a season. If you're only going to see one show, it might as well be one like this. I'm glad I went.
Score: 6
Manteca , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
Manteca Great show last night! Phish delivered a great Wednesday night throw-down that contained a little bit of everything that keeps me returning to Phish shows. Nice Chalkdust opener to get the crowd moving. Skin it back (!) and Moma Dance was a great 1-2 funk punch, check out the Skin it Back. Rift was enjoyable as always, love a Rift. The Gin Stash combo was simply awesome. I personally think the Stash jam was the winner of the two jam vehicles. Curtis Lowe was placed in a great spot coming off of 2 hot jams and was my first Curtis so I soaked up every note. Another first for me came next in KDF. Nothing to write home about with this KDF but definitely worth checking out. Funky Batch brought the energy level back up a few notches and featured some great Page work. Throw in a well played Antelope to close an awesome first set.

Set 2 started off with Tweezer. This Tweezer dug deep and I would say it is the best jam of the night (competing w/ Stash and Hood). Be sure to spin this Tweezer, it has some beautiful cohesion, especially around the 8 minute mark and on. I could have used a few more minutes in this jam before dipping into piper but I loved hearing piper fire up as i haven't had one since '09. Piper has been ripping lately so I was real anxious for this. It didnt quite launch into the stratosphere but they made every second of the jam count and it worked -> Mikes. This mikes sandwich is the most controversial segment of the show it seems. For some, they look at the 4 songs in between Mikes and Paug and immediately write it off and call it a really long piss break, but not in this case.. Bouncin was a fun condiment on the sandwich and was very well played, #line was played extremely well and featured a great delicate solo by Trey. I love this #line. By this point I figured they would start back into the fiery but Heavy Things started and contained a nice little Page led jam. Finally we have If I Could - this song is just great and it was played with a ton of soul. You can tell Trey is putting his all into the vocals and it just sounds great. I think people wish that those 4 songs would have been replaced with 1 big ass jam or 2 but those 4 songs worked as a UNIT and worked damn good! Paug was funky as shit - as always and Hood had a GREAT jam. Fishman was slap happy this evening and it shows during the Hood jam. Suzy with the Stairway tease was killer - especially since I was listening to Stairway as I was parking my car at the venue and haden't listened to the song in ages. I don't know how things like that happen but it is damn cool and Phish is the shit so stop being so damn critical!!!!! Great show on a great tour
Score: 5
saroks5415 , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
I havent listened to the show yet, but when i saw this Mike's groove, I didnt even have to hear it, I smiled.
Im a big "if i could" fan and I got one at SPAC right before SOaM. I had been chasing a SOaM and had only heard If I Could on various older shows. So, needless to say, the combo overwhelmed me with joy. (Plus, I had maneuvered my way down into the pavilion for Camel Walk thru If I Could then started heading back up the strip, dancing to Split Open, Great timing!)
But i couldnt agree more with you, nichobert. Backwards is underrated (I really enjoyed 8 12 11's backwards @ Outside Lands.), Heavy Things is poppy, but phish-poppy, which equals awesome! And bouncing fits great.
One of my favorite Mike's grooves on paper that I've seen this year. These guys really have something special going on this tour, a lot of fun being had.
I laughed out loud at the Todd Akin note...what a doucher!
Cant wait to have a listen.
Score: 2
nichobert , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
nichobert Wow that's a lot of +s! "Great Success" Achievement achieved!

Just glad to see that there is some happiness out there.

12 years ago I would have been in a huff and a puff over that setlist.

Now? I just wonder why they didn't play Roggae, Swept Away->Steep and Farmhouse to go along with the others!

Those 3 songs plus Heavy Things, If I Could and Number Line have really tapped into something subtle and excellent this year (And to an extent last year)

It's hard to tell battle-hardened Phish vets that the last two 5 minute Farmhouses are some of the best stuff you've heard in the past 12 months, but it's certainly the case for me.

I wish I had written more about the rest of this show. Very strong Chalkdust, Skin It Back, Moma, Rift, Gin, ...Crap, very strong first set. I don't know where to draw the line for an opening salvo!

Gin was it's typical excellence and the Stash was simply otherworldly. While I feel like every version of Stash has been amazing despite being so concise, this one stretched it out to 1994 size at the very least. A nice emotional journey as some uplifting sounds fight their way through before being beaten back down into their sack where they belong.

Don't ask me about Curtis Loew. My thoughts on that song are not rational nor are they positive. I won't begrudge anyone loving it, but it rubs me oh so wrong haha.

While Chalkdust was a stand out, Kill Devil Falls switched places with Chalkdust for an evening and kept itself relatively intact. After the last few versions pushing past the closing lyrics or dissolving into a radioactive snake pit of loops, it was nice to get a grounded version again. I like when the band switches it up. Sometimes that results in a 3 minute Ghost. These things happen!

Not the greatest Antelope, but enough to make up for the frankly messy version from San Francisco.

Tweezer was a solid contender for the best of 3.0 status. A for effort. I'd put it below the big improvisational guns from the leg so far, Rock&Roll, DWD, Simple, Crosseyed & Light, but a worthy member of that "Jam Of The Show" Club- at least if the sneaky destructive first set Stash doesn't steal the crown.

Surrounding my earlier review, the Mikes was fairly standard, meaning that it melted the flesh off of bones. Weekapaug? Anything but. Super slowed down, swampy version that allowed the band to find space for great interplay. Right up there with Star Lake for the Paug of the year.

I've been listening to some guy's "Plinko De Mayo" mix which goes Greek Cities-> ? Amazing Simple-> Worcester Hood a LOT lately, and hearing the sweet plinko sound arising from Hood was orgasmic. This version plays the plinko much more subtly, weaving it into the fabric of a normal Hood jam. Page and Mike are putting in some serious melodic work in the first half of this jam, and once Trey starts ripping off these big bold riffs towards the end, Mike has this run of ascending notes that I may end up remembering forever. Awesome Hood ending. I feel good about it.
Score: 2
cuddlyandmuscular , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
i was not at this show... but from reading the reviews thus far i can tell that it was a bit divisive...

the nitpicking at setlists has become a bit overwhelming recently and i guess one just has to laugh at it.. as opposed to.. "how well did the band play the songs that they did"

phish has been and continues to be the best live concert experience no matter what the song or how fast or slow it is.

i for one LOVE a slow tempo ballad after some heavy hitters as it gives everyone a chance to cool down. what i don't like are slow tempo/ballad songs that don't contain some sort of artistic intelligence and musical worth

trey is an astounding composer who has written an incredible body of work...

i feel as if roggae, if i could, billy breathes, dirt, bouncing.. to list some examples are wonderful tunes and it makes me laugh to see people hating on them so hard after they are played

i wish i could say the same thing for joy and show of life but the composer in me just finds those songs to be bland and not musically interesting.. but that being said.. will i let the fact that they played them ruin a show for me... not at all.. i ahd a fucking BLAST on sat night at bgca even though they encored with show of life.. the nitpicking has got to stop
Score: 1
phootyjon , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
phootyjon forget that this show contains some repeats. Or not a lot of > / ->.
i am on my second spin of it right now and i can say in all honesty, this is one tight show!

check out the better than usual CDT; a great Gin/Stash combo (man that Gin coulda went somewhere! and a 13+min Stash, I'll take it all day), another solid KDF, and a really funky/bluesy Bitch.

Set II has a one of the better 3.0 Tweezers, a short but funk filled Piper, the oddest (yet one of the most thoughtful) Mike's Groove I've ever seen/heard (a solid BDTNL? If I Could? a poppy Heavy Things? haters stop hating!), a far out hosey Hood, and a fun, "omg I love the page solos in Suzie" Greenberg......

there have already been some very good reviews written about this show and I agree with most of them - this is a prime example of how a great touring band provides some space between shows with heavy improve with shows that are tightly played....i think we are gonna get an awesome dirty south swing; I'm READY!!!!!
Score: 1
BobbyH , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
Long time, first time. What an imtimate amphitheatre Starlight is holding 7500 peep capacity. It can be summed up as cozy. It felt as if the boys were rubbing shoulders with you as they twisted and turned thier way through humid KC night. The setlist completely disregarded the 3 night SF runs history. Anything went and boy did it went! This was a smoker from start to finish and I am strictly basing that on how they played, not what they played. Flawless? Pretty much. It reminded me of Alpine 7/8/00 in that regard. No runs, no drips, no errors and lots of jammin. After the Weekapaug it seemed they had one more (Suzy G) song to end the set. However Trey got the attention of Mike and with his index finger straight up gave notice that he wanted one more and there was, HH. After reappearing for the encore it was so very obvious Trey was having an extremely goo time. While the Loving Cup ran over with individuals in the crowd Trey nodded, pointed and shook his bones enticing more encouragement. This fed his fingers while tearing through the Tweezer Reprise. I feel Phish and the crowd were one on this night which makes for a great show. Give it a listen and you'll have a blast. I, 7499 others and Phish did. FYI this is my first post to this site. I have been a long time Phish Phan dating back to 1994. God how time phlies.
Score: 1
ZapRowsdower , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
ZapRowsdower First off, the venue is amazing. Phish has to come back here again! The large park it's set in the middle of gave everyone plenty of room to spread out. Security seemed confused as to how to deal with us. One lady was yelling "no backpacks" while I walked in with my pack completely unchecked. The theater itself seems smaller in person than it does in pictures. If you didn't check out the Wizard of Oz painting on the ground by the fountains, make sure you do next time.

The first set was a rock and funk fest with the highlight being the Gin - Stash combo.

Second set Tweezer contains a beautiful, soaring jam. Absolutely gorgeous. I gave a personal groan at Piper because A) I can't seem to escape that song and B) they started with the lyrics immediately. I quickly dismissed those thoughts and went with it because, as mentioned above, Piper has been crushing lately. This one didn't reach those heights but was fun.

Mike's > BATR > BDTNL > HT > If I Could > Weekapaug left me conflicted. I wanted to dislike it, but each of those songs is played so well and beautifully that it's hard not to enjoy them.

Harry Hood was redeeming for those who were grumbling and Suzy of course rocked as always.

Standard Phish Encore.

All in all, I don't think this show could have lived up to the hype surrounding it. Speculation abounded going so far as suggesting Gamehendge would be played here given the castle style of the venue. I do think the band missed an opportunity to play off the castle theme and instead chose to deliver a straightforward rocker.
Score: 1
AlumniBlues420 , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
If I Could is a really hard song to catch!!!!

really sick hood!! good show, lil slow inthe second set but still phun!!
Score: 0
JARdale , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
I'm torn over this show and the main reason is the fact that they played 22 songs and 18 of them are repeats from this leg of the tour and this is only the 5th show of that leg. Yes, some of them are solid versions but that many repeats this early? They have too big a body of work for that many repeats. I'm not expecting some sick break out at every show but they have soooooooo many tunes they can rotate in and out. Spread it out a bit. Other than that the Tweezer....Piper is killer. Fishman's neurologist blast is also one of the funniest things I have ever heard him say during Suzy.
Score: 0
GAMEHENDGEPHONICS , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
GAMEHENDGEPHONICS Switch the 2nd set with the 1st, maybe make a few extra adjustments...a lot less complaining would be going on.
Score: 0
Cantaloupe , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
Good work @nichobert. Couldn't agree more. Not to mention that there are some fine moments of jamming as well. Tweezer and Stash are always welcome, and, even though they aren't exceptional versions, they definitely didn't disappoint.

The venue was great imo, and I thought the sound was better than at most shows I've seen this year.
Score: 0
aybesea , attached to 2012-08-22 Permalink
What a fun show. First set is mostly straightforward songs, though Stash is a really good one. But second set is a beaut! A keeper.
Score: 0

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