Mockingbird featured narration about Trey walking around Alpine Valley and having a bird shit on him, inspiring him to play the song that night. He also acknowledged that this was the band's 17th show at Alpine and that the following day would be the 19th anniversary of their first appearance (August 10, 1996). The Very Long Fuse was quoted in Sanity. Frankenstein featuured Page on keytar.
Noteworthy Jams
Teases
The Very Long Fuse quote in Sanity
Debut Years (Average: 1993)

This show was part of the "2015 Summer"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Some scattered thoughts:

1. Good to see a third CTSOTHH song in the rotation. I'd assumed that the introduction of several new songs meant they'd fall by the wayside, and I'm happy that they're still enthusiastic about playing them (and that crowds are still enthusiastic about hearing them.)

2. Hard to beat Forbin's > Mockingbird for the "huge explosion", am I right? Also hard to beat Trey giving us a legit narration, too (although the heartfelt mini-narration at 12/31/13 II is still a heart-tugging moment).

3. My take on this Set 1: sure, I'd probably prefer jamming in a Set 1 over a bunch of bustouts, too, and it's not like I go back and listen to Summer 2012 first sets very often, but the fact that something like *this* - where the *average* song gap runs in the forties - happens so infrequently (the last such was probably 7/29/03) deserves some extra consideration. And when everything is played this well (or, at least, sans egregious botches), that makes for a very pleasant listening experience. Nice Melt at the end, too.

4. Standard or not, a set that kicks off with Antelope is always going to get extra points from me.

5. That should probably be Carini -> Waves, as it felt like Trey was angling towards Waves about 2-3 minutes before actually going into it (one wonders what the equipment problems someone was mentioning had anything to do with it), and the resulting Waves is both tightly played and dissolves into an ambient stew that somehow, insanely, shapes itself into the *third* -> Tweezer of the tour.

6. And that Tweezer ends up the highlight of the night, and the third big-time Tweezer from August 2015 (not a bad month for Phish's Dark Star - tm @waxbanks), with Trey letting his MuTron take the regular Tweezer jam to some spacey and psychedelic places before Page takes things in a more upbeat direction and the band bursts into an *absolutely goddamn gigantic* blissful hose jam that soars through the clouds (and touches on Dear Prudence and Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, as @pzerbo noted in his recap). Damn good stuff, sir.

7. Still not 100% convinced the 2nd Mike's jam is back to stay, which means that it continues to remain thrilling when a jam DOES emerge from Mike's once again, this time funky and dirty whereas the Nashville version was beautiful. Probably a -> into Blaze On, as well, but what do I know.

8. We're now 13 shows into Summer 2015, and it really feels like this one might be one we'll be wagging our tongues about 20 years after. Seek this bad boy out - you'll find that it scratches a *lot* of your Phish fan itches.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by Fikus

Fikus Not a review, per se, but something that speaks to the overall experience:

The Forbin's -> Mockingbird was great, but what was really amazing was the fact that a vast majority of the crowd was singing along, familiar with every note and aware of what a huge bust out this was. For event staff that didn't know anything about Phish, the crowd's reaction and participation must have made it seem like this song was super common and not a rarity since as far back as 1995. The collective memory and communal knowledge of the Phish fanbase is so incredible and indicative of these shows being much more than just a rock concert.

Thanks to everyone for an amazing two nights.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by parallellives99

parallellives99 This is about my 20th Phish show and I must say even though that's not a lot compared to other vets out there, this set 1 was by far the best I've ever heard and the show on the whole was quite an experience.

The Forbin>Mockingbird was incredible with the hilarious narration from Trey about a bird shitting on him earlier that day. Brian and Robert was actually quite a nice surprise and one of the best versions of this Ive heard in a few tours. But for me, the big bust out was Esther. Great to hear them dust off a rare tune like this an execute it well. Then came Sanity. I thought I would never hear this song live and never really even thought it would be an option. Im not sure if it was the feeling that I knew this was a special set when it was happening and that set 1 had been so nice already, but Sanity was perfect and the SOAM was a great closer for an already perfect set 1.

Set 2 was a bit deeper with a rare Antelope opener to set the tone. Tweezer was a great surprise, worth a listen, great transition. Contact blew me away and Frankenstein (with Page's key tar) was a perfect closer. Shows like this are the reason I see this band.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by MailOrderTicketStub

MailOrderTicketStub Let me start with the the set list kind of says it all about this show. It was a special one indeed. I for one was tickled with Trey talking about their history at Alpine Valley being that my history with this band started there in 1998. Being that the show I saw in 98 was loaded with debuts and a special one 17 years ago, I was thrilled to hear Trey speak about their 17 shows over 19 years at this venue.

I'll rewind just a little before the how. I was in the yellow lot standing with my friend Willis (who saw his first show with me 15 years ago at Alpine 2000). A couple of golf carts rolled past us and only when a few people cheered and I looked up did I realize MIKE was driving right past us. He waved and the fans politely waved and cheers (none of them rushed toward the cart). Will and I kind of looked at each other and mutually agreed this was a great omen for today's show.

One more note before I get into the meat of my review. I haven't reviewed yesterday's show, but it was not outstanding by any means. It actually was probably one of my least favorite spanning 17 years. It was another reason I had some suspicion our boys from Vermont were up to something pretty special for their Sunday show.

The show opened in surprising fashion for me with "The Very Long Fuse," which I had never heard live before. It was evidently a song from the Halloween show in Vegas. They pulled this one off with a lot of personality and it seemed to hint that there was indeed a fuse being lit with that song to start the set.

Colonel Forbin's and Mockingbird - Who can complain ever about two Gamehendge songs that were executed well and with vigor! The crowd was certainly pumped to get this tour breakouts and their pleasure was certainly being heard!

I'm also a person who loves it when Trey does talk without shutting up, so again I was thrilled to hear his bird shit story and loved how he even tied the second shitter on the grassy knoll bit in (reference to JFK).

The band cooled the audience down a little with Brian and Robert and from what I've read that too was another tour debut! I for one really do like this song and it's lyrics in particular. I wouldn't say that they blew this rendition out of the water, but it is a rare song to catch and made me think about the very first time I heard this song played (Alpine 98) - they played it in the second set and it had stronger emotion to it largely because it was a little more heartfelt, the later in the second set placement of this song also prompted the lighters in the dark for it many years ago. I think the fact that Story of the Ghost just coming out probably made that performance of it a little more gripping 17 years ago. Nonetheless, the placement of this song right after Mockingbird worked well. Just not as powerful as the first time I heard this one. Again, not complaining, just noting the differences in the two times I heard this gem played (both at Alpine).

Now if all of that wasn't enough for phan... The next song... OH MAN!!! ESTHER. Now, the reason I talk a lot about my first time in 98 just correlates to Trey talking about Alpine over 19 years and this song just took me back to that time when I was a younger man myself first finding myself falling in love with this band.

They played this in 1998 too at Alpine and I want to say many years passed since they had played it there. I know it popped out some years later (maybe 2009?). I know it rarely played and had not been for several years after that 98 show. I know it popped up a few times more recently... Regardless, this song is also a rare rare rare gem to get.

Saw it Again was simply rocking with energy. I think this is where the band was saying, "In case you weren't sure if this set was special, this should pretty much let you know... IT'S SPECIAL. Loved the energy Trey and Mike showed here. Trey really started moving around the stage with that extra dialed in groove and body language. They even did some classic back to back hammering of their guitars like rock star music video style. You could just tell the band was dialed in with that special vibe tonight. That vibe where the spirit of what Phish is when it is at it's most inspired and best. This isn't just the clean technical playing of songs (they did that in night one of Alpine). This was that extra emotion and life and timing they have when they are dialed in. You really see that just pouring out of their instruments and in their body language. They connected with the audience and you just knew you had something amazing going on at that Midwest shed!

Esther just made the set of breakouts super special to me! Both times I heard this one again at Alpine. The first time I heard it they had a much more circus show intro with Page playing keys (even though he totally botched the intro back then)... I must say that I liked the over the top steam colliope / organ sound they opened with back then.

In this 2015 Alpine version they backed off being as over the top with that circus intro and did a more tame version of it which Page did not botch this time! The band played this one very well! I was impressed with how well they played a shelved song with the complexity of Esther (both vocally and musically). It was very clean and very true to Junta in it's vibe.

Weigh had some particular zest and spring in it's step tonight too! I always like when Mike is in one of his more animated moods and the Cactus sure was tonight. Always appreciate the zany nature of this song and what he does for it.

Sloth and Sanity???!!!!????!!!! WHAT??? IS THIS SET REALLY HAPPENING? I didn't eat any acid, I'm not that high, I'm pretty sure I gave my chocolates to other people. What? I'm really hearing this??? I'm sure I'm not tripping too hard... Yeah... Yeah, wow... This is happening... Yeah, it's really happening... OH MAN THIS SET IS REALLY REAL!!! (sorry that was my brain talking during the set)

Seriously??? All of that to open a set? Sloth among several of the other rare songs (this tour and overall) was one I didn't think I was going to see any time soon and certainly not in a loaded set like this one. To put Sanity right behind it? Again, my appreciation for this band tonight was just coursing through my veins with the kind of magic I felt at my first show.

Split Open and Melt was just on point! I also want to say this was another tour debut or at least a song they haven't played much recently. While I've heard a few of these and while it isn't as rare as the rest of the set was... I love hearing it when they are on fire. As other people said, there wasn't as much sprawling jams through the set, but there was SOME. It was a tighter and more vertical speed style of playing, but intense, on point, and so energetic. It was like seeing a sports player in the zone. Just such an amazing set.

The band knew they were having a great night and the crowd was reacting in that way it does when they are especially delighted with what they are hearing. This was one set close where the band seemed as happy as the fans did. This is one of set breaks where Trey stopped to peer at the audience extra long. The only other time I saw him do this was at UIC 2011 (Aug 15th Monday show). It was almost as if he knew they just blew everyone away and wanted to stay there a little longer to hear the fans say so and they did. I mean this show and that 2011 show the cheering at the end of the set and that moment the band has when they know they nailed it was there. That too was a powerful exchange between the band and fans. I love it when they know they killed it and kind of stare you down to see your reaction to it. That's love!

SET TWO
Run Like and Antelope to open a set is always fun and get the crowd moving! I enjoyed how well played this version was. It really was sharp and they didn't jam it out for a long run, but it was enough to start moving the crowd and getting them ready for what was an intense second set.

Carini just has this dark metal tone to it. Tonight they just thrashed this version of it. I mean this was one of the more rocking versions of it vocally. There was just a thrust in the vocal delivery that made the song very energetic even through it's heavy / dark sound. This was my favorite version of Carini to date.

Waves - who can complain about that? Not me! I don't care how much people think Tweezer is overplayed. I loved this one. Why? Okay... Let me get into why...

The band smashed Carini, let you cool off with a great and short version of Waves and went into a place after that headed into Tweezer. I mean the band was on FIRE in set one, but when they are playing very well for a duration...

They have certain nights where they really get better and better as the show progresses. I mean to say they get more and more locked into each other and just play with a sound that makes your ears hit this frequency where the instruments blend perfectly.

ALSO - Let me take a minute to say CK5 - YOU NAILED THE WHOLE SECOND SET. This night, the band was locked in, but Kuroda was locked in with them. On Tweezer, the lights, the sound mixer, the band, the way it all played just was perfect. Everything was tuned perfectly to where your ears almost start to vibrate with appreciation for the audio ecstasy (the only way I can describe it) that blend creates when it's all working together. I can't stress how Kuroda was locked in too. I mean all the new quirks with his lights and the number of them were working in time exactly with the band. He was on fire in the second set. Doing all the new things (which seem more and more complicated these days) but doing them in a way where there was a lot of different effects and all of them from big to small were in lockstep with the band. Hats off to you CK5 because you slayed it with the band.

Another note is the sound mixing was just better tonight. I'm not sure how other people felt about night one, but something just didn't sound right with the levels and mixing in the sound. Tonight it was perfect.

They blew the lid of this Tweezer. I mean every part of it was just working, blended, flowing, and a visual spectacle with powerful sound and light.

Dirt - Again used to cool down the audience. Dirt really relies on Trey's vocals and he nailed this one tonight. Sometimes Dirt isn't sung with the heartfelt tone it has in the studio release for instance. Tonight Trey did sing this from the heart and it translated well. Plus, the whistling was spot on. Sometimes this song has such sharp and almost hauntingly pretty whistling and when the band nails that part it is a special song to behold. They totally got that too.

Mike's Song - They just absolutely stayed in that blended zone through this and I also want to say Mike was just killing his bass especially in the second set.

Blaze On - I love a Trey / Marshall song. The lyrics when it's Trey / Tom Marshall always are easy to pick out and this new song is no exception. I think that they have had a few times to play this newer song and they really may have given their best version of it to date at this show. I've heard it through the tour shows I listened to this summer and it sounded like a wonderful song with a lot of potential to really pop and I think they got all of it working tonight. They seemed to have really rounded the corners on this tune out well. I love the lyrics to it. In particular that they bring up Chemtrails. Excited to hear what the future versions of this tune will be like. I loved where they went with today's.

Weekapaug Grove again was a song I was treated to in 1998. I used to say that Weekapaug Groove after that version seemed a little slower in pace and just lacking that explosiveness I heard in 1998. I never liked any version more than that first one I heard and if you go back and listen you'll know what I mean. There was a different pace and energy to that song back then. Compare tonight's with 98 and then compare any other Weekapaugs after 98 and you'll hear what I mean. This was a killer, high energy, and just amazing rendition that rivals the best versions of this song even from 1.0. Seriously, get this version, get their 98 Alpine version, get a couple more from before 98. Play those against anything you heard in 2.0 or later and you'll see what I mean. This was a return to the groove for sure.

Tweeprise - Again, the band just created that perfect give and go with this song and Kuroda was fire all through set two. Likewise, was fond of Tweezer Tweprise tonight because it was really making me think back to my first time here in 98 as this too was played in that show.

Contact!!!!! My first one ever and in an encore! Again, another pretty rare one. DOUBLE ENCORE with Frankenstein! Again, to bring up that 98 show they played Frankenstein late in the second set and here they were encoring with it in a double encore (they double encored in 98 too).

This version of Frankenstein shredded!!! I've seen them encore with monster sized instruments all around at Alpine in previous years (2.0). This time Page came out with a giant Keytar!

Page tore this encore up with Trey and they were really hamming it up to close the show. I love Frankenstein to close a show. This one was pretty classic in how Page, Trey, and Mike stood together at an angle playing this last song out.

The band took a well deserved ovation from the audience and I've only heard this kind crazy appreciation in their UIC show run in 2011.

This Alpine show, their history there, what Trey had to say about it, it being my first place where I saw a pretty epic show to start my journey with this band made everything about tonight extra special for me.

Sometimes I wondered if I'd ever have that special feeling of seeing my first show at Alpine again. Wondered if they'd ever play like I had seen them play in 98 - 99... In 09 I started to think they were making a comeback to that place. You could see it coming together in 2013 and 2014... Though tonight left me feeling like this band is every bit as special as it was 17 years ago to the month for me.

They evolved in healthy ways. I guess I've had my ups and downs in life too. They always reminded me you really can start over and you really can put it back together. That inspired me in my darker years... Watching them climb out of a tough spot and put it all back together. In some ways I kind of did the same with my life.

I guess that's why I get chocked up when I hear Trey sing

"and then one day you find to your intense delight
that three wrong turns can really make a right
so why not be like me? be proud of all your crimes
‘cause when I screw up once, I do it two more times"

Yeah... He gets it doesn't he?
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by DARKH0LL0W

DARKH0LL0W any time you see a sloth you saw a good show
any time you see weigh you saw a good show
any time you see a contact you saw a good show
When you see sanity you know you are at a great show
any time you see a Esther you experienced something special
any time you see treys finger work on a Mockingbird. well i didn't know,
because i have been waiting 22 years to to find out. all i can say is wow.

For some, its all about the jams, witch phish brings every night. but after my 57th show, it is a unforgettable experience to walk out after seeing the songs they played tonight.

tweezer is excellent and different. Great versions of soam, mikes, weekapaug, and Brian and Robert

I saw it again, is the shit!

The dirt was for Jerry! and was awesome. mike had a nice solo.

witch brings me to the encore

contact was beautiful and had a nice funk jam in it
And this is a perfect Frankenstein. Page on fire!
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by lostajibboo

lostajibboo I feel sad for the phans who only get to hear this show on stream. News reports said only 14K+ were in attendance. I'm sad for any phan within driving distance to Alpine who talked themselves out of attending. I'm confident they intentionally brought a brain-melting setlist to punish those who didn't want to buy or trade for a ticket.

I won't pretend to be some super-Phish expert, as I've only been to 20+ shows. But my attendance is spread over the course of 15 years, and I know the difference between a "phone-it-in" show & a "we-have-something-to-prove" show.

8/9/15 doesn't just fall in the latter ... it's arguably the best show I've ever seen and any phan within driving distance should be kicking themselves for not making the trip.

Just look at the setlist, dudes! 21 songs, and 18 of them debuted prior to 2000. I know the rule ... Never miss a Sunday show. This show was proof.

To any phans who complain the band shouldn't load a setlist with so many rarities, I can't help but ask ... where were you, then? Only 14K showed up, you weren't one of them. Don't you think that was kind of their point? Alpine Valley is one of the most iconic venues in the band's history. They do a Sat-Sun run there, and the place is half-empty? You have no ground to stand on, critics. Save for those who had true priorities greater than getting in the car and heading to East Troy, the rest of you can shut yo traps!

This setlist was epic and a reward for those who showed up. And the band's energy and commitment to excellence on this night can't be conveyed by words nor the LivePhish recording. You had to be in the room to get it. The energy was beyond anything I've seen at a show since Monday night UIC in Summer '11, and it was one of (if not the) most energized crowds I've been part of in any concert I've ever attended.

When they'd strike the first chords of the next song, and you just start cackling with delight, you know you're in for a good night.

21 songs. 21 cackles.

I feel sad for any phan who could've gone, but thought otherwise. You missed a real gem and I hope you've learned your lesson.

Also ... when we were in the lot before the show, a golf cart zipped past us. It was the Cactus himself. He says hey.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by icecreammang

icecreammang I'm compelled to weigh on this first set. While I didn't attend, I've listened through twice.

How can anybody have anything remotely negative to say? Rare songs, played well. By most accounts, they're playing quite well this tour, so when you see this (first) set list, and you've been listening to the tour, it's exactly as good as you'd think it would be. It will put a smile on your face.

Let's face it, as much as we all dig the mind bending kick ass jams, they've got a deep catalog of interesting songs stretching back 20+ years, and that's as much a part of what makes them them as the jamming.

If you're chasing first sets that are shredding segue-fests chock full of Type II jamming, well, manage yer expectations or build a time machine ;-)
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by bouncin7

bouncin7 To hear Sanity > Split Open & Melt at my 65th Phish show tells me a lot about my last 25 years. I don't review shows often on here and avoid reviewing unless I was actually at the show like last night section 202 row TT right in front of the SBD. The entire show brought me higher and higher with every song and I may or may never find out what was in my friend's beer that he handed to me while saying "it's warm but good." For a few minutes during set one, I was officially tweeeeked by a merry prankster with my mouth going OMG. They sound checked Col Forbin>Mockingbird and Weigh, so neither of those surprised me, but such a great treat to hear both. But it was the "S" songs that popped my boner set one Saw It Again (screaaaaming version WOW) Sloth (always so great) and then the Sanity complete with even screaming haunted house SFX from Page and a standard perfect SOAM.

SET II: Carini Waves Tweezer. It's the best three-songs in a row I've heard LIVE since DICKS last year and year before. Some truly special moments during all three songs. I punched my brother over and over drooling with excitement and everyone in our row had their shirt off this band was putting out DA HEAT. Trey HEAT! To say Trey is "ON" right now is an understatement. Phish / Trey are 5 times reborn a new band in many ways new energy, new dancing on stage the most fun in many years (2011 - 2015 PHISH).....it will go down in history as far more than a 3.0 or 4.0 number. Words can't describe what is going on. The jams are incredible delicious FUN, exciting and liberating. LIFE! Phish = IT "If we could see these many waves
That flow through clouds and sunken caves
She'd sense at least the words that sought her
On the wind and underwater"
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by jadedforbin

jadedforbin I've seen every Alpine show since 97 except the 14th in 2010 (mistake, I know...lol) and after many re-listens 2015.08.09 has to be ranked very high among those shows. I...never...saw...this...coming. Not like it did.

"Of course you know what a fuse is..."

It was so, so surprising and out of the blue to finally get that Forbin I've been chasing for 70+ shows. There it was, at the place I NEVER EVER thought I'd see it happen. And then....first narration since 2000. BOOM goes the dynamite of "the very long fuse". Place ERUPTED!! Show could not have started any better unless it began with an oom-pa-pa. LMFAO

I won't describe every single song in detail; you know the list. But Esther Weigh back2back? Then Sanity (also a first for me!!). I Saw It Again with THREE false endings? Only the 5th time Antelope has ever opened Set II? This was without a doubt an epic all time show at Alpine.

Don't be fooled by the Carini>Waves ripchord (WHY, Trey?), this Set II is elite. Don't be fooled by Tweezer's lack of length, because the only version this summer that honestly surpasses it is Atlanta IMHO and yes, I have listened to every other version more than twice.

No need to go longer than that here. This is one of the best shows of the best tour since god knows when. So grateful I made it to this one. The end.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by phearlessphreaks

phearlessphreaks Rarely do I rate a show I did not attend. I've heard a lot of shows, way more than I've been to. Just for context, my first-hand experiences are largely 3.0, although I made it to a few 2.0 shows. When I listen to a show it's almost entirely 93-98. From that time period, I've heard almost every show at least once.

This first set is one of the best first sets I have ever heard. Hands down. Yeah, sure it's a bit of a gimmick set - all bust outs, tour debuts, etc. So it's not really real right? Wrong!!! They went out and played a set of songs nobody in their right mind would have ever dreamed they'd play. And on top of that, they slayed the shhh out of it.

A Forbin bomb, extended Saw It Again, Halloween sound effects in Sanity, and a dark SOAM to close. This is nutso.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by doctorron

doctorron Hey there folks,

This was my 141st show, and while that's nothing compared to many, I have been lucky enough to catch some good ones. The Gamehendge in WA. The Game Hoist in WVa (that entire summer BTW, and man were they on fire!) Lemonwheel. It. Oswego. Big Cypress. Dayton 97. Camden 99, every show at UIC and the Horizon (I REFUSE to call my hometown venue the "Allstate Arena"). Des Moines 1994, on my birthday, when they let us out during setbreak to party in the park across the street! Four straight nights at Red Rocks. Ames IA during the ice storm even! So hopefully I've established some cred here.

Since I've become an old guy and a dad, my Phishtivities have had to take a back seat. I still see them when they come to Chicago or to within a few hundred miles though.

One day last winter, I was taking the train into work and I saw that presale was happening. I ordered Saturday night right away, or shall I say what I THOUGHT was Saturday night. It turns out that I messed up the dates and I had Sunday tickets.

Now this presented a problem. My bestest friends in the world (a shout out to Tommy and Kath!) were going to come in, and Tom had to work on Monday. Sunday shows were not doable for them. I tried to sell them. I tried to give them away. Nope--Tom and Kath came in for FTW and not Phish and I refused to go to those shows (mostly because Shapiro is a money-grubbing POS, but I digress). Rather, I refused to PAY to go to those shows--and I'm glad that I did. I made my choice for the Boys over FTW on my limited funds. Maaan...I would have quite possibly shot myself had I not done that. ; ')

I'm not going to go song by song, I'm just gonna say this: we brought my son Hunter. He's almost three and this was his first show (not in the womb). HE LOVED IT! Guess what though? Daddy loved it far more.

This was the best Phish show that I have seen in 20 years easily. It was all there: the tunes, the energy, the sound, CK5--ALL of it synched up. I was stone sober too (a rarity for shows before Coventry, hehe) and am SO glad that I was. Yes, the lawn sucked, but not badly. The monitors sucked too (it's been about 15 years since AV has put bulbs in those). But that was it. In my opinion, it was as close to the perfect Phish show that they could play (for me at least) without, say, hearing an "oom pa pa" at the beginning!

Thank you so much, guys, for putting your absolute BEST feet forward for Hunter's first show of many, many more. I cannot possibly have asked for better than this. I mean--HOW?
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by lizzzards

lizzzards Ten days after graduating high school, my friends and I set out to see if the live performances could stand up to the Fire on the Mountain from Dead Set that had been melting our ears since that drive around the block in Hopkins Minnesota in '83. Although we did not get our Fire at GD Alpine 85, we fell in love with a band which changed many of our live for ever. Beyond, we fell in love with a venue which did the same. In 1990, Phish visited the Cabooze in Minneapolis and, as time went on, I understood that I had two bands which were my favorites for similar and different reasons. These shows marked the 30th year I have scanned the calendar for a reason to make the 300 mile trek to Alpine.

I was amazed night one with the forty-somethings I encountered and the level to which my wife and I felt we could relate to these people. We sat both nights by some guys who were neighborhood friends from upstate NY and these guys turned our "this is a great time" into "this is a really great time"

The first set of this show was an absolute all timer in my song selection book. Although upset that I had narrowly missed Alpine-common Lizards and Bug, the latter of which is quite-profound favorite to my little Earthling pea brain, I was blown away at the throw down of the entire first set. Although I have seen my fair share of Famous Mockingbirds, usually accompanied by Tela, jewel of Wilson's foul domain, the Forbin's Accent was one of 2(?) in my history. My first Saw it Again blew me away and would have been the cherry on my Sunday if not for the Sanity which I have not chased from my head twelve days after it took place. AS IF that was not enough, they played the most enjoyable Split I believe I have ever seen. When the first set ended, my wife, amazed at the length and girth of the set asked " is that it or our they going to play another set?"

The second set could not soar to the heights of the mountains we had summited in set 1. If it had, we would be talking all-time greatness. Still a great, great, great show with sooo much to look back on. The 30th anniversary of that fateful summer for me did not disappoint, it inspired. I'll be back to Alpine in 2045 to see what the wood ceiling has yet to reveil. Hope to see you there.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by moonmoog

moonmoog Dear Community,

Wow what Great show!! If I may focus on Col Forbin's Ascent> Fly Famous Mockingbird for sec...

This is one off the best Phish songs EVER!! To personally hear so much criticism of this particular performance may not be surprising, but said critics miss the point. To quote Trey, "IT's all about energy." This is one of the greatest versions of the famous pairing, and if a new fan were hearing this 8/9/15 version as their 'first' CFA>FFM, having never heard of the tune before, I am sure they will be just as blown away by it as any fan was who got their 'first' on 12/1/95!! Hearing one of the greatest guitar players in recent memory talk about how beautiful it is experience music, people, healthy living (Go Trey!!), life, and -of course- #birdshit , is a testament to the spirit of humility, humor, sharing and love that IS Phish. Thank you thank you thank you SOO much Trey, Page, Mike, and Jon for continuing to inspire us all!

Sincerely
JC
P.S. Nice JFK reference Trey! Maybe we will hear the whole story on Nov 22, 2015 :p
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by raidcehlalred

raidcehlalred Set I clearly rests within that category of You Had to Be There. Like two nights before, the fun and energy simply do not translate well to tape. Very cool to see more 10/31 - I still want a Cat - and if preparation for this performance, much like 10/31/96, will usher in a new era of Phish. This work, coupled with Fare Thee Well prep (PLUS the band's other solo projects: just waiting on a Tornado number) points to the inevitability we've seen play out to this point.

Fuse does more than simply launch Forbin (although there is that); it's a cool tune, which features cool guitar which reminds me, right or wrong, of _Surrender to the Air_.

Forbin's pretty arena-rocking, and you've heard (or read) the narration. The Bird is great; no problems other than that which you hear in a Rift or Ice. Pretty impressive, really, considering.

The rest has been discussed....

Set II

Cool Lope. In the moment you're hoping for more of an excursion.... the way it's played (I love CMAC's FuegoLope) is so musical, that the possibility of an extended version was thrilling. Wasn't meant to be, but that's okay: I could listen to Waves all day. And Trey is playing so well, he's going after so many more notes, that it sounded a bit like '03; not that it should - 15 is just fine.

The segue into Tweezer is one of my favorite Phish moments period, as one: it was a true surprise, have just caught one, and two: it's really, really cool.

The Tweezer itself is one of my favorite jams of recent vintage. (And time will tell; it may remain one of my favorites ever.) If you've never listened to Eureka 92, track it down; it's on the SS. The two are very similar. The playing is slow and melodic and thoughtful and interesting and enchanting. It's one of those (extended) moments where the band members occupy different spaces, pinging sounds one off another to create a lunar soundscape that Kubrick himself would have 'aped.'

By now you know how the rest plays out.

I remain enthusiastic about the thought put into encores.

And have no fear, festival-goers. This entire tour is spelling something. Those of you lucky enough to attend either, or both, will get the likes of Foam; an ambient 2001 with a Mutron breakdown; a crazy Scents and Subtle Sounds; Tela; Sky Train Wand; who knows....
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by guelah_warfare

guelah_warfare I was ruling over the pit on Page Side for this one. This show was a real heater.

Set 1:
The crowd always goes nuts when the narrator from CTSooHH comes over the PA, and tonight was no difference. While "Fuse" was short, it was a great change of pace from the others they have in rotation. Great way to start the show. The rest of the set ripped from beginning to end with great bustouts and a great energy peak with "Sloth." A nice "Sanity" provided a move into a particularly juicy "Melt" to end the set. Best first set of the tour, by far. I haven't had this much fun for a first set . . well, maybe ever.

Set 2:
"Antelope" to open the set???? Hell yes. The band did a great job keeping the energy flowing throughout the show, even during slower numbers like, "Dirt." "Tweezer," "Carini," and "Mike's" highlight this memorable set. Phish ripped up the whole place en route to something very unexpected . . . a killer encore.

Encore: Just listen to it. Incredible. No "Character Zero" in sight (though I love that song).
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by Speen_E

Speen_E As others mentioned, first set didn't quite have cohesion, but hearing some of those bust outs was eminently worth it; treys sanity delivery was also quite funny to me, you hear him booming and powing at seemingly random intervals. Love it for sanity. SOAM great set closer with a lot of energy. First set overall: each song well executed (awesome mockingbird narration as well) and most very danceable, but the flow wasn't there to surrender to.

Second set was a whole different story. With the jerry stuff/alpine history in mind, my friends and I were calling dancing in the streets as the dead tune to be played, and maybe it was just because I wanted to hear it, but it felt like mike was tickling the powerful opening (particularly reminiscent of 7/5/77) through the whole second set. Ultimately kinda sad that nothing came of it, but holy shit we got a set in return. Carini flowed well and mellowed out, that mikes was incredible (and just what I wanted from mike that night), tweeze was the same, and I've wanted to see dirt forever so I was really happy to see such a quality cut with the whistling. Tweeprise always a great closer.
Encore: as stated, I was really hoping for a dead tune, and I think they caught everyone off guard with contact, though that's probably the weirdest contact I've ever heard (props to the band for expanding their jammable tune list) and the Frankenstein was immense

The tour of jamming unjammed songs. The weekend of classic phish. The night of vintage. In my opinion.

I also recognize 5/5 is high, but this show deserves way more than 4/5
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez The previous night was solid, but I don't think it blew anyone away. Going into this show, people were expecting fireworks. Being the 20 year anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death, many wondered if they would pay tribute with a GD song. While that did not come to fruition, I can't imagine anyone left this show feeling like they had not seen a top shelf outing.

The Very Long Fuse: This was one song from the Halloween set that I was not completely in love with. On this night, it worked much better for me. Trey had great command over it, and now, I have no doubt it can serve as either a great opener or a great set up song for years to come. On this night, it served as both. As the explosion at the end faded away, they cranked up...

Colonel Forbin's->Fly Famous Mockingbird: This Forbin's seemed to have a bit more of a raunchy/rocking edge than normal. There was a great narration about Trey getting shit on walking through the lawn. I won't do a play by play on this. Just give it a listen. Mockingbird soared. This has been one of the more difficult songs for Trey to nail as of late, but he did a fine job on this take.

Brian and Robert: This isn't one of my favorites, but it's rarely played anymore. Plus, it fit well in this spot giving us a quick breather.

Saw It Again: Right around now, I started to notice a theme. I asked my buddy "Any of these songs played this tour?" As for this "Saw It Again," they really put the heat on this version. The main portion of the song is strong, as it has been the last few years, but the start-stop ending they did got this crowd all gassed up.

Esther: This is one bustout I really don't care about. Esther has never done much for me, but I'm happy for the folks that were seeing it for the first time that had been chasing it. As for the song, there seemed to be a few minor flubs, but all in all, it was a nice breezy version.

Weigh: Another nice score, but guys, could you please not woo my weigh next time?

Sloth: I was fired up for this one. I had not seen it since '03. This may have been the most flub filled tune from this bustout set, but I'm going to chalk it off as it's the thought that counts. When you play a whole set of songs you hadn't played all tour and your songs are as complex as Phish's, you're going to fuck a song or two up. Oh well.

Sanity: Outside of featuring some cool samples/sounds from the Haunted House, Sanity was Sanity. In a set like this, there is only one song that can follow Sanity.

SOA Melt: This was a biggie on my wish list going into the summer, and this was the perfect spot to get it. The jam doesn't go as far out there as some of the "big versions," but Trey has some nice dark playing with some strong psychedelic leanings. They have had issues bringing this Melt from the jam back to the song proper the last few years, but they did not have that issue on this night. Nailed it.

After a set like that, anticipation ran high for this second set. You could feel the buzz in the air. It wasn't a question of whether they would come out strong. It was just a matter of how strong.

Antelope: Well, I don't know that anyone called this here. Like most 3.0 versions, there wasn't much of an excursion here. It was a straight shot from point A to point B, but it still served as a fantastic and surprising set opener.

Carini: The energy was already high, and Carini shot it through the roof. Sometimes at a Phish show, it is hard to not let expectations take over, and this is one of those times. After that first set and the surprise opener, many felt this was going to be a BIG Carini. It wasn't a bad Carini. I'd just call it standard, so to some, it fell flat. After traveling a few dark passages, Trey worked it into...

Waves: The Carini->Waves pairing has become a bit of a sign that a set is going to be a little plain. I think a lot of people started to think they may take their foot off the gas. As this jam progressed, it seemed to not be picking up any steam. Then Trey turns to his new summer toy, the Mutron Pedal. I prefer to call it the "Disco Jerry Effect." He sunk into a nice funky groove and started to work into something familiar. I knew it was coming but it couldn't be. They just played it 2 nights before. Surely, they are not about to drop into...

TWEEZER: Nothing in the world gets me rowdier than tweezer, and when you do a full Disco Jerry drop into it, well, we were going crazy in my row. After streaming the great version from Blossom before leaving for Alpine and attending the Lakewood shows the weekend before, I could not wait to see what they had in store for us on this night.

They lay down a space funk groove and just work it over. They weave through delicate passages and mini funk peaks with ease. I'm not going to get into what Tweezer from summer 2015 is the best, but I'll say this is up there.

Dirt: Another rare score serves as a great landing pad for this fantastic Tweezer. Good version.

Mike's: After Nashville, everyone had the same question. Would they do it again? As they close down the main jam, they bring it right back up. Instantly, glow sticks flew and we all hit party mode. Instead of the more mellow/melodic jam they did in Nashville, they threw down a full on dance party. The pavillion was bedlam. I'd been waiting to see a Mike's like this again since Cincy '03. Page laid down a clav-laden foundation and trey shredded over the top of him. They ripped it all the way through the woo'ed up start-stop jam. They just left one more question up in the air. Is this the new norm or were we just very lucky?

Blaze On: This was sort of pushed into the slot between Mike's and Weekapaug. It's a good new song, but this prevented this Mike's Groove from reaching the heights of the Nashville one earlier in the summer. Either way, there were no complaints after Mike's.

Weekapaug: This was pretty straight forward, but it served as a solid closer.

We were about to start for the lawn but then we saw the keytar being pulled out. Yeah, we were going to need to stay put for a minute.

Contact: This is always a fun encore and it sends you out with a smile on your face, if you didn't have one already.

Frankenstein: Boy, I sure am a sucker for this one. Typically great version.

Overall:
This show gives you a little bit everything. There's a great set list, great flow, and a few serious jams. I really can't see how anyone can gripe about this show. Personally, I thought it was freaking fantastic. If you want to complain about some flubs in Esther and Sloth, you're a dick.

Highlights:
Fuse, Forbin's->Mockingbird, Melt, Tweezer, and Mike's Song

Grade: A-
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by The_Steiner

The_Steiner seems like an auspicious day to write about the last 8/9 show i was at...

i remember feeling as i walked up to the gate at Alpine this sense of heaviness. one month prior were the FTW shows, and the aura of Jerry was still hanging around like a low cloud. that feeling made me KNOW that we were in for a treat.

Set I:
cool to get the next Fuse, waaaay cooler to get my second Forbin>Mockingbird, complete with a "shitty" narration. and right from there, a whole set of tour bustouts. Highlights: Forbin>Movkingbird, Esther, Weigh, Sanity>SOAM

Set II:
antelope set opener!!!!! no messin around tonight!! fantastic jammy-jam of a set, classics that were all played great. if Alpine had a roof, it would have blown off. Highlights: Mike's>Blaze>Weekapaugh

Encore: complete highlight. booming way to close out the night. a heave dose of weird in Contact, and a booming Frankenstein taboot

4/5
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by BoyManIndy

BoyManIndy Wow what a show. We know expectations should be avoided going in, but this was my 36th birthday, a Sunday show, and the 20th anniversary of Jerry's passing, so it was hard not to expect something great. After a strong show the night before, we awoke to a cloudy morning, but the sun broke through later that afternoon and we enjoyed a low-key, relaxing time on the lot before the show.

The second-ever Very Long Fuse opened, literally starting things off with a bang. When we heard those familiar opening chords of Col. Forbin, we knew we were in for something special. The narration seems a little silly (with a very corny "second shitter on the grassy knoll" joke) but has lots of meaning when you give it some thought. Trey starts with a joke about not being much of a talker anymore, which seems to me like a tongue-in-cheek reference to refraining from some of the marching powder that may have fueled things in the past. But then the lines of time become much more blurred - the story is supposed to happen "this morning" but there are at least a couple hints that this is really a timeless parable. Most glaring is the "mixtape" - c'mon - it's 2015. There is also mention of the weather and there not being a cloud in the sky that morning. Well, the sky was nothing but clouds until later in the afternoon, so it seems like this story really could have taken place any other morning. And then finally we hear about shifting perspective from what is seen on stage to what is seen on the lawn. Reminded me of the various perspectives seen in cubist art, which is based on the idea of time being an illusion and things being seen from multiple perspectives at one time. Then we get the shitting bird, which could represent Jerry (would be interested in your thoughts on this) and the metaphor could be Trey's way of showing humility and respect for Jerry after taking his place on stage for 3 HUGE shows little more than a month earlier and just a few miles south. Then Trey thanks the mockingbird twice for inspiration. I don't know, but we had a nod to Jerry 3 years later with the 8-9-98 Terrapin Station and I was lucky enough to celebrate my 26th and hear Trey do Ripple on 8-9-05 at White River in Indy, so I don't know how the 20th could go by without some recognition, especially after the FTW shows earlier that summer. Anyway, the seemingly silly speech broke down the illusion of time and really seemed to show the eternal Jerry / Trey connection; maybe Trey is the second shitter?

From there on out, we get a ridiculously sick show. Nothing but bustouts in the first set. I would consider myself a vet but caught several first-timers in this one. And if I'm making a dream setlist, there's no doubt that SOAMelt is closing the first set.

Then there's nothing better to keep the energy going than Antelope to open the second. The Carini and Waves are great, as well. On to Tweezer. Clearly one of the top 3 from Summer 2015, along with 8-1 and 8-22. I would have picked 8-22 as my favorite until really recently, but now have to say 8-9 takes the cake. Just beautiful and is much more subtle than 8-22. The Mike's is great and features the second jam that would have been shocking had it been played just a week earlier. But what I love most is the symmetry between the second song of the first set (Forbin) and the penultimate song of the second; the "climb that hill" in Blaze On was inspirational and so appropriate for the steep lawn at Alpine. After the shout-out to the lawn in Forbin; the Blaze On was a great way to tell us to keep on Truckin'.

And the encore was fun and the icing on [my birthday] cake. This is my pick for best show of an incredible Summer 2015. Only some attendance bias (I also went to Magnaball and Dick's) but maybe birthday bias plays a part. Hope the rest of them are even half this fun.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by phrench

phrench The first set, as already widely noted, is very uneven, despite (or because of) several rarities, including a Phil Collins tune ... ah, no, sorry that was Brian and Robert. (I like that song very much, mind you, when played by Trey alone, see his 08/02/08 gig.) Sure, Forbin's Bird is great, Sanity is properly demented and SOAM is awesoam (honestly, the jam is beautifully creepy, a perfect comment on the preceding Sanity).

As for Set 2, my stupidity makes me think it's the shortest second set ever, as my ears can't think of Antelope as anything but a closer. Anyway it's a pretty average Antelope. Carini's jam drifts nicely into Waves territory, but the transition itself is pretty bad, I feel, as if Trey forced it on his bandmates, and Fish demurred. Waves itself is as beautifully dreamy as usual, until Tweezer creeps in and starts off in a funny fashion. Unfortunately, Fish locks into a mechanical beat until well into the jam. Said jam is pretty good, very spacey (it could have segued nicely into 2001), albeit a bit flat perhaps. We breathe nicely with Dirt, and then Mike's Groove brings a very good second jam and nice Treyism in Blaze On.

Contact is Phish's best song as far as lyrics are concerned, so it makes for a pleasant encore. I've never been a Frankenstein fan, but as an energetic closer it sure does its job.

All in all, while I think this is a very good show, I don't think of it as a show for the ages. The Carini-to-Dirt dream sequence is sure worth repeated listening, but there is more to a show than the pièce de résistance.
, attached to 2015-08-09

Review by Phishsx78

Phishsx78 Overall I think this show is pretty overrated. Yeah we got some cool bust-outs in the 1st set, but to open the 2nd set with a standard Antelope was pretty awkward and pointed toward similar things to come - such as the not talked about rip-corded versions of Carini and Waves. To me this is where the show really could have lifted off into the stratosphere but these songs seemed like they were going somewhere and then got the axe from Big Red. Not sure what was going on there. Yes the Tweezer was special but then we get a ho-hum Mike's Groove. I think most people are blinded by all the 1st set bust outs, which were pretty special nonetheless, but when you look at this show from a whole it shouldn't be on a "best of summer" list. It is nowhere near the Atlanta I show.
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