This was the first show since November 22, 1992 (846 shows) to open with two instrumental songs. Been Caught Stealing was played for the first time since December 28, 1998 (298 shows). My Friend did not contain the "Myfe" ending.
For many out there this was the show after "that" show, you know, the kind of show when you've reached the top of the mountain and then ask yourself "Ok. Now what?". This was the "Now What?" show. I'd like to think that this was "can't win for trying" show, the "how do you top last night's extravaganza" show and when all is said and done and this show is listened to separately, it will shine brightly when removed away from the shadows of the monster of a show that was Charlotte.
So to my ears and allowing this show to breathe on its own, this was an excellent show. The rarities came out early and often, starting with Cars Trucks Buses and Peaches en Regalia. Then they went to some old faithfuls, AC/DC Bag, Guyute, Possum, Halley's Comet, all well-played. 46 Days was pretty stellar. The Divided Sky was on-point, The Ballad of Curtis Loew was beautiful and we ran Like an Antelope alongside the band to the finish line of the 1st set. Nothing wrong with the set except for the fact that it wasn't Friday, LOL!
Another quick set break (20 minutes) and back to the business of making the assembled masses shake their booties with the Twist opener. Rift continued the mood and then a personal fave, Prince Caspian, well-jammed to these ears. Esther came along with, a song that I was barely familiar with and this was the song that seemed to give everybody in the band a little bit of problem playing, maybe someone was in the wrong key or something.
Now I'm a huge Jane's Addiction fan but the last song I was thinking that the band would pull out would have been Been Caught Stealing. And it took me a couple of seconds into the song to realize what was going on but as soon as it happened I got my severe dance-on for the rest of the song and show. A good time to note how absolutely GREAT the sound was on the lawn, we were five deep from the front of it smack-dab dead center and to these ears it sounded better than my 12th row smack-dab dead center in-the-pavilion tickets for Charlotte the night before and, so far, Raleigh wins the best-sounding show award for the nine I've attended so far with VA tonight left. And the lawn itself was a good one, danced hard without it hurting (too much, LOL!).
For those that thought that the 2nd part of the 2nd set was the best part of the show, wouldn't be able to argue too much with you. Off to the races we were with Piper then My Friend, My Friend was pretty damm huge and segued into a totally ripping Kill Devil Falls, this steaming locomotive of a song should have derailed a number of times at the frenetic pace that it was played but they triumphantly persevered and may have been the best version of a song of which I've caught many superb versions since its debut@Jessica_Jones Beach '09.
Split Open and Melt did just that, the mid-song jam split wide-open and melted into one of the finest 3.0 jams that I've personally been in the building for and it was a surprise that it ended up being the same song by the end though you would have never been able to tell by how far out the song went before the band reined it back in for its conclusion. This one was a keeper...:-wink/smile. Golgi Apparatus got the booties shaking once again then the musical orgasm that is First Tube left me wanting a cigarette after it, I was spent, spent, spent after it so all I could do was basically watch in amazement as Trey solidified his position as the current reigning and undisputed Guitar Rock God champion by out-Paging Jimmy Page on Good Times Bad Times.
All in all, an excellent show. Was it Charlotte? No. Maybe I/we will get only one like that one. Who knows. But despite not feeling my best this week they've made me overcome it and dance and dance really hard at times simply because they're playing that well. The only problem with last night was that it was after Friday night and I expect that when I play back this show at some point I will be saying that it was a damm fine show that did not need to excuse itself simply because it was the night after that "other" show.
Man, I feel BAD reviewing this show, because I feel I really didn't deserve this show. What is there to say though? I can't really choose to not review it, because it wouldn't be honest either.
Let's stick to the cold facts first:
1. The band's energy is really upbeat, high, and happy. It feels good to see Phish now, because they are confident and there are no limits to what they can do. This was especially apparent tonight in songs like 46 Days , Rift, First Tube, and Been Caught Stealing. Phish is hot metal through butter at this point. This is hugely positive.
2. This show featured a good number of rarities - at least for me. Peaches en regalia, Curtis Loew, Esther, and Been Caught Stealing are all songs I haven't heard live in a long, long time. Not only did Phish play them, but they played them in a surgically able way that frankly astounded me.
3. There just wasn't enough jamming. Split Open and Melt was plainly SICK. There was some sparkly craziness in Halley's, Caspian, and Piper, but 95% of the insanity I crave was SOAM. Simply put, the unleashing of the giant there left me wanting a lot, lot more.
I know I sound ungrateful. I am TRULY sorry. For what it's worth, I think this was a better show than last night (I ranked both 4 stars). Phish's playing - to my ears - has rarely had this union of joyfulness, confidence, mastery, precision, and execution. But maybe it's because of all of this, because I hear what the potential is of this giant, maybe that's why I need it even more. Like mother's milk... More More More. I am not ungrateful. I AM THIRSTY!!! Phish is an oasis. I want to drink deep.
I am now listening to these shows since it has been a few months and all the hype has wound down. I feel that everyone needs to do the same and not post reviews or rate shows within the first month after the show.
What we have here is an unbelievable event that took place IMO. Raleigh beat out Charlotte for the first time in years. They blew this place up. Great playing.
The tight opening CTB>Peaches, the Bag, and the beautiful Caspian even the Divided Sky was played well, just for the first set.
Second set had which most people don't like but I am a fan of the Been Caught Stealin', I thought it was played much better than previous versions Piper was a short but sweet jam> My Friend> Kill Devil Falls which worked out perfectly.
NOW!!!! we get to the true amazing OMG!!! as you crazy internet kids put it now days Split Open and Melt!!!!!!!!! This was just great that started off with a beautiful jam going into a alien abducting space back into SOAM!!! I love it.
Well so after litening to this show I really have to say it put Charlotte to shame this time. If I was able to vote point stars. I would give this show a 3.7 rating as opposed to Charlotte which I gave a 3.2 rating.
I am going to have to bump this one a 4. Its about rounding people.
I agree with the two other reviews. This show was great. It was perhaps overshadowed by a great night before. The whole band was on point and seemed to really make it all about throwing it down as hard as possible. Serious rock concert in Raleigh that night. Car trucks buses sounded like every note was hit perfect > Peaches is such a cool peice for treys guitar by the time acdc bag peaked I thought I could have a heart attack. Hope the arrests dont stop the band from returning next opportunity. I also attended Portsmouth and wont say that show was any better. IMO Defined worth a listen.
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