This show featured the debut of Running Out of Time. Mike teased the theme from The Godfather prior to Golden Age. Trey and Page teased Woman From Tokyo in Suzy Greenberg. The soundcheck's I Always Wanted It This Way included Immigrant Song quotes from Trey and Fish.
Set 1: A nice blend of songs, with the Big Boat numbers actually feeling more integrated into the setlist than the first few shows (nice to see Waking Up Dead back) and Petrichor continuing to round into form as a live number. Tube didn't go out Chula Vista style, but it still served up a pretty nasty slice of rock/funk, and Shine A Light works very well as a Set 1 closer.
Set 2: Golden Age gets the call to start off Set 2, and it works more as an updated version of when Also Sprach Zarathustra kicked off Set 2s back in the day than DWD-type jam vehicle, with Trey getting off some particularly good riffs. Page makes a gentle push for major key, but Trey has other ideas and leads us into Tweezer, and this is a Tweezer worthy of the Murderer's Row of August 2015 Tweezers. The usual Tweezer jam starts heading for warmer waters as Trey spins off chords and Mike steps forward in the mix, and Fish goes into a nice snappy groove with Page and Trey playing off of him. Page goes back to piano and the jam really starts to get nicely down and dirty, Trey finding a sweet stop-start pattern and Mike doing some strong work behind them. They build to a pretty good peak, then maneuver into a space that sounded a bit like Blaze On (I was expecting the ol' alligator mouth for half a second), but instead drop into a hazier contemplative zone, which very slowly dies away, nearly rebuilds, and then finally collapses into No Men In No Men's Land (check out 9/11/00 II, where they do something like this for every song).
NMINML is its usual ferocious self (which it is when it's not delving into Drive-In Jam territory or teeth-grinding fireball jamming), and dies away into semi-ambiance (again, shades of 9/11/00 II), from which Plasma makes its more than welcome return, and this is probably Phish's best take on the tune yet, slinky and stripped-back and occasionally threatening to shake its boundaries (wonder if *that* will happen at some point). They immediately roll into Harry Hood, and this is a damn fine Hood, the first to go true Type II since Magnaball (maybe 1/2/16). Mike (of course) pushes for something different, and Trey starts playing a riff reminiscent of Silent in the Morning (again, thought the ol' alligator mouth was coming), but instead they shift to a new key and Trey starts playing some truly soaring notes. They build up towards a peak with Page tossing in some Plasma teases, from which we return to Hood's usual territory...well, sort of, as they briefly drop into a Mike-led rockout that gives us a full-fledged "woo" segment, and then Trey leads the band back home (with one more "woo" segment for funsies). Suzy, and a pretty grotty Suzy on top, closes out a darned fine set.
Final thoughts: Yeah, this is the good stuff, baby. We'll still be talking about this one no matter how the rest of the Fall tour shakes out, I think.
Full disclosure, I couch-toured this show. What's great about this show, though, is that it bookends a stellar two-night run in Nashvegas well, instilling hope in anyone who may have been underwhelmed by last weekend. Theme's an interesting opener, and I think Camel Walk and My Soul pair (still chasing!) nicely together. I will go out on a limb and disagree with Noob100 in that I felt the first set was a bit disjointed following Petrichor, which I believe has rightfully found its home mid-first set. Maybe the new songs still have to grow on me, but it seemed risky to me sandwiching Halfway to the Moon between Waking Up Dead and Running Out of Time. Nevertheless, trustworthy Tube brought us back to 1.0 and Shine a Light closed out the first set fittingly.
Now that the appetizers had been picked at, it was time for dinner! Second set straight-up rocked. Golden Age and Tweezer make a nice combination in my mind (here's looking at you 10/27/13). Where Golden Age lacked second set opener exploration, Tweezer made up for it in cool, laid-back crunchiness. The extended groove that came out of the jam hearkens back to the space funk characteristics of late 90's Tweezers like 9/18/99, 11/22/97 and 11/17/97. Tunes like this are perfect for lighting a doobie and turning off your mind. The shreds came out late in the jam to end it before leading to a tight Type 1 No Men's jam. This 1-2 punch was enough to signal a solid second set. Plasma jammed; however, it ultimately served as the only excuse for a breather in the set. Upon hearing the signature Fishman fill to open Hood I gasped because I knew it wasn't going to disappoint! The boys really took this one for a ride, and even danced around with some start-stop exploration which wasn't 100% successful, but tons of fun nonetheless. Trey successfully led the band back into the jam for a sweet finale. Suzy closed out the set in a swinging fashion, but the real highlights are Tweezer > No Men's and Hood.
Wallsprise encore was the cherry on top of what is arguably the best, most coherent set of the tour so far. Give this one a spin, put a smile on your face, and just know that the bar has been set for the remainder of Fall 2016.
This show has a lot going for it no matter what kind of Phish you like to hear. The first set gets off to a strong start with a rare Theme From the Bottom opener (last 5/8/11). A perfectly executed Camel Walk and groovin' My Soul get the crowd fully engaged. Which is probably where Trey wants them when he starts the first notes of Petrichor. It's the third, and maybe strongest version yet. The band then gets to take turns playing one of each their own with Fish's My Sweet One, Mike's Waking Up Dead, Page and his aborted trip to the moon, and the debut of Neil Diamon...er Trey's Running out of time (sorry, every single time I hear it I hear it in Neil's voice.) It all closes nicely with MY FIRST TUBE!! and finally Shine a Light in its first ever placement as a Set 1 closer.
Second Set opened with Television's Golden Age which seems to bring out the best in the band when it comes to structuring jam fueled sets like this one. The smooth transition into Tweezer was wonderful, and with the tour's first Tweezer came the bands first tough test to see what might be in store for us for the next 8 shows. Would they jam out the songs we want (demand??) them too, or would they keep it short and sweet like so much of Summer Tour. Well, they passed with flying colors. This was a Tweezer that, even clocked at a modest 16 minutes or so, covered a lot of ground and never felt rushed or abandoned. It was the kind I'd been chasing for awhile now. The NMINML was an animal. Trey just shredded it to pieces, a perfect companion to the faster and harder aspects of the song that preceded it. Plasma was a song I was not familiar with, even thought the band sounded like they'd been playing it regularly in the rotation for years. It was such a cool, spacey jam and could not have been better placed for what was coming next, which is the highlight of the night and the jam of the tour so far. Harry Hoods have been so strong for so long it's amazing to me how they can find something novel but enduring that makes each one it's own rare treasure in time and space, time and time again For some reason Trey wanted us to woo. I did not, but others did. It didn't mtter, it extended the song and added a very unique response from the call that I had never heard before. Anyways, I saw Blue, and he looked glorious.
WOTC in only its 3rd appearance in the encore followed by The Reprise closed another beautiful night in Nashville. Something about this place really brings out the best in the band. I'm glad to have been a part of this year's magic. It's good, good to be a phan.
Brief thoughts having attended: set I was well played, which is all I ever ask, though not my absolute favorite song selection, and certainly not a set I that rises any higher than efficient and competent.
Set II however...where to begin. If nothing else, it can temporarily put to rest any hand wringing about 3rd quarters and 4th quarters and type II, etc. It would rank up there with anything recent for me as far as cohesion, energy and execution.
I don't know if it was just me, but I thought both Golden Age and Tweezer had obvious nods back to night 1's 2001. I need to relisten when I get home, but NMINML was the highlight of the show. And the Hood was rather atypical in a really interesting way.
I was surprised by how much I liked WOTC as an encore, and as was the theme for the latter half of the night, they pretty much nailed it.
Interesting opener, that Theme. Running Out of Time debut is short and sweet. Tube got a little loose. That's about all I have to say about Set I. Tweezer and Hood contend for the jam of the night, and I like seeing a 6-song second set. Hood had a little Type-II action, which is always welcome from where I'm standing. Good to see Plasma pop up again. This was an average-great show, IMO.
I didn't get a chance to stream any of the show live but listened on live phish the day after.
This set II looks on paper to be the exact type of Phish I like: no-nonsense straightaway heavy hitters strung together in what seems to be a rather logical order. I read some of the reviews praising it but also saw some chatter about it being overrated, even from some .netters I respect a lot. Usually when this is the case I tend to lean towards the "overrated" side, so I lowered my expectations.
I'm happy to report that this second set, along with the first set highlights, is the stuff of a very above average show. Others can describe the jams better than I but I wanted to call particular attention to the Hood, which deconstructed the regular progression of the song in a VERY coherent way -- some people are dissing the start-stop towards the end, but I thought it was pretty smooth when they launch into the main closing theme afterwards (it caught Page by surprise but he quickly recovered). When they did it a second time I got the chills, and a rush of love for this band. The preceding experimentation in Hood was not one of those minor shifts just for shits before returning to Hood proper, but felt entirely natural, and when they returned to major they didn't opt right away for the main theme but instead took a slightly different but refreshing direction. What an A+ hood!
Other highlights: Petrichor, Tube (is it safe to say Tube jams are back for good? where's the talk of this being by far the best year for Tube since 2000?), the brief Golden Age jam (the ripcord out of it being the low point of the night, quickly made up for by the tweezer), Tweezer (gooey gooey goodness), the rest of set II (I know that's super lame but there was extra mustard just about everywhere. I swear Trey was hinting at a Hood reprise jam in Suzy of all places!)
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