A few thoughts from last night, with the help of LMo.
Tuesday’s Phish gig at the intimate confines of the Bill Graham was another winner that flowed with a perfect harmony. The band's energy and song choices felt synchronized with audience reception and desires, satiating a relaxed and considerate mid-week crowd that was kind and attentive to listening. So, a riddle: how do you make a JadedVet™ dance? Simple! Play a first set that flows like a second set! Extra bonus trivia: did you know that Tuesday’s show was the 25th anniversary of David Steinberg’s first Phish show? Think about that… a quarter century of Phish fandom. Pre-show also included a packed City Hall plaza watching the Giants and Royals battle it out for the Word Series on the big (BIG) screen. Good times!
“Water in the Sky” gave way to the second ever Phish version of “Plasma,” which seemed to catch folks off-guard from a standing start. Charlie Dirksen would like to personally thank Page for performing “Halfway to the Moon” tonight – it’s a really great song. “Poor Heart” and “Gumbo” kept the “Sanity” in check before letting loose on a blistering “Antelope.”
LMo: I like it when a set list tells a story, where the story is something of my own imagination. I love how Phish songs lend themselves with ambiguous and odd lyrics to subjective interpretations. Last night was such an experience, and so the connection goes... into mikes song... the mike’s song started up the party with a deep dark dirty red light kind of a ride. ck5 all in with the dark red as the groove drops. to me this mike’s sounds heavy and hot, a good one. after a deep hard hitting shift in the phases of mikes song the wingsuit comes along to take us on a gliding smooth flight. i love how the song lyrics in wingsuit reflect the sound of gliding in flight. the pace of wingsuit also dovetails the i am hydrogen calm in mike’s groove. i love these calm delicate moments. this version of wingsuit took a beauteous flight. i enjoy floating and swaying along with the shifts and changes, like wearing a wingsuit.
After the rejuvenating experience of wingsuit flight water in the sky... we get a very intense set one highlight moment in the plasma. gumbo is another highlight a very good gumbo, a mood that shifts hot and heavy... a little dirty, in a clean way. i will be dancing to this one alone late at night at times when no one is looking. the shift from gumbo into sanity was so on, without missing a beat. and there are hints of gumbo teased within sanity. As they bring out sanity it was just so fun in the room on that dance floor. such an amusing and honest dance that sanity brings out of me as i feel it - the comic relief moment of our collective day to day frustrations expressed and released. such fun. sanity was a collective release last night. the punctuation of lyrics at the ending is really really sweet. they sing it with love and understanding, not one of us is perfect. this is why i love the phish from vermont.
sanity into an antelope that truly rocked us back to a high speed chase to the end of set one. i recall feeling such fun with this version of antelope as it happened. i shifted around to face my friends a lot and watch them in the running running running in place and time. yes. i love antelope always but last night’s version is set apart as my favorite live experience of this song.
Wouldn’t it have been funny if, after playing a first set that felt like a second set, that they played a second set like a first set? Well, OK, maybe not so much, but that possibility was contemplated briefly as they opened the second frame with “Kill Devil Falls.” Not to worry though as this “KDF” was not roped into any preconceived box but rather got weird and served as a surprisingly well in the kickoff slot to the money set. “Mountains in the Mist” doesn’t evoke the same tick response as those of us who saw a lot of shows at the end of 1.0, which is great because when played sparingly it is a great addition to the ballad rotation. The post-summer of “Fuego” didn’t quite give us a super-charged “Fwaygo” but if you are holding a OVER 12mi ticket, you are a nevertheless a winner. When “Julius” kicked off the set was declared dead and over my one Mr. Dirksen, which just shows that the JadedVet™ isn’t always the smartest guy in the room. At this point in the set things are going great, if perhaps a slight downgrade on the third quarter from Monday night.
LMo: set two was superlative as a whole. kill devil falls starts us off on a really really high note. really jammed and set up some good energy in the room. i noted the excellence of it. and this is why we have the calm moments, the calm of mountains in the mist was needed after that version of kill devil falls. i loved last nights version of fuego as it happened. the now familiar anthem also reflects the rhythm of collective release. i enjoyed he stomp timing of this one. just stomping and feeling the pace of it marching in place.
my collective group thought we were getting a tweezer as they dropped julius. i enjoyed julius mid set this time, as i am familiar with julius mostly a set closer or an encore. mid set this set two just felt right because i was so happy to know there were more songs to follow and more dancing. julius to a hot twist, very hot.
now to note a do not miss - the hood. this is a good good good hood. a most interesting extended version. most superlative. you can feel very good with this hood. the encore: loving cup was truly what it was - a beautiful buzz. there was a lot of love in the room this tuesday night at the bill graham auditorium. i for one really felt it, such love. and that is my overall impression of this night and concert, that of love. this show is one from the heart. if you are looking for a download coming from fall tour to take you there with deep jams and smooth transitions this is the one.
When “Twist” landed, one might have been forgiven to think Mr. Dirksen might have been right, given that “Twist” has morphed from a jam vehicle always pregnant with possibilities to one that if often an out-of-ideas crutch. Not so, Doubting Thomases! The cream of the 2014 “Twist” crop, this version set the stage for a show that shifted the improvisational jewels to the back end. In addition to the “Smoke on the Water” tease from Trey, the “Twist” would be tonight’s home for the homage to Friday night’s performance of Pink Floyd’s Meddle with the hints of “Echoes” that have been a lingering foreshadow ever since Santa Barbara.
An unusual and fun late set “Runaway Jim” then set the stage for the improvisational highlight of the evening, a 19-minute masterpiece of “Harry Hood.” Brimming with confidence, cracking with vital energy, weaving through no less than a half dozen stylistic themes and teases, and concluding with a subtlety and grace appropriate for a band demonstrating peak powers, just days after fall tour obituaries were being written. This is why I see this band, this “Hood.” So much love in the room, really great stuff. “Loving Cup” took it home in fine fashion. Tonight we wrap things up and head on to the land of bright lights. Custy up, rope and ride, bet it all on 17!
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