[This recap is courtesy of Zach Stearns (@StepIntoTheZeezer), a NYC area phan whose girlfriend thinks he would leave her for Trey. Zach loves "Tweezer" and has been told he has nice scruff and a great head of hair. -lbc]
Welcome to fall tour everyone! I'd like to start this off with a PSA to all the people who enjoy talking at shows-any shows: Please don't do that. Go outside. Thank you.
This was my first time to Charleston and things seem pretty great so far. Beautiful scenery, amazing food, so far, and the venue doesn't seem to have a bad seat. Let's take a look at things phishy.
Everyone has lots of questions heading into this run. And by everyone, I mean me. Will there be horns? Will the band make any hints at the Halloween album? How will the new songs that haven't been played yet be received by the crowd? How will "Petrichor" translate live? Will Trey wear expensive clothing? Only one way to find out...
Some of these questions were answered right off the bat as "Petrichor" opened the show in a surprising, ballsy, yet very Phishy move. They're clearly proud of the song and they should be. It seemed to be well received as the crowd erupted loudly along with the song's multiple changes. The band also added a cool "Waves"-esque jam to the middle of the new tune and Trey was visibly grinning ear to ear. I personally really liked it, gave me lots of feels. "Ghost" is always a treat in the first set and showed up tonight in the two hole. Although the song didn't really get too far out there, people were certainly grooving.
A nice run through "Heavy Things" was next and then Page addressed the crowd before Fish faked me out on what I thought was a “Melt” intro but was actually the debut of Big Boat's "Home". We gained a little more dancing room during the first half of this song before Trey led the band through a shreddy end. A quick run through "Poor Heart" was followed by "Bathtub Gin" which seems to always come through in the clutch these days. This version peaked pretty nicely before winding down. If I'm going to be a stickler, I could have gone for another run at a peak or a little more jamming, but I digress. I really love “Gin” and it's always a pleasure to take a dip in the tub. "555" is overplayed in my opinion and that's all I have to say about that; “Horn" was nice. The set's third debut, "More," is a song I initially didn't particularly like on first listen, but have grown to like more. Stockholm syndrome? Maybe. I'm a sucker for Trey, what can I say? Anyway I was looking forward to hearing this one live and I thought it rocked. I was a little surprised it closed the set, but I had fun with it. TBD how it goes with some of these new ones down the road.
The second set opened with "No Men in No Man's Land," which got things off to a funky start. The jam got nice and rocking before getting cut, perhaps a little short, in favor of "DWD." Disease got out there. The band got into a nice break down groove which (thankfully) saw no woo-ing. Check this one out. At one point my neighbor asked me what song we were in, so it was one of those. And then we got buttery with a silky segue into "Cities." The Talking Heads cover turned into a Trey/Fish marimba jam before devolving into a spacey outro from which came the pretty opening notes of "Roggae." This version was absolutely gorgeous. The song has been killer the last couple of years, and Mike propelled this one into the stratosphere as usual.
"Twenty Years Later" provided a nice eerie breather before a smooth transition into “Light” (a rarity for entering that song). “Light” was the jam highlight of the night as the band explored all over the map. A funky “Manteca”-like section, some darkness, cool breakdowns... Good stuff. Another solid transition took us into "Free" which was its usual funky fun time, but nothing out of the ordinary. "Boogie On Reggae Woman" came next to keep everyone grooving. I personally thought it was a strange call flow-wise, but people were dancing so... "Hood" closed the set and Trey really peaked this one nicely.
"Winterqueen" was an out-of-left-field call for the encore, but is a pretty song. "Tube" to the rescue with some funk that actually got kinda dark and almost “Tweezer Reprise”-y. A surprise "Rocky Top" closed things out for my boy @kernelforbin from Tennessee.
Overall, this was a very solid opener for the tour. The band seems tight and I think this show bodes well for things to come. Highlights were “Petrichor,” “DWD” -> “Cities,” and “Light.” See you tomorrow night!
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