Saturday 10/15/2016 by phishnet


[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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, comment by KernelForbin
KernelForbin Excellent recap, buddy! Spot on from top to bottom. I'm sure we have many more twists and turns ahead tonight. Friends opener?
, comment by melt_the_tek9
melt_the_tek9 Decent review. Being there I had a lot of things going on in my head concerning the tour, the opening show, their playing, their jamming, "horns," new songs, etc., mainly from all of the banter going on here on .net, but all of that stuff are silly things that are not worth mentioning here.

This first set was not like most first sets I've ever seen. Normally I shrug my shoulders at least once at a minimum during first set of any show, based on song selection or where they decided to take a song. I was completely beside myself for this first set. I just need to say that the extreme loudness of all the talking (coming from the FLOOR of all places yes I'm calling YOU out floor-goers) during this masterpiece of a TOUR OPENER and band debut was embarrassing. It was actually louder than the band at some points. When my wife and I finally listened to Big Boat we heard Petrichor for the first time outside of the symphony recordings, and I said to her, "these long 'Trey-alone' passages, if he hits one wrong note live or misses anything it could completely ruin the song, and if they ever play it live, and there are flubs, they won't play Petrichor much at all." Well Trey nailed it, all of it. I need a relisten, but I actually was listening intently to see if he was going to miss anything because the song is THAT impressive to me. Obviously the people in my town that showed up last night mailed in their attendance and probably missed one of the rarest things I've ever seen at a Phish show: the debut of a completely complicated song as the show and tour opener.

But the rest of the first set never wavered from the 'rage face' category (and thank you floor for raging as the set moved on). I'm normally counting on something as a distraction to reach down and grab my water bottle for a still moment. Didn't find many chances for that during this set. You can throw your hunt for a "type 2" anything out the door: the type 1 stuff these guys are throwing us lately, at least last night, was beyond much I've seen. Gin in 1st set, sure, it's a, if not THE, highlight of the 1st set. But all these songs were on point and rocked hard. Please don't think that you need to skip to the 2nd set for "phish."

Lastly, Home was just way, way too intense to see live! I knew it would be intense AF the first time I heard it. I knew it would translate live extremely well. I had NO idea that it would completely own my a$$ like no tomorrow!! I am frank and 100% honest in saying that the middle section of Home was the most intense live segment of Phish I've possibly ever seen. And I don't even know if I've ever even had to think about something like that before. But Home provided me that chance to make that judgement, and I gotta stand by it. Captivating is maybe the only other word I can use for it.

Let's all hope for more fun tonight, and hope for a smoother entry process...what a joke N. Chas Coliseum management, y'all acted like you've never put on a show before last night...
, comment by User_25940_
User_25940_ Great Recap. I streamed from home and you perfectly summed up my thoughts about it. Roggae was the highlight for me. Very solid start.
, comment by jdisk
jdisk Great recap man! Had very similar takes on the show from couch tour. Wish I was there for those debuts!!!
, comment by Ravinus
Ravinus Thank you for the much needed PSA. Unfortunately, it will continue to be ignored by the entitled millinial generation. What will it take for you all to shut the fuck up?!
, comment by nicu2
nicu2 219 shows later.....yes I started in 92....this was an ok show.... and for all you haters out there I absolutely love Phish but definitely feel like I have earned the right to critique shows . We were definitely all expecting new songs and looking forward to hearing some new phish :-) the biggest problem I had with the show was the ebb and flow of it. Most of the first set felt disjointed and Trey definitely fell short on some basics. Especially during the 2nd set free and the hood. I kept watching page laugh at Trey every time he would hit a wrong note. Highlight was definitely the disease into the cities. Can't wait for tonight! thinking that they got first-night Jitters out of the way :-)
, comment by poots
poots Did not expect a Winter queen encore.
, comment by harlemcracka
harlemcracka When Trey decides to open the show with a 13 min long song that no one has heard before because it was released 3 days ago don't be surprised that people are talking. His inability to structure setlists remains a problem.
, comment by PennPhan
PennPhan I've been flamed ever time I mention the loud assholes. It's gotten so bad all over that it makes me want to not see shows any more.
, comment by PennPhan
PennPhan :When Trey decides to open the show with a 13 min long song that no one has heard before because it was released 3 days ago don't be surprised that people are talking. His inability to structure setlists remains a problem."

I suppose there's needs to be a musical tl;dr for those people with limited attention spans. "Hey Trey, do the radio version for them."
, comment by Scott
Scott "When Trey decides to open the show with a 13 min long song that no one has heard before because it was released 3 days ago don't be surprised that people are talking. His inability to structure setlists remains a problem."

If you can't listen to music you haven't heard before, I feel sorry for you. It's a phish show. Trust the pilots, enjoy the ride.

IMO the first set was a well constructed response to the critics of Big Boat. Start with the tune that Ezrin put last, the least poppy, most old school, most ambitious song on the record. Add in two other new tunes, that, had this live performance been their true debut, would have had fans geeked up beyond all recognition. Add a solid Baththub and you've got a nice tour opener 1st set. 2nd set DwD-Cities, Light, and Hood all stellar and in a very well structured setlist.

Harlemcracka had a pre-existing narrative, one that does not excuse being rude to other concert goers by imposing your judgment about what was worth listening to upon your neighbors.

Zach Stearns, nice job on the recap with the sharp observations and objective tone.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten @RAVINUS, do you really think it's the millennials who are doing the talking? More often then not I find it's the overly drunk 40 to 50 somethings who can't keep it to themselves.
, comment by harlemcracka
harlemcracka The reason why I got into to this band in the first place is because I heard some music I had never heard before and it blew my freaking mind. So chill with that "If you can't listen to music you haven't heard before I feel sorry for you" shit. I'm just saying not everyone hangs on every note during a song they are unfamiliar with, the same way they would with a song they know every note, and every word to. Do you agree with that logic Mr. Melodrama?? So don't be surprised if people are talking during a 13 min set opening debut. And your kidding with the pre-existing narrative thing right? Assuming the reason people are talking to each other is "to impose their judgment about what is worth listening to" is borderline crazy. Is it possible the music being played on stage isn't resonating with some people in the crowd to the point that they actually decided to speak to one another? No you're right its all about them trying to ruin your experience by imposing judgment.
, comment by watsiyem
watsiyem What a delicious Light

Really creative runs by Trey that at times had some elements of China Cat and Franklins Tower

Really thought Hood was excellent as well. As I huge Hood fan I've been largely disappointed by most 3.0 Hoods but 2016 has been a good one for Hood.
, comment by SalMerc
SalMerc I loved Friday night. Seemed to be a water theme and considering Hurricane Matthew tore through No.Ch the week before, it was well thought out. The first set picked up very nicely after that. Thought second set would be a little sleepy, but my energy was renewed and had a grand old time. Free, Boogie, Hood was pretty awesome. High energy. Did have to shush someone during Hood. Said he'd "heard it before" i reminded him he hadn't heard "this one" if we all went to shows but have heard songs before, then why would we be going to double and triple digit shows?!
All in all fun. Was watching the ASL interpreters most of the time BC so many people were saving whole rows for "their friends" in the back lower bowl sections. This practice is beat. If your want to save 1 or 2 seats fine. But the whole row, sometimes almost the whole section is so lame. As I watched some of those rows after the show started it looked like they were saving them so they had 2 seats each to dance... This is even lamer. We all paid for seats, if you didn't buy 2 tickets, you don't deserve 2 seats. Sorry ... We all came for Phish to enjoy their music and our crowd. Why be so exclusive and selfish?! i love Phish. I don't always love the practices of our fellow Phishheads.

Looking forward to Sunday's Full Moon show!
, comment by Eirenne
Eirenne Nice recap, Zeez!!!!
, comment by nichobert
nichobert Nice to see Winterqueen in the encore slot. Have a feeljng that like Roggae everyone's going to start slowly realizing how good that song is a few years down the line.
, comment by Piper72
Piper72 "I just need to say that the extreme loudness of all the talking (coming from the FLOOR of all places yes I'm calling YOU out floor-goers) during this masterpiece of a TOUR OPENER and band debut was embarrassing. It was actually louder than the band at some points."

It's true. Watch the YouTube AUD from Friday and you can hear it. Disrespectful.

Great recap, Zach!
, comment by jshortultimate
jshortultimate The show was good, Petrichor kind of started things off on the wrong foot, though. I was on the floor and the crowd was going nuts, and then Trey launched into a song no one knew, it killed off a lot of momentum. As my friend Seanboy pointed out, maybe they needed to play it first because of its complexity.

Highlights for me in the first set were the Poor Heart, Heavy Things and Bathtub, which, at least from my spot on the floor had the crowd in a frenzy. Listening to the Petrichor again on Sirius, the song was very well played and executed; it was just that nobody knew the song well enough to appreciate it fully. Second set started off where the first set should have, with guns blazing into No Men, which, well good, was not as good as other recent versions I've seen. Other highlights for me were Cities and Free.

Not really sure about all the complaints of talking on the floor. I was on the floor all night in various locations and never noticed it. Maybe I was too busy dancing my ass off...
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