[This recap, like last night's, is also courtesy of dot net user Zach Stearns (@StepIntoTheZeezer).]
Always nice on a second night of a run, having settled in and gained a little more familiarity with the the city, the venue, the lot, etc. Hope the band feels similarly.
I'm pretty sure I've gained 20 pounds since arriving Friday morning, as all I've done in the waking hours is eat and drink. Will night two of tour bring the heat and help me shed some of this newfound weight? This story and more to come.
Things got off to a fun start as the band loosened up with "Blaze On," which reached a tight, high-energy peak. After a brief pause the band kicked into "what's the use," a song which has found its way into more common rotation this days. The hypnotic instrumental kept the energy flowing before "Martian Monster" shot us off into space and Trey expertly utilized his echoplex. Things came back down to earth with "Devotion to a Dream," which was followed by "Waking Up Dead." This new Mike tune contained a few "Mind Left Body" licks and a sped-up-"Tweezer"-like jam. Kuroda particularly shined during this segment of the set, showing off some new tricks with his new-ish rig.
"Timber" followed and reached a fiery peak before Page led the band through a performance of "Things People Do." Unlike this summer's versions, this one started off like Page's demo: with the Chairman playing/singing solo. Around the (cringeworthy IMO) Pinterest lyric, the rest of the band joined in for a pseudo-bluegrass/polka rendition of the tune. "Let Me lie" came next. I can't say I was particularly happy when they brought it back at Hartford this summer. I didn't think this was good placement for the song tonight, and a lot of the crowd seemed in agreement, as there was quite audible chatter throughout the venue.
"Maze" got things back on track. But first a surprise Fishman serenade of "Lengthwise" over the intro, a la RIFT. The jam exploded as Page whipped the crowd into an absolute frenzy, and then Trey followed with a roaring peak of his own. Next, we got our hands in our own asses courtesy of Henrietta's philosophical "Ass Handed." "Carini" handed us his lumpy head in a very fun and rare first set romp. Very enjoyable and interesting song selection. "Wolfman's Brother" brought things to a funky yet feverishly rocking close in this sometimes odd-flowing first set.
I am glad Trey still wants to play "Mercury" after it got denied entry to the Big Boat. This version took a quite enjoyable extended ride and I feel like it's going to go really deep soon. The jam slid into "Twist," which stuck to its usual Latin flare before breaking loose with some "WTU?" teases and leaving the confines of the song altogether. Things started to sound like "2001," but Phish surprised us (or me) with "I Always Wanted It This Way." The song has a definite '80s dance feel, but the jam recalled the vibe of "2001"...on speed. It was really fun. Things quickly decelerated into "Miss You." The song is emotional and poignant, and despite it being meaningful, it is a little depressing and definitely shifted the vibe of the set for me. "Fuego" kept things rolling, though, and broke a little bit out of its comfort zone before a slick segue into "Sand," which saw a return to the fast funk. Page slapped-away on the clav before things got more shreddy, and Trey slithered up his neck to hit multiple peaks and Page switched to banging on his piano. "Joy" took things down again before "Possum" brought this set full of newer songs to an old school ripping close.
"Good Times Bad Times" closed out this two-night stand in an intensely frenetic peaky fashion.
It seems like Phish is really excited about their new songs. The creative juices are flowing. I think by the end of this tour things will be firing on all cylinders. Sad these are my only shows this Fall, but I'm looking forward to hearing what's to come. Have fun out there everyone! -Zach
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