Thursday 11/01/2018 by phishnet


[we'd like to thank Suzy Barros, @SuzyDrano (Twitter), for recapping last night's Halloween show - ed.]

Having heard the rumor that Fishman had been spotted wearing a T-shirt by an obscure-ish (but real) band called “The Residents” and having seen a screen-shot of a text with him and someone else alluding to the fact last night's cover would be an obscure album from 1981, I knew it could be a remote possibility, being Phish and all, but it still seemed a bit far-fetched. So many other (slightly) more plausible rumors were being floated and when the anticipation had reached an absolute fever pitch and doors opened we got our first glimpses of the Phishbill. The album would be i rokk by the band Kasvot Växt. An aside here - I was at the Wingsuit Halloween show when speculation was super high for The Allman Brothers Band's Eat A Peach, which I was mega excited about. I sat in my seat and read the Phishbill and immediately started laughing. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but the Phishbills are written in the most bizarre, stilted way where everything about it, especially the quotes from the band, made it seem like a total joke. Which is the exact same vibe that I got from THIS Phishbill, making it more likely to me that it may in fact be true. Also, I was sober this time around, and reading the Phishbill a few times before the show started, it did seem pretty plausible??

Anyway, speculation and rumors and much internet sleuthing were all happening in a major way, but it all finally came to an end as the lights went down and we went into the first “extremely uneven” set of the night. I love a fast opener like ‘“Buried Alive” (nice call Russ); it’s got the ability to whip the crowd into a frenzy right from the get-go. "Buried" has always conveyed this dissonant sense of chaotic unpredictability to me, and this version didn’t disappoint.

Photo © Phish, by Jake Silco
Photo © Phish, by Jake Silco

It’s sacrilege to ever say you’re disappointed to hear the opening notes of “Ghost,” but I didn’t feel great about its placement – I felt we would get a pretty standard example of recent "Ghost"s, and that it was. Not that that’s a bad thing, and I thought Mike’s playing was exceptionally strong, with Trey taking the band into a major key “mini bliss” jam through the end.

"Ghost" transitioned into “Crazy Sometimes,” which is a great title for this tune because it’s exactly how it makes me feel. I just feel like it’s all over the map, there are so many different parts to it. I’m usually a huge Mike fan, but this has taken a long time for me to warm up to. That being said, there was a cool spacey outro jam in the last two minutes.

When “Free” started I was like “aggggh” – "Free" is a fantastic song, it just seems to me to be played SO much lately. That said, this version turned into a pretty awesome funk dance-a-thon, coming together for a hard rocking and strong ending.

Annnnnd now for another personal let-down, we get “More”, which immediately reminded me of the final points made by my recap predecessor Rob Mitchum: tunes like this seem so “increasingly disconnected from the real world.” Though I guess it’s Halloween? I have no idea why that makes any difference. I noticed the guy to my left was just standing there with his arms folded this Colin Kaepernick “More” protest that I thought I’d join him in, but on my right were my silly fun friends twirling and dancing. So I spent half the song sitting with my arms crossed and the other half half-heartedly dancing, which is actually a great metaphor for my entire relationship with Phish now that I think about it. Though I’d like to think I’m WAYYYYY more on the twirly dancy side.

Photo © Phish, by Rene Huemer
Photo © Phish, by Rene Huemer

A drop into “Halley’s Comet” is not totally unwelcome, but it’s just the fact that it’s a tune that they haven’t really been doing anything with recently. The original version written by their friend Richard “Nancy” Wright was exquisitely bizarre and they took it and turned it into a fun groovy dance tune, cementing his amazing lyrics in the Phish lyrical hall of fame. But when Phish doesn’t take it out, it tends to be just a little too little-kiddy for me so I was realllllly happy that they jammed this one out a little bit, getting into a super cool, funky, effects-laden end of the jam.

When the opening notes of “Ocelot” hit, there were equal amounts of groans and cheers from my section. I actually like "Ocelot," but boy was this set kind of underwhelming so far. The last three minutes of "Ocelot" turned super bluesy and slinky and great, so it’s definitely worth a listen. For me at least, it was the jam of the night thus far, despite its short length. Oh “Theme from the Bottom,” you and "Free" are so annoying to me at first, and then halfway through I remember how much I love you and what great songs you are. This is a beautiful version with a huge peak, lights going bananas, the whole nine yards. As it started winding to a close, speculation of what was most likely to be the final song of the set started turning to "Good Times Bad Times," "Cavern," "David Bowie"... instead, hey everybody, it’s “First Tube” time! Tons of excitement from the crowd, every flat brimmer’s favorite dance tune, this was a super jaunty version with Trey getting his Swedish-inspired dance moves and rock star persona ready for the set to come. Major energy from the whole band, you could sense them all getting excited. The last two minutes were a super celebratory cap to a semi-snoozy first set, and got me very pumped for what was to come.

Black curtains dropped right at the end of "First Tube" in a very dramatic gesture. And when they finally rose after set break was over, they revealed… white curtains set to distorted, ambient space noises. The white curtains then rose to reveal an all white stage, with the band all dressed in white, white instruments, glowing checkerboard floor and the 12 black cubes suspended from the ceiling started glowing white as well.

Photo © Phish, by Jake Silco
Photo © Phish, by Jake Silco

This part of the recap is going to have to involve a little bit of free association due to the surreal quality of this set, so bear with me. They immediately kicked into the first song “Turtle in the Clouds.” If you have never seen the International music contest Eurovision, first of all you need to stop reading this recap immediately and YouTube some of that shit. I was like "OMG, it’s like Phish is a Swedish contestent on Eurovision in 1981 and it’s EVERYTHING." It’s hard to remember everything that was going on on stage because A LOT was going on on stage – Trey on the Moog at the beginning, Trey and Mike running all over doing choreographed dance moves, Fishman was doing a lot of singing, it was all a bit much to absorb right off the bat, but I knew for sure that I dug the hell out of whatever was happening. One thing that was pretty easy to grasp was that they were having an unbelievable amount of fun. It was all so fun and funky I couldn’t handle it.

The second song “Stray Dog” kicked off, and the notion of a stray dog loping into town was just so awesomely Phishy. The song was super buoyant and involved a lot of staccato, super articulated playing. As well as a lot of “here, there, here, there”s. Trey went into an amazing bluesy solo that had the crowd rocking its ass off. Mike and Trey finished off the tune with some Pete Townshend-like windmill action.

“Everything Is Hollow” started and reminded people in my crowd a lot of Chilling Thrilling, “bright white light shining right between my eyes” was Page’s refrain while Trey and Mike did some “whoaaaaaas” behind it. Then there was this “lay it down, you got to lay it down” part where the cubes started glowing red and blue and the stage kept alternating between green and white. This ultra bizarre / ultra amazing composed part wound up devolving into one of the prettiest outro jams of the whole night. Oh yeah, and Page actually did have a bright white light shining right between his eyes, Page loves being literal.

“We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains” was next, and right off the bat I was like “this is a Trey song if I’ve ever heard one.” “We are only passing through, we’re liquid light and vapor blue"?? Uh yeah. At this moment I should comment on the fact that I’m an absolute devotee of weird Phish, so them singing “We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains” in harmony was like a dream come true. This section went into a whole “nine cubes” section, which confused me because there were actually twelve cubes – I’m sure someone will figure that out. Also, Trey is playing a white Stratocaster for some reason? Excellent jam with beautiful lights. Also, wow their clothes are so cool. “I’m the glue in your magnet” indeed.

Next up what turned out to be my favorite song of the set, “Say It to Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” Seriously one of the most fun songs I’ve ever heard. They were bouncing all over the stage. “This is what space smells like”? YES.

“The Final Hurrah” aka "FACEPLANT INTO ROCK" kicked off in kind of a lopey, upbeat way. Whatever, just rolling with it at this point. The lyrics of everything are just so phenomenally bizarre. That’s what made it so convincing to me that this was all translated from some insane Nordic mashup Scandinavian language. “Faceplant into rock” was Page’s key trigger for the song and he inserted it like the Chilling Thrilling samples in cool and unexpected places. Sick rocker of a jam and they obviously enjoyed the hell out of singing “Faceplant into rock” because duh.

Next came the Miami Vice lights, foggy stage and "Possum"-y / "Crazy Sometimes" mashup vibe of “Play by Play.” “Perception is spoonfed, I open up my mouth” YES!! When they were singing “I hope someone notices,” all I could think was “WE’RE noticing (fake) Kasvot Växt!!” It had a "Wingsuit"-y vibe, and at this point the cubes are going nuts moving up and down with all different colors. IT seemed like it was coming to a close, then the energy built back up in this off-kilter, dark and doomy type of way. The section that followed had syncopated jamming over super cool Mike effects, and it was amazing.

With the next song being titled “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long,” I was expecting some Phish heavy metal thing, but instead it was a slow groove with a call and response thing going on. Mike and Trey doing "Scent of a Mule"-style faceoff, Mike goes back on the drumkit, which was a recurring theme throughout the set. Along with Trey stalking the stage like a caged animal, which I adore, killing it on the octave effect and shredding in equal parts. Insane Trey doing major rock star solo.

Photo © Phish, by Jake Silco
Photo © Phish, by Jake Silco

“Cool Amber and Mercury”, now that doesn’t sound like Trey AT ALL. WHAT a coincidence. Laid back, Trey bopping around the stage doing some Vegas-y moves. Note: his guitar sound is amazing in this set; maybe the Strat should be making more frequent appearances. Page starts playing the “faceplant into rock” sample again. Trey takes the lead in this tune (as in most of them), but just great full band playing. I actually thought this tune was the weakest so far, which is saying something because I think it was better than everything else in either the first or third set.

I was so disappointed to kick off what would be the last song of this amazing set. I kind of was feeling a Paul Simon Graceland vibe from this tune, “Passing Through,” and as soon as I started feeling an “outdoorsy hippie” feeling, the cubes started showing nature scenes. I’m telling you peeps, seeing the water and the clouds and the mountains on the cubes while listening to this was unreal.

Anddddd now I have to be a major drag because my deep feeling is that there shouldn’t have been a third set. Personally, I was so exhausted during setbreak I didn’t know how I would make it. As it kicked off and my friend asked me what the song was, my outburst of “it’s 'Set Your fucking Soul Free'” did nothing to improve my attitude. It was fine I guess. The second that “Tweezer” kicked off all I felt was sorrow because I think "Tweezer" would have been so much better served by having more space on another night. IMHO or not so humble opinion, this show needed a high energy third set with some tunes that they would jam out, but not be monsters that you want to hear 30 minute versions of. Instead I sat down for a good 20 minutes from most of “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” (even though it was a good version), “Backwards Down the Number Line”, “Meatstick” through “Bug,” only getting up to dance for my favorite jam in the world aka “Run Like an Antelope” to end the set.

Nice “Loving Cup” encore, into an unexpected (ha ha) same show “Tweezer Reprise,” ending a hugely crazy Halloween show that will outlive our brains (thanks Sam!).

P.S. - Thanks to everybody I (sober) raged the show with, who gave me so much awesome feedback from a (non-sober) POV! Russ, Rosalie, Sam and Janae, love you guys!

If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.


, comment by munrosa
munrosa This was hilarious. Fantastic recap. Thank you!
, comment by JakeB
JakeB That odd, stilted tone in the Phishbills is what I miss most about the old Doniac Schvice (particularly "Mike's Corner"). Well, that and getting presale PTBMs for $27 via the order slips in the back.

Always nice to get those little tastes of it again here and there.
GOODTIMESBADTIMES Maybe you should do drugs more often because your attitude is poop sober. Womp womp.
, comment by ADAWGWYO
ADAWGWYO I liked your review. Thanks for expressing how you feel without the sugar coat. Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean the show is gonna be a barn burner. At least there are 3 more nights to come!
, comment by yam_ekaj
yam_ekaj I respect this review a lot. It's honest, and certainly a snapshot of how a lot of fans were likely feeling. I especially agree with the thoughts of how Phish songs (in this case Free and Theme) can 'win you over' as it were. That happens to me almost every time they play numberline. It's maybe annoying at first, but they always getcha with that jam segment. Again, totally understand the feeling about Set 3 - I too was absolutely exhausted. But to provide a slightly contrary analysis, I personally loved the choice to take SYSF and Tweezer for mini-rides here. Both were quite good, particularly the Tweezer in my opinion. it took on a "composition-on-the-fly" feeling, with the band working around a theme in both a major and minor key. magnificent at times. i was definitely disappointed when it was ended so quickly, but the ASIHTOS that followed was really a top-notch version. no BD ASIHTOS, but certainly holds it's own. numberline thru bug was definitely a drop in energy, although i will almost never say no to a meatstick. to me, very fair that the band would want to blow off a little steam in that third set, and just play some good versions of songs they like to play. do i wish tweezer was saved for another night? yeah probably, but i can't in good conscience complain any time they play that song. again, thanks for your review! just wanted to provide a different 0.02. can't wait for tonight!
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten HEADLINE: Phish shouldn't play third set because fan is tired.
, comment by JesusFreak
JesusFreak I must inquire, Suzy... can you still have fuuuuuuunnnnnnnn?!!! Whoawhoawhooohhhoaaaa! Can you still have any fun now Suzy?! WHOOOAAAAAAAA!!!!!
, comment by ricardomc
ricardomc Reviewer bad at listening to Phish
, comment by levitatingyogi
levitatingyogi Purely from the couch this was a very underwhelming show for any night let alone Halloween.

The second set notwithstanding
, comment by Slewfoot
Slewfoot Thanks for the review! Your feelings on the second set were just about how I felt today listening to it multiple times (each time getting better!).

I liked the first set more, but totally understand everyone's perspective is different.

And I imagine I would be tired after that zany second set. Although to go wrong with a SYSF>Tweezer!
, comment by fastenuf4u
fastenuf4u @levitatingyogi said:
Purely from the couch this was a very underwhelming show for any night let alone Halloween.

The second set notwithstanding
I dunno, I think it's more the rule than the exception that 1st and 3rd set suffers on Halloween, cos they're always so focused on the 2nd.
, comment by stillwaitin
stillwaitin @GOODTIMESBADTIMES said:
Maybe you should do drugs more often because your attitude is poop sober. Womp womp.

, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck Great write up... I like how you clarified that any negative feelings that were going through your brain were YOUR experience, and that it wasn’t some objective truth.. In doing so you captured the internal struggle of being a person in this world trying to not be person in this world and just be, which is why sometimes we have bad shows at the best shows and the best times at the worst shows. What counted most was your unbridled joy when facing the unknown together with 15,000 of your best friends (most of whom you’ve never met).

I usually agree with Twice Bitten’s brilliant but (joyfully) sardonic take on the nit picky review of the day... But not this time.

This is what space smells like.
, comment by malachai
malachai A review from some person who kind of likes Phish... Weird flex .net but okay.
, comment by SilkStreetUSA
SilkStreetUSA Great tone in your review. Looking forward to reading more.
, comment by 99tilnow
99tilnow @malachai said:
A review from some person who kind of likes Phish... Weird flex .net but okay.
Dude check her show count. You kinda like Phish.

Great review!
, comment by uctweezer
uctweezer I thought the first set was a first set and expected no more and no less. I feel line In the only one that noticed 10/31/14 started Buried Alive > Ghost as well, so there’s that.

I thought the second set was absolutely fantastic from an effort, idea, and for the most part, execution standpoint. Sure, Trey had some extended lapses, moreso late in the set - you know ithey’re gnarly flubs if you’ve never even heard the song yet you know he’s playing the wrong chords repeatedly. But Trey also had a number of moments of sheer genius, and our fearless recapper has it nailed regarding the strat. (As linked from the recap, it’s the Ed O’Brien Strat - Ed being the auxiliary / third guitarist, backup singer, and “more cowbell!”er of my favorite active non jamband, Radiohead). I’m a huge Hendrix fan and (amateur) strat devotee myself, so it was awesome to see Trey shred away on it. He tamed and abused that axe in the best way possible last night.

I thought the third set was just fine, even if they ran out of steam in the 4th quarter. SYSF isn’t ever going to be a song I call for at a show, but it’s a straight ahead and largely inoffensive tune and they’ve done some cool shit with it (see linked 25 minute BGCA version). I could’ve listened to that Tweezer for another 17 minutes, with its patented 3.0 minijams, multiple modulations, and seamless navigation between and across a handful of different ideas, ultimately puddling into that ambient space that gives me a raging clue every time... ASIHTOS was the real encore for me and my cue to go to bed (I had meetings this morning - it was already past 12:30) but I don’t blame the band for wanting to run out the clock with a few handoffs to the third string fullback rather than grinding out another few scores. The fact that these guys are nearly 55 years old, and just managed to troll the shit out of the entire fanbase with Fishman’s text and coconspirators with clout speaking to the album’s quality on the interwebs, effectively inventing a new band - SO THEY COULD PLAY US A BRAND NEW ALBUM THEY WROTE JUST FOR LAST NIGHT - is fucking amazing and a testament to their creativity and giving nature.

God damn I love Phish.
, comment by Mcgrupp22
Mcgrupp22 What an awful review. leave your expectations at the door and maybe you'll enjoy things more. should be embarrassed
, comment by dipped
dipped Second set was absolute brilliance. What an undertaking. What great songs.
, comment by uctweezer
uctweezer @Mcgrupp22 said:
What an awful review. leave your expectations at the door and maybe you'll enjoy things more. should be embarrassed
So embarrassing to run a website where people’s opinions on art differ from one another
, comment by BestBandEver
BestBandEver I first want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your review of the VAXT set. I friggin LOVED it. Having been at Halloween '14, I can say that this was just as amazing (something I did not think was possible). Thanks for your great review of that.

The other aspect of your review that I was less than psyched about is the somewhat divisive nature of your observations, in particular regarding the First Tube when you write "hey everybody, it’s “First Tube” time! Tons of excitement from the crowd, every flat brimmer’s favorite dance tune..." I read that and first thought to myself, 'what's that supposed to mean? I wear a flat brim sometimes (and sometimes I wear a bent brim and sometimes I wear a visor and sometimes I wear a wig and sometimes I wear a sloth costume and sometimes I wear nothing at all on my head!) and I love this band all these people! And I LOVE First Tube! Why is she trashing me?' Then I started trying to imagine what kind of phan you were...

Then I remembered reading @farmhose's review of Nashville N2, where she mentions the "ol’-bro-in-a-fleece-vest-and-expensive-watch shimmy." When I first read that, I kind of laughed and had an image in my mind of a particular type of fan that I felt "cooler than' or 'headier than' or 'more hardcore than' or whatever...

Getting offended by your "flatbrimmer" stereotype and then trying to determine what "other" kind of phan you were from myself made me think back to my initial reaction to the Nashville post, and I realized that "we're guilty of the same old things..." I realized that by accepting the stereotype of the preppy fan or whatever in the Nashville post that I was essentially embracing the same type of negative "othering" of phans that I was feeling offended by in your review.

In thinking about the two very different negative stereotypes presented between the two reviews while also considering that several reviews of late, including yours, make reference to the many awful things that are happening in our country right now, it struck me that both of these show reviews were, in parts, and albeit on a seemingly less hateful scale, embodying the exact type of "othering"-based identity politics that are driving this country apart and sending us to hell in a bucket. THIS UPSETS ME. WE AS PHISH FANS SHOULD NOT BE TRASHING EACH OTHER. GET OVER IT. BE FRIENDS WITH ALL OF THESE PEOPLE. ALL IN ALL THEY'RE THE SANEST, COOLEST, MOST CARING FOLKS YOU'RE GONNA FIND. I'm not yelling. I guess I'm just concerned when I read two reviews basically right next to each other - on what I think has been a HOT ass tour - and both of them include some kind of negative characterization or fun-making of a perceived "different" kind of phan from the author. I thought we all just made fun of (/are) / love Wooks? If vests and watches and flat brim hats all suck, what's next, I ask you? Scarves? I hope not.

Spread Love and Joy, People. It's every Phish fan's Superpower, and we all need to be using it right now.
, comment by chrismichels
chrismichels Sounds like you had a terrible time and should have staying home listening to ocelot on repeat....
, comment by CoolItDownBro
CoolItDownBro Sounds like the show, sans 2nd set perhaps, was one big let down after another to this reviewer. Bummer dude. Speaking from experience as a sometimes salty sporadically sober phan I know how tough it can be to get over the hump at shows and start feeling it. Everybody should be able to have their own opinion about how they feel about a a given show. That being said... no whiners allowed in this clubhouse man. Especially.... especially!!! when the show DID pretty much rock with numerous highlights throughout the first set. 2nd set was next level... I'm sure a good listen will provide some insight as to how it was but this was one of those times where you really had to be there to appreciate what went down. 3rd set... about what it should have been. No complaints... is what it is man. Overall... might be the most involved and entertaining Halloween show/set on record. Was so overwhelming at times wish I could hit rewind to go back and try to absorb what happened one more time.
, comment by Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe If alternating between having your arms crossed and half-heartedly dancing describes your relationship with Phish, maybe you shouldn’t be reviewing the shows here.
, comment by suzydrano
suzydrano Last time I checked it’s a recap not a review, sorry you didn’t enjoy my recap of the show, I’ll try not to be too upset when I hear how you feel about shows
, comment by watsiyem
watsiyem Great recap and very honest. Strange to read so many negative reactions from .net readers. Open mindedness and willingness to listen to different opinions are sorely needed these days. I’ve experienced everything you did here at shows before. Arms crossed, sitting down, aw no don’t play that NOW. It’s certainly never the way I want to feel at a show EVER, yet it is what it is. Sometimes the band and I are just not on the same page. They can’t all be zingers.

I thought the first set fell pretty flat as well. Love Buried Alive but Trey really never got it going here. The rest were all good songs played relatively well, just didn’t thrill like so many of the other first sets on this excellent tour. It reminded me of set 1 on 10/31/13 a lot. Let’s get this out of the way so we can do what we’re all here to do.

Set 2 is everything I love about Phish. Perfect recap.

Set 3 - I love SYSF. I love Tweezer (duh). Third sets can be weird times for sure. Usually some odd blend of a first and second set vibe for me.

Thanks again for your clearheaded point of view. Refreshing change from it’s all good brah. We’re all very blessed to still have this band care enough to pull a stunt like this. At the end that’s all that matters.
, comment by chipre
chipre Evelyn Beatrice Hall eloquently stated, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Let's relax and have some perspective here.
I don't agree with some of the reviewer's thoughts, but I certainly appreciate her taking the time and effort to recap a long, 3-set show (not at easy task, by the way).

Sure, there are some tragic events in our country (and world) today, but no more or less than at any other time. I pray you live your life one day at a time, letting love conquer any bitterness, resentment, or hatred you may or not be experiencing.

It's quite a skill to disagree without being disagreeable, but let's aim for that mark.

On a lighter note, I am grateful that we have access to every Phish show in the "catalog," if you will. When I was introduced to Phish, there really wasn't much of an internet at all. No cell phones either, but that's another story.

The band that penned such lyrics as "Whatever you do, take care of your shoes," won't be around forever. Enjoy them - and the whole experience - while you still can.

And thanks ucPete for being the glue that holds this fine website together!
, comment by Uakari
Uakari Didn’t want a hear Ghost?
Sitting down for 20 mins?
Sounds like a bad show for you so just tell them, no I don’t want to write about it.
, comment by runaround_sue
runaround_sue Could we agree to avoid personal attacks on the reviewers? Disagree with their comments all day long, but hate to see the trolling. Not why I come here and it pains me to read. We are better than that.
, comment by lysergic
lysergic It is interesting to read about this show from a jaded vet's perspective. I'm a 3.0 n00b, and I would have experienced the show very differently had I been fortunate enough to attend. That said, I have definitely half-heartedly danced on more than one occasion at phish shows, so I understand that POV to some extent.

Personally I think the Kasvot Vaxt idea was brilliant. I'm a big fan of checking expectations at the door, letting Phish be Phish, and trying my best to enjoy the results. It works almost every time. I'm amazed they were able to drop yet another full album of brand new material on us. The stage design + cubes also looked incredible from the pics. The band is clearly still delivering the goods. I'm jealous of those who were there to experience it live.
, comment by bs915
bs915 @suzydrano said:
Last time I checked it’s a recap not a review, sorry you didn’t enjoy my recap of the show, I’ll try not to be too upset when I hear how you feel about shows

"It's a recap, not a review"? What's the difference? You certainly weren't writing as one who was objectively stating what was played and how well. Your whole review, and yes, it's a review, is written like someone who used to like Phish but now just likes what they want Phish to be.

This is the official statement on the show. If you're just making your personal statement about the show, there's a whole forum here for you to do that. When it's posted on the main webpage, it becomes more than just one person's opinion. There's editorial judgment involved and all that.

Thousands of us share our comments on Phish all the time without having our opinions posted to the blog. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen you post in the forum. So it seems kinda rude for you to pull this "when I hear about how you feel about shows" thing on people who are simply pointing out that your review has a pretty jaded tone. It's like seeing a journalist respond to comments on Twitter, honestly. It should be beneath you entirely, but the fact that you're responding so haughtily isn't helping the initial impression.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert Was that a dig at recent Ghosts?

That Nashville Ghost is some of the most creative music i've ever heard.

There's a certain kind of nostalgia fixation that drives me nuts. When people are disappointed by songs not being jammed out when they've only been jammed out like half a dozen times since the 80s. It just strikes me as weird because you never see people disappointed by a lack of jam in songs that never had jams. It's like the additional improv isn't even the desire and the impetus is just to relive some balmy summer 97 night.

Which is fine. But nobody presents it as such. Something like seeing Phish go through multiple funk phases without jamming out Camel Walk once (until last week) seems much more worthy worthy of being driven to distraction over, but that's just me.
, comment by StopMakingSense
StopMakingSense I feel like an important part of being a Phish fan (or a good music fan (or just a good human)) is to respect that everyone has a different point of view and that's just fine. That said, I do feel very lucky to be a newer fan because I can enjoy shows without any baggage or pretense. I had an amazing time on Wednesday and can't stop listening to Kasvot Vaxt. I love it!!
, comment by Tando
Tando Trey was playing a Korg ms20, not a Moog.
, comment by JMart
JMart Geez man. Pretty negative reviews here of what I thought was instantly a top five Phish show for me. I nag and grind and worry (“are they gonna peak hood or what?!) so to get to Hearn them do all new songs, I didn’t have to have any expectations. It was wonderful release. The call for Tweezer In my mind was an acknowledgment that their second set had been nailed and they were going to take it into the stratosphere. I happen to like numverline and bug, but I see how that might have changed some views. Still a sick three sets.
, comment by YOUGOTIT
YOUGOTIT Peace unto the readers of this comment, and take it easy on me since it's my very first comment. I've only seen about 50 shows since my first show in '93, but have been an avid listener for 25 years now, and Phish has been a big part of my life and a source of great solace and inspiration for me. I believe that the band is a gift to us all (and it's clear that they're amazed that this turned out to be their lot in life). I think this was a well-intentioned review (of a show I didn't attend but watched from home) and that a good amount of time and effort went into it, by someone whom I admittedly don't know, but who has seen a lot of shows. The review of set 2 was solid, and appreciated. If the first set selections weren't to her liking, I'd suggest for her and any/all future reviewers, that there are a ton of folks reading, who couldn't attend but really wanted to, and might desire a more balanced assessment that doesn't include reactions like "aggggh" upon hearing Free, one of the historic cornerstones of their shows, and a song that so clearly works for them in a utility (high pressure) moment. While everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion about song selection, the role of the reviewer in a preeminent forum like this, carries weight, so perhaps an effort might be made, to minimize one's own disappointment, and instead focus on an objective assessment of the effort that our favorite band has made, in approaching each song (I for one, at this point, try to support them as an audience member for every song choice they make, whether it resonates with me or not, because I believe that they need and deserve that support). While it's true that they once put up an epic sign that said "Our Intent Is All For Your Delight", it's more than twenty years later, and we love them unconditionally, and we know that, while they're here to entertain us, we should reciprocate their efforts by letting them play what they want. How else would we ever be surprised? The people in the first few rows seem to be having lots of fun at every show, so it makes me wonder why anyone else in the room would feel differently, unless it has something to do with them and what they brought into the show. And we all bring our own stuff to shows, and the honesty required to admit in this forum that one attended a show sober, didn't go unnoticed. But regardless of whether or not, when attending a show, one uses a substance to leave the grind behind and get into the moment (seeing shows sober, is as cool as any other decision), it's true that these shows are and always have been an opportunity for a healthy escape from reality, a chance to smile and levitate and dance and rock out with our friends. We give the band the energy they need, they give it back, and then we all go back to real life, recharged and re-enlivened. I think that reviews here might do well to support that perspective. When I read the phrase "all I felt was sorrow" upon hearing Tweezer, it was a tough pill to swallow. That Tweezer was objectively good, if not great, if not transcendent, and if she got it last night instead of tonight or tomorrow night, my bet is that, at this point, "it doesn't matter". I keep going back to the 2009-2010 days when my friends and I were just so amazed and grateful that they were back, that we wouldn't have to go the rest of our lives without being able to see a Phish show. I still feel that way. And while BDTNL never really seems to stoke anyone's fire at the outset, I'd point a reader to my previous comment about supporting the band's song choices, because (a) as the reviewer pointed out, it always wins one over, (b) the meaning and origin of the song should excite everyone, immediately, upon hearing it, and (c) there's always another show. Thanks to anyone who read this.
, comment by babble2thenag
babble2thenag @fastenuf4u said:
@levitatingyogi said:
Purely from the couch this was a very underwhelming show for any night let alone Halloween.

The second set notwithstanding
I dunno, I think it's more the rule than the exception that 1st and 3rd set suffers on Halloween, cos they're always so focused on the 2nd.
honestly...there's no way this 2nd set could be adequately reviewed from the really had to be in the room to get all the context of the diff fan takes on the schvice and all the costume fun (pennywise lurking all over the arena and then posting up front row 2nd level next to mike was my favorite) and absolutely needed to be there to experience all the onstage antics in order for the whole feel of the set/prank to sink in...and when i say prank holy shit this was amazing...having just a cursory read of the schvice i didnt really focus on the "fakeness" until after the set and gleefully danced my way through what i believed was an outstanding tour de force cover of a cheesey obscure 1981 scandanavian prog rock album hammed up by all four to the nth was fucking amazing...having not really expected or seen anything new or exciting from phish in over 14 years, this set was amazing and brought me right back to what i absolutely loved about phish in the 90s -> fun, zaney, who gives a fuck this is all a hugely awsome inside joke for all of us to laugh and dance phish set i've ever seen!

secondly - 1st and 3rd set always sufferring on halloween is ridiculous...94 has one of the best rebas of all time, and 95, 96, and 98 are certainly no slouches either
, comment by oldirtymustard
oldirtymustard @BestBandEver - That was fucking brilliant.

@SuzyDrano - I coulda written that review in 99 when I got a bit jaded and needed to take a little time out from the phish. No song was good enough. First notes were always a letdown. Took skipping 2.0 to stop chasing and just enjoy. Better this way.
, comment by JMart
JMart At this point, my hotel room is what space smells like.
, comment by JMart
JMart I heard so many people bitching about this show. Listen, I’m a CRITICAL Phish fan sometimes. But, like, honest to God that was one of my favorite nights of Phish music ever and honestly of my life. It felt GREAT. I almost don’t want to Relisten to it. What counts is that we were there with our friends having a fantastic time in an insane town. Celebrating life.
, comment by LangueDank
LangueDank Wow could not get through the comment section entirely but rock on OP I like your writing style. And fuck these sensitive herbs that can’t appreciate that sometimes there’s got to be something more.

I’ll give the show a first spin with some great liner notes ✌
, comment by drrandy
drrandy Loved this review until she got to the third set. Quoting:
"Anddddd now I have to be a major drag because my deep feeling is that there shouldn’t have been a third set. Personally, I was so exhausted during setbreak I didn’t know how I would make it. As it kicked off and my friend asked me what the song was, my outburst of “it’s 'Set Your fucking Soul Free'” did nothing to improve my attitude. It was fine I guess. The second that “Tweezer” kicked off all I felt was sorrow because I think "Tweezer" would have been so much better served by having more space on another night."

I believe because the reviewer was so exhausted she was not in the proper space to receive the third set so if I was the reviewer I would have said something like this:

With our minds blown by that truly incredible second set, the question is how would Phish keep this party going. My hope was they would take the amazingly high energy and momentum of the stellar second set and use it to create a superb third set, and they did.

Set Your Soul Free was a fine way to get this set off the ground. The second set had certainly set my soul free; that is what Phish, at its best, does, and this was saying that they were going to continue to do that. As usual, it was a launching pad for a very nice jam; nothing too unusual but I think it deserves more appreciation than "it was fine I guess."

I can't imagine a more perfect spot for Tweezer- with our minds so blown and them playing so well, this was met with great enthusiasm by the crowd. The jam was nice and funky and led into A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, which I am always happy to hear. This has a nice lengthy jam that was one of the highlights of this entire show, with Trey's guitar reminiscent at times of Humpback whale songs.

I know many phans do not love Backwards Down the Number Line, but I love it and thought it was well-placed, a nice heartfelt upbeat rocker after some spacey jams. It just felt really nice to hear at this moment, with a nice extended blissful peak, and everyone dancing around me on the floor seemed quite happy with it too.

This led directly into Meatstick, always a fun song and a bit of a change of pace.

The music had all been nonstop until now, but there was a brief pause before starting the late-set ballad, a fine Bug, which had a superb solo that was another peak moment of this sweet set.

Run Like An Antelope was a fine choice to bring the set to a close with an off-the-hook peak jam and closing it with a few recitations of "Faceplant into Rock."

Some pholks seem to think Loving Cup is overplayed but this was my 14th show this year (a new personal record, and my first was 3/35/93) and my first Cup this year, so I was happy to hear it and, like everything played, it was played with a bit more verve than usual, with no sign of flagging energy towards the end of a very long night. What a beautiful buzz indeed!

Followed by the icing on the cake, a fine Tweeprize to properly bring this epic night to a close with a flourish.

As I write this I am still recovering from all 4 shows. Every set was superb, and this third set may not have been quite as amazing as the other second sets it was still a VERY fine set and much more than an afterthought to the 2nd set, as the reviewer seems to believe...
, comment by stustau
stustau reviewer: i appreciate your fervor for the costume set, but otherwise you appear to not like phish. Not that those were great sets, but seriously you slagged every single phish song as something you were sick of or didnt like or just wasnt doing it for you. maybe you would prefer a bisco show.
, comment by GhostPhunk
GhostPhunk The sheer amount of work the guys put into creating AND pulling off this 2nd set was amazing!
I LOVE this band.
This Fall Tour was Incredible.

SuzyDebbieDownerDrano needs to get her meds adjusted and take an extra nap before shows.
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