[We would like to thank user Suzy Barros for recapping last night's show.]
Being a relatively new resident of SC I was especially excited when the Charleston shows got announced as a 3 night run at the end of this fun unexpected Island toury 2019 revamp replete with wildly controversial Sirius XM “OH MY GOD PHISH IS SELLING OUT WHAT WILL WE DO” gig. I thought all of the shows thus far had had lots of good playing and fun song selection (especially once it was figured out that there would be no repeats). The drawback of no repeats being of course that you have, say your "Ghost" which I enjoyed the hell out of as a Nassau opener and thought it had a really lovely bliss jam thrown in there but now there won’t be any 18-minute dark mind expanding/exploding "Ghost" to look forward to. The other drawback being (and you can call this a drawback or a plus depending on what songs are played I guess) but it makes for an even more schizophrenic than usual setlist as in tonight’s situation. With Phish you just gotta take what they give you and hope for the best.
Last night turned out to be one of the hottest tix in recent memory, this wasn’t a tickets on the ground situation at all. Coupled with the fact that the GA element makes for an especially crazy tension at doors there was an especially keyed up pre-show atmosphere. The opening strains of “Fluffhead” drew a big roar from the crowd, with any technical flubs easily being able to be excused for giving us such a beloved fan fave old school treat right out of the gate. I am apparently not expressing a super popular opinion when I say that I love “Ocelot” but whatever, I love that little slinky feline. Nice little bluegrass break with “Nellie Kane” into “The Dogs” and I forget how much I like that song, it’s a hot as hell jam, sheeet. Finally the second monster tune everybody had been expecting and waiting for, Ms “Reba” herself. Nothing so exceptional about it, but very well played composed and a lovely as usual jam. Page took us “Halfway To The Moon” before passing us off to Mike to take us on the “Train Song”. Then (sad trombone sound for me), “Guyute” which, I don’t know. I’m happy for everybody that loves it, I really am. Yay "Guyute." Then another sad trombone sound with “Strange Design” which I spent the entire duration of trying to figure out what they would play for set closer, my prediction of "Walls of the Cave" getting knocked out by a killer “Moonage Daydream”. Why the hell don’t they play that more often?? Sure it’s rusty but I feel like it could turn into a welcome setlist rocker if they played it more. Anyway, solid enough first set, nothing like the first night but not bad either.
I was literally just thinking about “The Connection” recently! And it was in my head all day and was the most annoying thing in the world. So obviously I was super happy they decided to kick off 2nd set with it (kidding kidding all you "Connection" fans out there I can deal with a "Connection" every five years or so.) I got to catch the “Mr Completely” in Camden this summer which was only my second time seeing it not being a big TAB person so I was very pleased when they dropped into it although there seemed to be some type of tempo issues going on at the beginning. But Finally! A jam. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I was ready for a jam at this point. And a long and lovely jam it was, getting pretty nasty and funkified and then pretty spacey and trippy. The other solid second set jam vehicle many of had been calling and hoping for came next with “Crosseyed and Painless”. I feel like it didn’t have quite the punch or excitement like it would have if it had been the set opener but hey it’s still "Crosseyed." Jam got a little weird, Mike was doing all these funky ass bass moves and then it was like Trey started signaling to go into something else, but maybe it was something they had already played and he was like oh shit, can’t do that, let me just noodle around for a second. Kind of a mess. The good thing about finding your way out of a mess is sometimes it inspires you to play "Little Drummer Boy" (words to live by). They full on played it, no teasing (literally). Then the "Little Drummer Boy" had to go to war or something instead of drumming for Baby Jesus because shit got way dark for a couple secs and then I guess the "Little Drummer Boy" died and had to go be buried in the “Dirt” which was an extremely odd juxtaposition of songs but hey Phish. I think of all the Kasvot Vaxt songs “Cool Amber and Mercury” was my least favorite, which was something I felt even during it’s debut, it was the least oddball of all the tunes, like they couldn’t do just ten wacky tunes, Trey had to have a little cheese situation going on, but they took this version out for a bit of a walk which was nice. Started getting pretty interesting towards the end and could possibly have gone deep but I obviously had no issue with what came next. I had one of two personal freakouts of the night when they dropped into “Split Open and Melt”, something I was soooooooo excited they hadn’t played yet, it being one of my all-timers. I don’t even know what in the hell is going on at 6:30 but hello aliens, welcome to Charleston, I recommend brunch at Poogan’s, get the deviled crab omelet. Surprise surprise the wackiness continued and wound up remorphing back into "Little Drummer" before more just hard core alien chilling, at around 12:15 Trey starts doing a little noodling and for a sec sounds like he wants to go back into "Mr Completely" before hitting on wanting to go back to "Crosseyed." Anyway, it needed to be returned to after having been waylaid by the "Little Drummer Boy," so we get a little "Crosseyed" action before dropping into the "SOAM" ending. Mwah, perfection. More sad trombone for “Life Beyond the Dream”, which they redeemed (or at least attempted to lol) with a “Wilson” followup and then a “Squirming Coil” closer which was lovely as usual.
Return to stage in the acapella formation which my seatmate correctly called as “Grind” and now they’re 80,000 something days old, ok boomers. Second freakout of the night commenced with the emergence of the keytar for a SICK AF “Frankenstein”, yes!!!!! So happy to have gotten a "Sloth" and "Frankenstein" in this run, I miss those songs.
Anyway to answer your questions, yes we were at the same show, yes I can still have fun, yes I do actually love the band and their music and do I think this is going to wind up being the weakest show of the Charleston run? Yes and am I totally 10000% fine and happy with that? Yes yes and more yes. Thank you Phish for doing this fun mid fall-winter run whatever it is, it has been a blast and wooot can’t wait for tonight.
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Life Beyond a Dream was absolutely beautiful, and probably needed by the band at that point after 30 minutes of that previous jam.
Fishman's been an absolute gangster on drums the last few shows I've attended, but yikes on this version of Guyute....that version ain't gonna be on any compilations, and let's just say that and move on.
Still, lots of fun both Fri & Sat, and I'm disappointed I have to miss tonight and return to the real world!
Mr. Completely, Dirt, Cool Amber, Melt, crosseyed all did IT for me.
I’ll also say the Chalkdust, Mike’s Song from the Met show was very good to the ear.
I went this summer to Bangor and Montville and felt the same way.
Tonight I would like to hear Widora Bug or Wider.
These guys were on fire last night.
To each their own of course, but I deeply disagree with you there - those songs bring the heart and soul to match the fire and fury of the big ragers and psychedelic jams, just as similarly paced, reflective songs did for the Grateful Dead.
Not getting that feels like missing a key part of the phish journey, to me, and I am really sick of the derision for these kinds of songs - especially in a show that had plenty of soaring, adventurous, dark and outer space vibes too.
Balance, my friend. Balance is good.
That being said, I do agree that paragraphs just make any writing more approachable. Also, I was a little thrown that the reviewer spent an entire song not enjoying the band and the music (ala Strange Design) and were focused, instead, on what was to come next. The one thing most should agree on is that if we go to a Phish show we go for the music and to be in the moment; not to wait for the next song to present itself because the current song is not our favorite. If Strange Design went type 2 would the reviewer have all at once found it worthy of more than a “sad trombone sound?”
Here is the sound of the world’s tiniest violin. I respect the viewpoint even if I don’t agree, though I urge the reviewer to stay in the moment vs looking to the next song. You never know what’s going to happen.
To quote Hall and Oates:
“You’re out of touch, I’m out of time.”
Just stick with whatever atrocious acts come through that red state of yours and leave the tickets to the fans who can go in with an open mind to new songs and not just the old classics and “heady jams”.
Its sort of weird these days to see how many fans take the attitude of "just enjoy it maaan" or call any review with any negativity "wrong". Many shows are avg, or have moments/sections that are less than stellar. Its ok to mention it, or gasp, even discuss it openly.
I dunno. Its just shocking how many fans dont notice how bad some of the new songs are, and get mad when reviewers have different experiences than the all-positive, all-the-time crowd. .02
Not the world's greatest review, but its certainly honest and i like the creative style. I never even bother reading reviews that are the standard play-by-play, "every song gets one line saying how good it was" reviews, anyway.
Keep up the honesty, reviewers!
On a scale of 2 to 3, I give ya a 3.
Please go listen to treys eau claire acoustic show and find out why and when trey wrote strange deSign. Maybe it will give you a better insight to a great song with layered meaning. This review is a complete head scratcher. That show Saturday night was fantastic. When phish is sending the audience to outer space, its ok to play some breathers like dirt and other beautiful songs such as a life beyond a dream.
The band has written many songs since junta, lawn boy and story of the ghost, and a lot of great ones taboot. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the no repeats happening for this tour, but I accepted it. I also enjoyed that there was going to be some element of surprise and/or bust outs. Saturday night was a fantastic show with a classic first set and excellent flow in the second set.
I see a bunch of dudes trying to put a woman in her place and it grosses me the fuck out.
There’s a reason most of you are single.
To quote Hall and Oates:
“You’re out of touch, I’m out of time.”
So, IMHO, “what you've just [written] was one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever [read]. At no point in your rambling, incoherent [review] were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this [thread] is now dumber for having [read] it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.” (Knibb High Principal)
As for using the word “thing” to describe the writer, probably not the most humane move, but it doesn’t necessarily connote sexism and the subsequent presumption that most people on here are single (and therefore must be reprehensible people) is as juvenile and cringe-worthy as anything written on this site ever. Not that any of us should be surprised.
Finally, to everyone here who came to the show to live in the moment and have a good time, please realize that writing a review necessarily takes you out of that space and into one of analysis and writing notes on your phone while everyone around you looks at you like you’re an asshole for checking Twitter. It’s a labor of love and not easy. If you think you can do better, there are plenty of opportunities. Like every show. So do it. Or zip it.
COOL AMBER AND MERCURY IS MY SHIT I APOLOGIZE FOR NOTHING!