Sunday 12/08/2019 by phishnet

CHARLESTON2 RECAP: "SPLIT OPEN THE CROSSEYED LITTLE DRUMMER BOY IN THE DIRT"

[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.

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

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.

© 2019 (Kevin Umberger)
© 2019 (Kevin Umberger)

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.

© 2019 (Kevin Umberger)
© 2019 (Kevin Umberger)

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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Comments

, comment by sgallivan
sgallivan Weird review.
, comment by Cajunphan
Cajunphan Man, do you like any songs that aren’t 1.0 jam ragers?

Life Beyond a Dream was absolutely beautiful, and probably needed by the band at that point after 30 minutes of that previous jam.
, comment by art_vandelay
art_vandelay Night 2 was alot of fun, and it seems to be getting more love ratings-wise...but for re-listen value, I actually prefer the first night by a slight margin.

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!
, comment by Ry_storm
Ry_storm @art_vandelay said:
Night 2 was alot of fun, and it seems to be getting more love ratings-wise...but for re-listen value, I actually prefer the first night by a slight margin.

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!
We finally know that he's human and capable of flubbing ;)
, comment by ALCVT
ALCVT Ok, that’s it. How do I opt out of phish.net??? Most painful, obnoxious review I’ve come across on this site. Like REALLY BAD. Vibecrushing in its ugliest form. I’m done with phish.net and these downer reviews that don’t have any insight or purpose other than pushing people’s buttons with thoughtless drivel. I WANTED MORE! But I’m letting it all roll BYE BYE
, comment by Phescado
Phescado @Cajunphan said:
Man, do you like any songs that aren’t 1.0 jam ragers?

Life Beyond a Dream was absolutely beautiful, and probably needed by the band at that point after 30 minutes of that previous jam.
I really wish I could like this comment twice.
, comment by Surfer722
Surfer722 You would think any official reviewer would/should know Guyute, no?
, comment by Jickler98
Jickler98 Interesting take on Strange Design....
, comment by Briancc
Briancc I don’t understand these reviews. I’ve listened to this show twice and the rest of these shows from the past ten days. The word that I would use to describe the playing is aggressive. Every song had something extra, played with meaning. Train Song, Strange Design, and HWTTM included. The vocals are awesome. Mike sounds very aware and tight, without wasted notes.
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.
, comment by mockingbird1
mockingbird1 Please learn how to use paragraphs
, comment by Mikingbird
Mikingbird So you really like "Stray Dog" more than "Cool Amber"?...and not a "Guyute" fan? Ok everybody, break out the tar and feathers!

These guys were on fire last night.
, comment by Slice
Slice Halfway to the Moon interplay between Page & Trey. Enough said. Fill it up again!
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy @ALCVT said:
Ok, that’s it. How do I opt out of phish.net??? Most painful, obnoxious review I’ve come across on this site. Like REALLY BAD. Vibecrushing in its ugliest form. I’m done with phish.net and these downer reviews that don’t have any insight or purpose other than pushing people’s buttons with thoughtless drivel. I WANTED MORE! But I’m letting it all roll BYE BYE
How do you "opt out of phish.net?" Simply don't ever come back and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. Jesus Christ....so what? A volunteer reviewer didn't have the same opinion as you about a show? Feel free to publish your own. Glad you are "leaving". There is nothing more obnoxious than a someone who can't reserve space for a different opinion.
, comment by JealousFloyd
JealousFloyd Nah dude
, comment by axillapt5000
axillapt5000 Tough crowd. I for one like this review a lot; I appreciate the slightly Kerouac-esque style to it, the humor, and the covering of everything that went down last night (some reviews skip some things). Oh and I do believe "Guyute, I don't know"="Guyute, meh."
, comment by icculusFTW
icculusFTW To review the review for a second, it’s not great. You apparently feel that just about any slower paced more contemplative phish song - e.g. the gorgeous ballads “life beyond the dream” and “strange design” - are somehow obviously not good, bummers.

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.
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Reviews are subjective for certain and my feeling is .net reviews are wholly subjective and experiential, written from the heart and all. This is this reviewers experience. Regardless or irregardless (so as not to exclude anyone) of what anyone else thinks.

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.
, comment by adamknightsburiedalive
adamknightsburiedalive You sound like a spoiled brat who didn’t get their way. Last night’s show was amazing. Fluffhead, Reba and Guyute in the same set??? And cleanly played??!!!! Instead of wasting your time pointing out bullshit like “tempo issues” or song selection, you should focus on what was magical about the show. Maybe this isn’t the band for you.
, comment by spirittapper20
spirittapper20 please don't let this thing do another review...it hurt my mind..
, comment by Fuegalope
Fuegalope That was the best Fluffhead I’ve ever heard musically. Absolute precision. There were NO FLUBS whatsoever, and I’ve seen my fair share of Fluffs over the years(usually it’s full of them). Not this night, so I pretty much threw the rest of this review in the trash where it belongs.

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”.
, comment by unoclay
unoclay Life Beyond a Dream (and most--not all--but most ---of the GotF songs) are objectively terrible lyrics and mostly simplistic songwriting. Just the fact that the reviewer has the honesty to admit that the show wasnt an all-timer (including that "song") makes me trust him more than the people who call every show "fire".

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!
, comment by nicklb89
nicklb89 I'd like to review the reviewers of the review:

On a scale of 2 to 3, I give ya a 3.
, comment by cajuncook
cajuncook lol at the last paragraph now... should be a fun review and level-headed discussion regardless of who writes it, dot netters. see y'all at MSG.
, comment by kidrob
kidrob Dear Writer,

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.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten I don't agree with some of this review but I think these comments are kind of off the wall.
I see a bunch of dudes trying to put a woman in her place and it grosses me the fuck out.
, comment by FiveFiftyFive
FiveFiftyFive Guyute was the ugly pig...ok now you know him
, comment by piper_red_worm
piper_red_worm Thanks for the review, were we at the same show?
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 @TwiceBitten said:
I don't agree with some of this review but I think these comments are kind of off the wall.
I see a bunch of dudes trying to put a woman in her place and it grosses me the fuck out.
I have to disagree, and politely of course, regarding the fact that misogyny played any role in the comments this review elicited. I would think that holding back on comments would render the group more biased, with a perception that the reviewer (being female) could not handle the criticism. Most, if not all, are focused solely on the content of the review. Again, I say all this respectfully!
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Someone called the reviewer a “thing.”
There’s a reason most of you are single.
, comment by Fuegalope
Fuegalope @Fuegalope said: [quote]That was the best Fluffhead I’ve ever heard musically. Absolute precision. There were NO FLUBS whatsoever, and I’ve seen my fair share of Fluffs over the years(usually it’s full of them). Not this night, so I pretty much threw the rest of this review in the trash where it belongs
, comment by Fuegalope
Fuegalope @Fuegalope said: [quote]That was the best Fluffhead I’ve ever heard musically. Absolute precision. There were NO FLUBS whatsoever, and I’ve seen my fair share of Fluffs over the years(usually it’s full of them). Not this night, so I pretty much threw the rest of this review in the trash where it belongs.

To quote Hall and Oates:
“You’re out of touch, I’m out of time.”
, comment by GeniusAnyway28
GeniusAnyway28 I was at this show, and it was awesome. The place was electric! I mean, c’mon... Fluff, Reba, Guyute, Moonage, Crosseyed, Melt, Wilson, Coil and Frankenstein in one show? And then some sweet rarities like Strange Design, Dirt and Train Song on top? I think we can all agree this reviewer got it ass backwards. The amazing thing about this band is that they can comfortably pull from anywhere in their catalog, and if you can’t appreciate that entire body of work, then you should follow some more predictable artists.

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)
, comment by JMart
JMart Opinion pieces can be well or poorly written, and if they are so it certainly makes it easier or harder to agree with them. However, it doesn’t make the emotion behind the opinion any more or less valid. This is not a rational exercise. People are allowed to like or dislike train song. Everyone shitting on this review Because of The writer’s song preference would do well to look in the mirror and realize there’s a phish song s/he doesn’t like and probably wouldn’t want to be mocked for it.
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.
, comment by spirittapper20
spirittapper20 I apologize for the dick move..i called the reviewer a "thing"...i would have said the same thing if it was a boy....trying to be funny...no excuse on my part...sorry if i hurt someone...there is enough hurt and hatred in this world already...
, comment by DirtyWarriorMan
DirtyWarriorMan omg stop this show was so good!!!

COOL AMBER AND MERCURY IS MY SHIT I APOLOGIZE FOR NOTHING!
, comment by pureguava
pureguava How often do they play 4 whistling tunes in one show? (Can’t remember if they whistled during The Connection)
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