Saturday 07/31/2021 by phishnet


[ thanks volunteer recapper Suzy Barros for writing this recap. PhishNet depends on volunteers to recap shows, and opinions offered herein do not necessarily reflect those of PhishNet and our volunteer community. -Ed.]

Second night of tour, everybody, and for those of us who hadn’t been to a show at Oak Mountain, there was that fun element to check off the Phish venue bucket list. It goes without saying that this show was INCREDIBLY HOT in all the meanings of the word. This show was ALL MEAT NO FILLER and I can’t express my enthusiasm for it strongly enough, although I’m going to give it a shot.

© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)
© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)

"The Moma Dance" – not an incredibly rare show opener but unexpected enough to give a little shiver of excitement for what the night has on deck and always starts immediate dance party. It had come to me earlier in the day as something that I’d love to hear, as it can be such a great hot summer night shed groove, which was exactly what this version was and more. Really tight and well-played, with everybody sounding on point and raring to go; Trey’s vox sounding exceptionally strong (let Trey sing), melodically lovely.

"Sigma Oasis"– third time played (by Phish), third time I’ve seen it live, third time’s a charm, showing itself to be an excellent set list addition, good as a set opener but I like how they used "Moma" to get everybody in an old-school happy mental place, making it that much more welcome.

"Back on the Train" can be long and jammed out, can be a 6-and-a-half minute run through the song to rock out through the song proper, give a couple rad solos and just remind everybody that we are all, finally, "BOTT" (Trey’s emotional note of gratitude right before put a huge smile on everybody’s faces, with the joy and determination already musically evident but hearing him put it into words made it that much more awesome). Sweet solo by Page on the Rhodes that elicited big reaction from the crowd, to me was reminiscent of Donald Fagen’s solo on "Your Gold Teeth;" Page’s effort seemed to inspire like-mindedly excellent one by Trey.

Seemed like Trey put the brakes on "BOTT" for specific reason of going into "Dirt," whether this was because Trey was suddenly inspired to play "Dirt" or just needed a breather, it was great placement IMO.

© 2021 Kevin Umberger  (used with permission)
© 2021 Kevin Umberger (used with permission)

Next up was a slow-to-get-started but very fun "Final Hurrah" (which I thought was going to be "Blaze On" for a good two minutes), the “taste the humidity” line produced tons of laughs and cheers.

A "Funky Bitch" dance party (next to my Phunky Bitch friend Heater) was a great midset addition before YEAH BUDDY, our first extended jam of the evening, the more than always welcome

"Ghost," GREAT gorgeous dark start to jam, modulates to major around 7:00 and gets into this really beautiful blissed out section. Must hear version.

"Driver," honestly extremely needed break after the intensity of the "Ghost" for both band and audience. I also love "Driver."

"The Wedge" beloved by many, singalong, huge smiles on everyone around me.

Have you ever heard anyone scream "Walls of the Cave" at the beginning of "Walls?" That me. I love everything about "Walls" not just the ending, which of course always does an excellent job of ripping a giant boulder-sized hole of rock and roll through the crowd.

© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)
© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)

After what felt to be like one of the shortest set breaks in my show history, "Evening Song," kicked off the second set. Since hearing it for the first time I thought "Evening Song" was pleasant, mild mannered and kind of odd, nobody wants to approach the night with caution, we’re all here to have fun and rock out and there’s nothing to be scared of at a Phish show right? DUN NUH NUH NUH DUN NUH NUH NUH. Oh right - until it functioned as a lead-in to arguably the most evil song in the canon, "Carini."

I knew we were getting into one of the longest versions ever but was super psyched to see that I was lucky enough to get to see the, in fact, longest version ever. Listen to how amazingly well-played this is. Modulated major pretty early on which normally I wouldn’t be super psyched about if it weren’t for the fact that, if anything, it told me to get comfortable because we were gonna be here for a while, and were we ever. Hand over the keys to the band, they know what they’re doing and they’re going to make sure you’re well taken care of. Just a fantastic groove.

Page tons of cool synth effects, it’s a version that will demand many many relistens. Not a wasted moment or note. There are not tons of times that I’m super jealous not to have been at a show but I would have been extremely jealous to have not caught this version. The ambient weirdness that Page manifested in "Maybe We’re The Visitors" has added a lot to his style. Last five minutes ramped up the energy before leading us out in a blaze of glory (apologies to Bon Jovi). 25 minutes (give or take a second). Last couple minutes Allmans-y. (good call on that to my friend Heater) although Trey’s playing was so intense and amazing that a second guitar would have been gilding the lily.

© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)
© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)

Still on such a high from the "Carini" that it took a couple minutes to really get into "Martian Monster," but it was a great funked out version before leading into an awesomely called "Golden Age," with a funky uptempo jam and the 2nd version where the Spencer Davis Group classic "I’m a Man" has reared its teasing head. Third excellent extended jam of evening.

Gorgeous "Mountains in the Mist" with the “till I’m released, awaken beast, I’m on the road again” eliciting major roar of approval.

The "Blaze On" that I expected earlier made it’s appearance, excellent strong but nimble and lively version. Straightfoward, getting some “yeeahs” “cough/groans” and “cackle” effects from Fish.

"Harry Hood" we all have our reasons for loving this song, this brought the uptempo rock side of "Hood" out, no tearjerking moments unless being so happy to be seeing your favorite band rock one of their best songs makes you cry.

An awesome one two three punch of "Yarmouth Road," "Gumbo," and "Character Zero" as the encore, and we are BACK, PEOPLE! Can’t wait to see what the rest of this tour brings.

© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)
© 2021 Phish - Rene Huemer (used with permission)

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, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck that Carini…

is why we go to Phish shows.
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Thanks for recap Suzy! Appreciate your take on the show. Loved you attention to some key details, especially some of the thoughts that I shared when listening.

Disclaimer: I have lived in Birmingham for the last four years and my wife and I would have been at this show had it been held last year. This year, sadly, we had a planned road trip to CT so that our 15 month old could meet his family for the first time (COVID!!!!) and last night I was in the early stages of an 18 hour road trip with wife, son and 4 dogs, back to Birmingham so had to settle for webcast. Luckily 18 hours affords you lots of opportunities to relisten to that Carini. Anyhoo…

MOMA was one of two obvious openers for show (at least to this Phan who had an extra year to think about an opener and then, ultimately miss my hometown show…lol!) owing to the fact that the show was held at the OMA (oak mountain amphitheater). The other being cities (Trey’s liberties in adjusting David Byrne’s lyrics to “a lot of bridges in Birmingham).

Notes on the Carini. First off, the pace of the beginning seemed different, quicker and lyrics in a different cadence. Didn’t feel flubbed so much as intentional and I thought it was super cool. Paige was full on with new effects during those tension build ups between verses. Could have been the fact that I was six hours into that 18 hour haul. Would love to heard others takes.

Spacey effects carried throughout the first major key jaunt with the lead passing from Paige to Trey. Such eerily similar sounds coming from their respective instrument…nay weapon. I had this blast off into outer space feel throughout that section. Saw the torch passed to Mike to take the helm for a bit with a wicked Bass lead that was just plain sexy. Then we get to that Allman Brothers section, gotta respin to provide specific song, but was on the tip of my tongue. Thought I heard some Dead influences peak through as well ( a boy can dream).

Mahalo Nui,
, comment by trimpe
trimpe Second set of this show was amazing. THIS felt like the band we last saw in December of 2019.

Am I the only one who finds Fishman's sound effects really fucking annoying and distracting to otherwise amazing moments? I get it, they owe me nothing. They should play what they want and how they want to, but man. After the second show, I'm already sick of it.
, comment by BrianRobert
BrianRobert Yep...2nd show of tour and we already have a legendary version of something. Wow.
, comment by thumpasaurus
thumpasaurus This recap is so wonderfully captured! Thank you for producing your true emotions from this incredible show into prose. Bravo and I'm so happy you were there with the phandom! Let the Tour BLAZE ON!
, comment by ArmorySquared
ArmorySquared @trimpe said:
Second set of this show was amazing. THIS felt like the band we last saw in December of 2019.

Am I the only one who finds Fishman's sound effects really fucking annoying and distracting to otherwise amazing moments? I get it, they owe me nothing. They should play what they want and how they want to, but man. After the second show, I'm already sick of it.
I had no idea what you were talking about until I finally listened to a show from this tour. Yikes, I hope he's just overexcited to be touring again and that stops soon. Indeed, wonderful to have them back and they owe us nothing, but that is just distracting.
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