Monday 08/02/2021 by phishnet

ALPHARETTA 2 RECAP: YEAH!

[We would like to thank user @Jmart, Josh Martin, for recapping last night's show. -Ed.]

Greetings, everyone, and glad tidings from Alpharetta, where Phish played their fourth show of this summer tour. It’s been a long time, and I’m glad to get to discuss our favorite band with you again.

But before we get to that, a little housekeeping: As some of you know, we had a first song back pool going on the .net forum. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to @bonzo6980 for picking “I’ve Never Needed You Like This Before.” If any of you are sour that they played three of your picks (sigh), maybe it’ll help to know this fine gentleman donated his $127 pot to the WaterWheel Foundation. They were very appreciative and it was a humbling moment to make the donation in person. (See beneath the recap, below, for a photo of the folks at the WW table after receiving the handoff!)

Onto the music.

© 2021 Kevin Umberger
© 2021 Kevin Umberger

We have all missed Phish, and each other, so much over the past 18 months. Whatever trepidation and disjointedness may have been present in the music in Arkansas was far, far outweighed by the sheer joy of experiencing a show again.

Any misgivings one might have had with the band were incinerated after the “Carini” in Pelham and the “Chalkdust Torture” in Alpha. It was very gratifying to feel them capitalize on the momentum from one show to the next.

© 2021 Josh Martin
© 2021 Josh Martin

Which brings us to last night. These two tickets seemed to be the hardest to come by on summer tour, and everyone seemed very glad to be in attendance. After a brief rain delay, Phish hit the stage at 8 PM sharp. “Buried Alive” established one theme for the show: very competent playing, particularly from Trey. Page joined the party on “Set Your Soul Free,” which featured a nice jam that never strayed too far from home.

© 2021 PHISH (Rene Huemer)
© 2021 PHISH (Rene Huemer)

“Reba” is one of those songs that Fish seems to drive way more than one would expect. He and Trey were locked-in for the jam, which, just when the entire building was sure the peak was coming, somehow managed to shift into another gear altogether. The first of several stellar moments to come in the show.

“My Friend,” “Kill Devil Falls,” and “555” were all given competent, if short, readings. 2015 Lakewood KDF this was not, but it was a fun moment and certainly deserves more credit than it gets. Your author will never say no to “Gotta Jibboo,” even if this version won’t get much replay.

The run of “Sparkle,” “Thread,” and “Meat” robbed the set of a lot of its momentum. “Thread” in particular seems to be a cruel joke for a band to play on some poor soul who took too much and got separated from his crew, a scenario which I can tell you for a fact has happened.

Here’s a fun fact: “Run Like an Antelope” is the most common first and second set closer in every era of Phish music. It was a natural fit because it delivered such a skull-splitting climax, but most 3.0 versions (e.g. Merriweather 2019) have bordered on parody of its former glory. This "Antelope" delivered surprisingly well and gave us all a great reason to sit down during set break.

© 2021 Kevin Umberger
© 2021 Kevin Umberger

Anyone who was dying to hear four middle-aged men sing about “vibrating” and “pulsating” got his wish! Fortunately for us all, there was more to come, and that more was another monster “Tweezer” that will certainly get its own entry into the jam chart. Way back in 2013, the multipart jams were not a thing that happened all that often (if ever), which is one reason that the OG 7/31/13 “Tweezer” hit the Lake Tahoe crowd like a ton of bricks. Fast forward to now and it seems to be an established avenue of improvisation for a band in its 38th year of playing together, especially in light of the aforementioned “Carini” and “Chalkdust” already played on this tour. In truth, this “Tweezer” takes a while to really find its legs, but is then off a'running through key changes, tempo changes, synth breakdowns, bluesy peaks, Mike Funk---this one’s got it all and is certainly the standout moment of this show and the leg of the nascent tour. Listen to it now.

Not too long ago, there an article on .net breaking down the frequency with which legendary jams land in “Twist Around.” Here we are again! This one has a few dollops more than the average 3.0 version, but will generally get lost in what preceded it.

“Piper” was an excellent call to round out an hour of very confident jamming. For those who are worried that Phish can’t bring the fire anymore, listen to the pace at which this is played. Also listen for a very obvious “China->Rider” tease by Trey, paying homage to the fat man on his birthday.

© 2021 PHISH (Rene Huemer)
© 2021 PHISH (Rene Huemer)

If anyone cares to explain why Trey continues to drop “Farmhouse” at the most inopportune moments, please explain it to the rest of us. Maybe it’s as a cool down moment, but the “Waste” that followed it performed that duty much more competently. “First Tube” works so well as a set closer, and was another nod to Tony, whom we will all miss in TAB.

This was a good show with several good moments (“Reba,” “Antelope”) and one great one. The road is a long one and they’re already miles beyond the band who played their first show back five days ago.

© 2021 Kevin Umberger
© 2021 Kevin Umberger

On a more personal note, it occurred to me to share this moment with you all: 12/31/18 my then-girlfriend joined me in NYC for the show. During “Waste,” I said “I love Trey’s solo in this song. I’m in love with you!” Just fell out of my mouth for the first time right there. While she’s not as nuts about Phish as my friends and I are, she certainly understands how our rabid and unconditional love might compel us all to fly to Arkansas in the middle of the week for a show.

Which brings me to my point: no matter how straight you play it these days, tour can be a real grind at times, and takes a ton of planning and cooperation. My leg of summer tour is over and I am left with a feeling of gratitude for the tremendous amount of work my friends at Takacs Travel Agency put into the trip, and also for the simple fact that Phish is playing and we can all go see them and each other. We’re living in a pretty messed up world right now, and this tour alone should be a cause for real celebration. Safe travels to everyone going home or to Nashville. It’s good to be back.

© 2021 Josh Martin (WaterWheel volunteers at the WW table)
© 2021 Josh Martin (WaterWheel volunteers at the WW table)

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Comments

, comment by lysergic
lysergic Nice recap. Here's the blog post referenced about big jams landing with a Twist:
https://phish.net/blog/1614639055/landing-with-a-twist.html

"The percentage of songs played prior to "Twist" that made the Jam Chart is only 15% for the 1997-2014 period, but a whopping 47% from the period 2015-2019. So, there’s the proof that in recent years "Twist" has been a great landing spot after big jams relative to the pre-2015 period."
, comment by Mshow96
Mshow96 Good write up thanks! One question: what is a “China->Rider tease”? Did they tease “China Cat Sunflower”? Or “I know You Rider”? Both? You said it’s “very obvious”, but so far I have been unable to find it. Perhaps you could provide a time stamp for this very obvious nod to Jer? Thanks again!
, comment by imdano
imdano This is a great review. Thank you for acknowledging not just the successes/high points of the show, but also the moments that were uninspired and leave room for improvement. Just a very realistic and useful review, cheers
, comment by Slewfoot
Slewfoot Thank you for the review! It’s funny how we all hear things differently as I found that first set to be one of the finest of recent years to my ears…obviously agree on the Farmhouse ripcord…the peaks of this show that you mention were as good as it gets! Thank you, Phish!
, comment by Jamesrduo
Jamesrduo Haven't listened yet, but it's possible recapped meant 'mind left body' jam, usually present between China and rider.
, comment by Mshow96
Mshow96 @Jamesrduo said:
Haven't listened yet, but it's possible recapped meant 'mind left body' jam, usually present between China and rider.
Definitely don’t hear any mlb in Piper. There was some “mlb-esque” jamming in KDF, but I would not expect to see it noted as a tease here. I’ve been wrong plenty before though.
, comment by Slewfoot
Slewfoot @Mshow96 said:
@Jamesrduo said:
Haven't listened yet, but it's possible recapped meant 'mind left body' jam, usually present between China and rider.
Definitely don’t hear any mlb in Piper. There was some “mlb-esque” jamming in KDF, but I would not expect to see it noted as a tease here. I’ve been wrong plenty before though.
I noticed that little play around the MLBJ as well last night, but forgot which song it was so thanks for the reminder!

@jamesrduo - the jam between China>Rider in 73/74 is actually the Feelin Groovy Jam. On Dick’s Pick 12, Dick wrote it as MLBJ to mess with people.
, comment by EducateFright
EducateFright I didn't hear any Dead teases, but the Esther tease in Tweezer really stood out to me. It start's with Mike's bass and then Trey jumps on it. Honestly I'm kinda surprised that Trey was able to remember those particular chords from Esther... Have they been practicing it?! (*gasp*)
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @Mshow96 said:
Good write up thanks! One question: what is a “China->Rider tease”? Did they tease “China Cat Sunflower”? Or “I know You Rider”? Both? You said it’s “very obvious”, but so far I have been unable to find it. Perhaps you could provide a time stamp for this very obvious nod to Jer? Thanks again!
I felt that the China>Rider tease was overt and far easier to hear in the CDT jam the previous evening. It may, in fact, not be a nod to Jerry's birthday at all, but might just be a riff combination that Trey has in his head at the moment. I think the author engaged in some personal speculation there, which is his right.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS Was at the show last night, which I felt was stellar. I disagree with the reviewer who categorized the show as "a good show with some good moments and one great one."

I thought some criticism of the show is fine, and I agree with most of the reviewer's points, but let me share why I thought that this was a great, and not merely a good show.

Time will tell where this tour will ultimately land in the hearts of the phans, and also how history treats it over time, but as the reviewer mentioned early in the writeup, the playing, in terms of technical proficiency, was outstanding. I remember a time in the not-too-distant past when, even while the band was delivering excellent jamming, they also received consistent criticisms for being sloppy and for "flubs". This criticism often overwhelmed the boards when it came to Phish performing its more difficult numbers. Over the last couple night, several of these musical land-mines, such as Foam and Reba, have been not only performed with precision, the playing has been at mid-90's levels. I'm not entirely sure that we have enjoyed this combination of technical proficiency combined with excellent type-1&2 moments, together at the same time, on tour, since then, to be honest. And this is worth noting. Even on the number that the reviewer dismissed as almost standard, run of the mill renditions, were played with such clarity and precision that they were inspiring, even if straightforward. This was consistent throughout the night. The playing was superb, as were the transitions.

The band is more in-sync than I think I ever remember them being this early in a tour, particularly after a long break.

The first set absolutely raged. SYSF was a rugged, soulful version, played very patiently and very clean, and which took full advantage of Kuroda's new light rig. The whole place was buzzing after the excellent Type 1 peak the song delivered. Speaking of the lights, I don't know how it translates on couch-tour, as I haven't done any couch-touring yet this year, but in person the new lighting rig is simply staggering in its beauty and in the way it enhances the in-concert experience. It was spellbinding. Artistically brilliant, is the phrase that comes to mind.

Perhaps the reviewer was in the bathroom at the time, but 555 got far more than a "competent, but short reading". On the contrary, the middle of the song felt completely reworked by the band, and they turned a funky afterthought, played once a tour, into a potential heavyweight piece. I'm reminded of how Tube went through a similar purge a few years ago. Remember the funky 3 minute Tubes? I felt this was easily the best version of this song performed yet from any tour. the KDF>Jibboo combination was also better than I think the reviewer felt that it was. He is correct that KDF was standard, foot-stomping fare, but the Jibboo had some very interesting innovative work by the band during the jam, that, to my ears at least, made it stand out to me. I didn't feel that they were playing it straight, but that they were reinterpreting it. I don't ever recall hearing a Jibboo like last night's version.

The reviewer also claimed that the run of Sparkle, Thread and Meat "robbed the set of momentum." Again, maybe the reviewer was tired and couldn't focus, and maybe that was the sentiment in his section, but that's not what I saw on the lawn. Sparkle was a dance-party and man they really PLAYED IT. It's one of those songs that is like that. It's like US Blues used to be with the Dead. The Dead would play US Blues, but sometimes they would PLAY IT, and the place would jump. That's what Sparkle did. I can't believe I'm taking time on this threat to comment on Sparkle, lol, but the band really played their asses off on this and the crowd was going bonkers. Thread is a dark and mysterious song. I'm not a huge fan of it, until now. Last night was completely different than other versions I've heard. The jam was pure evil. It was a haunted house, and it was brilliant. I couldn't stop talking about it after the show. They really did some work with that one during the hiatus. Meat was played patiently and very well, and the crowd on the lawn was loving it. People were totally into this version. I'm not sure what the reviewer was seeing from his vantagepoint. Again, not being critical of the review, just disagreeing with the take.

Totally agree with the reviewer about Antelope. This was a stellar version, played with fire and clarity that I haven't heard in many recent versions, if any since 3.0. Good call there. A very noteworthy version of Lope.

I'm more in agreement with the reviewer about the second set. More was an afterthought, almost immediately after it started. The crowd was not into it at all. They expected something else. It felt, to me, that Trey was determined to play the song and decided to place it in front of the Tweezer that myself and many others expected to lead off, and who were thrilled when the riffs opening the song began. More just didn't fit at all. It added nothing. That Tweezer, however. Holy fuck. That was one of the best jams I've ever been present for at a Phish show. It was much more enjoyable than the Great Tahoe Tweezer (mentioned by the reviewer), or, frankly, any Tweezer I've heard since the band came back in '09. Tweezer is my favorite Phish song and this was my favorite version thus far. I was in heaven during this jam, as were many others. I heard what the reviewer called an obvious China>Rider phrasing but to be honest I also heard the same phrasing during the Chalk Dust jam the previous night and have to say that we are speculating by assuming that Trey is paying homage to Jerry here. This is not the first time Trey has "teased" this riff during a jam over the last few years. It's happened numerous times since the FareTheeWell concerts. Perhaps Trey just likes the riff and keeps playing with it. That's my impression, anyway. I fet it was organic and not premeditated.

Like many, I ran to the port-a-johns as Twist was revving up, not because I was disappointed in the song choice, but just because we were all dish rags after the Tweezer and needed to take a piss. Twist was awesome. It was a patient build up with an excellent peak that was honestly surprising in how good it was after the masterpiece of the Tweezer. I felt it was house money after that. The Piper was old-school and evil. Like the reviewer said, it was a perfect call here. The band was totally dialed in, and this Piper, while not long, should merit some consideration, in my view, for the jam charts.

I love Farmhouse. I did not feel it was out of place here after Piper. The band had just completed 56 minutes of outstanding improv and the stroll through an easy number was earned. This is an excellent Farmhouse, for what it's worth at that point. It was curious to follow this up with Waste. I agree with the reviewer that Trey should have picked one or the other (the reviewer preferred Waste) and not play both, but again, after the Tweezer, Trey could have played the spoons on his thigh for twenty minutes and would have forgiven him.

It seemed to me that Trey became quite emotional during this song. I am not completely sure from my view from the lawn, but that's how it sounded. Perhaps that's why he played Waste. He was personalizing it.

Anyway, I think the first set was quite a bit better than the reviewer gave it credit for, but I agree with his assessment of the second set, and I think this was great show, not a good one.

As always, thanks for taking the time to do this write-up. It's appreciated.

Interested in hearing from others and their experience with the music laid on us last night.
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 The China >Rider tease was certainly clear to this listener. Text message to my buddy reads: “slight GD nod there for Jerry’s birthday,” at 10:05 PM CT with a follow up message “with that I know you rider tease.” which was sent at 10:09 PM CT. Using that as a reference one should be able to triangulate a show and a song time that this very obvious tease occurred. LOL! Deserves a nod and to be added to show notes.

Great write up. Thought it was an impressive show. Could have taken that Twist around a NY city block a few times and called set two a night IMHO. Gone are the days…Thought the writing was particularly strong on this recap, though they all have been strong showings.

Mahalo Nui,
Matthew
, comment by yEEt_1331
yEEt_1331 @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
Was at the show last night, which I felt was stellar. I disagree with the reviewer who categorized the show as "a good show with some good moments and one great one."

I thought some criticism of the show is fine, and I agree with most of the reviewer's points, but let me share why I thought that this was a great, and not merely a good show.

Time will tell where this tour will ultimately land in the hearts of the phans, and also how history treats it over time, but as the reviewer mentioned early in the writeup, the playing, in terms of technical proficiency, was outstanding. I remember a time in the not-too-distant past when, even while the band was delivering excellent jamming, they also received consistent criticisms for being sloppy and for "flubs". This criticism often overwhelmed the boards when it came to Phish performing its more difficult numbers. Over the last couple night, several of these musical land-mines, such as Foam and Reba, have been not only performed with precision, the playing has been at mid-90's levels. I'm not entirely sure that we have enjoyed this combination of technical proficiency combined with excellent type-1&2 moments, together at the same time, on tour, since then, to be honest. And this is worth noting. Even on the number that the reviewer dismissed as almost standard, run of the mill renditions, were played with such clarity and precision that they were inspiring, even if straightforward. This was consistent throughout the night. The playing was superb, as were the transitions.

The band is more in-sync than I think I ever remember them being this early in a tour, particularly after a long break.

The first set absolutely raged. SYSF was a rugged, soulful version, played very patiently and very clean, and which took full advantage of Kuroda's new light rig. The whole place was buzzing after the excellent Type 1 peak the song delivered. Speaking of the lights, I don't know how it translates on couch-tour, as I haven't done any couch-touring yet this year, but in person the new lighting rig is simply staggering in its beauty and in the way it enhances the in-concert experience. It was spellbinding. Artistically brilliant, is the phrase that comes to mind.

Perhaps the reviewer was in the bathroom at the time, but 555 got far more than a "competent, but short reading". On the contrary, the middle of the song felt completely reworked by the band, and they turned a funky afterthought, played once a tour, into a potential heavyweight piece. I'm reminded of how Tube went through a similar purge a few years ago. Remember the funky 3 minute Tubes? I felt this was easily the best version of this song performed yet from any tour. the KDF>Jibboo combination was also better than I think the reviewer felt that it was. He is correct that KDF was standard, foot-stomping fare, but the Jibboo had some very interesting innovative work by the band during the jam, that, to my ears at least, made it stand out to me. I didn't feel that they were playing it straight, but that they were reinterpreting it. I don't ever recall hearing a Jibboo like last night's version.

The reviewer also claimed that the run of Sparkle, Thread and Meat "robbed the set of momentum." Again, maybe the reviewer was tired and couldn't focus, and maybe that was the sentiment in his section, but that's not what I saw on the lawn. Sparkle was a dance-party and man they really PLAYED IT. It's one of those songs that is like that. It's like US Blues used to be with the Dead. The Dead would play US Blues, but sometimes they would PLAY IT, and the place would jump. That's what Sparkle did. I can't believe I'm taking time on this threat to comment on Sparkle, lol, but the band really played their asses off on this and the crowd was going bonkers. Thread is a dark and mysterious song. I'm not a huge fan of it, until now. Last night was completely different than other versions I've heard. The jam was pure evil. It was a haunted house, and it was brilliant. I couldn't stop talking about it after the show. They really did some work with that one during the hiatus. Meat was played patiently and very well, and the crowd on the lawn was loving it. People were totally into this version. I'm not sure what the reviewer was seeing from his vantagepoint. Again, not being critical of the review, just disagreeing with the take.

Totally agree with the reviewer about Antelope. This was a stellar version, played with fire and clarity that I haven't heard in many recent versions, if any since 3.0. Good call there. A very noteworthy version of Lope.

I'm more in agreement with the reviewer about the second set. More was an afterthought, almost immediately after it started. The crowd was not into it at all. They expected something else. It felt, to me, that Trey was determined to play the song and decided to place it in front of the Tweezer that myself and many others expected to lead off, and who were thrilled when the riffs opening the song began. More just didn't fit at all. It added nothing. That Tweezer, however. Holy fuck. That was one of the best jams I've ever been present for at a Phish show. It was much more enjoyable than the Great Tahoe Tweezer (mentioned by the reviewer), or, frankly, any Tweezer I've heard since the band came back in '09. Tweezer is my favorite Phish song and this was my favorite version thus far. I was in heaven during this jam, as were many others. I heard what the reviewer called an obvious China>Rider phrasing but to be honest I also heard the same phrasing during the Chalk Dust jam the previous night and have to say that we are speculating by assuming that Trey is paying homage to Jerry here. This is not the first time Trey has "teased" this riff during a jam over the last few years. It's happened numerous times since the FareTheeWell concerts. Perhaps Trey just likes the riff and keeps playing with it. That's my impression, anyway. I fet it was organic and not premeditated.

Like many, I ran to the port-a-johns as Twist was revving up, not because I was disappointed in the song choice, but just because we were all dish rags after the Tweezer and needed to take a piss. Twist was awesome. It was a patient build up with an excellent peak that was honestly surprising in how good it was after the masterpiece of the Tweezer. I felt it was house money after that. The Piper was old-school and evil. Like the reviewer said, it was a perfect call here. The band was totally dialed in, and this Piper, while not long, should merit some consideration, in my view, for the jam charts.

I love Farmhouse. I did not feel it was out of place here after Piper. The band had just completed 56 minutes of outstanding improv and the stroll through an easy number was earned. This is an excellent Farmhouse, for what it's worth at that point. It was curious to follow this up with Waste. I agree with the reviewer that Trey should have picked one or the other (the reviewer preferred Waste) and not play both, but again, after the Tweezer, Trey could have played the spoons on his thigh for twenty minutes and would have forgiven him.

It seemed to me that Trey became quite emotional during this song. I am not completely sure from my view from the lawn, but that's how it sounded. Perhaps that's why he played Waste. He was personalizing it.

Anyway, I think the first set was quite a bit better than the reviewer gave it credit for, but I agree with his assessment of the second set, and I think this was great show, not a good one.

As always, thanks for taking the time to do this write-up. It's appreciated.

Interested in hearing from others and their experience with the music laid on us last night.
i agree. i had wondered if the reviewer had taken a nap or something because the first set was awesome
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck @Slewfoot said:
@Mshow96 said:
@Jamesrduo said:
Haven't listened yet, but it's possible recapped meant 'mind left body' jam, usually present between China and rider.
Definitely don’t hear any mlb in Piper. There was some “mlb-esque” jamming in KDF, but I would not expect to see it noted as a tease here. I’ve been wrong plenty before though.
I noticed that little play around the MLBJ as well last night, but forgot which song it was so thanks for the reminder!

@jamesrduo - the jam between China>Rider in 73/74 is actually the Feelin Groovy Jam. On Dick’s Pick 12, Dick wrote it as MLBJ to mess with people.

Def MLB in KDF, had me DTF

It took the Mann 2016 MLB jam in Breath and Burning a long while to get notated, so who knows if this nod will get the nod any time soon :)
, comment by Spotted_Stripers
Spotted_Stripers @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
Was at the show last night, which I felt was stellar. I disagree with the reviewer who categorized the show as "a good show with some good moments and one great one."

I thought some criticism of the show is fine, and I agree with most of the reviewer's points, but let me share why I thought that this was a great, and not merely a good show.

Time will tell where this tour will ultimately land in the hearts of the phans, and also how history treats it over time, but as the reviewer mentioned early in the writeup, the playing, in terms of technical proficiency, was outstanding. I remember a time in the not-too-distant past when, even while the band was delivering excellent jamming, they also received consistent criticisms for being sloppy and for "flubs". This criticism often overwhelmed the boards when it came to Phish performing its more difficult numbers. Over the last couple night, several of these musical land-mines, such as Foam and Reba, have been not only performed with precision, the playing has been at mid-90's levels. I'm not entirely sure that we have enjoyed this combination of technical proficiency combined with excellent type-1&2 moments, together at the same time, on tour, since then, to be honest. And this is worth noting. Even on the number that the reviewer dismissed as almost standard, run of the mill renditions, were played with such clarity and precision that they were inspiring, even if straightforward. This was consistent throughout the night. The playing was superb, as were the transitions.

The band is more in-sync than I think I ever remember them being this early in a tour, particularly after a long break.

The first set absolutely raged. SYSF was a rugged, soulful version, played very patiently and very clean, and which took full advantage of Kuroda's new light rig. The whole place was buzzing after the excellent Type 1 peak the song delivered. Speaking of the lights, I don't know how it translates on couch-tour, as I haven't done any couch-touring yet this year, but in person the new lighting rig is simply staggering in its beauty and in the way it enhances the in-concert experience. It was spellbinding. Artistically brilliant, is the phrase that comes to mind.

Perhaps the reviewer was in the bathroom at the time, but 555 got far more than a "competent, but short reading". On the contrary, the middle of the song felt completely reworked by the band, and they turned a funky afterthought, played once a tour, into a potential heavyweight piece. I'm reminded of how Tube went through a similar purge a few years ago. Remember the funky 3 minute Tubes? I felt this was easily the best version of this song performed yet from any tour. the KDF>Jibboo combination was also better than I think the reviewer felt that it was. He is correct that KDF was standard, foot-stomping fare, but the Jibboo had some very interesting innovative work by the band during the jam, that, to my ears at least, made it stand out to me. I didn't feel that they were playing it straight, but that they were reinterpreting it. I don't ever recall hearing a Jibboo like last night's version.

The reviewer also claimed that the run of Sparkle, Thread and Meat "robbed the set of momentum." Again, maybe the reviewer was tired and couldn't focus, and maybe that was the sentiment in his section, but that's not what I saw on the lawn. Sparkle was a dance-party and man they really PLAYED IT. It's one of those songs that is like that. It's like US Blues used to be with the Dead. The Dead would play US Blues, but sometimes they would PLAY IT, and the place would jump. That's what Sparkle did. I can't believe I'm taking time on this threat to comment on Sparkle, lol, but the band really played their asses off on this and the crowd was going bonkers. Thread is a dark and mysterious song. I'm not a huge fan of it, until now. Last night was completely different than other versions I've heard. The jam was pure evil. It was a haunted house, and it was brilliant. I couldn't stop talking about it after the show. They really did some work with that one during the hiatus. Meat was played patiently and very well, and the crowd on the lawn was loving it. People were totally into this version. I'm not sure what the reviewer was seeing from his vantagepoint. Again, not being critical of the review, just disagreeing with the take.

Totally agree with the reviewer about Antelope. This was a stellar version, played with fire and clarity that I haven't heard in many recent versions, if any since 3.0. Good call there. A very noteworthy version of Lope.

I'm more in agreement with the reviewer about the second set. More was an afterthought, almost immediately after it started. The crowd was not into it at all. They expected something else. It felt, to me, that Trey was determined to play the song and decided to place it in front of the Tweezer that myself and many others expected to lead off, and who were thrilled when the riffs opening the song began. More just didn't fit at all. It added nothing. That Tweezer, however. Holy fuck. That was one of the best jams I've ever been present for at a Phish show. It was much more enjoyable than the Great Tahoe Tweezer (mentioned by the reviewer), or, frankly, any Tweezer I've heard since the band came back in '09. Tweezer is my favorite Phish song and this was my favorite version thus far. I was in heaven during this jam, as were many others. I heard what the reviewer called an obvious China>Rider phrasing but to be honest I also heard the same phrasing during the Chalk Dust jam the previous night and have to say that we are speculating by assuming that Trey is paying homage to Jerry here. This is not the first time Trey has "teased" this riff during a jam over the last few years. It's happened numerous times since the FareTheeWell concerts. Perhaps Trey just likes the riff and keeps playing with it. That's my impression, anyway. I fet it was organic and not premeditated.

Like many, I ran to the port-a-johns as Twist was revving up, not because I was disappointed in the song choice, but just because we were all dish rags after the Tweezer and needed to take a piss. Twist was awesome. It was a patient build up with an excellent peak that was honestly surprising in how good it was after the masterpiece of the Tweezer. I felt it was house money after that. The Piper was old-school and evil. Like the reviewer said, it was a perfect call here. The band was totally dialed in, and this Piper, while not long, should merit some consideration, in my view, for the jam charts.

I love Farmhouse. I did not feel it was out of place here after Piper. The band had just completed 56 minutes of outstanding improv and the stroll through an easy number was earned. This is an excellent Farmhouse, for what it's worth at that point. It was curious to follow this up with Waste. I agree with the reviewer that Trey should have picked one or the other (the reviewer preferred Waste) and not play both, but again, after the Tweezer, Trey could have played the spoons on his thigh for twenty minutes and would have forgiven him.

It seemed to me that Trey became quite emotional during this song. I am not completely sure from my view from the lawn, but that's how it sounded. Perhaps that's why he played Waste. He was personalizing it.

Anyway, I think the first set was quite a bit better than the reviewer gave it credit for, but I agree with his assessment of the second set, and I think this was great show, not a good one.

As always, thanks for taking the time to do this write-up. It's appreciated.

Interested in hearing from others and their experience with the music laid on us last night.
This is such a better take on this stellar show than the actual review. This show was a scorcher and only an ultra-jaded vet could complain about the elements of this show. Incredible playing, great cohesiveness, great song placement, and a really great crowd. I guess the reviewer left before encore since he didn’t even mention it…
, comment by JMart
JMart @factsareuseless

I think this was my fifth or sixth review for this page. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m going to take criticism when I say the band did something less than perfectly. The truth is I have been listening to a lot of phish for a long time. I know what a flub-free Reba sounds like and I know when they reach peak jamming. If they get there, I’ll say it. If not, I’ll say that too. People seem to conflate the idea that I thought Farmhouse was poorly paced with me having a shitty time at the show or something, which simply isn’t true. I had a GREAT time at all four shows I attended, but I can still tell when things are on musically.

As for the tease, it is not mind left body. It is the break that they use for the transition from China cat into rider. My friend and I turned to each other and made the same remark. Trey also played it in Chalkdust the night before.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @JMart said:
@factsareuseless

I think this was my fifth or sixth review for this page. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m going to take criticism when I say the band did something less than perfectly. The truth is I have been listening to a lot of phish for a long time. I know what a flub-free Reba sounds like and I know when they reach peak jamming. If they get there, I’ll say it. If not, I’ll say that too. People seem to conflate the idea that I thought Farmhouse was poorly paced with me having a shitty time at the show or something, which simply isn’t true. I had a GREAT time at all four shows I attended, but I can still tell when things are on musically.

If I recall, I agreed with most of your review, and disagreed with a few points, which I highlighted. In fact, I think I gave you credit for being spot on more often than I took issue with your effort. But thanks for making sure I know my place. I'll be sure to canonize your future reviews as scripture, and not be so boorish as to offer my own thoughts.

, comment by Uakari
Uakari Snooze button.
, comment by Leodoc
Leodoc Thread rocks I have loved it since I 1st saw it in Chicago. I would say that the" China> Rider " tease was more reminiscent of the Allman brothers like jams that they played in the summer of 17. Not really the song but same flavor and feel. I definitely perked up during that D mixolydian section of Tweezer jam.
I loved this version of Farmhouse and I thought it was so subdued and understated and similar to the way the Dead would treat the end of Morning Dew or Stella Blue.
I also think Jon is the MVP for this Run. His right foot is doing some crazy stuff. Samples aside , no doubt this time off has given time time to come up with new and interesting combos for us.
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck @JMart said:
As for the tease, it is not mind left body. It is the break that they use for the transition from China cat into rider. My friend and I turned to each other and made the same remark. Trey also played it in Chalkdust the night before.

the Mind Left Body-type descending riff was in KDF, the China>Rider-type descending riff was in Piper
, comment by Mshow96
Mshow96 Does anyone have an actual time stamp they’d like to share for where this China>Rider tease is in either CDT or Piper? and a good example from the GD for comparison? Thanks in advance.
, comment by lysergic
lysergic I liked @JMart 's recap, but also: petition to have @factsareuseless write a recap! Enjoyed both of your takes.
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck @Mshow96 said:
Does anyone have an actual time stamp they’d like to share for where this China>Rider tease is in either CDT or Piper? and a good example from the GD for comparison? Thanks in advance.

GD China Cat - Bobby cues the descending chord progression at 7:48, and Trey begins the same progression at 3:10 in the LivePhish Piper.. Trey plays it 3 times and on the 3rd time he resolves it in a way that’s different than the Dead do. After that they play it a 6 more times, now alternating the descending chords with an improvised resolution either up or down (alternating this 3 times as well).

GD Mind Left Body Jam - Jerry begins this classic MLB riff or motif at 0:24.. You can hear Trey hit the same chromatic pattern at 4:04 of the LivePhish KDF.

The China Cat jam is a walk down from the IV chord to the I in Major scale (or Mixolydian substituting the iiidim with a iii, there’s lots of ways to notate this). MLB jam is based around a 4 note descending chromatic riff, or motif, or a pattern suggested by a chord progression that’s highlighted by the chromatic motion of one or more instruments. There’s different chords that can be played over top or used to create this motion, which is why it’s more of a theme or a motif that is then improvised over - sometimes with different chords and melodies - and making it a little unique each time it rears its head.

The Dead jammed into the MLB theme particularly often 1973-74 right after Jerry and Mickey appeared on a Jefferson Airplane-adjacent album that included the track - Your Mind Has Left Your Body - which is centered around this progression (Jer’s on pedal steel). The Dead swore up and down that this wasn’t an intentional quoting of YMHLYB, and that they had no idea what fans were on about. In fact, on several official releases longtime GD archivist Dick Latvala would call it something like Mud Love Buddy for the MLB jam out of Terrapin in Dozin at the Knick, OR (and this is where it gets REALLY confusing) on Dick’s Pick’s Twelve the aforementioned progression China > Rider transition jam (that primarily appeared in the EXACT the exact same era of 73-74) was erroneously labeled Mind Left Body Jam.

Both of these things, the 4 chord IV > I descending pattern AND the 4 note chromatic descending pattern can absolutely be played without being an intentional nod, as the Dead demonstrated, because they’re both just ear catching musical ideas. No one has a monopoly on that sort of scale movement or chromatic movement, which makes identifying them a little divisive. Was Trey consciously channeling China Cat or was he just walking down the scale? Who’s to say. MLB will get labeled as such whenever that 4 note pattern appears regardless if the pattern was an intentional quoting of something that’s been done before or just something that they improvised in the moment (like the Dead claimed it was each time they played it).

Similarly, not every progression that goes up the first 4 chords of a minor scale (usually expressed in a Dorian feel, or ii > iii > IV > V because the ear really digs that) is a direct quote or jam off of Tweezer Reprise, it’s just musical, but Phish fans will find it to be familiar. So does 6/19/04 Piper have a Tweezer Reprise Jam? Does it quote Tweezer Reprise? Or is it a jam that contains elements of Tweezer Reprise?

There’s only so many patterns you can make with the twelve tones in western music, and so you’re going to retread similar territory whether you mean to or not. Still, the Jazz tradition will label these sorts of things as quotes or will consider certain chord progressions as still being somewhat rooted to an ancestral form even if they’ve been stretched completely beyond recognition by all sorts of advanced chord substitutions - see “Rhythm Changes.” The Jazz style Bebop was all about this idea.

Folk and Blues traditions too center around lyrical references (and sometimes melodic as well) such as “Fennario” or the “Candyman,” whether we’re talking about English Folk or Black traditions, that are built upon, referenced, and recombined over the course of decades or even hundreds of years.. And these sorts of things can and have been categorized, catalogued, and indexed (see the Roud Folk Index or the Annotated Dead Lyrics).

In both of these traditions (which the Dead and subsequently Phish were heavily influenced by) you don’t usually need intentionality for something to be noted as a quote or reference or motif or chord changes if it fits a previously established one. Especially because it may not be conscious or intentional, but rather the result of internalizing and being a part of these enormous songbooks and traditions.

From that standpoint I’d consider KDF from the other night to include a MLB Jam and Piper to contain a China > Rider tease (a little harder to pin down the label on this one, since it’s not technically a part of either song). But it’s clear why this kind of labeling and identification is often divisive and highly subjective. At the end of the day I’ll leave the “official” notation to the suits in Washington, and I’ll just enjoy the sweet sweet jams as I see fit :)
, comment by lysergic
lysergic @experiencechuck :: fantastic summary, thank you! this should be copied and pasted into its own blog post.
, comment by Mshow96
Mshow96 Thanks @experiencechuck for the time stamps and in depth explanation of what folks are hearing here. You can put me in the “akin to” camp on these, especially for the China>Rider transition jam. I don’t expect to see either of these show up in the setlist notes, but I’m ready to be wrong.
, comment by timmyctc
timmyctc Did Kevin Umberger take those photos with a disposable?
, comment by whoitis4sho
whoitis4sho Great show with lots of good moments & some stellar ones! Just curious if anyone thinks it’s remarkable that they played half of the Farmhouse album? That’s pretty cool if you ask me, and the jamming that came out of those songs (particularly Jiboo, Twist, evil Piper, & First Tube) was very much inspired. I like to think of this show as a Sunday Molasses Jam - Phish did not rush anything which definitely can be heard in the Tweezer. When the band doesn’t rush or force, truly beautiful improvisation can occur, and it did! Did anyone else pick up on the “Tell Me Something Good” tease in Tweezer? I heard it live & again while re-listening yesterday. I was so happy to experience 2 great nights at Alpharetta, and picking a favorite is much like being asked who your favorite child is. You probably have one, but you’re not going to tell anybody who it is!
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 PYITE opener tonight.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS Just wanted to add, since I forgot to mention it, that halfway through the Tweezer I turned to my buddy and screamed "McGrupp!!" Of course, they didn't go into it, but I could've sworn.....

Anyone else hear that?
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @lysergic said:
I liked @JMart 's recap, but also: petition to have @factsareuseless write a recap! Enjoyed both of your takes.
Thanks for the nice words. I thought @JMart's review was very good, and I wasn't trying to offer my own. I just tried to detail why I disagreed with his take on the first set. His ears are as good, if not better, than mine. He's probably right anyway.

"The heart has its beaches and songs of its own..."

I have not been asked to do an "official" review, and don't expect to be, but I'm glad you enjoyed my little musing about the show and appreciate you saying so.
, comment by Jungle
Jungle @EducateFright said:
I didn't hear any Dead teases, but the Esther tease in Tweezer really stood out to me. It start's with Mike's bass and then Trey jumps on it. Honestly I'm kinda surprised that Trey was able to remember those particular chords from Esther... Have they been practicing it?! (*gasp*)
Trey played Esther with Jeff Tansky on one of the Rubber Jungle broadcasts before Summer tour. Probably why he could remember the chords.
, comment by melt_the_tek9
melt_the_tek9 @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
Was at the show last night, which I felt was stellar. I disagree with the reviewer who categorized the show as "a good show with some good moments and one great one."

I thought some criticism of the show is fine, and I agree with most of the reviewer's points, but let me share why I thought that this was a great, and not merely a good show.

Time will tell where this tour will ultimately land in the hearts of the phans, and also how history treats it over time, but as the reviewer mentioned early in the writeup, the playing, in terms of technical proficiency, was outstanding. I remember a time in the not-too-distant past when, even while the band was delivering excellent jamming, they also received consistent criticisms for being sloppy and for "flubs". This criticism often overwhelmed the boards when it came to Phish performing its more difficult numbers. Over the last couple night, several of these musical land-mines, such as Foam and Reba, have been not only performed with precision, the playing has been at mid-90's levels. I'm not entirely sure that we have enjoyed this combination of technical proficiency combined with excellent type-1&2 moments, together at the same time, on tour, since then, to be honest. And this is worth noting. Even on the number that the reviewer dismissed as almost standard, run of the mill renditions, were played with such clarity and precision that they were inspiring, even if straightforward. This was consistent throughout the night. The playing was superb, as were the transitions.

The band is more in-sync than I think I ever remember them being this early in a tour, particularly after a long break.

The first set absolutely raged. SYSF was a rugged, soulful version, played very patiently and very clean, and which took full advantage of Kuroda's new light rig. The whole place was buzzing after the excellent Type 1 peak the song delivered. Speaking of the lights, I don't know how it translates on couch-tour, as I haven't done any couch-touring yet this year, but in person the new lighting rig is simply staggering in its beauty and in the way it enhances the in-concert experience. It was spellbinding. Artistically brilliant, is the phrase that comes to mind.

Perhaps the reviewer was in the bathroom at the time, but 555 got far more than a "competent, but short reading". On the contrary, the middle of the song felt completely reworked by the band, and they turned a funky afterthought, played once a tour, into a potential heavyweight piece. I'm reminded of how Tube went through a similar purge a few years ago. Remember the funky 3 minute Tubes? I felt this was easily the best version of this song performed yet from any tour. the KDF>Jibboo combination was also better than I think the reviewer felt that it was. He is correct that KDF was standard, foot-stomping fare, but the Jibboo had some very interesting innovative work by the band during the jam, that, to my ears at least, made it stand out to me. I didn't feel that they were playing it straight, but that they were reinterpreting it. I don't ever recall hearing a Jibboo like last night's version.

The reviewer also claimed that the run of Sparkle, Thread and Meat "robbed the set of momentum." Again, maybe the reviewer was tired and couldn't focus, and maybe that was the sentiment in his section, but that's not what I saw on the lawn. Sparkle was a dance-party and man they really PLAYED IT. It's one of those songs that is like that. It's like US Blues used to be with the Dead. The Dead would play US Blues, but sometimes they would PLAY IT, and the place would jump. That's what Sparkle did. I can't believe I'm taking time on this threat to comment on Sparkle, lol, but the band really played their asses off on this and the crowd was going bonkers. Thread is a dark and mysterious song. I'm not a huge fan of it, until now. Last night was completely different than other versions I've heard. The jam was pure evil. It was a haunted house, and it was brilliant. I couldn't stop talking about it after the show. They really did some work with that one during the hiatus. Meat was played patiently and very well, and the crowd on the lawn was loving it. People were totally into this version. I'm not sure what the reviewer was seeing from his vantagepoint. Again, not being critical of the review, just disagreeing with the take.

Totally agree with the reviewer about Antelope. This was a stellar version, played with fire and clarity that I haven't heard in many recent versions, if any since 3.0. Good call there. A very noteworthy version of Lope.

I'm more in agreement with the reviewer about the second set. More was an afterthought, almost immediately after it started. The crowd was not into it at all. They expected something else. It felt, to me, that Trey was determined to play the song and decided to place it in front of the Tweezer that myself and many others expected to lead off, and who were thrilled when the riffs opening the song began. More just didn't fit at all. It added nothing. That Tweezer, however. Holy fuck. That was one of the best jams I've ever been present for at a Phish show. It was much more enjoyable than the Great Tahoe Tweezer (mentioned by the reviewer), or, frankly, any Tweezer I've heard since the band came back in '09. Tweezer is my favorite Phish song and this was my favorite version thus far. I was in heaven during this jam, as were many others. I heard what the reviewer called an obvious China>Rider phrasing but to be honest I also heard the same phrasing during the Chalk Dust jam the previous night and have to say that we are speculating by assuming that Trey is paying homage to Jerry here. This is not the first time Trey has "teased" this riff during a jam over the last few years. It's happened numerous times since the FareTheeWell concerts. Perhaps Trey just likes the riff and keeps playing with it. That's my impression, anyway. I fet it was organic and not premeditated.

Like many, I ran to the port-a-johns as Twist was revving up, not because I was disappointed in the song choice, but just because we were all dish rags after the Tweezer and needed to take a piss. Twist was awesome. It was a patient build up with an excellent peak that was honestly surprising in how good it was after the masterpiece of the Tweezer. I felt it was house money after that. The Piper was old-school and evil. Like the reviewer said, it was a perfect call here. The band was totally dialed in, and this Piper, while not long, should merit some consideration, in my view, for the jam charts.

I love Farmhouse. I did not feel it was out of place here after Piper. The band had just completed 56 minutes of outstanding improv and the stroll through an easy number was earned. This is an excellent Farmhouse, for what it's worth at that point. It was curious to follow this up with Waste. I agree with the reviewer that Trey should have picked one or the other (the reviewer preferred Waste) and not play both, but again, after the Tweezer, Trey could have played the spoons on his thigh for twenty minutes and would have forgiven him.

It seemed to me that Trey became quite emotional during this song. I am not completely sure from my view from the lawn, but that's how it sounded. Perhaps that's why he played Waste. He was personalizing it.

Anyway, I think the first set was quite a bit better than the reviewer gave it credit for, but I agree with his assessment of the second set, and I think this was great show, not a good one.

As always, thanks for taking the time to do this write-up. It's appreciated.

Interested in hearing from others and their experience with the music laid on us last night.
Totally agree completely!! Was there in the heat of it in 103, steamy. First, you’re right on mid-90s level for old standards. The Silent the night before was the fastest version I’ve heard since I can’t remember. Slowed a tad toward the end, but I told my wife “this is FAST” and she agreed. Sparkle on the second night, wow super fast!! The Thread was down right scary and the lights complemented the music in ways I can’t describe. The Meat was so solid. What this 3-song span felt like was being at a club that had a DJ that likes to F with the room by throwing on completely different music styles and genres. Can’t get such radically different songs as these three. In that alone I thought these songs added major depth to the set, which was already amazing at this point. The 555 was very thick, Mike was thumping with the pick and his attack on the low end was clean and punchy and drove the short jam hard. I don’t need to talk about the Tweezer other than to say that I thought the jam “started” and “got going” when it started at the 5 some odd minute mark. That’s when Tweezer jams begin, that’s when they start talking to each other and the band talked to each other a LOT all night. The Farmhouse had some of the dopest bass work I’ve ever heard on the song before, it’s as if Mike took the solo. Also this song was NEEDED the dude next to me said “wheeeeewwwwwww” and I said “I’ll take it, after that Tweezer I’d take ANYTHING like this!” And Waste was so nice and also needed. Trey cried during Monkey. Nothing was low or not great about this show. If there were downs I didn’t feel them. Everything felt very up to me ????
, comment by melt_the_tek9
melt_the_tek9 @whoitis4sho said:
Great show with lots of good moments & some stellar ones! Just curious if anyone thinks it’s remarkable that they played half of the Farmhouse album? That’s pretty cool if you ask me, and the jamming that came out of those songs (particularly Jiboo, Twist, evil Piper, & First Tube) was very much inspired. I like to think of this show as a Sunday Molasses Jam - Phish did not rush anything which definitely can be heard in the Tweezer. When the band doesn’t rush or force, truly beautiful improvisation can occur, and it did! Did anyone else pick up on the “Tell Me Something Good” tease in Tweezer? I heard it live & again while re-listening yesterday. I was so happy to experience 2 great nights at Alpharetta, and picking a favorite is much like being asked who your favorite child is. You probably have one, but you’re not going to tell anybody who it is!
It was Tell Me Something Good I was singing it during the tease YES I wasn’t crazy!
, comment by cletus22
cletus22 Thanks for the well done review. Minus the Izabella after Tweezer the second set resembles the famous (and my all-time favorite show) 12/6/97 Palace Show which went Tweezer>Izabella>Twist>Piper>Sleeping Monkey, Tweeprise E:RockyTop
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Guys listen, Jmart knows when Phish has reached peak jamming and he’ll let YOU know when they get there. So just hold tight.

Personally I thought this show was ok but liked the Simple, Carini, Chalkdust and Nashville2 more than the Tweezer.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @TwiceBitten said:
Guys listen, Jmart knows when Phish has reached peak jamming and he’ll let YOU know when they get there. So just hold tight.

Personally I thought this show was ok but liked the Simple, Carini, Chalkdust and Nashville2 more than the Tweezer.
Haven't heard either Nashville offering yet. I'll check into your claims. Headphones Phish is always a bit different than live, in-person Phish. The Tweezer>Twist>Piper of Alph2 was an hour of the best of Phish. Piper got a little ripcorded at the end, but Trey is forgiven. I'll have to check out the Nashville meals this weekend.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @TwiceBitten said:
Guys listen, Jmart knows when Phish has reached peak jamming and he’ll let YOU know when they get there. So just hold tight.

Personally I thought this show was ok but liked the Simple, Carini, Chalkdust and Nashville2 more than the Tweezer.
That Carini was pretty sick. tho. No argument there. It's in the running.
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