Saturday 08/07/2021 by phishnet

DEER CREEK 1 RECAP: NOT DUCKING AROUND

[Phish.net welcomes back and thanks volunteer recapper Nick Williams (@TwiceBitten) for writing this recap. -Ed.]

Late news breaking! This just in! Here's the scoop! Last night Phish abducted 25,000 people from
a cornfield and probed their every last hole. Thats well upwards of 150,000 holes, not counting
the pee hole, or the possibility of them popping out your eyes! If you've seen the print for this run
all I can say is: they warned us. Such abductions were once thought to be commonplace in this
area but their frequency has diminished over the years to the point in which many stopped
believing...

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

The pandemic has been an interesting time for drug band music. We've seen some rising stars, we've seen some fallen idols and (same as it ever was) we've seen a lot of competition between fanbases. "My pretty boy is better than your pretty boy at playing some Dead old guy's music," "my bird band is better than your bird band," "your favorite act is washed up while mine is just getting started." I can say without a doubt that Phish showed up at Deer Creek to wipe that silly smirk off of every baby jam band's face. It's going to be a long time before anyone can come close to taking the crown from these crusty old ducks from the Northeast.

It all started with a light in the sky. That would be the sun actually, which was still shining bright for the first set. There are shows from not that long ago that don't have highlights as strong as the opening trifecta of "Carini," "Wolfman's Brother," and "Sand." Phish came to play right off the bat, alternating between serene, groovy and contemplative jamming. The rest of the first set... I was raging the moat, and while it was fun, there was little that I can recall from memory.

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

The question of just when Phish "came back" in a spiritual sense has been debated since they came back in a physical sense at the Hampton Coliseum in 2009. Some felt like the Fall 2010 tour was a return to form, despite not having a single jam that broke 20 minutes. Others saw promising signs in 2011 but had a hard time reconciling the up and down nature of the year with what they heard at the DTE Center early in the Summer Tour. The 2012 tour saw a lot of intricate full band improv and culminated in the fantastic run at Dick's. Still, some didn't take notice until the Fall of 2013, regardless of the fact that the band played inarguably their worst Halloween set ever. The make-up Halloween in 2014 announced "here we come" in a big way atop a haunted house. Trey joined Dead and Company in 2015 and proceeded to rip it up big time all summer long. Since then, I've noticed fan reaction being somewhat more mixed. Most herald the Baker's Dozen as a career highlight but some fans feel that their late period peak had already come and gone.

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

While agreement amongst such a disparate array of fan archetypes is not possible, I think most of us can say without a doubt that Phish has come to play in the summer of 2021. From the very get go the jamming has been both adventurous (Arkansas, Nashville2), ballsy (Alabama, Alpharetta1) or just plain old long (Alpharetta2). Heck, even the least good show so far (Nashville1) still had more cool jamming than most shows from a number of the aforementioned years. However, it was Friday night at Deer Creek where Phish announced, unequivocally, that the 4.0 era was going to be a step up or a return to form, depending on how you look at it.

So what about the music? Really? What can I say? "Blaze On." "Simple." That's about it. You need to listen to these jams. They are banners, flags, signposts. Moreso, they encompass all the lightness and the dark of Phish's musical world. I actually was thinking a lot about a post from TeaOrScotch during the show so I'd like to quote it in full below:

The plane of existence we’re experiencing is the yin yang. Light and darkness balanced. It’s yin yangs all the way down. Everything has that duality. We judge the shadow as bad, but truthfully our pains and traumas can be our greatest teachers. The shadow gives the light context. And I believe the more darkness a person has experienced the greater their capacity for the light. Of course there was darkness at the show. There’s darkness everywhere. And light. Phish has an incredible ability to present to us a musical reflection of the yin yang of life. It makes it even more potent to me that we know some of their personal struggles and paths of spiritual growth. They’ve been around the block. And I do believe there are messages embedded in the lyrics and music. I don’t think it’s about malevolence or benevolence. It’s a reflection of the balance, just like everything else. Not necessarily about right vs wrong. If you’re having a tough time, don’t underestimate the power of love. Think of a loved one and say you love them in your mind. Or a pet. Or a stranger at a show. Say it out loud. Feel it and mean it. Feel the fear too. It’s the whole picture. Grow. Remember who you are. We’re all trying to get home.

And with that I will leave you, hopefully not to go home, but to pull up a chair, kick up your feet and stay awhile. This band has many more stories to tell. Even if you're the most jaded of vets or the custiest of 4.0 noobs, we still have so very long to go and it's truly an honor to be able to experience nights like last night with the promise of many more in the future. Tonight will probably suck though... it is what it is. ;)

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Comments

, comment by Longhaireddan
Longhaireddan Another tour, another series of reviews that range from terrible to baffingly incoherent.
"So what about the music? Really? What can I say?"
Ummm...maybe...something because you are reviewing the show?
At least you didn't tell any personal stories about how you drove to Binghamton in 1996 in a snow storm with your buddy John who has kids now...but geez.
, comment by Breezybone
Breezybone I like the review. It’s impossible to describe the music. Phish 4.0 can be best appreciated by listening to Carini(Oak Mtn),CDT, Tweezer-Twist-Piper(Alpharetta), entire 2nd set Nashville night2, and last nights Blaze On, Simple. The band is on fire and has no fear!!
, comment by yEEt_1331
yEEt_1331 Phish is playing out of their minds right now. not much else to say.
, comment by EducateFright
EducateFright The SOaMelt from the previous show and the Simple from this show have convinced me that this is a new era of Phish - specifically a new sound to go with the 4.0 label. Simple was repetitive, droning, and at times quite noisy and chaotic. There was a lack of melody... the entire band was creating walls of sound (as opposed to the conventional soloing style). Fishman was drumming like a machine throughout. And Page is playing with a lot of synth sounds and Trey has some new effects, which contributes significantly to the feeling that this is new Phish history in the making. It's so unique and freaky - I'd guess that the band discussed and practiced this new style of jamming before the tour. We'll probably hear more of this moving forward. Personally I love it. I've always appreciated repetitive and noisy jamming, and this takes it up a notch and in a new direction.
, comment by Clueless_Wahla
Clueless_Wahla The boys are on fire!!! I went to Smoke Mt and Alpharetta and they are playing really free right now and the jams have been inspirational. Anybody hear that Magilla tease by Page in that straight fire Simple last night??!!!
, comment by kyleindeed
kyleindeed To the vets and the custies!! Ho ho!! Everybody wins!!
, comment by SlimCharles
SlimCharles I won't tell you about my drive through a blizzard to Albany *or* Binghamton in 1995 if I don't have to read reviews from folks whose 5th show this is...
, comment by the_vultures
the_vultures So this is a very "gestalt", holistic, dare I say spiritual sort of review. And I love it. Clearly special stuff is happening here. This individual captured it nicely.
, comment by andrewrose
andrewrose Blaze On, Simple indeed, and I'm still catching up / digesting those. But I think the strength of that opening Carini, Wolfman's, Sand trifecta is being undersold here. Those are just fantastic, inspired jams in each to open the show. Unpopular opinion, but maybe a year off once in a while ain't a bad thing? This is some impressive playing.
, comment by bexy11
bexy11 Well for those of us who could not listen to the show, this review is pretty bad.
, comment by acidtechno
acidtechno 4.0 is outta control insane! strap-in and enjoy the ride or just get outta the way!
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Having past virtual encounters with Twice Bitten, knowing the style of writing and the rambling to the point of coherence, I enjoyed the post. While I agree that it wasn’t quite a review of sorts, to the person who said they couldn’t listen: download this show right now. In fact buy a ticket to any or every remaining show of this tour.

The fact is, this band is playing with a vengeance and enjoying every bit of it. The witty banter (this song went straight to the top of the charts years ago), to the slight variance in cadence to the lyrics of staple songs, to the openness to explore and see where the chips fall, while intermingling a new slew of songs into the mix…point being this band is HAWT AF as the kids say.

All that being said, the witty nature and comical viewpoint of the author of this review tells an excellent story without the drab and mundane exposition often used today. So @twicebitten, thanks for the lyrical take on last night and the tour thus far.

I’ll leave y’all with this…and I alluded to this a few times when discussing what is going on right now in Phishtown…last nights second set jams, particularly The Simple jam, evoked these unnerving waves of fear. I literally turned to my wife and said, if I was at the show right now I would be scared. Their music conjured that visceral sense of panic and I loved every second of it; and I was basically sober (minus a few sours). I want more of that.

Where the big jams of tours past in 3.0 would turn major key and get blissed out almost instantly (I think that was just the joy this band has playing together) now, oh boy, now they are going interstellar, robotic apocalypse, light saber’s in the night sky, galactic battle for the domination of our souls straight dirty down into a black hole dark. Page’s synth effects are a welcome shift from Bliss to Hellstorm.

Watch out all ye that enter tonight’s show. A probing is guaranteed, and your paying for it.

Mahalo Nui,
Matthew
, comment by gringojim
gringojim Great review! Sitting here in New Albany, Ohio, after driving from old Albany, NY in anticipation of a Sunday Deer Creek show.
, comment by biskithweels
biskithweels Drug bands?
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Night 2 did not suck
, comment by Longhaireddan
Longhaireddan @SlimCharles said:
I won't tell you about my drive through a blizzard to Albany *or* Binghamton in 1995 if I don't have to read reviews from folks whose 5th show this is...
If this was someone's 5th show, good for them! Being a long term vet doesn't make you better than anyone else. Gatekeeping=uncool.

Besides, after 12 years of 3.0....there is a Baker's Dozen for your Island Tour, Dick's 2012 , Magnaball, etc, etc...lots of shows that stand up with previous heights. Things are different yeah but the guys still blow minds.

My point was-talk about the music! Describe it, whether in musical or descriptive imaginative terms. Seceral folks in tbe comments did so. I don't have the time to listen to every show as it goes so I like to hear what I shouldn't miss.
, comment by Nomidwestlove
Nomidwestlove Twice bitten could write every .net review and I would agree. Probably.
, comment by Diverdown333
Diverdown333 @Clueless_Wahla said:
The boys are on fire!!! I went to Smoke Mt and Alpharetta and they are playing really free right now and the jams have been inspirational. Anybody hear that Magilla tease by Page in that straight fire Simple last night??!!!
100%I heard that magilla.
, comment by CrimsonKing
CrimsonKing Opinion of old jaded vet from ‘91…..
Every hiatus through the years has seen Phish come back like a ball of fire with a fresh attitude and a plethora of new ideas. Taking a break from something you do everyday is always a good idea. Phish is no exception.
, comment by Uakari
Uakari Why do read this crap?
, comment by givemrhythm
givemrhythm @Clueless_Wahla said:
The boys are on fire!!! I went to Smoke Mt and Alpharetta and they are playing really free right now and the jams have been inspirational. Anybody hear that Magilla tease by Page in that straight fire Simple last night??!!!
100%! Was waiting to see if anyone caught that. Rock on!
, comment by yhgtbfkm
yhgtbfkm @Uakari said:
Why do read this crap?
Why do you comment? Keep your negativity to yourself.
, comment by Patwich
Patwich This was.....just bad...just a bad review. Just hints at the music but gives no real story or picture of what it was like, other than "What can I say? "Blaze On." "Simple." That's about it. You need to listen to these jams." At least you could have gone into more depth about the opening combo of Carini, Wolfman's, and Sand. That's such a kickass group of songs to open a show plus with some extended jamming included!
, comment by curleyfrei
curleyfrei Lost me at "drug band music." Fuck off.
, comment by Clueless_Wahla
Clueless_Wahla @Diverdown333 said:
@Clueless_Wahla said:
The boys are on fire!!! I went to Smoke Mt and Alpharetta and they are playing really free right now and the jams have been inspirational. Anybody hear that Magilla tease by Page in that straight fire Simple last night??!!!
Would love for them to bust it out!
100%I heard that magilla.
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Man, I love when something is so divisive. I think the irony of the piece was lost on some and that’s actually quite confusing. This coming from fans of the band that brought you, “Play Poster Nut Bag the right way!”

Don’t enjoy the writing and feel free to communicate as much. But to tell the author to [email protected] Off is a bit aggressive.

Hasn’t anyone in your life told you that your favorite band is a drug band. They are! They are also many other things, like the author communicates. Including being capable of probing your every orifice!
, comment by Bctopia
Bctopia Great “Deer Creek 1 Recap” review from Nick above. This is exactly the way it happened folks. If you don’t believe him, check out the Noblesville tour poster - aliens. Phish 4.0 and its glorious…
, comment by roggae
roggae I’m not sure what is is a review of? “Inarguably worst Halloween set ever” - wtf are you talking about? Were you there for the wing suit show? It was awesome. We’ve been waiting for something like that for decades. I’m sorry I read this one, tbh.

I like Nick - quite a lot - but this review really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe that says more about me than the show. I dunno. I’d just like to know more about the show and not a bunch of internet cliches.
, comment by SlimCharles
SlimCharles @Longhaireddan said:
@SlimCharles said:
I won't tell you about my drive through a blizzard to Albany *or* Binghamton in 1995 if I don't have to read reviews from folks whose 5th show this is...
If this was someone's 5th show, good for them! Being a long term vet doesn't make you better than anyone else. Gatekeeping=uncool.

Besides, after 12 years of 3.0....there is a Baker's Dozen for your Island Tour, Dick's 2012 , Magnaball, etc, etc...lots of shows that stand up with previous heights. Things are different yeah but the guys still blow minds.

My point was-talk about the music! Describe it, whether in musical or descriptive imaginative terms. Seceral folks in tbe comments did so. I don't have the time to listen to every show as it goes so I like to hear what I shouldn't miss.
I don't mean to be "gatekeeping" but also don't come after us salty old dogs from the 90's who love this band so much we could just about hug the pants off of them...
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck Pants-off dance-off in Atlantic City

Gonna be practicing in Hershey… TOMORROW?!??

Loved every word @twicebitten… BEAM ME THE FUCK UP!!
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @Longhaireddan said:
Another tour, another series of reviews that range from terrible to baffingly incoherent.
"So what about the music? Really? What can I say?"
Ummm...maybe...something because you are reviewing the show?
At least you didn't tell any personal stories about how you drove to Binghamton in 1996 in a snow storm with your buddy John who has kids now...but geez.
Been laughing out loud for five minutes since reading this comment. I liked the write up but this comment was damn funny stuff.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @roggae said:
I’m not sure what is is a review of? “Inarguably worst Halloween set ever” - wtf are you talking about? Were you there for the wing suit show? It was awesome. We’ve been waiting for something like that for decades. I’m sorry I read this one, tbh.

I like Nick - quite a lot - but this review really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe that says more about me than the show. I dunno. I’d just like to know more about the show and not a bunch of internet cliches.
I perceived the shot he took at that Halloween disaster as an inside joke. Perhaps you don't remember all the verbal violence that ensued in debate about it at the time. I appreciated his comment, whether or not I agree.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @TwiceBitten said,

"The pandemic has been an interesting time for drug band music. We've seen some rising stars, we've seen some fallen idols and (same as it ever was) we've seen a lot of competition between fanbases. "My pretty boy is better than your pretty boy at playing some Dead old guy's music," "my bird band is better than your bird band," "your favorite act is washed up while mine is just getting started." I can say without a doubt that Phish showed up at Deer Creek to wipe that silly smirk off of every baby jam band's face. It's going to be a long time before anyone can come close to taking the crown from these crusty old ducks from the Northeast."

This show was pure magic. I think the review conveyed that, regardless of how explicitly you may or may not have described it. And this paragraph I quoted above was literary fineness that suited the musical experience. Well done.
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