Wednesday 07/19/2023 by Icculus


The volunteer who was supposed to recap last night's show for this blog emailed us around 4:30pm to apologize for not sending us a recap, remarking that after five nights his "synapses burned." This site relies entirely on volunteers to recap shows and also to post those recaps to this blog, so we are entirely at their mercy for such content.

I've not heard enough of last night's show to recap it myself, however,

© 2023 PHISH (Rene Huemer)
© 2023 PHISH (Rene Huemer)

I am informed and believe, and thereon allege, that it was a demonstrably below "average-typically-great" Phish show, and that only the "A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing" is worth hearing again.

Now that said, I also heard that the ASIHTOS performed last night is inarguably a jamchartworthy version and perhaps among the greatest versions in Phish history. And in fact, I am listening to it right now, courtesy of LivePhish, and I fully agree that it has merit, and I can assure you, with the most extreme prejudice, that the jamcharts team will add it to the jamcharts. (Btw, please support LivePhish; a portion of LivePhish proceeds benefits Mockingbird.)

In any event, I invite and encourage you in the strongest possible terms to recap last night's show yourself in the "Comments" section below. The title of this "recap" is in honor of Phishnet user @AbongIheardMyLandlordFling, and of course the stellar version of ASIHTOS performed last night, and lo and behold, user @AbongIheardMyLandlordFling appears to have been in attendance last night, and so I particularly encourage him, or her, to recap last night's show in the "Comments." -charlie

© 2023 PHISH (Rene Huemer)
© 2023 PHISH (Rene Huemer)

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, comment by phiveo5
phiveo5 Honor your commitments, pholks. If you agreed to recap a show, maybe don’t do as many drugs or party too late after the show.
, comment by Chutch
Chutch The Howling jam is ( o Y o ) yall
, comment by TheFuckinBook_Man
TheFuckinBook_Man I was not in attendance last night, but if you guys let me recap one I'll be there with pencil and paper in hand! Maybe one of the MSG shows??
, comment by 143_245JC
143_245JC I always wanted to do a show recap!!! If you need anyone for the Manns or MSG run, please pick me. Would love to do a Mexico show too
, comment by LookAtTheEyesMurray
LookAtTheEyesMurray Worst Phish concert ever. Hands down.
, comment by Hendrix_Phishinfloyd
Hendrix_Phishinfloyd Let's just say the show went about as well as the recap here has gone.
, comment by JMart
JMart Hello.
I will offer a few thoughts on last night’s show, after offering the caveat that I wasn’t there and haven’t listened to the whole thing.
What I have heard was less than inspiring. Not every show is a winner. That’s fine. The band still comprises human beings, human beings in their late 50’s, human beings who get tired and have off nights the way we working stiffs have off days at our jobs.
Because that’s what this has to be to phish sometimes: a job. The hard truth is sometimes you don’t do absolutely as well as you could at your job, and it sounded like phish took a bit of an emotional night off last night.
Simple is always a cool call for an opener. For as often as trey leads a minor key rager into happier pastures, here he decided to guide the simple jam into minor territory, where it really puddled into an unconvincing “>” into camel walk. Jibboo was honestly one of the highlights for me. ASIHTOS is getting most of the copy. This is probably because it was one of the three or four real jams of the night, and by far the longest. It started strongly enough, convincingly plowing through the anger and desperation that the finest versions of this song tend to evoke (SPAC ‘04, etc). About halfway through, Trey sounded absolutely exhausted, musically speaking. Inevitable major key modulation, then a tiny reprieve into the darkness before waddling into Light.
God most definitely curses those who dare to disagree with the jam chart overlords, but I’m not convinced, with extreme prejudice, that this version deserves to stand next to the greats. My opinion doesn’t matter on this point too much, but there it is anyway.
The howling and Suzy exhibit the type of energy you wish would be present for the entirety of every phish show, but, as above, that Is not accepting life on life’s terms.
If anything, last night’s show exposed phish’s greatest weakness as a touring act: being able to come out and string together two sets of well played songs without any deep, 20+ minute jams. This is ideally what they would do if they were not feeling the improvisational magic, but songs like casual enlightenment and the bevy of new material they’ve been playing this tour simply don’t meet that simple criterion: they aren’t solid songs.
Very few shows will ever sink to the depths of Grand Prairie 16 or Charleston3 19, but this is as close as a show has come in a long time.
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Jmart to the rescue. Assuming the (was gonna say asshat but not sure what the failed reviewer should be called) realized that the show sucked (only conjecture from the way people are talking about it, as I haven’t heard a lick of it yet) and so tapped out. Super unprofessional and certainly unfair to those who would give just about anything to cover even the worst night of tour so far. Uninspired taboot, using lyrics of the band to justify their inability to perform. What five nights were they even speaking of. There were two off days between the first six shows.

Anyhoo, now very intrigued and excited to hear this “shit” show.
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Chalkdust Tortured!!

So I went looking for some corroboration of the sun par quality of 7/18 and I stumbled upon set 2 opener of 7/19, Chalkdust Torture and maybe I was projecting but the staleness seemed to be pervasive tonight as well. Slow tempo’d but not like intentional, just kind of off. Trey was playing so many notes and starting and stopping so many musical thoughts that were disjointed with one another. If he found a lick he liked he didn’t stick with it for long. After this piecemeal jaunt through the first jam, the band reprises the chorus before trying to delve deeper and the consensus from this listeners ears is that they should have cut their losses and gone right into Oblivion instead of heading into “oblivion” because it just never went anywhere.

A few noteworthy observations: Mike’s bass seemed super low tonight, like way lower than normal. There was a point when Trey stopped playing for a moment and it felt like Page was going to step up and lead, but that was short lived and would have been week received. It wasn’t until late in the game that Trey started employing some of his sound rig effects and not that I want purely effects laden Trey but he could have gone early with the effects and maybe that would have salvaged the song. Trey was playing a lot of notes, almost meandering through passages looking for something to inspire and it was almost as if he was following click bait, jumping from thought to thought.

Anyhoo, still in agreement with Jmart, nobody’s perfect and we are all allowed to have an off night (or two as it seems). I guess god pulled the ripcord tonight with the weather cancellation mid second set.
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 I’m available in short notice to review any show. PSA.
, comment by Zaccikins
Zaccikins Recap
Newbie Phish Phan here. This was my ninth show and second outdoor show. I am fairly versed in Phish lore thanks to my aunt and uncle. I was excited for my ninth and subsequently tenth show.
Happy Birthday was played for longtime artist, Jim Pollack. Simple was a great way to set the tone for the show. It was a tight jam to open Set I. Camel Walk delivered as the second song of the night. It gets the crowd up and grooving. The Jibboo didn’t hit quite as well as in an indoor arena, but still a crowd pleaser nonetheless. Steam enters as the 3.0 song of Set I. I personally enjoy the Trey led 3.0 and 4.0 songs and Steam is one of my favorites. Poor Heart is short and sweeeet. Cavern is a top ten for me and always fun to hear live. Divided Sky, I’m sorry, I know it’s a favorite more most, but I can leave it. The end jam delivered and was to my liking.
The proverbial right turn off a cliff.
Gordon busts out a Casual Enlightenment. Before I go any further, I try to keep a positive attitude when I’m at a Phish song. I don’t want to disparage what they put out. I enjoyed the funk to it and can be explored. Shade I personally enjoy but I know the masses don’t care for it. Drift ended Set I. I’ll admit it makes me cry and think of my cat. It’s an odd choice to end the set.
Set II started off with Timber, a great crowd involvement song. Great energy and great little jam leading into the song of the night: A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing. Holy mackerel what a near 20 minute ride. Multiple breakdowns and heady jams. Definitely a must hear. Then came Christian rock Phish (that’s what my aunt describes the songs as). Light is not my “jam” and I feel like it went on too long. mercy debuted which is a nice slow filler. Twenty Years Later and Backwards Down The Number Line are similar songs to me, but I still enjoyed it. Bug was oddly placed but did what it was intended to do, get the crown more involved in this less than optimal show. S.A.N.T.O.S. works great as a set closer and I don’t think it is over saturated.
The encore was the best encore of my nine shows. I love seeing Trey and the rest of the band get a kick out of The Howling. It’s a fun song which will be jammed out in the future. Suzy Greenberg got us ready for N2 with intense energy and a ripping solo by Page Side Rage Side.
The way I look at Phish is the same way I look at my father’s cooking. I love my Father’s cooking, but not everything he makes. I love the band Phish, but I don’t love everything the band creates. And that’s okay. They are still the greatest band of all time and will continue to be blessed that I am alive the same time as Trey, Jon, Mike, and Page.
, comment by CarriePhisher
CarriePhisher It was hot as fuck people! The band played to the crowd and environment that they were presented with and for good reason. Moving much just wasn’t an option, especially in the “pavilion” area. Context is incredibly important, both in Phish and life.
, comment by Clueless_Wahla
Clueless_Wahla @phiveo5 said:
Honor your commitments, pholks. If you agreed to recap a show, maybe don’t do as many drugs or party too late after the show.
AMEN! I love the recaps and most are great! I love to get other phans perspectives. Maybe if you are recapping the show you should pay attention to THE FLOW and not be worried about your trip. Cause it "is short"!
, comment by Clueless_Wahla
Clueless_Wahla Also, just my 3 cents, we can't have an epic weekend like Alpharetta(and it was EPIC) and expect the next shows to be just as epic. Phish is the best band on planet Earth and we should enjoy every second.
Again, just my 3 cents!
Oh and I don't understand all the shade being thrown at Casual Enlightenment.
, comment by phishydaze
phishydaze SANTOS was the perfect choice to end the 2nd set. “We are lost (1st set), we are vapor (Steam), we are liquid (ASIHTOS), we are Divided, we are Light!”
, comment by Looch
Looch Couple of thoughts and comments...

Musically, it was a relatively disjointed show. The setlist, the flow, etc. never quite found any semblance of rhythm. And that's unfortunate. The opening triptych of Simple, Camel Walk, Jibboo was fun and dancy and unbeat and tight and seemed to portend good things. But the rest of the night was simply uneven... the playing was tight, but the ASIHTOS was the only thing that really felt inspired and present and fresh.

As far as the show itself... very interesting venue. New, small venue, capacity of 7200. Smallest Phish show I've seen in a very long time. Perhaps the most chill venue staff I've ever seen at a summer show. But it's a tiny lawn plopped down in the middle of a residential redevelopment project on the river. Parking was plentiful but scattered all about; Shakedown was small though I was fortunately able to get my Cosmic Charlie's burrito. Don't let the name "Pavilion" fool you, as nothing was covered (and this plays into the story of night 2).

If it were 30 years ago, I'd put the ASIHTOS as filler on the backside of a set I casette and move on. I was glad to be there; every show for me is gravy at this point. We had some killer neighbors in the venue, and a good time with our crew. But nothing much memorable here from a musical standpoint outside of that one jam.
, comment by richardpumpington
richardpumpington Still better than goose
, comment by kitnkaboodle
kitnkaboodle Not understanding the hate for this show. Listening back, they played the composed parts better than a lot of ATL, and the jams were fine. I think people are jumping on a bandwagon in judging this show and not really listening.
, comment by Waveslave
Waveslave @kitnkaboodle said:
Not understanding the hate for this show. Listening back, they played the composed parts better than a lot of ATL, and the jams were fine. I think people are jumping on a bandwagon in judging this show and not really listening.
Played the composed parts better than Alpharetta? Of what, much worse songs? At least provide some examples. I was not at Alpharetta but I was at Wilmington 1 & 2 (shows 25 and 26 for me, first was Hampton in 2004) and they were easily the two weakest shows I’ve seen. It happens, and if you see them enough (especially on the heels of a 3 night annihilation), you’re bound to get a stinker or two. We got two here.
, comment by Nialeah
Nialeah This show was everything I needed. I ended up in a fantastic spot by fabulous welcoming people. I was led to the rail for Divided Sky, which was the best song of the night, imo. I jumped, I danced, I cried. I felt the most intense joy and gratitude for being back in Wilmington 20 Years Later after leaving an abusive relationship there. It was the healing and closure my 44 year old self needed. Those were also the only Phish Summer shows I will see. I was even more excited to see my band in one of my cities and that made it even more great. Everything I needed. No complaints.

Funny aside, I hung out with the guy that was supposed to write this review after the show. I should have asked to do it then.
, comment by Col_forbin42
Col_forbin42 Who gives a fuck about 20+ minute jams and song selection/“flow” when you have incredible tight playing with top notch listening/interplay between the band. I just don’t understand the hate from this show. When I listened to the AUD I experienced a lot of joy.
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