[So I effed up and the person who I thought was recapping last night's show uh it turns out had told me three weeks ago they couldn't do it, so now I'm punishing myself---and all of you---and posting a hastily composed recap in a format similar to (but much less thoughtful and considerate than) the one that earned me venom and spite from our beloved community many years ago. You're welcome. -Charlie]
Phish began their seven-show, half-baker's-dozen run last night with a smooth performance of the serene "Evening Song," followed by two spectacular improvisational gems in "A Wave of Hope" and "Cities," both of which are sure to make their respective jam charts. You read that right, we were only three deep into the FIRST SET and yet Phish had performed a 21+ minute "AWOH" and ~15 minute "Cities"! Simply stated, fun was had by N00B, VET and JADEDVET alike, and I offer three perfunctory, insensitive, and devastatingly ignorant "recaps" for each of these types of fan.
FOR THE N00B: Yaaaay Phish!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!! "MY SOUL" can you believe it!?!?!?!?!
THEY PLAYED "MY SOUL" TO CLOSE THE FIRST SET!!!! WWWWWWHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
And EVERYTHING THEY PLAYED LAST NIGHT WAS THE GREATEST VERSION OF THE SONG EVER PERFORMED IN PHISH HISTORY!!!!!!
I simply have no words for how mind-blowingly awesome every single thing they played was.
EASILY the best musical performance I've ever seen in my life by any musician. YOU WILL WANT TO DOWNLOAD THIS FROM LIVEPHISH AND LISTEN TO IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT IT AND TELL THEM THEY MUST GO SEE PHISH!!!!!!!
FOR THE VET: Everything in the first set was well-played (yes, yes, even the "My Soul" set-closer), and getting a ~21 minute AWOH and ~15 minute "Cities" so early in the set was incredible.
The "Cities" is inarguably one of the best versions performed in Phish history (check out the highlighted versions on this handy chart for other stellar verisons).
"Free" contained some call-and-response work between Mike and Trey that I don't recall hearing in recent versions, though I could be forgetting about something because I'm almost 53 years old, and have obviously lost my mind because I am taking time to recap a show on a jamband website that, nowadays, everyone with a "smartphone" can easily listen to for themselves and reach their own opinions and conclusions about. And "Stash" was average-great, fine. In any event, arguably last night's first set was the sickest first set since, oh, a few weeks ago 7/15/23.
The second set last night was also excellent. It really was. It began with the (like it or not) exceedingly popular "More," and while it was a straightforward version to be sure, the "Ruby Waves" -> "Plasma" > "Simple" trio that followed were not. Each featured superb musicianship and expert, complementary "type II" improvisation from the band, reminiscent of the "hey hole" days of 1.0. And the segue from RW into "Plasma"? A magnificently smooth transition, gorgeous. Suffice it say, if this music didn't do "IT" for you, Phish is not (or no longer?) for you.
"Mountains in the Mist" was beautiful and perfectly placed, and the second-set-closing SOAM!?!? The greatest version I'd seen since Coventry, hand's down, and imnsfho one of the best versions of the last twenty years as well; it's likely, nay, almost certainly, making the jam chart. Show closed appropriately with an (albeit average-great, but always great) "GTBT." Worth your time to download and listen to---seriously.
FOR THE JADEDVET: What can I say, the hype is legit, get the tapes... even if only to hear the "Cities" and "SOAM" as they are MUST HEAR versions. Yes, yes, I know you haven't liked "Simple" in decades and you think the lyrics to "A Wave Of Hope" are garbage, but Phish is improvising as well as they ever have in their fucking career. So whatever man, I really dgaf whether you check out the show or not, it's fine that you've quit Phish, just quit them for real and stop being butthurt about the fact that they're still out there killing it and earning new fans left and right.
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