Wednesday 08/02/2023 by phishnet


[Recap of Tuesday night's MSG show courtesy of user @SterlingPiper83. -Ed.]

For me, Phish at Madison Square is where it's at. There is no other place You can possibly do so much so easily, while also seeing Phish. But the venue itself, notwithstanding the seemingly never ending construction, is just incredible.

One of the things that makes YEMSG so incredibly special to me is that when the band is locked in and we get to grooving just right the floor begins to pitch and sway beneath your feet. For those of You that haven't been, it is not unlike the sensation one feels when standing on a surfboard or boat in calm waters.

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

I was lucky enough to pull 178 in the lotto today, good enough to put me 10 rows directly back from Trey which provides a fantastic view point for tonight's show.

Just to the left of me are a fantastic pair of humans I met in line at Deer Creek last year. To the right and behind me is a crew I've gotten down next to at Dicks a few times, and in front a crew out of Burlington that seems on point. I'm very happy about this premium location I've been afforded, surrounded by people that I know are there to get more down.

The band comes out and it is electric on the floor around me, I've forgotten how much I love being down front with fellow dance kids. The opening notes of "Ghost" are struck and we are off, the delivery is a bit laid back, subdued a bit, Trey delivers the lyrics gently matching the tempo nicely. It gradually builds into a major key bliss jam with some very interesting (to me) progressions being played by Trey starting around 9 minutes. It's all love and light from there before coming to a nice peak and softly settling back into "Ghost" proper.

Remember that swaying I spoke of earlier? For a brief moment just before "Ghost" concludes those of us in attendance found ourselves riding the first wave of communal get down.

"Reba" is always welcome, right? Especially second song in, CK5s new rig is just incredible this tour, and the way the man is lighting this place up during the "Reba" jam right now is melting more than a few faces in attendance. Nothing extraordinary about it, but extremely well played and the energy is there.

The opening notes of "Funky Bitch" spring forward from Treys guitar and bring an even bigger smile to my face. Which kind of hurt because "Reba" smiles are pretty big to begin with. It has been a while and I miss her, apparently many of those around me have as well because a lot of great dancing is being done around me while they jam. It's over in what feels like mere moments, but often times the best treats are like that.

"Timber" (Jerry) get downs are also much loved by yours truly, the lyrics are fun and the imagery so vivid, but the picking really pulls me in. Mike is laying a super satisfying beat right now that we are grooving to, the floor beings to pitch for an ever fleeting moment before the guitar floats above and the whole band goes bliss mode. The floor shifting groove is gone but we are on to the next idea which is a lot of fun, just in a different, and to me better way. I love the wah tone Trey has, Mike's bass is bumping, the floor shifts under my feet as Page hits that clav and I'm all smile at this point. It's major key bliss for the rest of the jam, but it's so damned good one cannot help but smile, dance, and maybe throw their hands up in celebration of the golden tones being delivered to their auditory canals. The band brings it back for a proper "Jerry" finish which I love.

I don't know "Broken Into Pieces," as I generally do not listen to things until I've seen it live. So I'm wondering what is being played, and apparently a bunch of others haven't heard it either as I hear a lot of people asking. I think it is very good thinking music, at first listen I like it, nothing to dance to, but the breather is nice, the introspective thoughts it conjures are kind of pulling me out of the show though so I'm glad to hear "Wolfman's" coming.

I've always been quite fond of "Wolfmans Brother," the lyrics are so much fun, the beat is laid back, and the jams are often funk-filled and flaming hot. Tonight there are several smaller sections that build to fun bouncy groove that has the floor pitching under our feet again. Some fun electro sounds sprinkled in with the spacey groove have us in pure dance heaven around my section of the floor. The gentle toggling (check around 13:30-14, I don't know how else to describe it) Trey is doing is so nice right now. I am absolutely loving this jam. I would recommend giving it a listen, it is fun for sure, lots of love and light, no dark grungy grooves though.

Have You ever seen them do "I Am A Walrus"? I hope so, because this is freaking fantastic! Trey is giddy, Page is glowing, Mike even appears to have a small smile, for just a moment before his tongue pops put and his head begins to bob. Fishman is also smiling and appears to also be loving this, though judging by the way he is looking at Trey he may just be excited to see his Friend so happy, I don't know, but I like to think it's both.

Looking around during set break I see a lot of familiar and smiling faces, and I'm wondering why I have been up in the seats this whole run. I freaking love the floor.

I'm speaking with a gentleman named Andy about the blueprint Trey has laid out for how to achieve and maintain sobriety, while also becoming a better, happier Human. If You are ever struggling with substance issues and want to talk, please reach out to the Phellowship community, or even me personally, I am easy enough to find, and always here to help.

"Sample In A Jar" to open that second set? Seems to have caught more than a few off guard. I am excited myself because one it takes me back to the first notes of Jam Night, and for a brief moment I can taste the sweet donut with tart jam. Two because my friend Bert loves this song and I am wishing he was here to see it with me. Hold up, it's at 10 minutes already? I like where this is headed. It gets supper fun in the last couple minutes, it's brief and fleeting, but it is a jammed "Sample" so we take what we can get and take a ride to the next tune.

Are You also excited to hear "Kill Devil Falls"? I am! It was the first song I ever saw the band play live and I was hooked instantly. The lyrics are just fantastic, really great imagery, with profoundly deep resonance for those looking for the deeper meaning. Perfectly capturing the struggles of life and learning the hard way. I absolutely love this song choice. No deep type 2 jams, no dark grimy goodness, just bliss, love and light, but it's tight and the rig is right so we all get down in the good vibes.

It gives way to "Golden Age" and the crowd seems quite happy, and why wouldn't they be? It is a great jam vehicle, and while I think its high mark thus far was the 2016 Halloween run, this song consistently delivers a great groove to get more down. Somewhere around 7 minutes in it gets great, Trey has this almost fog horn effect He uses to great affect, and I absofuckinglutely love it. Especially when he goes line 6 wah > this horn sound, the soft funky tone is other worldly incredible.

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

Tonight is no different, Trey is so happy, smiling so big, He flubs the lyrics. That is absolutely fantastic, have You ever seen this man smile close up? I don't know that anyone has ever been happier.

Something about this particular sound hits me in places so deep I had no idea some of them even existed. It's curative powers are unparalleled, it is like a portal opens up and the sound that comes through envelopes these deep, painful feelings that have been buried away. Then grinds them up, and allows me to dance the bad stuff away, while leaving just the helpful bits behind. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it is, do you ever feel this way in a show? What sound does it for You?

If You are also a fan of this horn tone check out the "Martian Monster" Alpine '22, Dicks N3 S2, and SF N2 '21 SYSF.

"Shade" was played wonderfully, as heartfelt as ever. I think the delicate almost whisper like delivery of the first few words from Trey is just fantastic. I've been really enjoying his delivery the last few years.

The juxtaposition of "Sneaking Sally" to the previous ballad is something that I absolutely adore about Phish. Where else are they playing genuinely fantastic ballads in line with fun romps through early funk classics like this?!? I really, really love this song, and at barely 7 minutes I am sad to see it go. There are a couple of fun small peaks but it's fleeting, great fun on the floor, maybe not so much at home.

"Twist" slides in to a celebratory applause as it usually does, and we are off rather quickly. Much like a lot of the jams this run they seem to get straight to it, there isn't a lot of exploratory jamming tonight but they are consistently delivering bright blissful peaks song after song. We all love dark gnarly Phish, but it's nigh impossible to not smile until it hurts during these bliss-filled renditions.

Would you agree that "You Enjoy Myself" is our anthem? Like how the Star Spangled Banner is to America, just, You know, better in every single way, and way more danceable. There isn't much to talk about, it's YEM, a beloved classic that delivers an abundance of joy every single time. While this isn't a must hear run through I must say that CK5's ability to adjust on the fly and match the band's performance during this vocal jam seems almost telepathic.

The floor is one again pitching and swaying, and my heart is filled with joy to be experiencing this here tonight. I once went 33 shows in a row without seeing it, and ever since, anytime I catch it I am just ecstatic. What a fantastic cap to this second set.

A "Wilson" opener for the encore was just wonderful, I love the hard thump coming from Fishman's kick drums at the "blat! Boom!" part.

>"Sanity"! Yeah! If You weren't here, thay really sucks, and I hope You get to see it soon. This is a must listen to me not just out of sheer rarity, but also the excellent playing and overall feeling delivered through these notes. Check it out, very loudly, preferreably in a dark setting with some very bright stars over head. It's so much fun hearing these world class musicians sing boom! And pow! To us, better than any original Batman delivery ever.

And the goods just keep coming, "David Bowie" burbles up put of the ooey goodness left behind by "Sanity." The song is very well played through the composed sections and immediately goes bright light bliss mode in the jam. I love both light and dark versions of it---this one is all light.

It's after curfew it think by this point, and the band is still playing, I love when they do this. I don't know what it cost them but I am very appreciative of the extra dance time. "Character Zero" is a great arena rocker full of energy, it is rarely anything more, tonight is no exception. Coming off the tail end of a "Sanity" > "Bowie" that some big shoes to fill but it does so very well. Sending us out with smiles so big our faces will hurt tomorrow.

Thank You, Gentlemen :-)

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, comment by MrCrumb
MrCrumb well done
, comment by peeej
peeej "Thank You, Gentlemen :-)" - what about the ladies?! Oh, you meant the band, my brain is obviously turning into mush after this run.
, comment by TheMightyGin
TheMightyGin Nice review. Focus was on the light, bliss jams. Somewhere shortly into the Bowie jam it sounded like they were about to go deep, and then all at once suddenly remembered they were approaching curfew and had to cut it off.

The setlist makes this a great show, encore was top 5 for me with 4 great song choices including a Sanity. Highlight was probably the Wolfmans>Walrus. The wall of sound they threw out during Walrus was awesome.
, comment by Hendrix420
Hendrix420 Great review I felt like I was really there. Very much enjoyed the covers selected for this one and of course the blend of good classics makes for a fun time. Awesome show everyone!
, comment by nOOborn_elf
nOOborn_elf That Broken Into Pieces song is good. Real good
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