Saturday 09/02/2023 by phishnet


[We'd like to thank Michael Ayers for recapping last night's show. -Ed]

I have a love/hate relationship with Dicks. I think it has become the quintessential Phish experience. Even after the loss of camping in 2019, it’s hard to top the Dicks experience. The city is fantastic, the venue is fantastic, hell, even the cops are chill. It’s always a great way to end summer tour.

Dicks, however, does not reciprocate that affection. In 2016, a minor medical issue ruined what was otherwise a perfect show on N1. In 2019, a minor medical emergency was narrowly averted as I was able to get some rest and water before anything serious happened. Which brings us to N1 2022. Were any of you leaving the Thursday show Mike’s side and saw a dude sitting on the ground, surrounded by EMTs because he faceplanted into concrete? If you did, hey, that was me! Two broken teeth, a $1200 ambulance ride, a lost Montreal Expos hat (one of those really nice fitted ones, too) and Dicks 2022 was over before it really got started.

© 2023 Phish (Jesse Faatz)
© 2023 Phish (Jesse Faatz)

This year, though, I was determined to make it through the trip medical bill free. Got into town on Wednesday so I could get a good night’s sleep. Thursday: No red meat, no alcohol, no(t as many) drugs, two pairs of underwear, quality walking shoes, a half gallon of water. If this weekend was gonna go downhill, it wasn’t gonna be due to some self-inflicted bullshit.

I am pleased to report that Thursday went off without a hitch, and so, with my newfound foolproof plan in place, I set off for Dicks Friday afternoon.

After perusing Shakedown and nabbing a few grilled cheeses for dinner, I headed into the venue and sat super-far Page side. So much so that, at times, I couldn’t even see him during the show. It looked like a trio up there performing.

(Sidebar: Maybe it’s just me, but I had a hell of a time hearing Page when he would play. About the only time I could really hear him was when it was just him, otherwise it was Fish/Mike super prominent in the mix. Maybe it’s just because of where I was sitting.)

The band came on just shy of 8pm (fun fact, sitting that far left you can see the band come down to the stage. It was amusing hearing people in my section cheering that the show was about to start when 95% of the rest of the crowd was completely oblivious), everyone takes their respective spots and the band jumps into…"Wolfman’s Brother"! Always a crowd pleaser, the band settled into a nice little groove and brings it all back before starting up "Sparkle." After "Sparkle" comes "Bathtub Gin," "Back on the Train," "Halfway to the Moon," "Bouncing Around the Room" and "Stash." "Bathtub Gin" was great as always, but "Back to the Train," "Halfway to the Moon," "Bouncing Around the Room," do I really need to describe these? If you’ve heard one, you’ve (most likely) heard them all. As I have mentioned in the past, I am in the minority who thinks "Stash" is boring. Was it a good version? Probably. Am I gonna get grief for glossing over it? Definitely.

The first set picked back up at the end with "Esther" and "David Bowie." Neither were played flawlessly (they so rarely are anyway), but even the most jaded vet has to appreciate when these are busted out.

After the world’s longest 15 minute set break, the band is back at it and "Sand" starts the second set. Normally, I don’t care for "Sand." When I was walking into the venue a gentleman in front of me had a shirt on that said “Do not talk during Sand,” and I remember thinking, are people really that into Sand? If there is one worth checking out, though…this isn’t a bad one. Clocked in at just under 25 minutes. From there we jumped into a 3.0 jam staple, "No Men In No Man’s Land." This one won’t blow you away like the one from N1 2016 or some other versions out there, but it’ll get you off your feet and grooving, which is why we all come to these shows in the first place.

From "NMINML" we go into…"Llama"? Kind of a rough segue there, but I spent almost 50 shows chasing "Llama" before getting it, so any "Llama" (even that lame slow one) is worth it.

© 2023 Phish (Jesse Faatz)
© 2023 Phish (Jesse Faatz)

Now comes the dreaded part of the set…the cool down. There’s only a handful of songs in this spot that I think are worth listening to, and lo and behold they played one, "Mountains in the Mist"! Following that fun surprise was an even bigger one, "Scents and Subtle Sounds" (complete with intro!) The band decides to end the night with their other (and in my opinion, better) Rolling Stones cover, "Shine A Light."

This is not something that is said very often, but the highlight of the show might have been the encore? "Wilson" is "Wilson," that’s not breaking any new ground, but "Split Open and Melt"…got dark. I’m not good at describing what happens as I’m not that musically inclined, but just check it out for yourself.

With the final notes of "SOAM" over and the house lights up, I quickly made my way out of the venue and over to Shakedown. Two shows in the books this weekend and the only medical bill so far is a prescription refill, so we are doing solid! Hopefully the good Lord will continue to shine down on me, and hopefully he shines down on all of you. See y’all tomorrow.

PS: Thursday and Friday night I saw the paramedics helping multiple people with issues during the show. Please stay safe y’all, and if you see someone struggling, find an usher or at the very least, make sure they’re ok. I can promise you the ambulance ride from Stadium Medical is not worth the cost.

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, comment by Slice
Slice Yes, we are really that into Sand.
, comment by BeachSC5
BeachSC5 It’s nice to read an accurate description of a show on here
, comment by Henrietta11
Henrietta11 Well Migaluch, I am musically inclined and started seeing this band in ’91. And I can tell you, nothing makes me cringe more than “Stash”. I felt this as much as a sophomore in high school as I do today and have had numerous discussions with others throughout the last few decades as I’m sure you have as well. So, yes, we may be in the minority, but our will is strong and we shall stand our ground on the lawn. Nicely written, enjoyed it.
Migaluch (Mike)
, comment by Offshoredrilling
Offshoredrilling so why all the medical issues each year?
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Oh man, I felt like the lone bad guy on the forum show chat last night being critical, even got called an asshole at one point, but this review and reviewer might have been shunned from the forum altogether.

A couple thoughts: that opener was fire. You cannot deny it, and yet you don’t even give it a sentence.

Now on to more serious thoughts, you’ve had two Dicks experiences that saw you brought to the hospital (if I understand the intro to your recap correctly) and yet you dabble in the drugs again!?

Man, you have not learned your lesson have you.

I appreciate your willingness to review the show but next time take the time to review it. This review felt more phoned in than the first set Sparkle.

Sorry, also if you are not inclined enough to try to describe the music ( musically inclined or not) don’t volunteer to review a show. What kind of cop out is that. Probably just a polarizing comment to draw responses like this.
, comment by vinniebart
vinniebart This recap sounded like an opportunity for the reviewer to grace us all with everything he/she likes and dislikes about the venue, as well as tell us the songs he/she would prefer to see or not to see at a show.
I strongly recommend, if you ever have the chance to write another recap, to tell us more about the music played by the band.
Also, if you sit so far left of the stage, where you cannot even see the pianist, don’t you feel it would be appropriate to sit somewhere else, if you are looking for better sound?
I would beg to differ about your synopsis of Sand and NMINML. I believe Sand was better than your comment saying, “this isn’t a bad one”. Out of curiosity, I would like to know if there are “bad ones”, in your opinion, that I should search out. Not saying all Sands are unicorns and rainbows, but just looking for references. The ending jam of NMINML is pretty darn cool. May I suggest a re-listen?
Regarding Llama, I’m really sorry it took 50 shows to see your first. However, I am glad you didn’t have to experience a “lame” slow Llama.
Most importantly, I am so happy you didn’t “faceplant” on the way out of this show. It would’ve been horrible to not have to hear what you had to say about the concert.
I truly hope you’re enjoying tonight and I pray the pharmacy was closed when you showed up to fill your script.
, comment by evmocas
evmocas @Offshoredrilling said:
so why all the medical issues each year?
Honestly, I think it's the heat. I medically intervened Thursday night on a guy struggling with his buddies. I heard screaming and turned around and just started screaming "medic" as loud as I could while rushing over. People started chanting "medical", while I grabbed a wrist and neck pulse (elevated HR and solid respiration). He suddenly came to and looked at me and said "Am I going to die?". I simply said, not tonight buddy. EMTs are going to ice you down, give you water and you'll be good to go in an hour. He again asked if he was going to die, I advised it wasn't happening. He looked at me and said "ok" and relaxed. Briefed "EMS" (the vast majority of these folks are woefully under qualified, but they're trying their best) and walked off while people were clapping and high diving.

This is in no way a brag. I'm an old dude who has been through a fair number of physical and medical issues personally and surrounding me.

Test your drugs. Please. Molly with meth plus 95 degree heat, in that blistering heat is a nightmare waiting to happen. Buy reagents kits and test your drugs. It's not worth going through this. Take your kits with you. Test other people's drugs for them. Please be safe in this heat. I don't want to lose a single one of you.
, comment by hambone024
hambone024 Tell me to keep a safe distance without telling me to keep a safe distance...

Although, I'll admit, I would like a blog of Michael Ayers's notorious adventures.

Also, to be fair, many of us have been there.
, comment by Hippogator
Hippogator I find it eternally amusing how many people there are that think they are into Phish, that really don't like Phish. It's a lot.
, comment by booles
booles Worst show review I've read on here. Guy can't find a decent seat, can't hear page and all he can tell us about Sand is "this wasn't a bad one."

Sorry I'm not gonna put a lot of stock in a review from a guy who faceplants and can't make it through a dicks run without EMT assistance. 3 times? Really?
, comment by TheMightyGin
TheMightyGin I'm here to defend that Stash. Played with patience and a Slave-like pacing, building to a musical conclusion filled with angst that beautifully encapsulated the lyrical refrain. "Was it for this my life I sought? Maybe so and maybe not."
, comment by klove27
klove27 Please don't let this guy write about himself, er, about the show. Because I don't want a life history, I want a review by someone who IS musically inclined and will tell me about the songs, not just list (and often denigrate) them. Oh, and we all already know, and don't care, that set break will be longer than 15 minutes!
, comment by Lincoln33
Lincoln33 This is the worst review I have ever read. Sheeeesh.
, comment by 87easyed
87easyed Comic Book Guy would have something to say about this review…..
, comment by unbreakable
unbreakable I’ve never seen a music review this bad and completely off the mark for any band, much less Phish. I too, however, would enjoy hearing more about the author’s many faceplants. Please continue your tradition, but should you tire if it there is a solution. Read The Book
, comment by icculusFTW
icculusFTW Worst .net review of all time. Maybe it’s a joke?
, comment by waveminded
waveminded Please try again on the review. Maybe skip the lot grilled cheese, eat some greens, get some protein for the brain, do some breathwork, stretch, call a friend. Lay off the sour patch kids, yikes
, comment by InTheQuagmire
InTheQuagmire This guy needs a salad. Hand stands in grand fashion, he’s genuine. You should head to the stands and read the Fu**ing book. This show wandered between rated R and classic phish pure magic, full H O S E…… hose hose hose ???? thank you Phish and thank you everyone full of love. We out here for N4 people!
, comment by freshquince
freshquince This review and reviewer seem a bit random. But not totally off the mark either. The Wolfman’s opener was super high energy and well played, and set me up for what I hoped to be an awesome show-which it didn’t evolve into. I’d overall give it a 2.5 out of 5. The Gin never quite got wings, but at the end it boosted to somewhere interesting. Unlike the reviewer, I love the way that Stash can start super slow and deep and soar to incredible places, but just because it’s played, doesn’t mean it always does. This jam began very slow, very quiet, and built nicely to a powerful peak that was high energy, tight and fun. Are there better ones? Definitely. I thought Bowie was fairly tight for 3.0 and though jam wasn’t super long, it was a great closer.
I neither love nor hate Sand, but have heard some incredible jams come out of it. This one was long and exploratory, disjointed at times, but overall great energy and really fun to listen to, again, setting up what I hoped would be an awesome second set. It had some great moments but overall, I don’t think Trey was very on point tonight and poor Mike had to deal with sound issues throughout the entire show. He signaled every song for more volume, and from where I was the lower-toned drums were way too loud in the mix. I don’t have much to say about the rest of the set except that the Melt jam felt like the kind of space that I’d feel in a chaotic1991 BBSCFM. I scanned the crowd and they were many confused people.
All of this said, the light rig is so far and away the most amazing accompaniment to music I’ve ever seen that I can always take refuge in it and be jaw dropped following its alien movements.
, comment by Longhaireddan
Longhaireddan i have long stopped reading these creative writing exercises that don’t talk about music. for some reason i read this one. so your drugs at home, go see some other band.
somehow, without talking about age or 1991 (don’t care) or your children (suuuuuuuper don’t care about your mistakes), this was the worst .net “review” of all time.
faceplant into rehab.
, comment by pokeythebear
pokeythebear I don't normally like to tell people how to Phish, but this is NOT how you Phish.
, comment by TheSolarGarlic
TheSolarGarlic This dude sounds like worst person to be at a show with ????
, comment by SaintAndrew
SaintAndrew "I’m not good at describing what happens as I’m not that musically inclined..."

Good indication one should never volunteer to write a concert review of a band whose fans are ravenous for play-by-play musical analysis.
, comment by eggsalad
eggsalad I've been to Dicks at least a dozen times and never once needed medical attention, and have also never not been able to see Page at any show I've ever attended... Please, for the love of god and the sake of everyone here, can I write a review next year? This is one of the worst things I've ever read music or non-music related in my entire life.
, comment by ObviousFool
ObviousFool Dear recapper: If you get invited back, please match your tenses.

, comment by Edcculus
Edcculus @Offshoredrilling said:
so why all the medical issues each year?
sounds like too much drugs and nitrous. ;-)
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