, attached to 2009-08-02

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks The Red Rocks run is strong overall - and a big step up from the June '09 jamming average, heaven knows - but the run's marquee guest appearance is a sloppy, irritating mess. Leaving aside the man's GDead legacy, Kreutzmann just doesn't gel at all with Phish on these tunes, dragging down *every single tempo* in the second set and swamping Fishman's precise, feathery work. The one tune that really benefits from this leadenness is 2001, which gets a bit of a fist-pumping frat-rock energy boost (with Trey using every inch the sluggish tempo affords him). I might be misinterpreting things, but to my ears even the unfailingly generous Trey seems impatient with what's going on. Equipment problems? Rustiness? Whatever the reason, it makes for uncomfortable listening.

The (ironic) worst part: the unaugmented quartet is absolutely *devastating* on Boogie On and YEM, and closes with a triumphant Slave. But the Kreutzmann guest shot guts what should've been the best stretch of the run.

Fishman clowns around a little before the Bouncin' encore, fake-crying and calling out 'Where's Bill?!' Then, in the show's most *unintentionally* funny moment, he kicks in that crisp metronomic solo beat, instantly illuminating the difference between the amorphous wash of percussion that soaked the second set, and his own needlepoint precision.

Not to say you shouldn't relax once in a while to your favourite 1973 'Dark Star,' of course. Not that.

But not this either.


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