, attached to 2014-07-11

Review by argonbunnies

argonbunnies First set I was in the back, surrounded by chatty fans and enjoying the sunset. It all made the set a fairly mellow experience, with the Gin jam being the one exception. Second set, I moved up, maybe 20 rows back Mike-side. It was louder there, and with the darkness of night and the spectacular lights, the show took on a much more intense vibe. I took "Steam" as a clear change in energy, made sure to get in close, and boy am I glad that I did.

- Moma -- funky and chill, less rocking out and yelling along to the guitar melody than in many versions.

- KDF -- standard. Page sounded great all night, and this was when I first noticed the mix -- relative to what I'm used to, either the keys were up or the guitar was down.

- Ya Mar -- nice bass solo.

- Gin -- finally some excitement, and VERY satisfying jam. Rocked out in a few different and interesting ways -- see solargarlic78's review for the details.

- 555 -- sparse and funky, but a bit punchless, and they continue to flub the backing vocals, which really bugs me. Fantastic sound, especially the bass. One day this tune will go all Wolfman's on us, but this was not that day.

- Rift -- standard, well done.

- Sample -- standard, but I have to say, for a song I've heard a bazillion times, extremely satisfying. I think the crowd got into this more than anything else in the set.

- Wedge -- very unusual moment in the jam: at about the part where it usually dies down and ends, Trey threw in a little rock shredding, and then a little more. No big deal, but a welcome surprise.

- Waiting -- not a fan of this tune... yet. I'm hoping it gets the Roggae treatment, with some additional melodies and exploration. Some nice sounds and ingredients in there, but this was pretty much nap time.

- Stash -- no huge climax, so-so ending, but really excellent playing until then. Again, see solargarlic78 for the details.

Set II:

- Steam -- utterly dank and ominous. Perfect jamming to fit the menacing groove. Got the crowd's attention. Best version I've heard.

- Disease -- I'll part company with the other reviewers on this one. I always go to Phish shows hoping for at least one long, exploratory jam, but I'm accustomed to it by now and view it more as a nice component of a good show, rather than a huge special occasion. This jam gave me what I wanted, but nothing more. It was long, it never got stupid, but it also never reached any heights of inspiration. By all means, listen and enjoy, but do not seek out this show just for this song.

- Golden Age -- fit in very well here. Short, chill version.

- Limb by Limb -- straightforward. Vocals were pretty good, which made me happy. Nice spotlight on Fish at the end.

- Fuego -- bringing back the energy! Standard, but very satisfying in this spot. The jam was very concise, and its short ending might have been frustrating if it hadn't been immediately followed by Bowie. As it was, I dug the flow.

- Bowie -- best Bowie I've ever seen live. Nothing unique to it, just a truly excellent jam from beginning to end. Perfectly paced, building and building, and just when we all couldn't dance any harder, there comes the familiar trilling signalling the home stretch.

I've attended and listened to enough shows that I don't get surprised much any more. In lieu of surprises, moments like this Bowie are why I go to shows. The energy was just incredible. My neck is still sore from thrashing to this.

- Cavern -- I have no idea why this worked so well to follow the climactic Bowie jam (the type which often closes a show), but it did. Standard, but played with energy. Fish sounded great all night, and this was no exception.

- C-Zero -- very short break before the encore. I felt like the show closer was really Bowie-Cavern-Character Zero, and it was excellent. I had just enough time to recover and rock out again. Solid C-Zero -- the jam kinda stayed at one place for a while before going into the ending, which was bad (no direction or build) and good (more music, uncertainty, suspense). The ending was fun as usual.

Overall a great time. This show started out as a casual party and finished as an intense musical experience I won't soon forget. No idea if others felt the same, or if it was a matter of where I was and who I was around. I'd rate the show as average to slightly above, and I highly recommend the Gin, Steam and Bowie.

Note: why were there so many $#@*% cigarettes around me?! You're at a Phish show, people -- smoke weed! #TobaccoAllergy


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