, attached to 2015-09-05

Review by Philbombs77

Philbombs77 So far, Dick's '15 has been a disappointment. Friday and Saturday shared similar qualities. Each first set began with a couple of tightly played funk pieces to get the ball rolling (Tube/Ghost and NMINML/Martian Monster) and peaked with a blistering rendition in the middle of the set (Gin/Melt) that whipped the crowd into a frenzied euphoria. Aside from that, both first sets were competent, but rather tame.

Both shows also produced solid third quarters, catalyzed by the pairing of two jam vehicles. The Blaze On > Golden Age was adroitly executed, but despite half an hour of exploration, there was no real point of culmination. A laudable attempt, but nothing memorable. Chalk Dust > Twist was the second set meat last night and, again, there wasn't any real "Aha!" moment that sticks to your ribs.

Finally, the fourth quarter of both shows suffered immensely due to poor song selection and somewhat rote execution. Inspiration was lacking.

On a related note, I will not qualify my thoughts with the ubiquitous, yet absurd, notion that: "An average Phish show is better than almost any other great (fill in the blank band/show)." I know I will be met with resistance and scolded for my sanctimony, but that's okay. I've seen this bizarre attempt at mitigation so often in the past couple of years, it almost seems like a perfunctory defense mechanism. On Friday, I chatted with a 30-something couple who, collectively, had 100+ shows under their belt, and the dude espoused the same tripe while his girlfriend nodded in assent. "Yeah - I mean tonight wasn't amazing. Killer Gin and pretty sweet Blaze On, but an okay Phish show is still better than pretty much anything else out there." If you think an average Phish show, like last night or Friday, is musically superior to great performances from bands who make a living on the road, you need to diversify your musical experiences. Mini-sermon...over.

I'm really hoping tonight will make up for Friday and Saturday, especially since there will be no Fall '15 tour.


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