, attached to 2015-09-06

Review by mblum

mblum Set One: Everything Just Right

The anticipation was palpable and smiles were irresistible heading into the tour closer. It quickly became clear the band had reconnected in that effortless joyous way that they hadn’t quite over the prior two evenings. Listening and dusting little surprises everywhere with ease. A Moma to love, but it didn’t reach as high as 7/31/15 Atlanta. But that’s not quite where this set seemed to be going either: this was an open-aired and breathable set. Listen to the energetic but almost quiet Seven Below for a sense of how 20,000+ were dancing, smiling, almost glowing.

All signs were boding well for bliss, and no one was going to have to try too hard to get there. By the time the band eased into Caspian—which of course could only be understood in the context of the 8/22/15 Watkins Glen masterpiece—the crowd (at least our Rage Side in front of sound board—you know who you are baby!!!) and band had gelled and it really seemed, already at that point, you just knew, it was feeling right. We had goosebumps even before the smooth segue into a perfectly-placed poignant BDtNL, at which point, I think, a lot of us were starting to vibrate with the weightless gravity of the different things that this song, show, tour, band, and story means.

The Line: some days the shots don’t sink! And somedays you can’t miss. Close doesn’t count, they say, except in horseshoes and hand grenades. But wait Phish metaphorists: close does count in concert. See Friday. And when all the shots land like tonight, five stars aren’t enough.

SoaMule was when things started to get crazy as it served to up the intensity; especially the Russian Duel with its newly expanded invite list. Page’s fingers were noticeably fast and his sense of rhythm subtle, here and elsewhere tonight. Mike wasn’t taking no for an answer. Fish offered something menacing and delicate. This dramedy earned rapt attention and then shifted up another gear, right into Saw It Again! I SAW IT AGAIN!!

Trey seemed to land early this show into his comfort zone, the best possible launch pad for some more dangerous riffs like those that Saw It Again invites. On Half Way to the Moon, he transitioned those into rhythm and accents during Page’s short-but-fantastic pre-bridge solo, encouraging Page to express similar edge heart-tugging confident, and again later during the longer aspirational jam. People were dancing hard! This is really no ballad.

Birdwatcher was a treat. And then Page put on JB’s Keytar. Yeah you can hear me wooowooo awoooo ing on the tape. Oh yes you can! Man Steve and I have been owed one of these since that meatstick shitshow in Vegas 4/17/04. And Phish Delivered.

Nothing necessarily miraculous in this set but everything just right.

Set Two: The ON Button

Phish responded to the palpable energy heading into the second set (and the fans’ chanting) with a concise, typically energetic Wilson. But it was the Disease that epitomized this show: carefree, celebratory, natural, and gorgeous. A fishman-Propelled booty shaker with a blissful melodic finish. Bliss. Full. And Trey Suh-mokesit!

It’s hard to describe how fired up the crowd was at that moment … the opening chords of Carini were sheer electricity. The crowd pulsed and undulated with ferocious consonance! Band super loose tight! And Carini tailed with a nice span of headier stuff.

Steam didn't stray but stayed "on" and eminently danceable. Piper not my song choice but 2001 sure was. All I can report is that dancing was off the charts. Tweezer at this point in the set?! Utterly complete band-crowd connection. A complete collective effing rockout. Double Mike bell in the justdrums before uncle Ebenezer. Fishman slightly slows and--with page's rhythmelodic leadership--slightly funksup the jam, opening he stage for phenomenal interplay from the others, providing possibly the most exploratory space of the evening, momentarily before moving to a perfectly placed Horse>Silent>Slave. These are songs to crunch your heart into tears and then explode it like the Big Bang. Tired and so alive from a weekend of dancing meeting hugging laughing sharing. From travel and three shows. From the party bus and DJ Captain Choice (woot woot!). And from our band's connection and easy propulsion that arrived tonight.

This set was filled with relatively concise versions of great songs, played with buzzing electricity.

Encore: Unforgettable and one of the best of all time. So many others will cover it that I’ll save you the play-by-play and just ask you to hear the band express its deepest gratitude to us, saying, “we feel blessed to become part of something that’s become so beautiful and so unique, we talk about it a lot backstage … I mean I know we’re up here playing the music, but this is our chance to say to you … this is such a good feeling and you guys are creating it all … we feel like we’re a small part of that, whatever that is … and we want to thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts.”

A magical weekend!
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