, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by ThomasFunkyEdison

ThomasFunkyEdison Note: there's a TL;DR at the end of this that sums it up. But for those that aren't into the whole brevity thing, here's my take...

Just getting back from Lockn', sitting at my desk with a nice cup-o'-joe, reminiscing at the absolute wonder and beauty that was this weekend. If you are on the fence about going, trust me when I tell you there isn't a better festival out there. I was especially impressed with the crowd. This is a crowd full of tour and festival vets. The chatter was minimal, even (especially) during quiet sections of songs. And did 90+ degree heat stop anyone from boogying? Heck naw. OK on to Phish night 2...

It's day 4 at a festival. All is said and done but for the main act. The reason why a lot of people made the journey. Two nights of Phish. Crowd is sweaty, tired, brow-beaten, but ready for action.

- They start the night with Sample. The crowd answers with cheers and a huuuuge glowstick war. It was clear at this point that the crowd had the energy, and I was curious to see if the band would feed off of it.

- Martian Monster continues the set. I freakin' love this song. As I had mentioned in a review of another Summer '16 show, I'm confused as to why this song has shrunk to a mere 3 minutes. This song has gargantuan potential (as seen in 2014 and early summer 15).

- Axilla>Moma>Halley's>Bag was a fun and energetic run of tunes that kept the crowd boogying, but pretty standard fare as far as the tunes themselves go.

- FYF>46 was another 1-2 punch that kept the crowd going.

- The Line. This song has become kind of a running joke with me. It seems I get this song at every freaking show and it's one of those songs that no matter how hard they try to ram it down my throat I just can't get into. But for those of you that love the song, I'm glad you got it last night.

- LxL was LxL

- Possum was absolutely the highlight of the first set. A rendition that harks back to the early 90s, this version stands out with long, patient tension builds and glorious releases. Another massive glowstick war ensues (likely the reason why they kept building the tension so nicely). Stuff like this is why I love Phish.

- First Tube is First Tube and sends us into setbreak optimistic of things to come.

SET 2:
- Carini. Ooohhh boy! So *this* is the kind of set we're gonna get tonight ya? Nothing like a huge rocker with serious jam potential to kick things off. A crowd of 35,000 head-bangin hippies reacted by throwin horns and throwin glowsticks. Here's the thing about Carini: at baseline, even without an extended jam, the song fucking rocks. But after those monster versions from Essex until Mid 2014, I always hope it will get back to that place. This version does not, but they keep the energy going with a >

- Chalk Dust. Another great tune. High energy, great shredding, kept within the box. At this point I had to reset my thermostat. I'm a jam chaser and it seemed that this would be like most other Summer 2016 shows (jam-free). But if they ain't gon' jam, I'm glad they kept the energy high.

- Twist is good and within the box. Here's the 3rd jam vehicle in a row that is played without any improv. That's no worry, they're gonna do what they're gonna do, and I'm gonna dance and enjoy it. I do wonder though, if they're not interested in jamming, why play these songs over and over and over again? I'm sure it gets boring for them to play the same songs hundreds of times over, and I always figured it was the excitement of exploration that got them off, and why playing these songs didn't get stale for them.

- Light is next, and is the highlight of the evening. They took this one out for a little ride, descending into a fluffy major-key jam and finishing with a wonderful, 4-member peak. Definitely check this jam out, it's one of the better ones of this summer tour.

- Tweezer...fuck ya! Great glowstick war, lots of energy. I figure in a year with an absence of huge tweezers, this would be it. Clearly they were saving something crazy for this crowd of vets. It certainly has energy, but..well..they cut it off for NQ juuuust as it was going somewhere.

- No Quarter. I love this song. Huge huge zep fan (as I'm sure y'all are). This, to me, is the finest rendition they've done to date. Page was doing something different with the baby grand and it paid off. No Quarter is most definitely a special cover. Fans will go crazy whenever this song is played no matter what position it holds in the setlist. That said, I think it would have worked better as an exclamation point to a monster Tweezer rather than playing it instead of a Tweezer jam. Again, I'm a jam chaser (or set chaser) rather than a song chaser, so if improv isn't high on your list of importance than this is fucking awesome. But you know what? I still think it was fucking AWESOME.

- 2001 keeps the party going. They jammed out Tube a bit this summer after a long hiatus...perhaps one day they'll bring back the long, funky 2001 as well? We shall see!

- Harry hood descends into a serene jam that reminds me of a lot of 94-96 versions. It's short and sweet, doesn't really peak, but rather goes right to the ending. Beautiful stuff right there though. I'll take a hood any day.

- Reprise finishes the set with fantastic energy. It also leaves the encore for something special. Maybe a couple songs? Maybe a sit in? Maybe a long-awaited bust out?

- Loving Cup encore, very well played. This is my most-heard encore songs, with this one being my 8th (just in the encore slot). Good thing I'm a huge tRS fan!!

So lets chat about this weekend. I've been to many music festivals and this one was by far the most outstanding I've ever been to. Not only did they get some big name acts, they *all* brought the heat. I don't think I saw one mediocre act the entire weekend, I was absolutely flabbergasted. There were tons of really cool collaborations (Tedeschi and Trucks came out with Phil and Friends on Saturday), homages (MMJ with Prince and Bowie), etc. It was pretty clear that the bands could tell this wasn't a crowd to just play the straightforward shit. It was going to take a lot more than that to impress this crowd. And shit did they deliver and then some.

Phish is my favorite band (obviously). It doesn't take much for them to blow my socks off. They played 4 fun, high-energy sets without many of the standard breathers. I know that people are going to come on the boards to tell me "you hate phish," or "phish doesn't owe you anything," or "read the book," but when I think about the *actual music,* rather than just the good time I had, I was exceedingly underwhelmed. These two shows felt like an afterthought for them. Every other band did something special. Every other band had 1.5h or less to perform. Phish was given 4 sets on 2 nights. There was every opportunity for a sit-in, a rare bust out (think Shafty in Roo 12), or a MONSTER jam. That's what keeps drawing long-time (and new fans) back. They share the throne with tGD as far as jam bands go, and its a little frustrating that they didn't show off this talent.

No doubt these shows were fun. I had a blasssssssst. Musically speaking they took zero risks.

TL;DR - listen to Possum, Light, and No Quarter. x/10 ratings by category:

Fun - 4.5/5
Crowd - 5/5
Setlist choice - 3/5 (not bad at all, just nothing terribly interesting)
Improv - 2.5/5 (for that Ghost>Gin and Light)
Cohesiveness - 2.5/5
Overall 3/5

Smashing good times! See you next year.


Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal | DMCA

© 1990-2023  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by Linode