, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by sagl57

sagl57 TL;DR - This was the first Phish show I've been to where when a friend asked what I thought, my answer was "pretty bored, to be honest."

I'll preface this by saying that I am 125% not a hater. I love this band and after 51 shows, I continue to come back for more and am surprised and amazed by them regularly. I fully expect to get rocked by fall tour next month. So, that being said, here's my review of Phish's second night of Lockn.

After 3 incredible days of music at Lockn and a Friday night rager, the stage was set for Phish to blow the metaphorical roof off of the festival on Sunday night and send off the festival-goers with an amazing show to cap off the weekend, but the boys fell flat on this night. Instead of leaving Arrington with Phish playing in my head, it was My Morning Jacket whose tunes I couldn't seem to shake.

The band kicked off with Sample, a predictable way to open a festival show... an accessible, karaoke-friendly pop-rock tune that won't scare off any fans who came to see the other bands and are dipping their feet in the Phish pool just for the night. But this wasn't a typical festival crowd. We were ready for some improv and heady jams! So when Martian Monster got the 2 spot, after DWD got it on Friday, I was pretty excited to see where the band was planning to take us. The answer: rip-cord city. Martian Monster clocks in at less than 3:30. No risks taken. No jamming to be seen. This was arguably the least interesting Martian the band has played since its debut in 2014 and was a foreboding sign for the rest of the night.

After a quick Axilla that ramped up the energy again, the band played underwhelming versions of Moma, Halley's, and AC/DC Bag. Fuck Your Face made for a fun breather before a similarly underwhelming 46 Days. That's when my friend turned to me and said "What do you think so far?" And I said "A resounding meh".

At this point, Phish sucked the energy out of the room with The Line. They tried to re-inject some adrenaline throughout the rest of the set with LxL > Possum > First Tube, but they were all pretty standard versions and couldn't really juice the crowd up if you ask me.

So, the first set was ok... relatively fun albeit it uninteresting. Clearly, the boys have something up their sleeves in set 2, right? A monster Tweezer perhaps? A crazy Mike's Groove?

Nope, just a bunch of TreyDHD and aborted jams. Carini > Chalkdust should have set up some huge improv! But both songs got cut off pretty quickly. Maybe Twist will pack a punch? Nope, another rip-cord.

Light becomes the lone exception, but takes its time getting there. In this roughly 15 minute version, it took about 10 minutes of searching before the band could really latch onto some creative themes for the jam. Trey noodles over the band for a while, but eventually Page takes the reins and moves the jam forward and it takes flight in earnest.

Now the band is lubed up and ready to go. Perfect time for a sweet Tweezer jam, one might say. But Trey disagrees and segues out of the Tweezer jam after about 5 bland minutes into No Quarter. A great cover, no doubt. And one I'd be psyched to hear at any other show. But on this night, the jams that could have been are occupying my mind.

In the final stretch, the boys go through fairly standard versions of 2001, Hood, and Tweeprise, before wrapping it up with a predictable Loving Cup Encore.

Hood, being particularly uninspired, takes one last chance to drop a deuce on what could have been an amazing evening of music and improv from the greatest band on earth.

All in all, this show had decent energy and a stand-out jam in Light, but this show is not worth a re-listen and if you weren't in attendance, probably not even a first listen. Check out Friday night for the stellar second set, with Ghost > Gin being the improv highlight of Lockn.



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