, attached to 2017-07-14

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I'm overwhelmedly glad that Phish is back! This, the first show of a small summer tour--well, in locational variety it's small, but in conceptivity it's large, I mean, c'man the Baker's Dozen my pholks!--I will rate 3 stars. Here's why.

What's the Use? is an interesting and perhaps even ballsy opener. I like to hear Breath and Burning; it's got a tropical vibe that must've been somewhat synaesthetically refreshing in this summer heat (though I don't know if Chicago is getting it quite the way we are down here in Atlanta.) The Wolfman's is a good version, maybe not outstanding, but welcome, nonetheless. The new a cappella tune might need a bit more polish, but I'm certainly happy that Phish is trying new tunes in that format (Cf. Space Oddity.) Everything's Right has grown on me since my initial exposure to it from Trey's 2017 Paper Wheels tour, and the jam is really remarkable, especially on a personal note for me because Page deploys some synthesizer wizardry which I've been clamoring for ever since he introduced the Nord Lead on 10/31/14. I kind of feel like the Nellie Kane, Theme sequence saw some missed changes, or just didn't have its fingers on the pulse of It in the way we're accustomed to, but this is only the first night of tour (Blaze on!)

No Men in No Man's Land sees a funky outing that features some more flattering synthplay from Page. I would've loved to see Fuego jammed out in an yuge fashion, as well, but alas. Good to see My Friend, My Friend in the rotation (YEMSNBC/Nod to Tur?) and the Your Pet Cat -> Golden Age -> Your Pet Cat is phun, though I have to agree with whomever said in the forum that after the 10/28/16 Golden Age, this one stacks up as (these are my own words) "merely" phun in comparison with that mammoth jam from Vegas. I kinda dig Leaves... I'll have to hear it played more often before my opinion can really crystallize, but my initial impression is that Phish has taken cues from the vocal phrasing of Mercury and parlayed them into this song, which I think bodes well for their songwriting and experimentation. Harry Hood definitely hints at Mountain Jam, in my opinion, though whether it'll be counted an official tease is questionable. Shine a Light and Julius closed roughly, but Love Is What We Are (the "dad reggae" tune, LOL) continues in the affirmative direction of Trey and Tom's recent collaborations (presuming this is a Trey/Tom tune) and Golgi Apparatus closes the show on a classically Phishy note.

I'd like to rate the show higher, if only based on the debuts, because I like to think I vibe encouragement to the band to try new things, whether they be new songs or new jamming styles or whatnot, but being completely honest and perhaps in the interest of influencing consensus--who knows, maybe the band will read this--I've gotta consider this an average-great show. (And I don't hasten to qualify that, but in case you aren't yet aware, when average Phish hits, I feel no pain.) Rock on, Chicago.
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