, attached to 2017-07-30

Review by Laudanum

Laudanum Art is often about limitations, and that’s definitely the case at these Baker’s Dozen shows. What modern phandom terms as gimmicks are really self-imposed limits, set partly in order to provoke new forms. The twin limitations for this run, nightly themes and no repeats, are absolutely accomplishing that. In fact, it’s hard to imagine tonight’s set II without this intersection.

The sprawling Drowned (sung by Jimmy in Quadrophenia) and ASIHTOS reach no peaks but rather sink to murky depths covering 40 minutes or so—a product of song conservation. The Harpua, itself 17 minutes, ties into both the nightly and larger donut theme. The band’s running on fumes by the encore and last Jim(i) reference, The Wind Cries Mary, but by then who can blame them?

Orson Welles famously said, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” Perhaps Phish have been playing with too few for too long.
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