, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by crepu

crepu Everyone knows 12/30 is the show of the ’17 NYE run. Perhaps. But there’s something about 12/28 that I prefer. 12/28 was the show that said this is Phish, and that means this isn’t going to be a rehash of the BD, nor would there even be subtle nods or gestures towards those shows. This would be new, different. That’s what Phish does best - evolve. To that, we must acknowledge. And might I add the near lack of filler in any of these shows?

12/28 was my New Years show. Where folks heavily predicted a space-themed gag on 12/31, that’s precisely what we got with 12/28: the spacey jams, layers upon layers, and CK’s lights turned the Garden into a spaceship. Sure, we got that feel from “I Always Wanted It This Way” from the next night (which was fabulous and changed many minds about the song, and one has to wonder if those who detest those particular songs off BIG BOAT like "Waking up Dead" are familiar with XTC or that 80s quirky punk style), or 12/30’s “Steam” (Ok, that was so good). But most of 12/28 worked with the space theme. No, this maybe wasn’t as totally Parliament-dance as some wanted it (although there was plenty of funk), but it was the Mothership of ephemeral zone and drone.

I cringe when fans say Phish does shoegaze. They never have, and a soundcheck of My Bloody Valentine sounded nothing of shoegaze. 12/28 was not shoegaze, either, but there was a blending of sounds and layers that some wrongfully dismiss as Trey hiding behind his effects. For those who don’t merely come out of the classic rock scene, for those who kinda like some sloppy or loose play (a la Pavement or Built to Spill, or maybe in the vein of Okkervil River’s lyrics: “And this film we once saw was reviled for its flaws/ But its flaws were what made us have fun”), for those who actually seek the shows many call listless (see those ’99 gems), or for those whose transcendence comes out of ethereal layers without any hint of the blues, 12/28 was special. And it signaled a new kind of Phish in their old tradition of moving on to nuanced territory.


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