, attached to 2019-06-11

Review by yam_ekaj

yam_ekaj wow! so excited to be back reviewing shows. every time i'm about to begin another run of phish shows, i think to myself "i've never been more pumped to see phish," and this time was no different. in fact, i felt especially pumped this year, as the band has shown over the past few tours that they are really capable of anything.

anyway, on the to the review. this was a very good phish show. it was clear at times that the band was still easing back into playing together, but that's to be expected. also, if this is the show that the band plays rusty, i can't wait to see what will be going on in the next few weeks.

set 1 was excellent. it begins with kasvot vaxt--a very well played cool amber. jam section here really sets the tone; the band is still locked in, even after months away from touring. next comes 46 days, which was extra-meaningful of course, considering the passing of leigh fordham. i found it to be a classy move for the band not to reference this explicitly, instead letting the music speak for itself. next comes the highlight of the show for me: stash. an absolute must-listen version!! i think it has to be the best version i've ever seen live. begins with some standard stash-y jamming, but rather quickly, it takes off into type-ii territory! there was a beautiful blissful section, followed by a bluesy, crunchier section, and then finally a return to the stash structure. truly a remarkable jam. nellie kane is next, followed by a standard free and theme from the bottom (although standard versions contain a lot of excellent improv these days). tube is next, and it could've definitely jammed harder, but this was pretty good. finally, the set ended with the phish debut of drift while you're sleeping. i'm a big fan of this song, and it suits phish quite well. the rousing end section is a great set closer; i wouldn't be surprised if this is played a few times this summer. we'll see what other ghosts of the forest material they break out. all in all, an excellent first set of the tour. really tight all the way through and some brilliant type-ii jamming. also, the sound in the chaifetz arena was superb, particularly during the first set.

set 2 was a bit clunkier than the first, but certainly contained a great deal of inspired playing. the entire first sequence (No mens > gin > ghost -> piper > blaze on) was quite exciting, and while none of the jams are particularly long themselves, taken together, this is a fantastic sequence of improv. No men's contained some beautiful hose, gin roared to peak, and both ghost, piper and blaze on contained some dynamic, rhythmic jamming. while i wouldn't necessarily point to the individual versions, this is a great set to spin as a whole, as each song ramps up the energy. that being said, there were certainly a few ripcord-y moments, particularly the ghost -> piper. joy comes next, continuing its renaissance of late (it was played once in 2017, but four times in 2018, and now the first show of 2019). can't say i'm upset; this is a beautiful song, of course. simple comes next, which i'll never complain about; however, i would rather see this in a marquee slot as they tend to jam it so well. but again, can't complain about a raging 4th-quarter simple. LxL keeps the energy high and features some great work from Trey. the set closes with Slave, and boy can they play this song. trey sustains a note for what seemed like forever, before crescendoing into the typically-stunning peak.

turtle in the clouds encore is fun - honestly, while the dancing is hilarious, it goes on for a little too long for me. but to each their own! certainly love watching the boys have so much fun up there. a standard character zero closes it out. overall, a really awesome tour opener. as i said, if this is a warm-up show, we're in for a great summer!
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