, attached to 2019-12-30

Review by mgolia6

mgolia6 In a full sprint! (Unedited)
Oh man oh boy oh my oh wow. WTF just transpired. Somehow a solid first set seemed like the bait with which we succumbed when all at once the second set was dropped Acme ton-o-bricks style on us like we were Wyle E Coyote thinking we had just lured the road runner to its death. Then, all at once, the road runner enters stage right flickers his tongue above the gravel and bricks and dust and does his meep meep tag line, scurrying away in a dust cloud. That’s how I feel right now.

It was clear from the onset that this musics tour de force would have its way with the audience. A crowd pleasing Wilson opener opened up a rock and roll can of worms on the capacity crowd and after winding their way through the final hurrah hints of what was to come started to imbue their way through the murky layers of sonic brilliance that was 46 Days. Almost immediately Phish turned type two and started climbing a sonic staircase towards Elysium with this typically rock anthem number. Settling down in the milieu eschewed by 46 Days, the crowd was treated to the first of two old school phish covers. Curtis Loew have Page another moment to shine before Trey slipped into a bluesy solo that disintegrated into the rafters of the garden.

Blaze On brought back some positive vibes stirring the crowd with its catchy refrain and settled into a pocket before cascading into Corrina! Trey gave this Taj Mahal masterpiece the full treatment as he settled into a light and airy solo that silenced the entire arena. With pins dropping from the banners in the rafters Mike’s song burst forth and energized an already rampant audience. Keeping tight and precise, with everyone anticipating the sideways carrot of mystery, out of the phish staple came the dissonant opening of Contact. It took the fellas a few bars to get this track, well, back on track but as they did all in attendance were on board and rode its bar car right into weekapaug.

As About to Run emerged from the smoldering ashes you could tell it emboldened the crowd and “liar” lyrics hit home for your humble narrator. Like a Requiem for “Story of the Ghost” this song dogs deep at the wounds of the past and hope to conjur, nay, remind the author that shot got real. More closed out the set and it’s sentiment of “There must be something more than this,” echoed deep into the rotund belly of MSG.

Lights drop mic’s hot, enter Tweezer like a prize fighters errant left. What the F”@$! Sublime goodness oozed from ever musical crevice as the band steered the sonic ship towards open waters. Tweezer disguised as the costume of years past slipped between eras in plethora of musical brilliance. All at once funky, minimal, heavy and thick, the music moved from dark and dingy to ethereal and major key, glistening as it peaked and dispersing into a series of chords that rained down star dust on the crowd; who, for the record, happily lapped it up. When the ship had reached international waters, the band in silly banter mode, pleased the crowd with some comical interlude before crushing them with Ruby Waves.

Picking up the momentum where Tweezer left off, Ruby Waves explored event more I chartered territories. Keeping with the special theme, it still remained fresh and present in the deep deep shadow of the Tweezer that preceded it. I had to keep pinching myself that a set of songs counted on one hand or less could be possible was on the cards. Ruby waves explored new territory, lighter and loose on its cohesive nature before deconstructing and reconstructing as Steam.

In my opinion, Steam minus lyrics equals brilliance. The forced rhymes and disjointed lyrical content detracts from its musicality. When the song ended and the music began Steam delivered and entered into a sonic landscape that defied its lyrical limitations. As the jam built, this author wondering if this set was already one too many songs long, Phish decided to add confusion to the already head scratching masses by returning to Tweezer...and not as a reprise, nor a slow crawl to the finish, ‘this was a true return to the song proper and the jam, which wavered, flickered, melted and reformed as Ruby Fucking Waves. Holy hell Batman, the joker is on the run.

Nudging itself slightly into the ensuing Slave, phish managed a four song second set in six song fashion in its musical allusions, reprising sonically sound sections of previously played songs to compete an aural loop that spanned the cosmos, entered a super nova and escaped relatively unscathed with a knowledge of what the fire holds. And the future holds but one things, one answer, Rock and Roll.

Tonight I was witness to what some might call a cacophony of chaos. A rebellion or raucousness. A hullabaloo of brilliance. I watched as my favorite band delivered a show to end all shows. First the shake it and then they bake it. Man I love this band.
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