, attached to 2019-12-31

Review by JMart

JMart I’d like to be the first to add, on behalf of everyone in attendance, it took a solid five minutes of seeing Trey dangling in space for us to realize something was off. I’m not sure how it came across on the screen, but in person the colors were amazing.
Oh yeah, the music was also pretty good! Haley’s went on juuust long enough to make you wish they had taken it further. Other than that, first set suffered from any real attempt at cohesion. On a NYE run show in the recent past, the reviewer described the pace of AC/DC as “weir-esque,” which to this day stands as my favorite sentence written about Phish music. So whoever that was, take your bows. The underlying point remains the same: they played slow as shit out of the gate.
Huge jams out of wolfmans and twist in the second set are great. One wonders why they would choose to play mercury in the slot leading up to the gag given its obvious prominence last year, and this version isn’t much to remember.
The real fireworks started with First Tube to ring in the new year and it sounded AMAZING. The whole band was popping with energy and the sound was crystal clear at the back of the floor. As above, it may have been towards the end of Sand when it became increasingly obvious that our fearless leader was actually, well, stuck in mid-air in the middle of his own beautifully choreographed piece of art music theater. It does bear mentioning that, at least in my mind right after the show, a lot is going to be made of the rig mishap and it would be a shame if that were to overshadow what was an astounding display of color and sound, all delivered on the grandest stage in rock ‘n roll. I was fortunate enough to be in section 112 last nye and remember thinking there was no way they were ever going to be able to top that. WRONG. Just as they always have, Phïsh managed to obliterate expectations. There we go with that word again.
If WTU weren’t in the original set list, it sure as hell fit the occasion perfectly (some are saying a little too perfectly). A short but muscular YEM ends a truly bizarre and beautiful set of phish music.
One wonders exactly what must have been going through Trey’s mind as he lay dangling above 20,000 spun-ass wookster minions. Probably something about fate’s cruel hand. If ever there were an alter fine enough to be dashed upon, this is surely what it must look, and smell, like.
This decade starts the same way the last one stopped: Phish (stuck) up on top. Happy New Years everybody.


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