, attached to 2019-12-30

Review by hlsidlephan

hlsidlephan I was so excited for this show, I couldn't sleep for a week. I missed night one and two. Additionally, I was taking a couple of my buddies to their first shows. We pre-gamed the show at Rudy's and scored $4 pitchers that included free hot dogs. Man oh man did we have a squad - @GratefulRobinson, @MartyJanus, @JeffieGreenberg, @MyCousin_Vinny, and Joe.

I was itching for a "Punch" opener, but Wilson was a solid choice. By show 19, I still have yet to see the same opener twice. The pattern held true with this Wilson. The energy was hot and CK5 was lighting up the crowd during the signature Trey E major chord riff. Next came, "Final Hurrah", which was performed solidly. No crazy jams until "Blaze On."

Curtis Lowe came out of nowhere. Few were expecting it. I loved the rendition, which Page sang soulfully. That song was stuck in my head for the following days after the show.

Blaze On was a fantastic jam. Because of the monster Tweezer, it was overlooked, but it was up there as one of the best jams of the four nights. Around 11 minutes in, the band settled into a catchy groove and developed it far past typical Blaze On territory. I see a large amount of potential in Blaze On, and I predict that it will continue to be a vehicle for exploratory jamming.

It is always fascinating when you leave a show and forgot they played a Mike's Groove. It is easy to overlook the Mike's because of the brevity of the songs, but the Contact sandwiched in the middle was a good choice. As much as I love a class Hydrogen, the Contact fit perfectly. In the middle of Contact, they settled into another funky groove that stood out to me at the show. It was almost like Trey, Mike, and Page were playing three different chords until they converged to a certain sound. Fish kept the funk beat steady. I would have liked them to continue to jam it out, but eventually Mike came back in to finish the verses.

About to Run and More were performed fine, but back to back were nothing too exciting. Given the high quality of the preceding songs, nobody complained. Now let's talk about the meat and the potatoes. Never could have imagined that they would be able to top the final night of Alpine 2019, but they somehow managed to do so.

Around 20 minutes into the Tweezer I had completely forgotten what song was being played. The jam had many different movements and ended with the "Let's Go Blue" sports chant. What an ending. A major moment in Phish history, not just because of the length, but also the high quality.

I believe that the Ruby Waves that followed the Tweezer was an ode to the Alpine Ruby Waves. In this 1997-style set, there was nonstop exploratory jamming and the band gave the fans exactly what they wanted. The pan story added a level of strangeness and few had any idea what was going on. He hit me on the head with a pan. My buddy Vinny then replied, "ding." We were supposedly going to get a Harpua.

Unfortunately, I had to step outside and I missed the last two songs. But wow... what a show. It was a treat to get to attend this special evening. I will write up my New Years review over the weekend.
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