, attached to 2021-08-13

Review by mgolia6

mgolia6 View from the Couch

Funky Beach.

Phish stepped into the World’s Famous Playground for the first of three shows in Atlantic City. No stranger to a triumvirate of shows in AC, including Two Halloween runs and the Bader field shows, just like in those dim-lit Casino’s, it’s a crapshoot when it comes to what your gonna get. But one things a sure bet: Phish will bring the heat.

In somewhat Jersey standard fashion we are set ablaze with two nods to the Garden State. Cars Trucks Buses, a strong contender for best (Jersey) opener had its standard mid section gusto prior to shifting into A(tlantic) C(ity) DC Bag. This bag, too, like its predecessor getting the standard, if not slightly elevated, once around before elevating into Blaze On.

Blaze On stepped it’s toes briefly into type two territory, much like the audience stage right, before coming back to shore. Slight teases seemed to be woven into this number, possibly a Manteca nod, fittingly, as it references another aquatic theme.

Wolfman’s saw a brief dive into the abyss before resurfacing with Mike leading the underwater excursion while Trey floated toward the Plinko realm briefly before settling in to some echo effects. Page added some choral textures while Fishman kept the band mates on course. Numerous times, throughout the night, throughout this tour, I am struck by the sheets gargantuan size of the light rig. CK5 did not fail here and added to the overall enchantment undersea vibe cast across stage and audience.

At this point, Moses Dewitt graces is with a very brief vacuum solo as the band scooted through IDK. Funky Bitch, nay, Beach, probably alluded to the gray sand beaches of AC and the mystery of under the boardwalk. A standard romp through the Son Seals blues rocker brought us to the sets closing couplet.

Rift, which in my mind had purely oceanic themes, saw some of Trey’s most precise playing. Comment to my buddy via text, “Trey just nailed his sections of Rift. I mean nailed nailed!” Which elicited this reaction from my buddy, “Shocked.” Though a standard take on the classic, the precision with which it was played warrants recognition.

Sand closes the sit, fittingly, though visions of Camden’s Sand floated like Conch shells and Cowry shells in your humble narrator’s head. It was not to be. Passionate playing across the stage and Kuroda pulling out all the stops on the rig could not get this jam launched out much past the marina and we docked hastily ending the first set.

Two notes from this author. Maybe more, we’ll see where this goes. Trey was on point with his composed section in that first set. Trey also ended Sand and proceeded to run off stage like he was about to be struck by lightning. 64 minutes the shortest of all first frames left a little to be desired.

The Replay effect: when the band repeats songs over the course of a show it stands to reason that those repeat songs will become the most tightly played. Bust outs are fun and asterisks and padding for your .net stats. But bust outs are many times poorly played and only stand up based on their LTP metrics. This tour has seen it’s fair share of repeats and while we pride this band for Bakers Dozen type runs or challenges to play only originals and not repeat songs, it stands to reason that repetition in and of itself is beneficial to this band. Also, it is the opportunity to build upon some themes that might have only been partially brought to fruition in previous versions. I’ll let y’all ruminate that…LOL

Tweezer, the freezer, rather the hot sandbox, exploded into the South Jersey air. The Atlantic ocean’s salty spray most likely heightening the senses of all in attendance. Midnight Rider teases washed ashore during this jam which went long and though there were some passages that seemed to meander the overall sonic ideations where made whole. Certain sections even seemed to allude to the forthcoming songs. Never settling into deep sea or bliss, the band still seemed to coax just a bit more out of this one before dropping anchor and taking their fourth dip in the Bathtub

Though having made four previous appearances (more with teases and segues back) Bathtub in the set two song two slot felt like a good move. This Bathtub took sail early and played Jib the Tweezers top sail. That being said, it did the work and didn’t disappoint.

Though Gin, pushed the ship forward, and the launch of Everything’s Right should have meant an America’s Cup first place finish, this version didn’t get the places the previous had and would have been best left unfurled leaving the wind to be captured by Tweezer and Gin.

Possums Energy was in stark contrast to the wind it technically removed from the sails of the set. It brought some heat but not the jam. 2001 ushered in another opportunity to overtake and hinted to the jamtronica version of the Met. (Let me note that these critiques are simply observations as this was a top notch show up to this point).

Come Together, Hood, More closed the set and I’ll second the other review posted here, Hood can do Much More and would have been the optimal closer, even subtracting More altogether and allowing for Hood to stretch its sea legs.

Loving Cup closes out this romp of a show highlighted by tight playing from all members individually and continued cohesive interplay through and through. mighty Poseidon holding a front row seat to the three night run in AC has blessed this weekend and looks forward to more Phish.

Mahalo Nui,


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