, attached to 2021-10-24

Review by SplitOpenAndMalt

SplitOpenAndMalt Was going to wait for the morning but I got too excited...

I flew into town from Columbus, OH to hit this Sunday show solo-- both my first time down here in LA and my first time going to a show solo. Absolutely any and every one of my expectations was blown out of the water. I settled up in the second row of the pit directly in front of Page and waited a few hours for the show to start.

A Wave of Hope was a nice way to get everyone moving, and then, BOOM! Second song spacey as all hell YEM-- another first for me! The energy in the room was palpable prior to the first uttering of 'Boy'! and everything just came flowing down. Fishman was doing an exceptional job pacing the prolonged ending of the jam and they even wrapped it up with an abbreviated vocal jam. Instead of taking a break with a catch up song, the band dove right into a ten minute Moma which was really where you could tell Trey was on fire for the first time. After the year that Simple has had so far (and it's been quite the '21 for it), I kinda wrote off the song as a possibility for the first set, but the Simple -> Waiting All Night was just a beautiful piece of music-- truly art. The Maze was exceptionally high-tempo, and the nature of the jam and the environment on the floor convinced me that this HAD to be the set closer (if you haven't, would highly recommend listening to this jam that'll probably be overlooked because of the rest of the show). To my delight, Trey proved me wrong as he pulled out his megaphone. Fee was arguably the song that got me into Phish in the first place, before I even really "got" the music, and I've always been wanting to see it live. It did not disappoint-- it was just as happy as I'd imagined and everyone in the arena was singing along. If this first set didn't already have everything in it, the Steam and Antelope to round it out were played without flaw. Steam stayed Type I and concise enough to give the band time to play a full Antelope but adequately showcased the capabilities of each member to play off of each other (bass bombs in this one were crazy!). Antelope has gotta be my favorite set closer too, and this one just got me so excited from the start.

When they started Set II with Cars, Trucks, Buses, I didn't really know what to expect. I'm actually a huge fan of CTB and I thought to myself about flipping the position of that and YEM at that time. And then the TweezerFest kicked in-- my first Tweezer as well. I can't even start to go song by song in this behemoth of a set. LA Woman was a crazy cool bustout that the crowd loved-- it was obvious the band had practiced this one recently as it sounded like it could've been a regular in their rotation. The SANTOS/Tweezer blend was arguably the first-ever Type II jammed out SANTOS and it was one of my highlights of the show. The juxtaposition of that with the What's the Use showcased the dynamic nature of Tweezer jams, and, to a greater extent, the band. What's the Use is incredibly awe inspiring and they didn't cut any corners tonight. The band just takes it absolutely next level after this onset; BOAF to Chalkdust (with a nice BOAF tease right after the vocal section) to Boogie On Reggae Woman is, in most shows, a satisfactory meat of a second set. This iteration just so happened to be right at the midway point of a damn TweezerFest. Carini has also had a beast of a '21 and the darkness of this jam just blew the room up-- at this point, we'd had somber, spacey, energetic, inspiring, and experimental emotional components of this set and Carini was just so different than everything else that had been played. The set wrapped up with Mr. Completely and Tweeprize and honestly I don't know if there's a single thing I would've changed about this set. The Gin encore was also a shocker and a monster of a jam in and of itself.

All in all, a lot of firsts for me. Yeah, this is only my seventh show, but this is almost certainly the best Phish show I've been to, edging out Deer Creek Night One. If you've got the time, there is not a song I would skip out of this entire show. If you don't have the time, make the time. An absolute must listen-- this band is unbelievably hot right now going into Santa Barbara right before Vegas. 5/5 stars without a question.


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