, attached to 2021-10-31

Review by DividedSkySolo

DividedSkySolo I feel like I’m in the minority but I’ve never been crazy about Halloween shows. I think they’re fun one-offs and I love the way the band uses them to exercise their creative muscles. I rarely listen to even the best of them though. It’s a great tradition and I hope they never stop doing them, but the gag sets themselves aren’t really my favorite from a re-listen value perspective.

I will say that I prefer this kind of thing to covering classic albums. I’d rather see something that came out of the weird brains of my favorite musicians than watch them play Pink Floyd or whatever.

This particular set had a lot of ups and downs. I think they cultivated some really tight grooves. I absolutely love it conceptually. The comic book is hilarious, and I find the cooky lore entertaining and even kind of cool. The music itself has a lot of cool sections but also a lot of fluff. I think there are some segments that should be cut to keep it engaging. The front half was honestly pretty great, it dragged in the middle, but I dug the ending. I also don’t care for the tone on that BC Rich, I think many of these songs will shine more once they’re better practiced and played through the band’s usual equipment.

Knuckle Bone Broth Avenue - Has a tight groove to it, sort of peters off in the middle. I’d like to hear this one with more Page synth noise. Just needs to be filled up a little bit and it will create some interesting jams. Definitely agree that it has some Camel Walk DNA to it.

Get More Down - Oh boy is this one going to be polarizing. I think it’s hilarious. They know a lot of people don’t like the Fish noises and they made an entire groove around one of the most annoying ones. They actually develop a nice pocket around it, I think.

Egg in a Hole - The early fan favorite. As a Chicagoan, I love this one and hope they heed their own thoughts and get back here soon. This is a very dark, psychedelic tune, especially where it fits in the narrative about drinking “pressed, fermented, mind-expanding liquid” lol. Hoping to hear a dark type II jam off this in Chicago next summer!

Thanksgiving - I loved this one. Tight, funky pocket. Good vocal interplay. I like the lyrics, they’re kind of creepy!

Clear Your Mind - Nice work by Mike on this track. I think this is one where the lyrics will grow on me. Some of the really simple, repetitive Phish songs rub me the wrong way until I have a moment at a show where they hit me right. This song kind of overstays its welcome though.

The 9th Cube - I like Trey’s sweet little prog sections. I can’t wait to hear this one with a bit more practice and on the Doc.

The Inner Reaches of Outer - This one is kind of a mess haha. Page’s synth doesn’t quite fit but I think with a little work they can salvage this one. The lyrics are actually not bad in my opinion. Musically a bit boring though.

Don’t Doubt Me - This one drags a bit. Definitely a few too many “unhead the knees” ha. I think this will be one of the most “memed” songs (he’s a genuine asshole). I like the way they build at the end, just need to tidy up that middle section a bit.

The Unwinding - This is where that BC Rich really started bugging me. Sounds flat and out of tune. This song will ruin 2nd sets for a lot of you next summer, but I think it will be a nice cool-down after some heaters.

Something Living Here - Maybe my least favorite, though I do like the line “I twist humor to exist.” Just generally kind of boring. Could be a jam vehicle though, I’ll give it that.

The Howling - Nice little jam. I got some Allan Parsons Project vibes. I have a feeling we’ll see this one open some shows this summer.

I Am In Miami - It’s funny wordplay. Don’t mind it taking up a spot where they’d normally do Grind or something.

I’ve been really impressed with 2021 Phish. They’re playing tight, mixing up setlists, and creating interesting jams. I only caught Deer Creek this year, but after hearing that Simple it just feels right they’d do a sci-fi theme. I had fun and I’m all for some of this making it into rotation. There is no doubt in my mind that more than a couple of these songs will become staples. We’ll see a JOTY contender from one of them. We’ll refer to “classic versions” of some. There will also be a handful of throwaways. I’m feeling a strong 7 to a light 8 on this one.
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