, attached to 2021-10-26

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Further evidence, if any were needed, that the 'Type II' designator has outlived its usefulness. Today's Phish jams routinely mix key changes and rhythm/tempo shifts -- in the old terms, half the songs in this show go 'Type II.' Pebbles, Sample(!), Halley's(!!), Set Your Soul Free, Sea of Stars(!!!), 46 Days, and Weekapaug all step beyond themselves. And we get several improvised segues to boot, including a funky slow Pebbles > Makisupa, a gorgeous transition into the Phish debut of Silver Light, a brief but perfectly judged Mull > SYSF, an unintentionally (then intentionally) funny fakeout 46 Days > Sally, and a pitch-perfect slide from Sally into a multifaceted standalone Weekapaug. The jamming is at Fall 2021 levels of fluency and fluidity, 10 of the 16 songs in sets 1 and 2 run 9:00 or more, and Mountains in the Mist and the GOTF tunes let in intense emotions to balance the shenanigans.

Fall Tour was so good this year -- a bold step beyond Summer and and flying leap beyond what 'Phish 3.0' had led us to expect -- that this show is likely being marked down a bit for being merely Kong- and not Godzilla-sized. The best of this tour can reasonably be named the best Phish of the 21st century, and the band was unquestionably playing at a more consistently high level than at any point since Coventry, if not Big Cypress. This show is 'merely' that good, Mike and Fish merely playing their asses off, Trey merely high as a kite off his Dezron-meets-Fish-and-Ray TAB vacation, Page merely bringing a Soviet nuclear reactor's worth of electromechanical doodads to bear on his bandmates' intriguing musical/emotional problems. We might be grateful for a tour so ludicrously good (at this improbably late hour) that this excellent Phish concert manages, somehow, not to stand out. Anyway, I love it and suggest you do the same.
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