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Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ
I actually could not believe Set 1 was performed in 2022. I mean, just reading the setlist, you might think that this was straight out of '99 (if you overlook Egg In a Hole, which I count as a quote/tease and not an individual song). This was one of the most fun sets I've ever personally attended, as the crowd was experiencing communal euphoria from start to finish. Fluff came to New York, Arrival, We've Got Skyscraper, the transition back to Simple proper after a crazy dark jam, the band turning around to face the back of the stage during Divided Sky pause, and ALL of the First Tube closer--these moments are cemented in my brain due to the absolute batshit cheering we produced in that room. Musically, I really love Trey's solo at the end of Fluffhead; some of the lines he pulls out are just so triumphant and celebratory. The Simple jam here may have been my favorite of the entire run (though DwD, Ghost, and SYSF are good contenders), especially from ~14:00 on when things get real dark and doomy. Add to all of the magic the fact that this was my first Fluffhead, first Hydrogen-filled Mike's Groove, AND first Divided Sky? Absolute platinum tier.
Set 2 had some work to do to keep the pace. Although I felt it fell just a bit short of the mark, there's still some really awesome material in here, starting with NMINML. By far the longest single-song jam of the run, NMINML explores a few different Type II themes and energies without evolving too drastically in any one direction. Plenty of meat in there to pick at. A compelling Prince Caspian (another first for me!) gives way pretty quickly to Piper, which stood out as a Set 2 highlight for me. Trey shreds over a steady upbeat, darkish groove where Mike really stands out for his creative bass approach. As Phish fans love, Piper transitions right into Gotta Jibboo (ahem 6/19/04). Trey harkens back to the gag of the previous night and and Jibboos of yesteryear with his funk siren in the jam section. Always Wanted it this Way and Lonely Trip take a step back from the heavy hitting for some nice loftiness and a slow breather. Finally the boys bring us home with a beastly Walls of the Cave finish. The energy on the jam here is sky high again, and Trey shreds above and beyond.
Though the encore didn't deliver the YEM I'd been looking for all run, we got three more tunes before going home and I can't complain. I was stoked to see my first Wilson since my first show (this time I knew the call and response intro, lol), relish in a sweet David Bowie (my fave Phish tune) with some excellent Mike in the jam, and close the run with a spirited More. Like a beloved little one leaving Grandma's house on Thanksgiving, I went home sleepy, stuffed, and super satisfied. Absolutely killer run.