, attached to 2022-07-24

Review by Phellinus

Phellinus An absolutely beautiful show in some of the swampiest humidity that southern New England has to offer. Forget the day of the week. Sunday, Tuesday, Friday, it matters not. Think of the moment and the preceding days for the band. Leaving the bucolic fields, forests and mountains of southern New York for the roiling asphalt expanse of greater Hartford during a blistering stretch of heat. The juxtaposition of sites could not be starker.

The song selection was deeply introspective and my mind was swimming with thoughts of where we’ve been over last few years and how we arrived at this place. The theme was nihilistic but far from defeated. Instead, I felt the band was demonstrating a resolute fortitude to ask the dark questions, to acknowledge the days gone past, but not with despair. Trey set the hook deep and I was on a string from the end of his guitar the whole night. This was undoubtedly a Trey show, in both song and solo all night long.

“What does it matter, if the nightmares all come true?” – B&B
“I don't think that when I depart I'll be close to where I start.” – Plasma
“You’re already there.” – Sigma
“This too shall pass, this too shall pass” – WoH
“How can I answer questions I’ve known?” – ASIHTOS

This was not happy, silly Phish. This was a band capable of taking us down a dark tunnel into the frightening and foreboding frailties of life. The first set was all about patient jam construction with plenty of cathartic crescendos that left me deeply satisfied. The second set trio of WoH > ASIHTOHS > Blaze On carried that same patience, but with jams that descended into total song deconstruction, creating an unrecognizable, dissonant soundscape that was both menacing and stunning. Farmhouse, the quiet jam out of this tune hit so well in the shed swamp that just would not fade. Backwards, an increasingly favorite sing along, and I felt zero shame indulging in the cliché that everyone in house is indeed a phriend. Zero, caps off a show just fine in my book. The Tube > First Tube? Come on now, even for the haters that’s Phish gravy in all forms.


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