, attached to 2022-07-24

Review by FatPage

FatPage I will preface this review with the fact that this was my 13th show.

With that being said, this is perhaps the most joy I’ve experienced at a Phish show. The day started with an early morning departure from Philadelphia. When it came time to enter the NJ Turnpike, I opted for Cars, Trucks, Buses, telling my fiancée I was manifesting. During lunch at Black Eyed Sally’s, I speculated that maybe tonight was the night the band would sneak Sally through the alley. Or maybe it would be a Moma Dance.

You can imagine my enthusiasm when the band opened with Cars, Trucks, Buses. Would we get the Sally, too? The anticipation of the following song continued throughout the first set, much as it had through my first dozen shows.

Breath and Burning followed, and the reggae made me ask “Will it be a Makisupa night?” This was a song I was not at all familiar with, but I’m always down to rage with Page, and I felt the band showed some patience with the way they stretched out the second song of the night. On a listen back, Trey’s tone seemed locked in early, as well. On to The Final Hurrah. Again, not something I was looking forward to hearing, but it was fun and, following the early theme, stretched itself out. Free next. I’ll take that every show. Yarmouth followed and got me thinking more about the possible Makisupa. Plasma was a first for me, and I was really enjoying Fish’s work. With the start of Sigma Oasis, I thought maybe it was time to go to bathroom. Boy, am I glad I didn’t do that. Incredibly patient jamming was making me be believe the band felt they were, in fact, already there. This was a theme that seemed to develop early on and was expanded upon during the first hour of the second set.

Wave of Hope, another song not on my radar, blew me away. I had to ask a neighbor what it was. During ASITHOS, I thought to myself, “I hope they don’t play anything else this set.” Trey let us know in the previous song that this, too, shall pass, but I was really hoping that it wouldn’t. I mean, what could possibly improve upon that playing?

That was when I realized things had changed. Up to that point, I had constantly thought about what was next. After my first show (8/7/18), I dove headfirst into this band’s catalogue. Doing so led me to deciding favorite songs, songs I wanted to see live, etc. Whenever I entered a show, I’d ask a friend to call the opener, or ask them what they wanted to hear that night, or tell them what song I thought would make an appearance. So, when I found myself thinking, “I hope they don’t play another song,” I knew something had changed. In Hartford on 7/24/22, I feel like I entered a new level of Phish fandom. For the first time, not only was I not thinking about what song was next, I even thought that I did not want the current song to end! And, the best part, I didn’t even know what song it was!

The rest of the set was great. Trey’s tone was beautiful on The Wedge. Farmhouse Number Line back to back is a live Phish I’ve never experienced. I never would have drawn that up on a dream setlist, but I got it and I enjoyed it.

At this point in the night, I was thinking of a trip to Suarez Family Brewery in the Hudson Valley earlier in the summer. Their tap room, at the time, was a patio that was open for a 3 hour window one day a week with only one beer on tap. I loved the idea. You want our beer? Well we’ll tell you what you’re having. I had one and I enjoyed it. I was ready for another and it was nice to trust that I was going to enjoy the next one just as much.

On 7/24/22, I learned to let Phish call the shots. I learned that, once the show starts, I’m already there. There is nothing to look forward to. The song I’m listening to is the reason I’m there.

Also, how about those lights?


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