, attached to 2022-07-29

Review by That_Naked_Dude

That_Naked_Dude How this show has a rating under 4 is beyond me!

I followed the band around the world throughout the 90s; yes, I took a break to get married and have kids, but I dutifully kept up with the lads, following them in spirit rather than in person. Now that my kids are older, I'm back to following in-person. This show marked my triumphant return to head-bobbing on the lawn, and I was completely blown away by the experience. The band have always been able to deliver, but their musical conversations, jams, and even their singing have reached an entirely new level -- a god-like tier that should cause every other band in the world to quit from shame and embarrassment.

And it's not just the band that have upped their game. Kuroda's UFO-like light rig was hypnotic as it bent, trailed, dipped, broke apart, reformed, and swerved along with the music. It was truly flashback-inducing. If the Spanish Inquisition were a part of this timeline, they'd burn him at the stake for being a warlock. Hell, they'd burn the entire outfit for witchcraft.

I think a lot of people have become so jaded that the ratings here (in my humble opinion) are no longer a reliable indicator of a show's worth. If you scored the show under 4-stars just because the setlist contained a Rise/Come Together, you need to take a step back and re-examine your relationship with Phish. I've not been a huge fan of all the love-light-peace songs, but I accept them as part of Trey's evolution as both a person and a musician. He obviously recognized these concepts as attributes of a higher power during recovery; whatever helps him remain healthy and flourishing is alright by me (also a recovering addict).

You guys are more adept than me at describing the musical intricacies of any given show, so I'll just share my own personal highlights:

Beneath a Sea of Stars Part 1 was beautiful, and it carried extra weight on the night because of the threatening thunderstorm that dissipated between sets. "We're all here together and the weather's fine" evoked a jubilant roar throughout the crowd, the extent of which is difficult to measure via the soundboard recording. I feel like we should have gotten a Timber between Ruby Waves and Sea of Stars, as it sounded like that was where they were headed (around 8 minutes and 10 seconds into Ruby).
BBFCFM was the best one I've ever heard; when Mike returned to it (lyrically) during a particularly trippy portion of the Piper jam, it reminded me of the old days when the jams would get so dark that those who were experiencing the show on a different level (per se) were frozen in near-terror, waiting for the bliss to return.
The encore (a.k.a., Set Three): Strange Design is a particular favorite of mine as it has helped me get through many a challenging drive home in my more reckless days.My daughter loves Heavy Things —seeing her face light up in sheer delight when she recognized the tune brought a proud dad tear to my eye. I thought they were going to end it with Sally (another personal favorite), but we got a surprise Wilson. The shouts of Wilson were so loud, I'm pretty sure Trey gave us an extra couple of bars so that it would carry on.
It's not noted in the setlist but, throughout the show, I could have sworn I heard several Odd Couple Theme teases. I'll mark them down next time I give the show a listen and will list all instances in an update. Did anyone else notice this?
Anyway. Fantastic show. I gave it a 5 that night when the adrenaline was pumping, but am changing that now to a


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