, attached to 2023-04-17

Review by Midcoaster

Midcoaster I don’t review shows often; then again, there aren’t many four song sets to choose from these days.

This one is great. Set 1 is reflective of the still-pouring-in fan base who had to wait on the LINE. Wow. A lot of nervous energy, people cutting through aisles looking for their crews. Plus security closed the stage-side return passage near us, causing huge pedestrian jam ups. Weird.

Still, this is Cali, and the crowd was mellow af. You’ll never see more weed at the dang Cannabis Cup. These puffers are straight pros, going hard all night long. I’d need a nap.

The Curtain was an amazing opener choice, and it sort of set the tone for the evening: MELLOW. At moments, we could hear a pindrop. One dude on line was sporting the Bob Weir STFU! T-shirt, and I had given him an approving nod earlier. He knew exactly how to read my reaction. Gotta love it.

Come to think of it, I didn’t see a whole lot of cell phone usage happening except for the occasional camera work. People danced, chatted, high-fived, met new neighbors, and smoked up!

Peeps were great, and it had always been my understanding that this is a symbiotic relationship. Well, a groovy, psychedelic, patient, thoughtful (for the most part), a little slowed down crowd does wonders for the subtle interplays happening on stage. The Tweezer jam, for example, is at turns one of the quieter jams I’ve heard from Phish. But it builds from that, and at about 12:30 or so, the jam really starts to fly. The sensation was like someone trying to double-clutch on a hill but suddenly finding a lock-on groove.

There were several moments like this, of serendipitous meet ups. Friends. Friends of friends. Online acquaintances becoming friends. All quite friendly and chatty. This is the Bay Area. A lot of pros. Tie-dyed Deadheads have a much more notable impact than almost anywhere else, and that’s just freakin’ great in my book. (Staying not too far from Sasha Shulgin’s hacienda, so . . . )

So, of course this Tweezer is the main attraction. But when they find the Simple, it’s a lock. When they find Rock and Roll, it’s a lock and release. Still, Trey was definitely feeling the 04/20/19 vibe all but playing Sea of Stars and just opting for the space instead. Oh, and what a space. Brain food.

Killer venue, great freakin’ people, something something “never felt like this before” = KILLER show.

tl;dr: Don’t believe the set 1 haters, listen to the whole show. Naturally good.


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