, attached to 2024-04-18

Review by phishphan1984

phishphan1984 I am not sure I am currently able to judge the music of this one seeing that all of my senses were blown last night, but I'll give it a go.

First off, and this is not meant to be pretentious, but it is hard to separate the music from the spectacle of the accompanying light show in the Sphere for those who were in attendance. The two were intertwined, and it definitely enhanced the experience, and thus the show, above the music alone. There seemed to be a few kinks that were being worked out early on with the sound, which was generally excellent. I am speculating a bit, but I think that the light show for each song needed time to load. This is why, particularly for set 1, there were deliberate pauses between songs (or why when quick song transitions were made, there was a delay of 15-30 seconds before the lights came on). I also suspect that they did not pick all of the songs in advance to match the display, save for Farmhouse, Leaves, and the Mike's Song>Lifeboy>Weekapaug medley. I am guessing they did this so they could balance their desire for improvisation with the need to provide some accompanying thrills, and it generally paid off. I loved the show for Maze the best, and there were many other standout visual experiences, while Tweezer's moving cars seemed out of place (and reinforced the possibility that the visual loops for some songs were not planned in advance). Overall, it was mesmerizing, captivating, and exactly what I had hoped for.

Just over 3h30 min were played, with 2 monster sets where they dared to add on classics like Carini and Fluffhead as set closers. Many songs seemed to go type II (but maybe the lights were playing tricks on me).

Set 1:
Everything's Right took a bit to get going (perhaps some sound challenges), but was a nice jam.
Back on the Train was really nicely done and had some nice bass and key interplay - Mike came ready to play out of the gate.
Wolfman's Brother was a nice turning point about halfway in where they were getting grungy and experimental and I thought they were looking for a way out, but then they pressed on and found new life for another solid stretch.
Following this was a strong and upbeat version of Maze, really enhanced by the filtered images of the fab 4 breaking apart and pulsating along.
Leaves was pretty and had a blissful jam, definitely worth a listen. The lanterns and visuals were brilliant.
Life Saving Gun was great, and I can see why this is turning into a jam vehicle for the group, quite different and more uptempo than the album version. The moving TVs featuring the band members made for a really cool optical illusion from our end, looking like they were floating
Dirt is a personal fave, very well played. Carini short but sweet.

Set 2:
Sand and Tweezer were a rocking 1-2 punch. The visuals for Sand were stunning, while Tweezer's were a bit distracting for me. Some experimental work, loops, interplay above standard major chord jamming, with lots of peaks and troughs. Crazy that we still were treated to another hour of great music afterwards.
My Friend, My Friend was high energy and had a nice jam
Loved the Mike's Song>Lifeboy detour. Timed the Mike's Song>Lifeboy perfectly as you arrived at the sculpture with a change to nighttime outdoors coinciding with the switch (the only time they seemed to engineer/sync up a song change, likely because it was happening within the same video segment). Weekapaug was a bit anticlimactic with the visual just moving backwards, but I really appreciated what they did with the Mike's Lifeboy Groove as a whole, mixing some improvisation with the show.
Blaze On standard fare, ending with a high energy and well executed Fluffhead.

Farmhouse was sweet with the acoustic touch and a Farmhouse with northern lights that made us all yearn to be there, and a lovely Antelope where they managed to build the suspense as we moved through the pixels and lines on the screen.

We are all super privileged to be here, and I really appreciated the extra time they gave the fans. Can't wait to see what night 2 brings!

Jam worthy songs: Everything's Right, Wolfman, Life Saving Gun, Sand, Tweezer, Lifeboy
Special mention: Leaves, My Friend, My Friend, Fluffhead, Antelope


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