SET 1: Sand, Winterqueen, Reba, Birds of a Feather, Water in the Sky > Possum > Runaway Jim, Bouncing Around the Room, Maze, Split Open and Melt
SET 2: Chalk Dust Torture > Light > Tweezer, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Sing Monica, Slave to the Traffic Light
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Review by n00b100
Set 2: Let's just go jam by jam, shall we?
CDT: The sort of jam you hope for every time you go to a Phish show, combining the constant shape-shifting of the Mann Fuego with the effortless flow of, well, the SPAC Fuego. It doesn't take long for the band to slide into a beautiful major-key groove at Page's prodding, and he naturally takes the lead as Trey alternates between soloing and meaty chords. Fish takes things down to a lower boil as the playing gets more contemplative, Page switching to electric piano, Mike hitting on a catchy bassline, then Trey takes over with some heavier soloing and Fish goes to Worcester-light stomping beat mode as Page starts delving into his effects. The resulting jam sounds very 70s-influenced, especially Page's organ work. Note: at this point, we're only halfway in.
Trey starts wailing away on very familiar chords - I said LxL in the show thread, others think it's the Mike's Song climax - and suddenly the jam turns dark and inwards on itself, a plinko-esque jam emerging as things go weird and off-kilter (Trey actually plays a mutated version of something he was playing earlier in a neat callback). The jam opens back up and Fish (who is as much a champion here as the 7/31/13 Tweezer) finally gets to pick up the pace as things build towards the jam's second peak. Another strange effect makes its way out of the mix (Trey here?) as Page takes over solo duties - btw, check out Mike's almost Latino-influenced bass work - and then Trey comes back and leads things into another darker realm as Page returns to the piano. Some loops start flying '99 style and the jam now takes on an eerie feeling, with Mike finally getting off his meatball effect, and things seem to be winding down. But there's still time for one last segment, with Trey playing repeating chords and Page laying down some warm notes as Fish pushes things forward yet again. The jam finally reaches a close, and Trey quickly cranks up Light.
Whew. What a ride. Easily the jam of 2014 so far, compelling all throughout and as experimental as 20 years ago, and certainly enough for the band to coast on for the rest of the sh-
What's that? We're not done yet?
Light: Trey starts building some tension out of the usual Light jam, hitting on some minor-key chords, but Page pushes for major-key instead and we briefly get that as Trey pulls out a charming as hell St. Thomas tease. The jam strips away as Page and Trey have a miniature duet, then things suddenly devolve into free-jazz as Fish pounds away on his kit...but only briefly, as Trey begins to build up some momentum and the band follows him towards the sky, culminating in an absolutely *superb* peak that feels organic and earned. It's seriously a thing of beauty, so perfectly reached through communication with all 4 members, and caps off maybe the best Light since its glory year of 2012. So that's 40 glorious minutes of jamming, and certainly the band has earned any victory l-
What's that? We're *still* not done yet?
Tweezer: Out of the usual Tweezer jam, things suddenly come to a brief halt as Fish drops the tempo to a crawl and Trey pulls out some monster-movie effects (I thought I was having an acid trip listening to the stream, and I've never even taken acid), then a more relaxed funky jam takes its place, until Trey takes the lead and we start building towards *another* big-time peak. This is joyous, anthemic stuff, exactly what you'd want to hear as the closing jam of nearly an hour of exceptional music, and the return to the main Tweezer theme to close things out is a perfect capper to the Tweezer proper. A damn good Tweezer, all in all.
And *now* we're done with the meat of the set. Wading and Sing Monica give the crowd a chance to relax, and a typically beautiful Slave closes out a monster set, certainly one of the best since the return, and a tremendous ending to a great three-night run.
Final thoughts: an immense show. Not much else to say about that.