[This recap of last night's tour-opener is courtesy of Chris Cagle, user @OrangeSox. Thank you Chris!]
Many have remarked that Phish has begun to tilt their “tours” toward “destinations” built around holidays, major cities, and tourist enclaves, but when The Baker’s Dozen was announced, the tilt became a topple. Three night stands in Mexico, Chicago, and Denver, along with the thirteen in New York, account for 22 of the year’s currently announced 24 shows. Just two stops on the route from Chicago--in Dayton and Pittsburgh--to New York give the Summer any real appearance of an actual tour, as many fans envision one.
For a few “jaded vets,” the bravado novelty of a 13 show residency in the nation’s most established performance space could not overcome the failure to more fully reach the band’s broad audience coast to coast. The announcement of five shows across the Midwest leading to New York did little to quell the rancor; the shows were even dubbed by some to be “warm-up” shows.
Many more marveled that the band would be so bold as to take over Madison Square Garden for three weeks, and the additional shows beforehand gave a lot of people the chance to catch a show this Summer when there were no shows before. That the four need a little warm-up should come as no surprise, and it's undeniable that The Baker’s Dozen deserves the extra effort. Their first show of the Summer proved again that even while the band adjusts to being back onstage together in front of thousands, moments of glory abound, giving solid reason to believe the next week will warm up indeed.
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