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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

ihadadog , attached to 1989-01-28 Permalink
I was actually at this show, although I thought it was earlier than 1989. There weren't many people there, but it was definitely rocking. I had never heard the band before so any Phish songs were unknown to me. They definitely played Fire by Jimi Hendrix and Good Times, Bad Times.
Score: 0
davisnafshun , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Let me begin by addressing the first set: Good. The Fee was nice as an opener, the megaphone being a special treat. Fuego near the end was a good jam and the You Enjoy Myself always spectacular.
But that's not why we are here: The Second Set.
When Phish performed 5/07/1994 at the Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas, the result was dubbed Tweezerfest. This performance nearly rivals that historic show of more than 20 years ago, but I would argue that most Phish fans do not understand the gravity of the situation.
THIS IS 2014 PHISH!!! This is unbelievable!!! This 7/27/2014 show will go down as one of the most unexpected, most exciting, and most enjoyable shows IN PHISH HISTORY!!!
This Tweezer segue-fest encompasses 6 songs.
Also the first Jennifer Dances in 15 years!!
I Saw You Around Bustout!!
First Hold Your Head Up in over 170 shows!!
This proves the boys can show the unexpected and still rock the fun train, both of which happened tonight.
Save this show.
Score: 1
hughie46 , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
first set started off with fee and curtain... enough to intrigue to say the least. 46 days reached a pretty huge peak and brought the first touch of heat to our faces.

two sweet, well executed songs later they played a sand that to my ears seemed ripe with flourishes. page getting quirky, trey adding flairs, the type of phish clockwork that foreshadows a huge jam. & unlike the other sands of this tour to my ears, the band didnt seem to be chasing a theme or sound. the groove calmly and self sufficiently swelled and broke in a finish. nevertheless, sand finished at an ordinary length and was still sick.

saw it again and fuego paired were a lighthearted nudge against fans reminding us of two things: the band still fucks with us, and the band is still doing it for us.

to follow that up, an awesome and perfectly placed set closing yem. only the second yem of the tour, and felt earned after spac's crippled composed section.

and thats only the first set.

as a bar setter for what a first set to an epic night should be, it can almost stand alone in signifying what this night was. rarities, risks, jokes, phishyness in its essence was radiating from the music. and, the songs happened to be fantastically executed and placed.

for the second set, i will let the merits of experience assure you of most of this sickness. anyone that has listened to the original tweezer fest, or any goofy/segue-infused show for that matter knows the thrilling nature of this type of playing. last night, not only did phish play a set with five tweezers and circulate the stage instrument-less like poorly synchronized jesters, but they did it in an era where they don't tend to and certainly don't need to. the band may have proved itself 20 years ago, but last nights second set is a thesis for the argument that the band is still alive, toying with ideas, and most importantly playing for fun.
Score: 2
unoclay , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
unoclay As posted to the forum last night:

2:01 AM, 28Jul, just home from Merriweather Post

It must be a thing this year; when phish play an epic show, you are then required to drive in a proportionally voluminous rainstorm. Barely missed wrecking my car in a pileup, i was swerving through deep rivers of accumulated highway water. Unexpected swaths of flooding and the resulting turbulence had smashed 3 others just before i swerved through; it was fine, i held the wheel, i kept the hand steady. It was close but not so much. The force was with me tonight. The rain was beyond. Liquid slamming down. I saw 4 or 5 lightning bolts slashing down to ground, all of them directly located in the general direction i was heading. Something awesome and humbling. And so appropriate, somehow. A capstone to a night.

The show should be called The Free-zer, or the Merriweather Post Freezer. Obviously that isnt everything one might mention about the show; the Catapult, the spirited goofs, the feeling you forget and forgot again. There was something tangible in the air; I’m not kidding; when the set started with Wilson i turned to Wenger and relayed what was coming down the psychic line, “Opening with Wilson? Something big is coming.” I don’t say dumb stuff like that lightly or often. Air. It can tell you things. Objectively, it definitely could have been a trickle down sensation from the approaching storm; perhaps my gut instinct came from subtle atmospheric pressure drops, or whatever. Crisp summer-yet-sweaty-air pockets. The goofs in Fee relaying some sense,a hint?, of a set to come. The Wilson; i dont have anything statistical to back it up, but it just telegraphed a vibe of calm-before-the-roller coaster. And then it all went off.

Man, this was One of Those Shows. It called to mind 7/11/00. I know, im on sacred ground here, but its like that sort of show. Like a goofy modern Roxy. The electric guitar from redhead guy might not be as fast or flashy, but all that Phish is in there, still, and when it erupts out, you get a thing like a show we saw tonight. The kind of thing where the cosmic goof, the band’s own laughter at themselves, is as important as what or how they play. The high water mark, perhaps, being, the I’ve Been Around march around the stage. For real. It might have been the best part of the show, the guys in a line. I still generally reject the idea of televising phish, but absentees should seek out the video of this part, or set, even. The band in a line, old friends in music and comedy, pranking Fish and then marching like goofy stageshow actors. Like I said, it might have been my favorite part of the show. It’s pretty tough to say.

It’s not Randalls or SPAC; it’s part of the hopeless schizoid cannon of phish. A smaller subset than the ‘forever jammin’ sorts of shows--almost the rarest kind of gig, in fact. 1 in 50? 1 in 75? More? There’s no one big gag to latch onto; no Tuck or Woo or Page’s House or Moby Dick or anything else; the Free-Zer transitions are really it, a willingness to T2 and be ridIcculus and all that sort of thing. The Jennifer Dances. The moment when he’s got nothing, then ‘takes a request from the drummer’. Yes. Yes, they remember. They just like to keep the suspense going. They know the jokes too. It’s pretty damn obvious.

Merriweather FreeZer, the truth, the kind of thing.
Phish 2014. It is oh so real. See you on the road.
Score: 6
drshaws , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
drshaws I'm going to go give a listen later today. But I have to think that the Saw It Again into Fuego was a keen stick in the ribs by the boys for any blowback/complaints related to Fuego being rolled out in every town this tour. And I heartily laughed when I saw that happen. Good for you, Phish, good for you.
Score: 3
SuzyKatzBerg , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Believe the hype!! This isn't "the best phish show I've ever been to until the next show"! This is the IT you've been craving! That 1st set! It's a gem! It's engaging and adventurous! Fee opener and then The Curtain With! 555 has become a regular occurrence this tour but hasn't really had the energy I personally anticipated all winter but tonight I feel like we are finally seeing Mike "step up and bust out" and give the song his soul! The connection between the crowd and the band was giving the evening a vitality and blissful enthusiasm. Moreover, it left many of us wondering "what in the world is going to top that!?" How do you follow Saw IT Again>Fuego and then a stellar first set YEM closer!?

You want to know how? By walking out on the stage, grabbing your Languedoc, and not sparing one single second before erupting into a monster Wilson! Maybe it was something in the air but it felt more appropriate than in times past. Tweezer began like every other but not before I cried out to my friends that I could take Tweezer at anytime! Anywhere! All night long! I guess I wasn't the only one who felt that way! The flow into Back on the Train was sublime! The segue back and forth between the two and essentially every song of the second set was without a doubt flawless! This is why we go to Phish shows! The technical skill and timing is mind numbing! Simple will give you goosebumps! Catapult?! Came out of nowhere! Slave was on point and the mid 2nd set DWD was impeccable! The energy! Maybe it was the approaching storms.. NICU is perfection; honestly my jaw was on the floor. Why are you reading this and not listening to this show already?!

I could go into the fine details about the rest of IT but I will sum it up like this.. On the drive home I forgot the first set happened.
Do not forget what I said about how we were wondering after that YEM how they could come out and blow the 1st set away? It was as if it was on a different day or because the second set we all stepped into the freezer and cryogenically stopped time; why that particular analogy you ask? That IS what happened! This entire night will live on forever in our hearts. July 27th 2014 is not a date to be forgotten my friends!
Score: 7
Meatballs , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Meatballs Last night Trey made it crystal clear, our humanity is irrelevant; we are all simply vessels made to bathe in the waters of radiance and glory which is Phish. As I was beginning to think that this tour had already started its descent, like the icy, monochrome arms of winter, they bust out a second set that sounded like eight rails of cocaine mainlined while standing on top of a fighter jet. It became apparent that all the previous shows were simply a veneer masking Trey’s true demeanor. Tonight he declared himself Mayor of “I’m-going-ham-ville” with the ideology that portion control is for communists. I must apologize for the people standing next to me for my constant shrieking and pooping like some kind of suicidal zoo animal. By the time DWD started, all the air had been flushed from my lungs and it felt like I was crying blood with the uncontrollable urge to eat children. It probably looked like I was dancing similar to an inbred orangutan on Adderall who just ate a meatloaf mixed with rabies. Tonight was tastier than the tears from a bald eagle compared to previous sets that felt like an aborted porcupine in my mouth giving me the urge to barf up my intestines so I can use them to choke myself to death. What previous felt like sitting in a grey office under dull fluorescent lights in the same time-frame as a bunch of other pale, sallow people, tonight was a party with crack pipes and riot cops. Tonight was a beautiful, perfect horror; a cold water extraction of a set, leaving behind the ass milk from a cyborg and delivering the essence of a unicorn.
Score: 19
ckess22 , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
ckess22 @noob100 said
"10. This is a show to treasure forever. I'm glad I got to hear it. I hope you all are, too."

Spot on, really. From the opening notes of Fee I was floored. Then the night just crescendos consistently all the way through to the end. You have to go back a long ways to find a show that was played *like this*. It's hard to venture a review for this show...so much energy and madness. I'll just finish by saying no other band on the planet can play this kind of show; nobody else has the guts to do it in front of 25,000 and untold numbers on the interwebs.
I was smiling from ear to ear all night; I hope everyone else was, too...isn't that what it's all about?
(and about the actual music...listen and decide for yourself (it's great))
Score: 7
n00b100 , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
n00b100 Some scattered thoughts:

1. Make sure you give the first set a listen - lots of energy, very good song selection, a nifty transition from Saw it Again to Fuego, and a chilled-out YEM given a little extra oomph by Trey playing around with his Fee megaphone. C'mon, do it. You gave 5/7/94 I a spin back in the day too, I'd bet.

2. I think you can draw a pretty neat demarcation line for this tour between the epochal Randall's 3 show and 7/15; up until Randall's 3, they'd been hewing to their 2012/13 battle plan for the most part, kicking off with a big jam (or a high-energy opener into big jam), mainly blowing out the 3rd quarter, and so on. Randall's 3, with three huge jams as the centerpiece of Set 2, is the logical conclusion to that kind of set-making. So where do you go from there?

One thing people had been mourning as 3.0 has progressed has been the loss of the segue - we all love them, since they show the band's paying very close attention to each other and just sound cool on top, but they'd been appearing with less regularity the past few years. Starting with Northerly 1, you could see segues coming back, the band tying segments of music together (even without jams in them), maybe scaling back the improv a bit without totally forsaking it to explore this new/old avenue of doing things. I think those shows, without the big jams of SPAC or Randall's, have been a bit underrated and undervalued. Hopefully, after last night, they won't be anymore.

3. The reason I bring all this up is because I don't really think this show occurred in a vacuum, like the band found one segue, decided that (much like kissing a girl) they liked it, and just rolled with the changes, so to speak. Sometimes a show happens in a vacuum like that (the Moby Dick show definitely did, as did Tweezeppelin), but I think in this case the band was working towards something new, and tonight was the logical conclusion. Which is funny, because we've still got five shows left in this tour...so where do they go for those last five shows? Back to big jamming? Continuing with segue-driven sets? Combining the two?

One hopes it's the last option, because the last time they combined segue-driven sets with big jamming, the phrase "cow-funk" was bandied about more than once...

4. Okay, the music. Every seguefest the band has played hasn't *just* been about the segues, but have included some thrilling improv passages as well - think the HYHU jam in the Bomb Factory set, the magical Hood of 2/20/93, the flaming-hot Antelope jam that rolls into Fixin' to Die on 11/30/94. And then think of the glorious Tweezer jam after the second BOTT segment, hinting at Golden Age as it moves from beautiful semi-hose to stomping powerful rock to hilariously goofy free jazz to a perfectly placed Waiting All Night. There's an alternative universe where they stuck with this Tweezer jam and it went 25-30 minutes. That show was probably a pretty good one, too.

5. Also, like every seguefest, there's a few segues that aren't quite as smooth as the others - the second -> into BOTT and the first Free -> Tweezer are a bit off, esp. when Page is totally caught off guard, and DWD sounded like it was going in 15 different directions (definitely Tweezer from Fish at one point) before they settled on NICU. Hey, if you're making an omelet this tasty, you're gonna break a few eggs.

6. That said, Catapult -> (a mid-set!!) Slave is breathtaking.

7. To go back to the whole improv thing, I'll always remember the goosebumps I got when Trey started fiddling with the Simple riff and the band just dropped into the right key on a dime, but I'll also remember the goofy funky jam they kicked into after NICU ended (that's probably a -> jam, right? NICU, for all intents and purposes, was over), Page in particular dropping some funny organ stings, before finding its way into a very, very clearly unplanned HYHU (man, Fishman is a good sport).

8. If ever you think that this band isn't self-aware and doesn't know its own reputation and history (even when they say they don't), give this show a listen again and behold the funniest (to me, at least) HYHU/Fishman song/HYHU of all time. This band knows, trust me.

9. Of any segment I'd like to see released as a video from this show, I truly hope it's I Been Around. You want to see the band just enjoying the hell out of themselves? That's a segment to watch.

10. This is a show to treasure forever. I'm glad I got to hear it. I hope you all are, too.
Score: 33
bmrobin , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
bmrobin i love how, after all these years, this band continues to astound me. sticking true to the mantra of "never miss a sunday show", the boys delivered a truly awesome "set" of material. sure there have been better jams on this already legendary summer tour, but the band wove together songs like they did in the early 90's in a way that wasn't jarring or forced.

highly recommend listening to this entire show - you can tell the band is having a great time doing this.
Score: 3
mountm , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Fee and YEM have never bookended the first set before.

The whole band swaggering around the stage with Mike's bass playing at the end of I've Been Around was somehow the perfect end to a show that defied all expectations coming in. I called a Tweezer, but I sure didn't call that!

Re: DWD being unfinished - it sounded like Fishman wanted to go back into Tweezer but it didn't happen...that sort of pulled the plug.

Don't sleep on the Sunday show.
Score: 5
FreeGhost82 , attached to 2014-07-25 Permalink
This was my 3rd show and it was so much fun! Hearing/seeing a show online is VERY different than actually being there. There were so many different age groups in Charlotte: young kids playing with glowsticks, young teens smoking and drinking and kissing, husbands and wives, singles with friends, and older folks enjoying the ride! Many people I met had birthdays that day or said it was their first show.

Since I had gone to the previous Charlotte show, I was going in with some idea of a few songs I wanted to hear, but I kept an open mind since I knew Phish had been in an experimentation mode this summer!

Mike's for an opener was shocking! I didn't expect it at all! The crowd went nuts! I instantly thought, dang, this is going to be really fun! Then Back on the Train, which was on my list, and was played really well. Fun to dance to! I didn't expect Weekapaug so soon, though. Last time they played in Charlotte, they had more songs in the sandwich, so much that you forgot about the sandwich, so I have to admit, I wasn't too thrilled that it ended so soon. But, it was played really well, the band was tight and locked in with each other. The break during the week really did them some good!

Wow, my first of the new tunes: Wingsuit! One of my favorites on the album, and very interesting to see live. I sang along and felt like I was listening to a movie soundtrack or something! That song is perfect in the first set, too. Mike's drill is really loud! The band took a moment to pause and figure out what to play next. At this point, much of the crowd was calling out what they wanted to hear. One guy near me yelled, "Tweezer Reprise...right now!" Our area laughed! POSSUM started, which was fun. It had a really long build-up and everyone danced. Kuroda's lights started becoming more noticeable. Then, Tube, which was also played in 2012, continued the dancing and had some really great jam moments. People shouted excitingly for My Friend. The lights were really fun on that one, and Trey did the guitar-screaming-from-feedback-on-the-microphone thing.

Oh, but then Winterqueen hit and many people sat down or left to get more drinks. I felt bad for them because Winterqueen is a really beautiful song and it's just as great live as recorded! I saw a couple kissing each other a few times. Trey had a great solo there, too. I didn't really care too much for Beauty. The crowd was feeling anxious and I kinda wish they did something else, but hey, it's what they want to do. People typically really just want to dance around in the first set, and then be blown away in the second. That's usually how it works, but so far, this set had been a constant up-and-down of emotions. I was surprised with Bowie because it seemed too early to close the set, so I knew something had to come after it. They played Bowie last time they were Charlotte, too, and both times, it was flawless. Then a shocker to close set: GOLGI! Again, the crowd was so excited! Many, including myself, held up our ticket stubs!!

My friends and I decided to go on the lawn for the 2nd set so we could hear better and see the lights better. The vibe was weird where we were because it seemed like there was no energy. No one around us cheered, clapped, danced, or anything. I don't know what that was about, I didn't care. My friends and I did our thing.

Second set was really interesting. With 555 starting the set, I began to think, ok, they're really going to play around with placement at this show too. (I think they tend to do that with shows that aren't usually streamed or sold out.) Comparison: Mike started both sets. Then, CHALKDUST. I really didn't expect them to jam on it, but it was amazing! It was the third song with the "back on the train" beat at which I felt was being overdone at that point. But the jam was great, and I was focusing more on what Kuroda was doing, which was MAGIC during the whole 2nd set! The backdrop is such an asset to the other lights, and it really makes a difference with the vibe.

"EVERYONE GETS A FUEGO." My 1st one! I wondered what the 1st timers thought of it. Following CDT was a bit slower that I would have liked it to be, and you can't really dance to it, unfortunately, but I could run to it! I was really glad to hear it. I think Phish is letting everyone have one because it's such a unique song. The lights were really something in it, too. Someone wrote that they heard "Twist from miles away" from within the last min or two. I heard it too and got really excited. Woo! They jammed Twist for some time while I got lost in Kuroda's lights, especially taking notice of the small blue and purple circles that "twist around" within the longer & bolder lights. Phish then slowed the jam down and SEGUED SEAMLESSLY into CIRCUS! Woooowwww. That. was. it. THE first perfect segue of tour and it was totally unexpected and it worked! Any other time, that song would have lost some interest, but that was the right move. At that point, I thought, I think this show's theme is very lovey-dovey. So many slow-dancing type songs. Piper started up the excitement again and I quickly realized, you can't dance to that song! I don't know what you do, but dancing is not easy for that one! But I could easily see myself running or driving to Piper and Rift. I don't know how Fishman plays like he does. I would never be able to play that beat in Rift (or others) for that long without slowing down or stopping completely! That's tiresome!

I think somewhere into the 2nd set, Trey and the band did that start-stop thing and tried to make the audience "Woo" again like last year, but I don't think it quite worked out… I was like, ‘come on, guys, where is everyone at?’

Anyway, then my ultimate favorite song from the new album came to play: Waiting All Night. Man, this song just gets me right in the heartstrings. There's something so magical and beautiful about it. And it was absolutely beautiful with the color choices Kuroda made. I sang out every word, especially the main chorus, no shame.

Reba followed and easily excited the crowd again! It was absolutely flawless! The Zappa-esque rhythms and over-the-bar lines melodies were on point, and the jam was just amazing. It seemed to have lasted just the perfect amount of time, and Kuroda's lights were just breath-taking. In fact, there were multiple times when you saw the signature purple, green, and yellow light set during the whole show, which means that Kuroda is very happy with either the song or what Phish had played musically.

Zero continued the excitement, had everyone sing along and dance, and set ended. I don’t think Zero ends sets usually, so that was cool. Didn’t know what to expect for encore. I heard someone call “Suzy,” which would have been great, but then they came back out and played Loving Cup! Forget the whole no covers thing. I love LC!

Overall, the band experimented and had fun. They played cleaner than they had all tour so far, which led to more fun for them and a happy audience. Solos were good, but sound was bit weird. I really didn't hear Page all that well. Trey's guitar was a bit much, and it kinda drowned out everyone else, and one of my friends said that there was a weird back-n-forth sound delay from the large speakers where he was in the middle center. I don't know if that was the venue or what, but when we moved to the lawn, the view and sound was better.

Now, since I was there, I had a totally different perspective than sitting at home listening to a stream. After listening to the show at home, it was a really solid and fun show, but the experience of being there was really special. Every show is so unique, you have to just be there to know what's it's like to give the band your energy so that they enjoy playing there.

Thank you, Phish!
Score: 0
MDosque , attached to 2014-07-26 Permalink
MDosque I'll just come out and say that I LOVED this show. I am not a fluffer by any means and actually lean towards probably being a slightly jaded vet. But last night was incredible. Maybe it was my seats (4th row center right pav directly in front of Mike). This was all I could ever ask for in a Phish show and I think it would be greedy to think otherwise. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I'm also entitled to think they are out of their minds. Let's break it down.

First Set: I walked in during Sample so that was cool, but is there anything like strolling down into the pavilion while Moma Dance kicks into gear? This was funky as hell and it just seemed like they were locked in. Wombat continued the funk and people were grooving. Number Line is absolutely PERFECT in this slot of the first set. I've always said that I like the song, but it just doesn't fit in the mid second set coming out of a jam. It's a rocking happy first set tune to get some heads bobbin. Roggae, what else can I say that hasn't been floating around in other reviews and posts? It was absolute bliss and it was during this jam that I knew they were on the same page and playing brilliantly. Best song of the set. Again, The Wedge, perfect placement for a classic Phish tune. It doesn't NEED to be type II. It's a cool song, we all love it and they should play it right in this slot every time. Wolfman's killed it and continued the funky Sat night party vibe. For me, if Mike is going to get his "song" to play in the first set, please let it be bluegrass - I'm not a fan of Yarmouth Road or Sugar Shack so I was happy to hear Nellie Kane. Lawn Boy is fun as always, I don't like the Line, but yes, perfect placement. Sure. Stash was evil and distorted and I really liked this jam. Suzy did what it always does and took us to set break on the back of Leo going NUTS on the piano.

Highlight: Roggae (wonderful), all 3 funk tunes

Set 2: I won't break it down in insane detail, but just will say generally that this notion of ripcords and a song needing to be jammed out 20+ minutes is a little misguided. What's the difference between a huge jam on one song or the Carini-Ghost-Steam sequence if each jam is fresh with ideas, diverse, smooth, inspired, and well played. The crowd was in a frenzy - Trey was absolutely crushing it and Fishman was doing his octopus thing. I had the "oh shit, crumpled, curled lip face" the whole time. Amazing stuff. Mango was perfectly placed and classic Phish in just the right spot. Not a huge fan of Monica, but a quick pee and back to my seat to hear some pleasant sounds. Again, if you can't get it up for this Light-2001-Hood run of songs, I don't know if an overdose of viagra could even help you. This is PHISH, our favorite band doing what they do best - playing off each other, creating on the spot, finding a special groove and moving into a new song, whipping the crowd into a manic frenzy, and smiling the whole time. Just great music. Top it off with a Julius and that to me is a Phish show.

All in all, maybe I was just at the perfect mellow buzz, perfect seat, and good mindframe, but this show was great. They were communicating and the setlists flowed incredibly well. Sometimes we all over think it and get greedy - me included, but I was thrilled with the kick ass rock and roll show I saw last night from my favorite band that I have seen countless times before. This all coming from a slightly jaded vet.

Dosque
Score: 3
solargarlic78 , attached to 2014-07-26 Permalink
https://medium.com/the-phish-from-vermont/feel-good-phish-a3aa2f3e3fc3

Feel Good Phish: Review 7/26/14

Phish continued their focus on segues at Merriweather last night. On the one hand, these segues are a testament to their intense musical communication by crafting a fluid, coherent transition from an intense jam to the next song. On the other hand, “amazing segues” necessarily mean jams are being cut short. Last night kept a nice balance. Would have I liked “Carini”, “Ghost”, and “Steam” to go longer? Yes. But, the jams once again so efficiently got to ‘out there’ and very interesting spaces that the segues were rarely overly jarring.

In the First Set you could tell the band was “feeling it” from “Moma Dance” on. The funk number had an extended opening section with Trey playing around with the opening chords and Mike creating breathtaking fills. “Feeling it” means trying to “freshen” songs up, by adding interesting and different riffs and chord voicings in sections that usually sound exactly the same. This backfired pretty horribly in “Wedge” as everything Trey tried to insert was meant to be tasty and fresh, but ended up sounding just flat out wrong and awkward. Well, I guess I prefer the risk taking to a safe version. Following “Moma” with “Wombat” is not the greatest for setlist diversity (this set also included the funky “Wolfman’s”), but early on “Wombat” feels fresh and this funk jam did not disappoint. The highlight of the set for me was an absolutely blissful “Roggae.” I’ve mentioned before how open this jam is (and dependent on band interplay). For my money, Mike is the one to listen to during Roggae — he is at his “Leshy” best filling in the space with melodic runs. This version really built to a Trey-led peak, but a peak that featured Trey at his restrained best (i.e., not “playing too many notes). The “Wolfman’s Brother” also was really restrained and based on full band improv rather than an overextended rock-Trey peak. The funk section lasted a while and got really thick and textured; eventually the rock-peak did come, but it was basically peak and get out. In my view “Roggae” and “Wolfman’s” created a “House Money” set for me — which was good because some might get a little perturbed during the “Nellie Kane” “Lawn Boy” “The Line” run of songs. The “Stash” once again saw “quiet jams” that were so heavily featured in Charlotte. This one really didn’t get ‘out’ of the Stash structure for my liking — that is, it didn’t get weird enough. But, a standard Stash is still great and helped anchor the Roggae and Wolfman’s highlights.

Set 2 opened with “Carini” (for the third time of tour if memory serves). This version once again saw a “mercurial” jamming style where the band effortlessly shuffled quickly between themes and keys. Then at the end, the energy seemed to really build — the tempo increased, and Trey’s playing became more rock-oriented. I felt like the energy might explode into a pretty glorious peak, but Trey found “Ghost” pretty quickly. My MVP of 2014, this version once again was very unique. Rather than the funk->bliss peak formula, or the abstract one chord build of Northerly, this one was just fun and rocking. It eventually led to a chord progression — much like the Northerly “Wedge” — that immediately had everyone asking “what is this????” We are still not sure, but it sounded like the best of ‘80s hair metal. The jam then transitioned into a decidedly weirder and more interesting groove. I would have liked that groove to hang out a bit longer, but the segue into “Steam” was nicely done. “Steam’s” jam is usually in between the choruses (for the best see 7/5/13), but this version was relatively standard until after the final chorus. The band embarked on a “second jam” of sorts that immediately was “out” of the basic structure (the Bill Graham version of last summer did something similar). This was an evil and nasty groove that could have really blasted off into something extraordinary. But, like it or not, Trey found the opening melody of “Mango Song” and it is hard to be upset with that classic early Phish song (even if we got one earlier in tour). This was a very well played version. “Sing Monica” is one of the rarer Fuego tunes and I still rather like it. The set was then at turning point. They would either go into “Theme from the Bottom” and make it another “songy” set, or kick out another jam for us. Jam is what we got with yet another great “Light.” This one was its normal groove-oriented self that flirted with a “Manteca” jam. In a night of many segues, the highlight for me was an incredibly seamless transition int0 “2001". All it took was Trey’s feedback that usually precedes the 2001 melody to signal to all the other band members that 2001 looms — Fish kicked in the drums and we were in it. I’m attending tonight’s show and couldn’t make it last night, so I was pretty upset when they played this weekend’s “Harry Hood” (I pretty much would be happy to get this at every show). I’ve written earlier that I’m not sure I’m on board with normalizing type II Hoods. It is nice as a rare treat, but I love me some type I soaring bliss D major jams. It plays a critical role in Phish shows as the “reflective capper” for a set 2 of more exploratory jams. And, what a glorious type I Hood it was. Really hit the spot. @heyscottyb called this a “Page-led” version — and I’m not sure I’d go that far, as Trey was front in center in the jam — but, Page was undoubtedly a star of this jam. Many have noted Page’s expanding rig of organs and electric keyboards, but this tour I have loved him on piano. He is at his melodic best on the basic instrument. In 3.0, it kind of has felt that “Hood” has been played more restrained — creating an atmospheric crescendo rather than a “peak” more common to 1.0 version. This version really peaked out in a fantastic way — Trey played around with a simple melodic motif in the beginning and eventually was trilling toward glorious builds off simple D major chord arpeggios. Most people seemed enthused with this “Hood” — and reminds everyone how great a straight-ahead version can be to end a night on. They played a disappointing if expected “Julius” encore.

This show doesn’t hold a candle to Randalls 3 (perhaps on par with Randalls 2 — in fact, a very similar setlist!), but was arguably the best show since that Sunday show. And, now we have the penultimate “Sunday Show” we better not miss. And, I’ll be there!
Score: 5
OneTwoOhMahGawd , attached to 2014-07-26 Permalink
Always fun seeing the Phish at the hometown shed. They seem to love Merriweather more and more each year. Show was so smooth and patient. Loved that whole second set and I'm not the biggest 'Sing Monica' fan and I was even impressed with that.

Lot's of fun in the first set too. Think I'm going to be listening to this show quite a bit.
Score: 1
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