, attached to 2016-06-22

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads There is a lot to like in this tour opener. As the Notes state, there were bustouts a-plenty. Speculation was rife, and may still be, that a Halloween is coming this year (hopefully surrounded by a Fall Tour!) or at least that more of the "neglected" covers from the musical costumes would return to semi-regular or regular rotation. So far, only Dear Prudence has made a repeat appearance, which may only have been because Trey broke a string at the end of the Saint Paul one, but for my money, I could handle Saint John, Saint George, and Saint Ringo versions! I may not always get my druthers the following way, but I think I'm happiest when the band plays what they want to play rather than caving in to Demand. Or, at least, there's a happy medium. Enough preamble.

Pigtail is nice to hear brought back. I think it's kind of "of a piece" with some of the newest songs that have been debuted following Riviera Maya. I love Daniel Saw the Stone; I'm glad to see that pop up. Kind of takes an even more ardent meaning with Trey's sobriety and work with the drug court program ("Meet me, Jesus, meet me.") Round Room boasts the intro from the studio version (I think the outro as well?) and is one of my favorite Mike compositions. Horn and Uncle Pen make always-welcome appearances, and the set closes with two showcases for Page. Fishman is really on in a way that he's still able to pace himself or push himself as the song requires. It's kind of astounding his stamina and virtuosity, both of which he makes seem easy.

Classic Mike's > H2 > Weekapaug sandwich to open the second frame. I long for the second jam as much as anyone, I suppose. Last year's exciting return of it wasn't quite in line with the classic form, so I hope Phish decides to reintegrate it into Mike's just like it was in the good old days (for weekly time's sake?) I really dug the experimentation with Weekapaug last year with the Crosseyed jam late in the summer (but before Magnaball.) I'm reminded via that reminiscence of the 11/27/98 Weekapaug, which is on one of the original 20 Live Phish shows. That was a truly out-there version, while remaining intensely Weeky. I'm a Line lover, MRFMTD. Standalone Simple is welcome, of course! I Found a Reason is the second of the costume covers to return after a long absence. Mike's delivery of the spoken portion tickles my funny bone. When you've been a phan for many years just about anything the phab phour do is met with screams of glee. Gin makes another strong showing, perhaps indicating a trend that it may resurge as a jam vehicle in the vein of the Watkin's Gin?

I'd say this is a slightly above average-great show, bolstered primarily by the pure joy of tour beginning as well as the many bustouts. I'd give it more like a 3.5 than the 3 I'm giving it if I could, but I'm enormously thankful that we have our favorite band healthy and getting this show on the road.


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