, attached to 2016-07-15

Review by User_35223_

User_35223_ Not really a show reviewer guy, but I thought I might as well give my thoughts on this one.

All tour, I have sensed tiredness from Phish. Every time that 4th quarter of dad rock began, I sighed, because it just sounded like it was the easy way out; like they had enough.

You can call it trying new things; taking risks, but by most metrics, this practice sucked to blow. I wasn't asking for the second set to be structured a certain way, for jams to go type two, or every jam to do X,Y or Z, I just wanted the band to branch out more with the setlist structure (and maybe jam a bit more instead of shooting through midlife crisis song after veiled Christian rock song etc.), as did a few others, but if you even barely criticized the setlist flow or the band's choices as of late, then you got an obnoxious rebuttal from some fanboy, which either said ''Well I had a great time'' (who gives a shit?!?), or ''They're taking risks, and you're not 110% on board with it , thus you're not a real phan!''.

I'm exaggerating a bit but this The tour had it's fair shares of massive highs and plunging lows, the latter especially common as of late, to the point where I seriously wondered if this tour would be very pedestrian and a pretty big let down, but last night, Trey, Mike, Page and Fish quashed those thoughts with a cavalcade of great music that I was up at Sunrise watching this, captivated at every turn.

After a first set with a nice albeit slightly aimless but rare Tweezer opener, the greatest ass song since Sir Mix a Lot, coupled with great banter, The Crosseyed jam opened the second set and it was a wonder to behold: all four members are locked in and fully focused. It never really went anywhere, not too unlike the starting Tweezer, but damn did they want to, and that eagerness in all four was just fantastic to see. Then they went into WTU, led by a devastating > by Trey (devastating in the very, very best way possible). Page just murdered it here with the CS-80; as did Fish, with his thundering and utterly booming slow rolls, and while it wasn't quite as good as the 12/30/15 version, the interplay was truly great to watch and beautiful to hear.

NMINML came next and featured some good Page and Trey interplay, and Trey began the teasefest to continue the rest of the night with a Crosseyed quote, before messily diving headfirst into Stash, which did it's thing before heading into Ghost, where Trey hopped on the Marimba Lumina before Fish picked up the tempo and before too long, all four were manning the kit. This is all good fun, but seeing every two shows as of late is starting to wear a bit thin frankly, but hearing Fish wailing ''STIIIIIIIIIIL WAAAAAAAAIIIIITIIING'' and seeing Trey beat that Marimba like it owes him money was damn funny, and then they went back into NMINML, but then Chalkdust kicked the in door for the second time since the SPAC ripcord massacre (#NEVERFORGET), the band still seething and grinning with energy.

Chalkdust had a nice if pedestrian peak, then went a into weird, loopy and discordant ambient section... for about 20 seconds, before going into Meatstick. I wouldn't have minded if that last bit was stretched out a bit, but it was time for the Meatstick, which actually also had a really nice if small hypnotic jam out of it, at first led by Page before briefly going into space, then literally going into space for 2001, which... well does it's thing. Sensing a bit of a pattern?

Some of the songs in the second set here, many of which are tried and tested jamming juggernauts are just kind of... transients; staying for a while, not really doing much then leaving on their merry way. Still better than 50 minutes of Architect anyway. Then, it's Cavern to close the set and then Makisupa (and who doesn't love Makisupa?), Wilson and Good Times Bad Times for the encore.

OVERALL:

If I had one problem with the show, it's that some songs didn't quite reach their full potential, and often just kind of went by with little to no fanfare, but it was obvious that there was massive enthusiasm and willing by all four members, as evidenced by the constant, fantastic interplay and the number of great jams in the second set, and that really counts for a lot.

So I guess this is kind of one that I like a bit more for what it tries to do than what it really does, but damn does it have some great stuff along the way, and I can see a very bright Summer ahead.

Best Parts: Crosseyed > WTU, Ghost, Meatstick (yes)

OVERALL: 4 - 4.5/5


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