, attached to 2016-07-15

Review by JMart

JMart Ahhhh....
It's so much nicer to sit down and write this thing actually having been there!

A brief note: I write a lot of reviews on here and anyone who's read them knows I can be a pretty critical Phish fan. Gearing up for this run, I was like, "Fuck it. It's on ME if I expect them to walk out and play 12/11/97 or 11/2/96 or 12/9/95 or 10/23/94 or whatever. I just want to be in the moment and enjoy these shows and my time here in this beautiful place. Cool? Cool."

And then they opened up with Tweezer, thereby blowing the back of my skull off and setting the tone for what ended up being one of my favorite nights of Phish music ever.

From a purely nonobjective standpoint, I'm not sure anything in the first set has a tremendous amount of relistening value, except for the Walls, which is where Trey really showed us for the first time what he had in store.

The second set, however, is an entirely different animal. As it happened, I listened to 11/2/96 driving up and thought to myself, "Well, Crosseyed would be cool, but there's no way they'll play it." They got right down into the grease on this one, slick and well worked over by Mike until they magically dropped into WTU. As has been said, this doesn't match the heights of some previous versions, but that doesn't mean it wasn't great.

At the end of the set, I can't imagine having to be the guy who sits there and counts out all the teases and quotes and which counts for what, because it would have been real chore. Suffice it to say that they teased every song played previously in the set in the next song. It was a total mind fuck in the best way. There were several times where I got so turned around I forgot what song they were in only to have them slam the door back into something else, this particularly true of NMINML and Chalkdust.

The musical highlight of the evening in my mind was definitely the Stash, which they absolutely destroyed. I want to say Trey really shined, but the truth is it was an entire band effort, which is the hallmark of great Phish shows.

There were no 20 minute monsters in this set, but the whole thing felt like a solid, well placed cohesive idea, which is also the hallmark of a great Phish show. I left saying this was one of my favorite sets of Phish ever. That's a bold statement but I'm totally willing to stand by it. I generally think I have the pulse of what's going on at any given time in a tour (I've listened to every show), but for the people out there saying this was *maybe* the best set of the tour so far, I have no idea what you were listening to. This was far and away the best set of music they played this tour and stands up to anything from last summer and, honestly, most of the shows I've seen.


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