, attached to 2016-07-16

Review by BrotherOpener

BrotherOpener i attended this show and thought I would add my immediate reactions. Note that I haven't completely digested what happened this weekend to me and those other lucky folks that were able to make the journey out. As indicated above, Saturday loomed beneath the towering second set from Friday, in which the song fabric was sewn with together with material from the Crosseyed and NMINML funk machines. Indeed many of us were still waiting on Saturday for the high level magic to continue its crescendo. The pit was crammed on Saturdsy in anticipation. Instead of a continuation of Friday, we were treated to a well executed, slower paced and at times deeply exploratory show. The communication between band members is different this tour compared to the last few years, and has more darker elements, especially from Trey. I also felt Trey cued the band into riskier jam territory. This is exciting to me, lending to greater equal potential for specialness and also fizzle.

Buried Alive>Bag were well executed and high energy. Definitely good dance vibes on the lawn as the sun set below the rim of the gorge and a warm breeze rose high across the desert. Flying tortillas and a ribbon/confetti storm added to the festive spirit. The opening chords of Moma promised funk but was dampened somewhat by some of those before mentioned darker elements from Trey. Uncle Pen was very well executed and the lawn turned into a bluegrass get-down. The band took the solo part of the song for some extra measures. Things slowed down thru 555 and Sleep Again. It's Ice was a first set highlight. The exploring in the jam segment lept the typical borderlines and ventured briefly into the hinterlands of space. A sweet Driver offered sing along swaying in the cool breezy headwinds out of the northwest. Sand was taken deeper than normal and rejuvenated the dancing which was stifled for several songs. A clean yet seemingly uninspired Horn slowed things back down. A sweet Halfway to the Moon continued the mellow mood and was perhaps amid to the rising near full moon that created above the crowd into the bands field of view. This version was crisp and inspired. Bathtub closed out the first set and had the most exploration of any song in the first set and twisted and turned following leads tossed out by each inspired band member.

The second set opened with Blaze On and got things moving early. I am continually impressed that after 30 years we are still getting new danceable material. Blaze went briefly into spacey territory before dropping into Number Line. However, this song may be the hidden gem of the second set. It's the Minglewood Blues of Phish...one I don't root to hear but seem to enjoy when it arrives. The first major glow stick war erupted during the start of this song which may have helped grow momentum that seemed to resonate with the band. Trey in particular seemed possessed to take this version up a notch. A trench coat wearing Carini brought the lumpy darkness back. Short and solid. After a competent and danceable BOAF things slowed way down. Wingsuit was well played and explored in-depth by the band. Shade kept the tempo slow. The catchy chorus and circular harmonies were sweet but harkened the end of the high hopes for a funkiest 3rd quarter. The clarion call of Mikes attempted to regain the energy, however the call was made to fall into a surprisingly placed Farmhouse. Although well played, this version lacked the passionate that can make this song great at times. A creaky segue into Weekapaug led to another highlight jam. For a few minutes the funk is a thick delicious gravy. Kuroda's pattern panels blended with staccato lights perfectly to create a red and yellow insane clown house. Page's clarinet and Treys Mutron filter stirred the cow filth supreme. A highlight for me. A perfectly placed Shine A Light closed the set. Loving Hugs were shared all around during this song.

The encore featured comedy and theatrical entertainment from Fishman. A nailed vacuum solo resonated of classic Phish. A passionate Hood followed and included Trey calling down the lights so he could jam while watching the immense glow stick volleys. The Reprise bookended the weekend and allowed us all one last dance party to our favorite band.


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