, attached to 2017-07-23

Review by dublindeuce

dublindeuce Wow, what a show. Even though I said this during my review for 7/21/17, I'm going to say it again here: this is the best Phish show I've ever witnessed live. I'll probably say that again just a couple of more times throughout the rest of the Baker's Dozen.

The first set was solid throughout. The show opened with a cover of The Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning". It was hilarious getting blessed by the Pope John Fishman, and it was cool to see Trey on the kit and Mike get low on the stage to take a bass solo.

Highlights from the first set include excellent versions of "Back on the Train" and "Theme from the Bottom" with sweet Type I jams.

"It's Ice" segued out of a wonderful "Theme", and very quickly went spacey. The jam flew out to Saturn and then returned back to the cool "Ice" theme in 15 minutes. I hear that 15 minutes is the longest "It's Ice" to have ever been played. Wow, what a monster jam for the first set.

The second set started with my first ever "AC/DC Bag", and I thought we were in for a monster one. But after only 7 or so minutes, the band built up the speed of the jam faster and faster, and then subtly transitioned into "Wolfman's Brother".

Much like the "Ice" in the first set, the band quickly weaved their way through familiar "Wolfman's" territory before diving hard into a Mike driven funk jam. Mike was absolutely killing it, dropping perfectly timed bass bombs that I could feel through my whole body. The jam rides funk waves for a few minutes, before almost completely stopping. The band then goes through a minimalist spacey jam, which is extremely psychedelic. They slowly build and build on this space, and then Trey starts some joyous improvisation. The band picks up speed for a few minutes of joyous interplay, before Trey ripcords this wonderful "Wolfman's" into a "Twist" for the ages.

This "Twist" is an absolute monster. Once again, they start jamming extremely quickly. The band continues the fantastic funk from the "Wolfman's" prior, and they slowly weave their way into and out of improvisational funk jams. Every few minutes or so, Trey plays a familiar but not exact Twist riff, reminding us that we are still listening to a "Twist". Trey plays a few joyous measures here that sound very similar to the Grateful Dead tune "Bird Song". This jam is absolutely glorious, and I was having the time of my life in section 214 of MSG bopping along with Mike's funky bass lines and Trey's joyous leads. Fishman anchors the jam down exquisitely, and Page adds perfect fills to the space funk. After 13 or so minutes of balls to the wall funk/joy jamming, Trey brilliantly and subtlety brings us back into Twist riffage, much like the monster Twist from 6/14/00 in Fukuoka, Japan.

The band then transitions into "Waves". At this point I was at a lack of words at the behemoth of the Wolfman's > Twist jam I had just witnessed life. I had to regather my thoughts so I took a quick bathroom and water break. I made it back just in time for a wonderfully minimalist yet joyful "Waves" jam.

"Waves" transitions into "Miss You" and this song truly tugs at my heart strings. Trey also nailed the emotional solo at the end. I gotta be honest, when I first heard "Big Boat" when it came out last fall, I didn't like it much. But I truly have been enjoying this bands' live performances of the Big Boat songs, particularly "Blaze On", "Miss You", and "More". "Miss You" was perfectly slotted in this second set. A great ballad to let the MSG audience regather their thoughts after being shot out into the Oort Cloud by that Wolfman's > Twist.

The "Boogie On Reggae Woman" and "Wading in the Velvet Sea" that followed were both were very fun and had some nice jams, but didn't reach the psychedelic joyful spaciness the "Ice", "Wolfman's", and "Twist" had earlier in the show.

"Sweet Jane" was a fun way to wrap up a monster show. It was the first "Sweet Jane" performed by Phish since 2012.

This is a fantastic show, and I'm sure I'll be revisiting this show many times in the future.

I can't wait to be back at MSG again on Tuesday! I'm bringing a friend to his first Phish show.

Until next time.

-Josh Dublin


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