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Phish.Net Review Archive

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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

Ez_and_not_so_Fast , attached to 2014-10-18 Permalink
Ez_and_not_so_Fast From Couch Tour, deal with it:

This date seems to be a rather unorthodox show. I disagree with the assertion that it doesn't deserve another listen. On the contrary, this is a show where we got to hear two different bands on stage, both of them somehow called "Phish." It's quite a cool show in this way:

The first set treated us to a well-oiled machine engineered by a bunch of Germans or something. Gear issues aside (and I did't think they were all that noticeable, really) Phish the Machine - the Phish of the first set - can be described with one word: Precise. But I'll use some more because adjectives are cool like that. Phish the Machine was fast, clear, with steady tempo, interactive on an incredibly quick, micro level, and precise. It was intense in a sort of Rush / DreamTheatre / RussianCircles / Tool sort of way. For this set alone, Fishman gets the MVP. It's a tight set. It's an incredibly tight set. It's impressive and worth not just one relisten but many. They performed those songs like they would for a live album, very professionally, accurately and quickly but with the added bonus of the live micro-interaction between the bandmates. 1st set was everything I love about Round Room with the added bonus of some very, very strong coffee.

This was not the band we saw for the second set. When Phish in Space came out, it was quite a surprise; the approach and purpose of this new band was completely different. I agree with none but one of the alligator mouths from the official setlist as of the moment I post this, hopefully someone will listen to what an unusual masterpiece this second set is and concur with my assessment and change the official list. If you want to understand what I heard, it looks like this:

Set 2: Down with Disease[1] -> Golden Age -> Fuego -> Light -> Cities -> 46 Days -> Sand -> Backwards Down the Number Line, Bold As Love

The segue from Sand into Backwards Down the Number Line was especially nice, smooth, polite and was a very appropriate shift. But Fuego -> Light is ridiculously exellent, too! The only two songs in the second set that have a clearly defined beginning are DWD and Bold as Love and the only two songs that have clearly defined endings are Backwards Down the Number Line and Bold as Love. Nothing else in that 2nd set ends, per se.
-The intro to Fuego, for instance. It's a whole cool thing that Page made as a segue to bring Golden Age to a piano pivot straight into the opening chords of Fuego! Cool, isn't it? A really neat moment, you should hear it and decide for yourself if it is a segue or not. (It is.) But it's undeniable that Page played a whole new Fuego-specific intro and yet nobody here mentioned it yet? Hmm... Maybe give it a listen and then you can decide on the veracity of the negativity of the critics on this page. It's really cool, it so is.

Point is, Phish in Space was certainly not the Phish the Machine we heard in the first set. All the songs, except for #line and Bold as Love just jammed themselves up into some ethereal space, where they often lingered before giving birth to a new song. The VIP for Phish in Space was nobody because it's impossible to isolate one single true leader or lynchpin. Phish in Space is the MVP of the second set, maybe. I dunno.

Finally, what often unfortunately goes unmentioned is how much goes right when it does go right. Intelligent people, such as we are, are habitually accustomed to being incredibly critical. It's important to recognize our most common bias, that frequent error we so often make when we fail to notice all the things that are going right. A case in point (and to the point) is this show. Phish's harmonies are killer spot-on. It is joy to hear them sing. They're really on top of things, executing them very well. Lots of things. Lots of things that, it seems, many of the critics on fail to notice. Phish is killing it here, don't let the haters confuse you.

What's especially amazing is that Phish the Machine and Phish in Space were performed by the same four guys, old Nor'easter friends from way back.

If you expect every song to be the Bozeman Tweezer, you're doing it wrong.

-You're gonna have a bad time.
Score: 1
Toe2323 , attached to 2014-10-18 Permalink

I would personally rather here from folks who were NOT at the show since attending a show creates a bias commonly and clouds your judgment to some degree on how good the music actually was. As mentioned, my comments were strictly in relation to the first set and I will comment once I listen to the 2nd set tom on the show as a whole. First set was very average though IMO which is not a bad thing as the average Phish show in 2014 is still excellent! But there is nothing "epic" in this first set and nothing to suggest (I will reserve final judgment for when I listen of course) there is anything "epic" in the show at all. It screams average Phish show in every way which is not a bad thing as many bands would kill for this type of average. Beyond all that, if you still have a problem with my comments, I don't really care. :) Cheers.
Score: 1
kristinZwatt , attached to 2014-10-18 Permalink
kristinZwatt Excellent show. Solid performance all the way around. The boys had more energy than Eugene and the crowd did as well.
My highlights:
The Line - super groovy after the slow start to the song
Wolfman's - funky!
Gin - always a crowd pleaser

Fuego! - excellent jam
Light - Cities transition was flawless
Sand - melt your face

Of course when you are up front and they are rocking out right in front of you they can do no wrong. Everyone has their own show and this one for me was perfect.
Score: 1
mistermooner , attached to 2014-10-18 Permalink
Man o man. Here we go again. That show melted my face. I come on here today to see what the rest of the gang thought of it, and sure enough, first thing I see is a bunch of garbage about is "WASN'T EPIC" or "WASN'T TIGHT ENOUGH" or "WASN'T WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN". Well SHUT UP and get your ass to the show then if you want it to blow your mind. Anyone who's been to a show would know better than to try to gauge how it all went down just by watching the feed. It's embarrassing to read.

Great show boys. Mind=Blown Thanks so much.
Score: 2
hoeveler , attached to 2014-10-18 Permalink
In response to Toe2323, I hope they haven't started a trend of phans commenting on shows that they DIDN'T attend, who've just listened to the first set, and then made a bunch of uneducated judgements...
That's not really what these comment sections are for. They are for those who DIDN'T attend the show in-person to hear from the overall experiences of those who DID attend.

That being said, I've been to about 36 shows since 1992, so I base a lot of my experience on the midwest shows at venues of 2000-6000 people in the mid-90s. And this WAS a really fun show - on-par with the spirit and energy of those small venue shows of days past. This was my second show since a personal hiatus from Halloween '98 in Vegas until this past summer at Randall's Island. Key Arena 2014 captured so much of the playful spirit in the jams of that mid-90's golden-era of Phish, with tight jams and really fun ultra cow funk! Sand, for instance, was a magnificent jam, swirling and ebbing with the vibe of the crowd. If this second set is any indication of the direction of the rest of this 2014 fall tour, then we are ALL in for a treat. Everyone has a personal preference, song, style, etc., but really NO ONE should be hating on shows where the boys are playing this tightly. You should be more disappointed about all the Trey-wrecks from the mid-2000s, not bummed at all by these latest shows.

I have so much more to say, but I think Zzyzx did a better overall review than I could do here. :)
Score: 6
Giles , attached to 2014-10-18 Permalink
Having never seen the band in the northwest before, I was expecting a fully engaged crowd similar to what I witnessed at the Greeks a few years back. Even the Eugene crowd on Friday seemed relatively sedated, I think that always has an effect on a performance by Vermont's finest.
That being said, last night's playing and songlist were solid and interesting, similar to Friday, but sound quality was lacking compared to Eugene's pristine clarity, and gear problems were apparent last night. As with the majority of shows I caught this summer, the Board Chairman seemed capable of endless creativity and kept the band and crowd constantly guessing in which direction things would go. The Talking Heads' covers ruled supreme both nights, energy ebbed and flowed as Phish shows will do, but the band seemed intent on staying in the game from front to back, as the unusual encores and first set openers show. The new material was well placed and very well played.
I think the band is in a good spot at the moment, setlists, interplay, and sound qual will likely improve as they head south, and you west coasters should wake up a bit more and chat a bit less. The Phish don't come up this way very often.
Score: 4
Midcoaster , attached to 2014-10-17 Permalink
Midcoaster Crosseyed and -> Tomorrow Never Knows (tease) -> Painless.

Yeah, OK, maybe it's only Page playing around, but dang, it's there in my mind. This is a show filled with some very patient playing. I saw the Waiting All Night opener on the list and thought, Oooo. Interesting and groovy, perhaps. Of course, that could have gone in any number of directions, but listening to the recording, I can now agree: groovy. Very solid show. Even Halfway to the Moon has extra mustard and drift. (I don't understand the cheers in the middle of the first Hood instrumental section. Hmmm . . .)
Score: 2
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