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Phish.Net Review Archive

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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

CreatureoftheNight , attached to 2014-10-28 Permalink
CreatureoftheNight One thing I have really appreciated this tour is the band not taking the easy way out when jamming. I mentioned this after the first two shows and the theme has continued. Trey and the boys know how to bring the hammer down, build tension or funk things out, but this tour has a very fresh sound. Listen to the Twist last night or the Ghost from the night before for two examples. Many of the cliche licks and riffs played during the summer and in year's past have given way to a quest for something fresh. When taking big risks, you're not going to hit the mark every time. When forging a new sound, there are going to be times in the wilderness. The band is playing with less ego, but that can sometimes lead to a directionless search for the sound. This was not the case last night. I applaud the boys for challenging themselves and continuing to grow, even after 30 years together.
Score: 8
jsauce , attached to 2014-10-28 Permalink
They spit hot fire all night. I am a cynical phish head, but I have been very impressed with their playing, especially Trey. This band is at its best when it has leader. It really sounded like they felt in control of the music instead of wrestling with it. Gumbo sanity antelope was a nice way to end the first set.
I'm honestly glad I'm not going to vegas. By the time they get there it's going to be too much to handle. I'm even scared for tonight!

Btw, trey did a very obvious Tweezer tease at the beginning of Julius.
Score: 4
ThomasFunkyEdison , attached to 2014-10-28 Permalink
Highlights of the first set: Gumbo>Sanity>Antelope
Highlights of the second set: whole thing (but especially KDF, Twist, Hood).

Not sure why the above poster said the KDF seemed to "first-setty," but this one was a nice jammed out version that very quickly became "second-setty."

The loving cup encore fit in perfectly here. Most people gripe when they hear the first notes from the chairman, but last night everyone seemed to be feelin it.

Can't wait to see what they have in store for us tonight.
Score: 7
gankmore , attached to 2014-10-28 Permalink
I like to spin the the dead center of the back hall of this venue. When all goes well you can see every member of the band enough to see smiles and nods from that spot and also see all of San Francisco unfolding right outside the doors. I think I've done that nearly every set of every show at this venue (except for 8-19-12 II where my friend Casey talked me into a balcony seat, and that went really well -- the Way is not an unvarying way).

There's this wonderful spot in the middle of the venue which is a line of symmetry roughly at the I in phish on the marquee of the venue that's a perfect place to ride huge waves of phish kinetic waves. It's not my spot, you can dance there too, but man do I like it.

It's a perfect spot to spin circles of devotion and healing through the crowd, but then again I've always had an over inflated view of the importance of that sort of thing (and probably my own role in it), having come up in the grateful dead scene when there were many more folks who had this practice all spinning in unison.

Last night this spot made a terrific viewpoint for a huge scene outside, filled with far more freaks than our own little circus: The Giants were suffering a major game 6 defeat in Kansas City, broadcast in technicolor right outside Phish's grand San Francisco tour perch last night to tens of thousands, many of whom had long since left for home when the band started into a down right triumphant Crowd Control. The Mike's Hydrogen Groove was stellar and a sign we were in for a series night of fireworks fit to lose a world series game by.

Wingsuit is the least favorite of my new phish tunes, mostly because as an avid Squaw Valley skier, this one always takes me a little too vividly towards the memory of Shane McConkey one of the gods of my sport who died far too early in wingsuit crash. So much to lose. A good metaphor for the need to "make good decisions" (as I always like to heckle phans to try to remember outside the show -- something I was doing last night a lovely young man pointed out how hard it was to take me seriously saying that when I was so completely covered in glitter, but I'm getting ahead of myself). Maybe the metaphor is a little too close to what I do by putting phish right in the middle of a high functioning otherwise pretty boring existence. It's my way to fly.

Wingsuit isn't my favorite bit of psychedelic dim sum, but I certainly did not spit this one in my napkin. Even my least loved new tunes are incredible monkey bars for the band.

Man do I love Water in the Sky though. No complaints on the song writing here or the mental image it conjures in me, because you know, that stuff matters?

Plasma made another surge around it's new found stomping ground.

And then into Halfway, which *is* my favorite of the new tunes, though it really is older sibling to the other Fuego songs and has the confidence and swagger to make the old family truckster hum down the road.

Poor Heart was a mid set victory lap somewhat akin to Rocky Top 8-19-12 II, but you draw your analogy where you want. This was fun.

The Gumbo was strong and Sanity loaded the bases for Antelope to knock at least a few RBIs in for a first set that had everyone talking phish over sports at set break.

It occurs to me that I've got to head off to work here in about half an hour, and this long and rambling review is almost better deleted.

Kill Devil was a rocking second set opener, even though this one seems first setty as did the very beautiful and well executed Mist.

Fuego seemed at home in this set and didn't make me cringe a bit in terms of selection . It just worked.

This whole show really did Twist everything around including song orders, and the results are just incredible. Every single song in the first deserves it's own set of analogies and hyperbole, but you'll want to make sure not to miss the Twist > Jim > Hood. Yowzers. I caught SPAC and Mann this summer and know I'm west coast biased but the Hood took us somewhere close to the level of raw and open true improvisational incredibleness we found last summer in the Tahoe Tweezer.

And the only way to defend that comparison is to point out what my old friend one said

but there is no competition—
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

Next time you're at a BGCA show, stop by and spin a few circles with me in the back.

Root root root for the home team, if they don't win go see phish!
Score: 19
Toe2323 , attached to 2014-10-27 Permalink
Very good show and a solid 4/5 in my book. 2001 is the highlight of the night though and will get MANY repeat plays from me!

Seven Below was also excellent.

The Ghost did not do much for me to be honest. Much better Ghosts from 2014, but it's very subjective of course.
Score: 0
Slanty , attached to 2014-10-18 Permalink
Slanty I love this band and this community, and I hate to be this negative, but if you truly believe that "Meatstick" --> "Character Zero" is "a fun way to end the night" and not "the epitome of the most phoned-in encore ever", I am not super convinced that you have ever actually seen this band perform live.

That being said, the second set of this show was very fiery (especially "Cities") from start to BDTNL.
Score: -1
Slanty , attached to 2011-08-05 Permalink
Slanty First set from MFMF onward was ridiculous.... Watched security drag out a kicking and screaming spunion during Walk Away. I had my own spunion moment when, speechless after Roggae, Walk Away, Funky Bitch, Roses are Free, and Bowie, I insisted that surely the show was over and the band had simply neglected to take a set break.

Luckily, that was not the case. Three words for the second set: Rock. And. Roll.
Score: 0
Slanty , attached to 1997-08-16 Permalink
Slanty My second show ever was Night 2 of the Clifford Ball, where the band encored with the first half of Harpua, the honor of which the significance was lost on me at the time. Anyways, fast forward 364 days later, to my very next show, my third show ever, and after a quick Makisupa opener the boys finished the Harpua that they had left me hanging with. It was then that I began to realize that this band would dominate my life in ways that I was just beginning to understand.
Score: 0
jsauce , attached to 2014-10-27 Permalink
First off, I don't know what the reviewer above is talking about. They didn't play Kill Devil Falls last night.

Soooo....This show was really good. Really, really good. I never dreamed they would play Stash, Rift, and Maze in the same set. Stash got pretty wicked. The strongest first set I've heard yet this tour.

I agree with the sentiment in the second review that there was a sense of relief...They WERE going to show up and play excellent music, something we used to never have to worry about, but after sets like Santa Barbara first set of first night, it's always on the back of our minds, and probably theirs.

The Sand>Birds pairing is where the real meat of the show is. Sand got really wicked. Very deep freak rock in the vein of Rock n Roll from the Gorge in 2011. The energy in the venue at this point was sky high. So they decided to play Waiting All Night. Sometimes I just don't get this band. I mean, they've earned the right to play whatever they want, but the crowd was just looking for a reason to explode and it didn't come.

There's no other way to say this: they totally fell apart during Ghost. They kept screwing up the changes. At one point Trey turned around and glared at Page. They did redeem themselves with a gorgeous gam that went dark and eventually turned to a very bright place. Definitely worth a listen. What followed was the best Bug I can remember. Trey played with an incredible amount of emotion.

All in all, this was a very good show. If you don't listen to anything else, listen to Sand>Birds. I left remembering why I love this band so much. We're very excited for tonight. And with the city playing the World Series on the lawn in front of the venue, it's going to be NUTS.
Score: 1
Slanty , attached to 1997-08-17 Permalink
Slanty The Best Phish Show I Have Ever Seen. And this is almost exclusively due to the second set (a.k.a. The best set they have ever played, IMHO). The waves of pure musical bliss that enveloped every single person at this enormous venue during the Bathtub Gin jam simply cannot be conveyed with words. Watching the band reach an enormous musical peak, then kicking it up another notch, then yet another notch, repeated until the euphoric bliss was almost too much to handle. And oh yeah, by the way, the 23-minute 2001 that followed almost immediately was also a best-ever. Throw into the mix two versions of DwD and Hood that are certainly no slouches, and.... Seriously, what more could you ask for?
Score: 0
ItalianSpaghetti , attached to 2014-10-27 Permalink
ItalianSpaghetti Long time fan here, making to journey to SF to catch night 1. I'm often a little too critical perhaps and definitely an intense listener to every note of our favorite band.

Last night was really really good folks. Set one was very well played and consisted of a strong song selection throughout. it had - a serious bust-out, a sweet Axilla - ode to the road to 10/31, and a rocking Party Time.

Set 2: Here are my thoughts. BOAF was played with some serious authority here - to make up for the previous version which had some weird energy surrounding it's ending. So glad they pounded that nail in - Waiting all night features the line "I said I'm sorry" which I thought was a subtle humor to it all. Ghost's intro might have continued the theme - with the band having some fun with us and reminding us that "It doesn't matter." Great Ghost.

7 Below was FIRE. I personally didn't know that I was that far gone until I was reminded.

Okay, 2001. Absolute. Monster. A fire breathing dragon. Shared some qualities of Dick's Simple, imo. The place was absolutely insane. Paige hit us with one or two "Shakedown Street riffs" (no one has mentioned this yet, I haven't re-listened, but pretty sure it's there)

Wonderful show. Tightly played, Loose when it needed to be, FIRE through most, and close to perfect playing throughout.
Score: 3
lazylightning , attached to 2014-10-27 Permalink
While I was not present for the show, I did have the opportunity to listen to it live. This show was more than strong enough to warrant a second listen this morning.

The first set was as stronger than any we've been treated to this fall. Walfredo was a fun bust out. As usual, everyone was hoping 555 would last more than 5:55. It doesn't, but I still enjoy the tune and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Maze and Stash both had a little extra mustard. Brian and Robert was a lovely breather in between. I know some people groan at the thought of 46 Days, but this version built some good momentum and sent me to the break on a high note.

There was great excitement among those I was with when the boys opened the second set with Sand. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought the jam was promising and kept waiting for it to turn the corner. Eventually, it did turn the corner, right into an average Kill Devil Falls. I'll admit, at the end of KDF, I was a little bit worried, and the band seemed to know exactly what I was thinking at the time. I'd been Waiting All Night for some serious improvisation. Fortunately, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the band was about to deliver.

The Ghost that followed Waiting All Night was strange and new from the first note. The jam out of Ghost continued the strange, dark, fragmented theme that opened the song, before building into a much brighter conclusion and a segue into a very good Bug.

The Ghost jam could easily be the highlight of any show this year, but in this case, it has some competition. The Seven Below that followed Bug was beautiful. Some might even suggest that the boys turned the Hose on us.

Seven Below drops us into I Didn't Know, and Moses comes out for a vacuum solo. After the stellar Ghost>Bug>Seven Below sandwich, Chalk Dust Torture seems like a tease. Could there be more? Alas, CDT stays true to form and is followed by a fairly average 2001. Like 46 Days in the first set, a formulaic Slave, with an above average solo, closes the set brilliantly.

Upon returning for the encore, the boys noodle their way through Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and the enthusiastic Giants fans sing along. Winterqueen is a beautiful song, and it grows on me every time I hear it. A Day in the Life is played for the first time this year, and closes out the show.

The Ghost > Bug > Seven Below demands a listen, but there are gems throughout that make this show worth hearing again.
Score: 0
Spacin007 , attached to 2014-10-27 Permalink
So, first of the three nights and Bill Graham...

Sound was typical for Bill Graham...thank god for better speaker technology cause the place is a box...instrument sound was clean, but vocals were muddy.

Rift and Maze were strong 1st set highlights, Party time was fun...All in all fun and we had a good time, I think there was a sigh of relief...a promise of a good three night run in SF. I kept hearing Simple tease (Maybe tomorrow!)

2nd started out interestingly with a solid Sand, but things got rolling along with the Ghost>Bug. I thought that would be the highlight of an already decent night. I was wrong

Chalkdust was what I thought would be the set closer, but Trey brought his "A" game (for the entire show really) so the boys really "kicked up a notch" with fine 2001, then were given another treat with Slave.

"Take me out..." we'll see what the Giants do to help the party atmosphere tomorrow, it could be berserker here in the city

Winterqueen was what it was.....but no complaints here since A Day in the Life sent us off into the night on a high note.

A good time was had by all
Score: 3
King_Williamson , attached to 2008-07-06 Permalink
King_Williamson It's been over six years since I was there. It's been 3.5 years since I've been on .net. I've hesitated to even review this show because I felt that I couldn't do it objectively. Well, six years later, I still feel the same way about it as I did then.

A last minute call from my brother lettting me know that he had an extra for Sunday only put a half smile on my face. I was hesitant to go, because I felt that it would be a bit of a tease. Apparently I hadn't yet forgiven Trey for letting himself getting drowned in addiction, but, c'mon...it's been four years. It was time to let it go.

Right from the get go, BOTT was symbolic to me. I was thinking, "Okay, this seems familiar." I am a huge fan of Driver, so I was really excited to hear this one. Waste is one of my favorite ballads. Always has been. I've always enjoyed the lyrics and the way Trey would solo on this with Phish. And then.... my man.... Mr. Michael Gordon!!!

Now, at this point, my brother and I knew that 3/4's of Phish were on the grounds. We were hoping for a helicopter to fly in with the sandwich king on board, but it was not to be. One half of Phish that day was better than none at all. But, we all know how this turned out just a few months later.....

And that's why this show has stuck with me. It felt like more than just a solo Trey show with Mike on the last few tunes. My brother and I couldn't stop smiling while they were playing, and in between saying "What if?" We knew 3 of them were there that day, so why not all four? It felt like things were coming together for something bigger than a solo Trey. Of course, we could've just been "happy" I suppose. Who knows? But, this one, aside from my first Phish show will be one of those moments that I'll always cherish. :)
Score: 0
standard , attached to 2014-10-27 Permalink
I wasn't at this show, but had the liberty to listen to the second set. Since no one posted a review yet, for those that are looking: the Ghost > Bug > Seven Below was pretty stellar. Ghost featured trey eerily wavering in key, truly a unique version that goes to a rather sparse, disjointed ambient territory before piecing itself back together to an uplifting segment. Don't have the numbers but it seemed like this jam went on for well over 15 minutes. I remember thinking this was the best "Bug" I've heard in a while, and the Seven Below went to hose territory. I'm sure others had other highlights, notably the interesting first set, but I would say check this tri-fecta out if anything else.
Score: 7
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