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Phish.Net Review Archive

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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

tennesseejac , attached to 2014-08-03 Permalink
tennesseejac At the beginning of Chalkdust it sounds like Trey is teasing The Birds and then Fishman chimes in with a quick drum roll that sounds like The Birds. Can anyone confirm? I have been listening to a lot of early 2014 lately and have noticed some very subtle Chilling & Thrilling teases.
Score: 0
dkast85 , attached to 2015-06-27 Permalink
dkast85 This was a special show. I am by no means a Dead aficionado. I'll be honest, I went to this show first and foremost to see Trey in one of the biggest moments of his career. I left appreciating the GD even more. Of course the respect was always there.

The first set opened with a nice spacey jam that oozed perfectly into Truckin'. Then game the classic UJB. Alligator > Cumberland Blues segue seemed to get a bit of flack for being sloppy. I have to check it out again because on the floor my ears did not catch it right away. The set ended with a bang with a fantastic Cream Puff War and Viola Lee Blues. In my opinion Trey was the absolute star on those tunes. I knew I was seeing something special.

Then there was the hour set break. I don't know if that is standard for the Dead's set breaks (the GD calls them intermissions for whatever reason. Anyway, way too long for my comfort.

Set II started with a song called Cryptical Envelopment, a tune that I had never heard of. I didn't think much of it to be honest. Dark Star broke in and it was a surreal experience for me. Even though i'm not a big deadhead, seeing Trey shine on this jam was one of the most special musical expereinces of my life. The jam was smooth and well played. When the next song began, St. Stephen, the crowd exploded. I realized that SS is a rare GD tune that they just decided to stop playing. I was shocked to see the last GD show it was played was in 1983! That song also included a lengthy jam.

The remainder of the set was just a filler for me. But regardless this was a special show in music history and I felt honored to be apart of it. I thought it was better than the second night by a lot. One of my gripes was that Trey was not really singing as much as I expected him to sing. Anyway, give it a listen or watch it since it is on YT.
Score: 1
Renaissance , attached to 2015-06-27 Permalink
Renaissance This show was a gift. There were highlights and some lowlights in the 1st set, but towards the end they started to sound like a real band. Viola was excellent.

Then came the second set. On paper it looks like some hardcore Deadhead's dream set, and that's kind of what it was. The band really got into motion about half-way through Dark Star, and never pulled back. Stephen was Trey's highlight of the night, not surprisingly. He has always been able to kill that song, but he was something special tonight. One of my top Trey performances ever see live. Everything else was gravy.
Score: 2
lincolnfrog , attached to 2015-06-27 Permalink
First set was really disjointed and very poorly mixed. It seemed like the band and crew needed to warm up and we weren't sure whether things would ever work at all at set break.

Then set 2 started and all of that immediately changed. Band suddenly sounds tight and connected - Trey's reverence for who he was playing with and the responsibility of shepherding these final shows was palpable - his face was full of focus and intensity while his fingers flew like we know they can. I have seen many phish shows and this is probably the best I have ever seen him play - impeccable tone and phrasing.

We were discussing before the show whether Trey would treat this like a musical costume and come as Jerry or whether he would just be himself. To my utter surprise, he seemed to be doing both simultaneously. I have been listening to the dead for a few weeks straight to get as familiar with the music as possible and I would be hearing elements of Jerry lines mixed in with Trey's signature stylings and phrasing. He has clearly been practicing and was just rock solid for the band.

They were improvisationally turning on dimes and transitioning into tunes with ease, led by Phil and Bobby with Trey and the other guests completely on the same page and propping up the transitions with the appropriate riffs. Dark Star into Saint Stephen back to Dark Star back to St Stephen, just heaps of treats with Trey's soaring leads being picked up by the keys and turned into Trey-like armies of melody. He was just completely on fire and connected to this aging monster of a band, breathing fresh life into its once great but now tired frame.

After 45 minutes of non-stop improve the likes of which we don't get at Phish shows anymore - seriously if Phish had dropped that section of jam we would be calling it the best show in ages - the majority of the band leaves the stage and the drum solo starts. I figured this would be a 3-5 minute thing and then the show would be over. 30 minutes later after being blown away by the most intense drum experience of my life - this was a seriously psychedelic experience, especially given that I was spun - the rest of the band reemerged and took us slowly back from the astal plane. The dead can clearly deliver on the trip music. So this is why our parents were obsessed with these guys...

When they started morning dew, I could feel the weight of the performance. Such reverence all around with Bobby doing a bit of a Jerry impression on vocals and Trey just dripping glorious tenderness from his axe in a way Jerry could never have accomplished. A combination of his tone and perfect phrasing pushed this one over the top and delivered the "classic dead song writing with accurate guitar perfection" that I was hoping for to juxtapose Jerry's sloppiness. Listen to these solos that he drops and look and the faces of the other band members as they gaze in awe at how ridiculously he is crushing it. What a beautiful performance all around.

This show was legendary. I wonder if they realize the weight of each note they play as they weave rock and roll history up there. I wonder if Trey will be more famous in 20 years for these shows than for his entire career in phish. This may all be hyperbole, but I do think Trey uplifted them in these shows. They were all clearly having a great time but Trey is there playing with his heroes and not only making himself but the entire phish community incredibly proud. The way he lead most of the heavy improvisation in these shows with a deftness and intensity not seen in many years brought chills down my spine. Easily my favorite show of all time. Miss Chicago at your peril.
Score: 0
ProfJibboo , attached to 2015-06-28 Permalink
ProfJibboo If you are all about beautiful vocals, this might not be the show for you. But musically speaking, this was the second night in a row where a well thought out set list allowed Trey and the Rhythm Devils to truly shine.

Highlights included the opening trifecta of Feels Like a Stranger, New Mingle Wood Blues and Brown Eyed woman. Loser provided this viewer's a set highlight in a first set that was great musically but lacked the monster jam that night 1 had with Viola Lee Blues.

Second set started off masterfully with a Mississippi Half Step > Wharf Rat that again let Trey shine - which is when the Fare Thee Well shows have been at their best. Trey sat back, with careful playing he led them through the fan favorite and the psychedelic jam vehicle perfectly. You could almost feel yourself on the lawn listening to Trey guide the band. Eyes of the World - vocally rough - was musically majestic and another highlight once past the lyrical section.

For the second night in a row, Mickey and Billy made fans who call drum solos boring eat their words. This time joined by a member of the Mickey Hart band, Sikiru Adepoju, they again lead us through a blistering, shaking, goose-bump inducing build. Truly a fun time.

While lacking the splendor of the rainbow, tonight's emotional moment came with a touching Brokedown Palace before Mickey spoke to the crowd and reminded us that life is about love.

Overall, Phil's and Bob's lack of extensive singing this past year took a toll on their voices, making tonight's vocals not as strong as last night....but musically, we again got a great show that only comes from talented musicians enjoying themselves and enjoying the energy. Trey's practicing has paid off and its been a beauty to watch and a perfect way to start the summer and fittingly bring 50 years of Dead to a close.

Bring on Chicago!
Score: 6
ProfJibboo , attached to 2015-06-27 Permalink
ProfJibboo If you were looking for the band to come out and play a high octane dance fest where your feet don't stop moving as together they recreated the magic of the late 80's as if they music never stopped... - you were in for a disappointment no matter what.

But, if you came in expecting a heart felt tribute to a musical icon that paved the way for our favorite got that and more. Inspired by the Dead's tradition of constantly reinventing how they played their songs, the Fare thee Well crew followed in that spirit - allowing Trey to take those same songs in unique directions, with his distinct sound, and his distinct guitar and his distinct presence. It wasn't just a Dead cover band, It wasn't Phishy was Trey given the chance to embrace that I love as if they were own...resulting in a outstanding Viola Lee Blues and St. Stephen - not surprising the highlights of the show were the songs that allowed Trey's hands to shine.

The show was all I hoped it to be. Not a musical masterpiece, but a fitting tribute to the songs I've loved, the band that created them, and the beauty of what the Grateful Dead represented - different for each person but magical in each our own ways.

Score: 4
kazman101 , attached to 2015-06-27 Permalink
Original Setlist
-Set 1 (~8:30)
LBL, Andelmans' Yard (Axed Spiral), SB, STD (Picked to cut Cruel World), HL, AYAH?? (Andelmans' already played), TIAIC
-Set 2 (~10:00)
Surface > HMPAY? > YR> LFC, Ether, SS (Axed Here Today & AY), Babylon Baby/Here Today (Cut Slot), Susskind Hotel/Here Today (Cut Slot), HDIK (Flipped with Face), Face (Flipped with HDIK)
-Encore (~11:20)
Make Up Your Mind & Sugar Shack.
-Alternates were (aside from Andelmans') Sound, Peel, Normal Phoebe, & Last Child/The Last Steam Engine.
Score: 0
zda1994 , attached to 2015-06-27 Permalink
Mike kicked some serious ass last night! I was pretty familiar with a lot of Mike's solo songs but had no idea how simply incredible his band is live. The first set was one of the craziest sets of live music I have ever heard - with a crazy light show, including light-up instruments, patterns on the walls of the Capitol, trippy screens behind the band, Mike making weird hand motions and dances, and smiling! - the whole show was simply a blast. The second set had more of a fun, party vibe to it, but pretty much every song had moments of deep exploration. Face at the end of the second set had the darkest funk breakdown in the middle I have ever heard. Everything though was a nonstop dance party, and the energy between the band and audience was huge! Whatever you know of Mike's solo stuff, until you see him live, you don't know Mike's solo stuff
Score: 2
nickavv , attached to 2015-06-26 Permalink
What a fun show. Boarding House Park is an interesting venue, an outdoor park with tiered lawn areas, but capacity is under 2000, so very intimate for an outdoor show.

The first set was a funk drenched dance-fest. The second set was pretty jam-heavy, anchoring on the massive Traveled Too Far (including wormhole vortex light projections!).

The encore was just icing on the cake, seeing Mike and Scott playing acoustic bass and guitar (stage-hands swapped them back their electric instruments during a couple measures of clav soloing)

Verdict: Go see Mike! And go see shows at the Boarding House Park!
Score: 2
GAphishin , attached to 1997-07-02 Permalink
I chose to listen to this while working on my front yard: scrubbing flagstone. Comcast has been thwarting my recent attempts at listening to full shows without dropping me at my home for the last week or so. Can make a man stand up and want to pee on Comcast.

But the show...delicious! Comcast allowed me the second set in its entirity. Stash. Holy crap. Lovely and wild. Llama's totrure. Velvet Sea as others have discussed is sweet and righteously played after the onslaught of the first two songs (three according to PHISH.NET).

The venue feels intimate. Small. close. I missed these shows. Europe was not in my opportunity at that time and I will forever be grateful to Phish OD and now Live Phish for presenting these in their beauty.

Grand show from a grand era. I loved the write up above. I find great joy in gleaning some background and historic build up with reminders of tape sharing. That was a time of pure joy: getting a new Grade A tape to make s copy of. I remember a buddy of mine dropped the whole Europe trip in my lap one lovely afternoon. That took up the rest of my summer.
Score: 0
davisnafshun , attached to 1997-08-10 Permalink
The Cities is the main attraction here. The last 5 minutes are some of the best floating hose Phish you can find. I was trying to find what the jam sounds like, and some other people were saying it sounded like Ramble On or Franklin's Tower. It doesn't really sound like Ramble On, and it only bears a small resemblance to an instrumental Franklin's Tower.

So I did some research and I think I found what it (kind of) sounds like: All I Want Is You by U2 (1988). I heard it on the radio and I immediately thought of the 8/10/1997 Cities. So if anyone else has a comment I would like to hear what they have to say about that.
Score: 0
pikepredator , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
pikepredator This show is fantastic. The opening run of songs is a nice smooth build that keeps pumping up the energy. Theme and Punch were both very strong in '97 so topping them with a killer Ghost>Taste makes for a perfect first half. The Dogs Stole Things is well-earned, and then once again Reba is an inspired call. And this Reba delivers, patient and powerful. The closing Lawn Boy and Crossroads are what you'd expect. I like the "shape" of this set with the big start, breather, REBA, fun close. I don't like it when they drop rest tunes early in the first set.

Set II . . . tremendous. Wilson, Foam is not the most high-powered way to open set II compared to, say, tweezer or DWD, but they work really well here because the Foam has some extra muscle in the middle. This is where the magic of '97 shows up, when fun songs are given unexpected depth and anything is possible. Mike's rages, thunders, and then settles and segues naturally into Ain't Love Funny, which has a nice spacey feeling. They are able to bring the energy down without losing the intensity, which doesn't always happen. The last 30 seconds are another '97 moment, they crank it up in a cool way and slide into a standard Simple. Swept>Steep gives another breather in a three-part set. The end of Steep sounds like it's going to be something like weekapaug>cavern to close, making the Mule drop all the better. That "end of set" feeling fades . . . there's a lot more phish to go!

Mule, Slave, Weekapaug. That's a hell of a 4th quarter. Mule is like Coil for me, they either work or they don't and I don't have many favorites. I am loving the 3.0 mules with the marimba lumina, that's a sweet addition. Anyway this mule is sufficiently weird in the breakdown, nice groovy segment with the circus-y '97 sound. and then it seems like they go more bananas than usual before trey hits the twangy lick. Slave gets powerful before trey starts climbing the neck, and he starts dropping Peak Slave licks in a lower octave than usual. And then it keeps building from there, big long hold from Trey before he blows the roof off! And then they build a wall of sound and trey hits the lick one more time, very satisfying!! Finally, we get our weekapaug and it is wild. Great machinegun trey.

I a big Type II fan myself and I'm not a fan of people saying "it's all about the flow" but . . . this show is all about the flow. It doesn't have a huge centerpiece jam, and it doesn't need one.
Score: 1
NickSalv , attached to 1993-08-14 Permalink
NickSalv No review here, my apologies, I know this is the spot to do so... But really what more could I say about this show that hasn't been said already???

One thing though, which I'm sure people have debated before in the years since this show's date / subsequent archival release - whether in a group or in one's own mind - is the tiny little question of whether we should add a footnote regarding the Band's (obvious) jaunt into David Bowie, post-WalkAway, right after the LivePhish-titled 'Tinley Park Jam' section, in the minute leading up to HaveMercy (c'mon you know what I mean).

Few Questions to Raise Here:

1) Did Trey forget which song he was in?

- Quite possible, given that this was one of the 1st HUGE, extended segue-fests the band experimented with, wandering all over the place. Also, with all the furious enthusiasm/enthusiastic fury that goes into a song like RLAA, one might expect that, at one point or another in a meandering musical journey, the band/Trey may mistakenly slip into a similarly wild song like Bowie. Once the band picked the pace back up, I wonder if Trey's excitement shot the tempo up a little too fast into final Bowie jam territory / final hyper-speed Antelope jam territory which is basically the same format as Bowie just diff key.

2) Or was it actually planned?

- Also very possible, given that Red was maniacally insane - whether it was thought up pre-set/Antelope or on the fly like we all hope was the case. I don't think that's what happened, and I believe in #1 above; I actually appreciate the enthusiasm and slight screw-up more than a planned set aspect. Trey was just giving his all, even if it wasn't the same song, and I really believe he dropped the band back down into Have Mercy as a chance to regroup and find the key for RLAA. This also might explain why he chose to sing the RyeRyeRocco portion in Have Mercy melody, giving him more time to collect himself.

3) Who cares? (I mean, it's PHISH, just appreciate the magic.)

- Welp, I do. And yes, this is pure geekery to spend time thinking/writing about this for an extended period of time, but I'm a geek. A Phish geek. Additionally: 1) Antelope and Bowie are two of my fav songs, I love the early Phish, especially the mean/nasty stuff like those two, Stash, Melt, the like. and 2) Thousands of minor notes have been added to this site, like another boring Oye Como Va tease in Twist (which should go away), so what's one little "Full-band Bowie tease" going to hurt here? It sure will make this guy happy, regardless of the true intentions from the band's perspective.

Anyway..........END BOWIE-related RANT (until next time).
Score: 1
beerman , attached to 1997-08-17 Permalink
beerman Was not there (saw my first show three days earlier at Darien Lake with a great Antelope and the Merry Pranksters). But this Gin is something I could listen to everyday for the rest of my life. It is such a beautiful piece of music that fills the soul. Cheers!
Score: 0
mcgroundscore , attached to 1994-06-23 Permalink
mcgroundscore Just for clarity on the last post. Sparkle was dedicated to a great friend and amazing soul Aaron that had been put to rest. Friends of mine were able to get back stage before the encore to inform Phish of this and they did us and him a solid. I will never forget him as he was the one that got me into this band along with a crew of other great people. RIP Aaron!
Score: 1
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