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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

CincyTwist , attached to 2014-07-18 Permalink
CincyTwist Late review I know, but I just got home from work and have some free time so I thought I'd give it a go.

The first ever 555 opener definitely had the crowd going, though it is clear that the boys are still trying to figure out where this one belongs in the set (but I feel a type ii version isn't horribly far off).

By the time Reba came around and I noticed how well Trey was nailing the composed section, I turned to my friend who was joining me for his first show and told him that this was a sign that we were in for a great night. We spent a good portion of the remainder of the first set trying to meet up with some guys that we had shared a cab ride to the venue that were trying to get us into the floor, but to no avail. Oh well.

Being on the rail of the lawn during the jam out of Golden Age was pretty great too, especially watching CK5's bubbly lighting effects! Though not quite on par with the two monster versions of Fall 2013, this GA closed out with some ambient effects that created a lot of stratospheric space, driven by Fish similar to the '13 Hampton version. The > into the Mango Song mini-bustout couldn't have made me happier. The Piper -> Halley's will probably be forever debated as one of biggest ripcords or most spontaneous segues of 3.0, but warrants multiple listens either way.

Wombat. That's really the most intelligible thing I can say regarding this subject compared to some of the other reviews, but when I realized that Trey was taking this marsupial in the type ii direction I pretty much lost my shit. As a self-proclaimed noob, I was pretty excited to be witness to the first jammed-out version of the funkiest, arguably Phish-iest track off of Fuego. The bomb dropped by Mike in this jam is probably the most earth-shattering since the Randall's Carini - though not quite on the same level.

The remainder of the set was definitely a cool-down, but was fun nonetheless, with a Page-erific Julius to send us home on the train back to Waukegan.
Score: 0
solargarlic78 , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink

Throwback Throwdown: Review 7/27/14

What can I say. This amazing band, in their 31st year, still can play a show like last night that just completely knocks you on the floor in shocking disbelief. Part of Phish fandom is of course “knowing” what comes next: “Hey, they’re playing ‘Oh Kee Pah’ so I bet it goes into ‘Suzy’”, or, “They played ‘Mike’s’ so we’ll get ‘Weekapaug’ later.” Or even, “We are due for an ‘Antelope’ tonight.” What is so amazing about Phish is how they sometimes (it has to be rare to create this ‘knowing’ feeling in the first place) completely defy what “should” happen next. One of my favorite moments at a show where I witnessed this was 8/14/97 Darien Lake: Ken Kesey and his “Merry Pranksters” Bozo show got Phish into such a funk groove that they failed to go into “Mockingbird” out of “Colonel Forbins” because, as Trey exclaimed, “We can’t!!! The funk is too deep.” I remember laughing hysterically at that line. Just like I was laughing hysterically during much of the set II last night (by some miracle of summer travel plans I picked CMAC — a hometown show — and MPP2 — where my brother lives — as the two shows I could afford this summer…so lucky me was there last night). We don’t often appreciate that aspect of Phish — sure the jams take us to “places”, and the songs make us dance, etc., but sometimes this band just makes us laugh…a lot.

When Fishman kicked in the “Back on the Train” beat and Trey followed suit, literally seconds into the 3rd quarter Tweezer jam we were all anticipating, I was really pissed (I literally screamed “no” in a fit of rage…I regret that now). I was thinking: OK — these segues are cute and all, but for f*ck’s sake please don’t interrupt my second set “Tweezer.” But, this was my “knowing” Phish brain. Since they had ended the song, “Back on the Train” would do its thing and then we would likely be led down a march of more and more songs (and segues) for the rest of the set. When literally seconds (or maybe a minute) after that, they busted back into “Tweezer,” I first laughed, but then realized how this minor gesture really opened up the realm of what is possible at a Phish show. Suddenly the Tweezer jam could come after “Back on the Train” (which it did — for 9 minutes of melodic bliss hose; add that to the previous two “Tweezers” and we have a respectable 15 minute “version”). But once they did that, anything was possible. No formula existed anymore. “Free” — a song that has remained almost exactly the same since Billy Breathes was released (remember those ‘95 versions that jammed out ? So do I) — was suddenly cut off in the middle for more “Tweezer” — and then “Simple”, but what was the real icing on the cake is that they came back and finished “Free” proper. That non-Tweezer moment might have been my favorite moment of the set (somehow it didn’t feel right to leave that “Free” unfinished— and I generally don’t like “Free”!).

Although it appears the reaction to this show is almost universally positive, I’m sure there must be some corners of the internet who see 20 tracks on a set 2 list and dismiss the show as a ‘cute’ and ‘gimmicky’ segue-fest — but lacking any real serious improvisation (“I need my four song second set, brah!”). If only that were the case. The set not only included a sizable “Tweezer” jam, but also a ridiculously thick groove in the “DWD” that segued beautiful into what is apparently now a late set 2 song of “NICU.” Then that proceeded to jam “type II” for the first time in nearly 20 years. Yes, there were now epic long jams, but once again, Phish — with rapid efficiency — was able to create very interesting ‘out there’ moments in the interstices of the (many) songs.

Everyone is comparing this show to 5/7/94 (Bomb Factory), or other segue-fests (2/20/93 or 6/22/94), but what people haven’t brought up is the dramatic difference in Phish’s jamming style these days (when compared to 1993-1994). As many have noted (@waxbanks and @phishcrit), Phish’s jamming back then was difficult/abstract/frenetic — featuring constant key and tempo changes and dissonant melodies (see A Live One’s Tweezer for instance)— even if they did hold to capacity to build anthemic rock peak jams that strayed away from this sometimes hard-t0-listen-to ‘spontaneous’ composition style. But, this Phish is a different animal. Since 1997, the band still has not really changed their improvisational approach in type II jams (there of course really importance differences in the years since then, I realize). As @waxbanks describes in A Tiny Space to Move and Breathe in 1997 Phish jams become much more open, free, and, most importantly, groove based (Phish tried to play funk prior to 1997 but it didn’t quite work). James Brown and Miles Davis’s electric music, etc. now represented the roots of their jamming style. So, last night, in between the Tweezers and slew of other songs, we got ridiculously open/free harmonically simple jams like Tweezer and funk-groove based jams in Simple, DWD, NICU, and (don’t forget that) Booggie On.

My point is: this is a very different band than the 1994 Phish. I personally much prefer their jamming style today (and I agree the band has found another peak period in 2012-present — even if we can argue if it is on the same level as their previous peaks in 1995 and 1997-1999). But, to ‘add in’ the crazy, unexpected, and hilarious segues and antics (common to 1994) to this Phish’s improvisational gusto and experience? Well, it’s a bit overwhelmingly awesome. And it makes sense. The roots might be something like the “Theme from the Shaft” in Worcester, but in 2013 for the most part Phish anchored their shows with epic improvisations rather than song selection/placement and “setlist flow.” There was a potential to create a new kind of rut of “knowing what to expect” (“it’s the 3rd quarter, so I will now get my awesome jam.”) They decided to shake it up, because, most of all, they just don’t seem complacent right now (like I would argue they had seemed in much of 2009-2011). Now, with fresh song placements and creative segues, Phish is once again keeping us on our toes.

I guess I was going to write a review of the show. The first set was just what I was looking for. “Fee” used to be Phish’s “pop” song when I was in High School — it’s really amazing how rare it is now. I must admit when Trey decided to end the Fee harmonic outro jam section to correct his missed lyric I was confused and angered (not as bad as the “Back on the Train” moment, but still). I love “Fee” jams — 7/1/12 was one of my favorite jams of the year. Sure, correct the lyric, but keep the jam going! When I checked my zzyzx stats before the show, I was informed that the two most common songs I’ve never seen live (in 74 shows), were “My Sweet One” and “The Curtain With.” Well, done and done. Seriously though, I have been chasing “The Curtain With” since 2000 (I got one of the rare “withouts” on 8/28/12, but was rewarded with a >Peaches). This version had a hiccup in the very first part of the intro (the transition between the hammer on’s and the first open “slave-like” A-chord), but then was very, very well played. The jam really chilled out at the beginning and there was a lot of space for Page, Mike and Trey to work. It hit a nice peak, but then felt like it ended a bit abruptly — but no matter — I got my “with” man! Don’t overlook the “Sand” from the first set. It really established a textured groove and was not just a simple guitar solo per usual (the groove it created was a sign of things to come in the second set!). The return of “YEM” was exhilirating, and I really love a first set YEM. While Trey didn’t completely fall apart in the (very difficult!) intro like SPAC, there was a minor flub — but, once again, this was made up for by a cool Mike-Trey duel jam that kept things funky and conversational.

Then, well, the second set happened. And, it had me laughing, laughing, fall apart. I love this band.
Score: 2
OldBalls , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Some Phish shows are considered good because the band does something that folks don't expect. Maybe a song traditionally played in the second set makes its way into the first or a jam happens in a song typically not known for exploration by the band. Others are good because the show contains a rare gem that many have been chasing over the years. Still others are considered good because one can just tell that the band is having a whole lotta fun and it's phucking contagious. July 27, 2014 was a rare spectacle in which all of these things that alone could make for an awesome show blended into what can only be classified as a GREAT show.

A sweet mix in the first set of new and old with a Sand in the middle and YEM in the end that foreshadowed what was to come in the second.

The Tweezer blend that ensued was nothing short of spectacular - something that I feel fans will be talking about the rest of the summer and into fall - perhaps longer. Jennifer Dances and I Been Around - WHAT?! You couldn't have seen that coming with the Aricebo telescope.

Between the second set and encore, a younger guy, who had been touring for the past couple of years, asked me how many shows I had seen over the years. While I have been going to see Phish since 1990, I honestly do not know. I took a stab on the order of 50 or so. His reason for asking though was because, like me, he was blown away and he wanted to know if I had ever seen a set like that before. Honestly, no.
If MPPII set II is the new prototype of second sets to come, get ready and maybe, if you can, buy your tickets to Colorado now! This is good stuff and is on par with anything that I have seen - recency effect aside. I am really hoping for more of the same, so more folks can get a taste of the Phish that shocked and persuaded my soul to ignite. Keep it guys! This is the stuff.
Score: 1
VTphisherman , attached to 2014-07-26 Permalink
This was a VERY GOOD show. Moments of absolute brilliance in both sets.

First set: Intensity and crisp improvisation within the confines of first-set brevity. Sample, Moma, Wombat, Number Line were so good, I was thinking best first set of the tour at that point. Then a clean Wedge, which is only a let down for me because I was at the Chicago show a week before and it mad me miss that one. Wolfman's ended with a great jam. A brief (and needed) intermission with Nellie and Lawn Boy. The set built beautifully from there with a solid Line a good Stash jam and then into Suzy to finish with a bang. Page definitely got the crowd going on that one. I would argue this was top 3 first sets of the tour so far.

Second set started with a Carini jam that was interesting, but never seemed to quite settle on anything. What Carini lacked in organized jamming, Ghost delivered and then some. I have heard from some fans who think Trey's 70s-esque powerchord riffs are getting stale, but I beg to differ - this one was fun and got the crowd going. A highlight of the show to be sure. Trey cut it off during the bring back and shifted to Steam, which was a perfect song choice. Mango is always a hit for me. Sing Monica was well-played, but it is not my favorite. Light was very good, but I have heard so many A+++ versions of it over the past year that I think my bar is too high. Hood was good, but again I have heard so many great versions recently that I am spoiled. Then a familiar Julius encore.

Again, all in all a VERY GOOD show - definitely worth another listen for the first set funk and second set Carini, Ghost, Steam. There is no such thing as a bad show these days, so it really is hard not to give 5/5.
Score: 1
lizardneck , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
lizardneck I heard it again....and back on the simple freezer train was....FUEGO!
I had as much fun as any show from the 90's, so glad I made it down this weekend. This may be my last show till NYE, and I took full advantage of every moment of music,
Thank you......
Score: 2
madsunrises , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
What can I say? They killed it. I couldn't stop dancing, I thought I'd be able to stop and catch my breath at some point in the second set, but they kept building it up like a well organized orgasm and I wouldn't have been satisfied unless I danced to it all and don't worry, I did. It was a contagious show and an absolute joy. It felt so personal and fun, from jumping on trampolines to having Jon come out to sing Jennifer Dances, to dancing off stage in step; it was such a joyous and groovy night. But most importantly, tweezerfest people. I feel honored to have been there.
Score: 2
JorgeCavos , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
I couldn't be happier about this show. Everyone else has pretty much said all that has to be said. This was quintessential Phish doing what they do best: Making us dance, laugh, and smile ear-to-ear.

What a beautiful way to cap off my summer (and 80th show!)

Already can't wait for Vegas...
Score: 2
bamaphishphunk , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
So I've officially listened to the show ("Back on the Free-zer") twice, and watched the webcast once, and my eyes have had tears I them all three times. We were witness to greatness of epic proportions last night. I don't even think that I need to explain a thing to anyone about the show itself, although phrases like legendary, epic, magical, and sick come to mind. The look on Trey's face during the second set said everything! Bliss, joy, energy, and music; these are just a few of the things that make Phish the most captivating "living thing" on the planet. Thank you guys, truly a masterpiece........See you in Orange Beach!
Score: 4
Toast16 , attached to 1989-04-27 Permalink
This is quite possibly one of the best shows of Early 1.0 Phish.
I think it is only one set long because they were so good that they overheated the building.
Probably their best show from the periods 1983-April 16th, 1992.
Now let me lay this set out for you in all of it's brilliance.
First up we have GOLGI APPARATUS.
Mike is killer on the bass in this crisp opener. Now here is where the fun begins.
Now it says that the JAM was after the Golgi Apparatus, which is true, but for the review's sake we can consider it a jammed out Golgi Apparatus. Now how often were those?
There weren't any jammed out Golgi Apparati in Fall Funk '97.
Adding to this wonderful show was the fact that there was some stage banter during this Jam. How wonderful is that? You don't get that every day.
Next up is THE SLOTH. Absolutely beautiful rendition of this song, one of my favorites. Even though the name is Sloth, the song goes rather fast. Aren't you funny, Phish?
OH MY GOD THIS DIVIDED SKY. Seguing in from The Sloth, I was just stunned for a second when I heard this piece. Phish nails all the composed sections with an air of brilliant tactical work, and the result is soft sugar butter candy to the ears. Must-hear for any self-proclaimed Phish aficionado.
By this point my face is melted. This band is so good that I will take any song now. The next one, of course, is SANITY. The fast version.
Holy Schnikeys I get excited now just thinking about it. Trey takes a guitar solo near the end that is just absolute perfection.
Why doesn't this Sanity have the green or even red on it? Why isn't this whole show a signature version? Imma message the mods because this is some real babyback bullshit.
Next up is I DIDN'T KNOW. Holy hell this song is funny. A picture of Otis Redding? HAHAHA this band is hilarious!! I love Mike during this one, as he seems to be the one carrying the band through this song.
Next up is ALUMNI BLUES. I love this song!! I graduated from high school once so I feel the "Blues" as narrated in this song. I thought that this trip was over but WHAM BAM -> LETTER TO JIMMY PAGE. Damn! I know who Jimmy Page is so automatically this song is for me. I wonder why they don't play this one anymore, but this is clearly one of the best versions of this song. I love the Type 2 jamming that occurs about midway through.
And back into ALUMNI BLUES. Did I say I love this song? Yes. Did I say I love this band? Yes. Amazing version with a capital A, not just because it begins a sentence.
And segue into the LIZARDS!!! THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD!! One of the best of early Phish, I'd say. Almost as good as Tweezerfest 5/07/94, that's for sure. But this Lizards song with the Calypso beat is just melting my fucking face right now. Trey remembers all the lyrics this time, and the atmosphere is just sublime. Do yourself a favor and give this song a listen if you can only just listen to one song, or you are just lazy.
Next is AN 11 MINUTE WHIPPING POST!!! In 1989!!! WOW!! This song is the clincher to a perfect set. Shame they didn't play two sets because they are on fucking fire. I love the Allman Brothers too so it is an extra treat. Consider yourself lucky and a miracle that you are listening to this show, or happen to click on it on OH ME OH MY!!!!
There is an encore!! How lucky are we? How often do encores happen?
YEAH!!! Love this encore so far. Page is killer on the keys right now. That is why they call him Chairman of the Boards.
This Bowie is so good!! The hose in the second part of the jam is absolutely incredible!!
So to close it off, I will say that this show (4/27/89) is my favorite show of all time, beating out the 5/7/94 Tweezerfest and the 12/29/94 show.
LivePhish you need to FUCKING STEP IT UP!!! GET THIS SHOW AS ONE OF YOUR CD'S OR ITUNES OR WHAT NOT. You need to make this gem of a show accessible to the mainstream public.
Score: 0
SimplePhishin , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
From the storm clouds breaking apart above the venue and the sun peaking out instead of storming, through the high energy first set that set the tempo (Sand, Bouncing, Saw it, Fuego,, yes), into the second set that will surely be remembered and looked back on for years to just doesn't get much better than this.

The crowd was dialed in along with the band and from the moment Trey started dancing around the stage in set 1 phriends in the crowd began looking around at each other as if they sensed something magical looming. What the band delivered was something beyond my own and I'm sure everyone else's wildest dreams. I kept thinking to myself that I'm not this lucky to catch a show of this magnitude. At times all I could do was put my hands on top of my head and stare in disbelief.

Thank you, Phish.
Score: 4
LIVEdude , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Thought I'd share an idea about the "theme" of last night. After a second listen, I recalled Trey saying at the end of "Fee", after they flubbed the last verse, that "it was all there, but not in the right parts". When you think about it, the remainder of the show, especially the second set, contained a bunch of things that were all there (and finished), but not in the right parts. I also think this may attribute to the array of "second set" tunes being played in the first set. Just wanted to introduce this for all you conspiracy friends.

The entire show was brilliant, with bust outs and wild set construction, not to mention snappy and responsive jams/segues. This is as good as anything in the last 10 years, easy. After a murky 1st set on the 26th, with obvious disappointment from the band, they brought the thunder for the rest of the weekend. After thousands of hours of music created, they just still find a way to make it fresh for themselves and, subsequently, the fans. Be on this show ASAP!

Here's to a killer show! Thanks, Boys!
Score: 4
lysergic , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
lysergic Wow, what can I say? This show is the real deal. I feel very fortunate to have been in the pit, center stage. The best part about this show, IMO, was how much fun the boys were having on stage. They started out free and wild and continued down that path, getting looser and looser. By the time HYHU emerged out of the NICU jam it was clear anything could happen. This wasn't a night where one or two songs stand out above the rest, it was a whole package. At set break my friends and I were already blown away. Then... well the setlist speaks for itself. This was a very special night. Thank you Phish!!

Highlights: Fishman jumping on top of the piano to take a bow, Trey's song request from the drums, the impromptu synchronized walkoff to close the second set, the jam from nowhere at the end of NICU, the fifth Tweezer, and of course Henrietta butchering Jennifer Dances
Score: 5
Runaway_Sean , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
Between the bustouts, tweezer all night and the realignment of songs this is truly one not to miss.

I have heard some fans mentioning that the band is getting predictable with set II opener being a huge jam (carini, dwd, fuego, etc.), set I closer being somewhat the same type selection (antelope, bowie, etc). This totally broke that cycle...curtain and yem in the first set? slave mid second set? NICU late second set?

I will take what I can get, when I can get it, but it was nice to have them change things up a bit...just my opinion..

It was almost as if they took a step back and wanted to remind all of us that they are in fact the best band on the planet and don't we forget it. I got the same feeling from them on 11/1/2013 AC after they received a lot of heat for the Wingsuit debut on Halloween.

Great to see the boys having fun up there!! Can't wait so see what the rest of tour brings to the table.
Score: 3
CavernMan , attached to 2014-07-27 Permalink
CavernMan Even just hearing the AUD now, it's clear that from the first note that this show was an unconstrained intermingling and eruption of the energy, humor, skill and passion that's always defined Phish at their best (and what the hell, even at their worst).

It's not just the incredibly delivered second set - it's the whole show! Not a sloucher of a tune anywhere - even the 'Fee' flub is made fun, and made up for with 'The Curtain With'. A rippin' '46 Days' that centers on some classic Trey rock god guitar hero soloing, a '555' that shows how well & quickly the song is maturing to fit into strong sets, then… c’mon… seriously? Look at that. WTF? A hot burning 'Sand', 'Bouncing' over to a metal 'Saw It Again' feeding perfectly into a metal 'Fuego' and then just that little 'YEM' that everyone’s been hunting since SPAC. If they had walked away at set break, this would have been a worthwhile show and everyone could have floated on home…

But of course they didn’t – and the rest is most definitely now history. No need for me to hash over what other reviews say about Set II – just reiterating the point a few others made – the 5 stars are for THE WHOLE DAMN SHOW! If you’re just sitting down to this, do yourself a favor and listen all the way through.

Congratulations to those of you who got this right down under your skin and into your retinas there in person. Surely you’ve emerged transformed! A congratulations to all of us for being smart enough to be fans of this band beyond description. Couldn’t find a night like this anywhere else – that’s for sure.
Score: 5
ihadadog , attached to 1989-01-28 Permalink
I was actually at this show, although I thought it was earlier than 1989. There weren't many people there, but it was definitely rocking. I had never heard the band before so any Phish songs were unknown to me. They definitely played Fire by Jimi Hendrix and Good Times, Bad Times.
Score: 0
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