, attached to 2014-07-08

Review by MattyP

MattyP With all do respect to @solargarlic78, what the point of writing (and reading) such reviews, if all it does is string together a load of superlatives and praise, with only one or two mitigating critiques in a 2000 word essay, when, clearly, there was a lot more to talk about. Don't get me wrong, I love "the Phish", as Trey reminded us last night, but we have to be more rigorous in our critique, and, contrary to many people's opinions, it is actually a sign of MORE love, respect, and investment in the band if we do not heap unjust praise.

The second set last night was a MESS. I am so happy that Fuego is quickly becoming a new staple jam vehicle, but one jam does not a good Phish set make. One of the greatest attributes of Phish is their ability to control the rise and fall of tension, not only within a song, but within a show. However, coming out of Fuego and into The Line/BDTNL was an incredibly jarring deceleration, and the set never recovered. It was not for trying; Tweezer -> Ghost > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood > Tweezer Reprise looks great on paper, but it was so rushed and haphazard - the energy was just off. It was a show played to take up time, and get the hell off the stage.

So, it wasn't a 5 star show! Great! I'm sure the anxiety caused by the weather delay played heavily into the result. This kind of thing happens when you have a 30+ year performance career. But if you care enough about the band to listen/attend a show and attempt a critique, well, actually give some critique.

I would love to see the rating system used more like the NY Times food review, where 1 star is "good", 2 is "very good", 3 is "excellent" and 4 is "extraordinary". Why is it this way? Because the Times doesn't bother reviewing your restaurant at all unless there is a baseline expectation of quality. In the same way, Phish is band that we can expect a baseline that far exceeds most bands. Almost every show is going to be good, but there is a lot more nuance between good and extraordinary.

This show was clearly a 1 star NY Times rating, I'd give it a 2.5 .net if I could.



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