, attached to 2010-08-05

Review by Egeffy

Egeffy Ok, so I will be reviewing all three of the Greek shows in the next week or so. I needed some times after the shows to let it sink in and also listen to the shows again. Just a short background: my first show was biddy mulligans in Chicago feb 1991. I liked them but at the time was a hard core deadhead and it was kind of an us vs them mentality, it felt like I was going to leave my wife for the new girlfriend, and I just could not jump on the bandwagon, which looking back is sad because in my view the dead were nearly dead by this time and the remaining dead shows were often rather sad affairs in different ways. So I did not see phish again for many years at a UCLA show that the sound from the back was terrible and I just did not get all that into it. What would be my next attempt was again several years later at a valentines day show at the forum, which I thought sounded much better but he skanky phish fans were just terrible where I was, like just the terrible BO and over the top level of intoxication, strangely the audience made a dead show look like an AA meeting. Thinking back on it it I can see why it eventually got problematic for the band. Anyways, I forgot about them and was done, until reading the Trey interview in the rolling stone mag and getting a copy of joy. Festival 8 and I was on board, even if this tired old man could only really attend festival 4.5 (and stayed in a hotel). As an addiction specialist in LA I was very moved by trey’s recovery and how it came out on JOY and when I heard acoustic set I was for sure going to fest 8 (really 4.5 for me)

Well, I heard about the lottery and thought I would throw my hat into the Berkeley ring with zero thought I would get it.. So I was rather shocked by my being selected for tickets. I should say I am 45, have beat my body up to no end and was a bit concerned about 3 concerts in row, so I went into a form of training…working out daily to livephish.com shows and audience tapes.

The last time I was at the Greek was for the dead in 85, and again in 89 (I think) at one of the shows my friend Merissa jumped on stage and sat next to Brent while he sang before being escorted out. So it was a very strange feeling to be back there some 21 years later for phish.
I drove into Oakland the day of the first show and found my way on Bart, I am really glad that I took a cab from Bart I was running late and already kind of beat from the drive. The cab left me in front and I did not comprehend that there was a massive line to get in that I skipped, as I just melted in, it was only on the second day that I even saw it. Let me say this, the Greek, while being a perfect summer intimate place for a concert is really not very user friendly. In fact it was kind of brutal for an old man like me. Even being there nearly 2 hours early was not enough to easily secure a place to stand, luckily I was solo all shows as it would have been even harder.

After basically being told “no room here” I was getting rather desperate and was calling out “who has some space for an old man” till someone finally offered me a slab of stone to call my own. Now if you have not been to the Berkeley Greek, you gotta know this, the grass is ass. Seriously, it is amazingly steep so steep that you really really can not possibly stand/dance on it well for a concert. In many places it is completely unusable. So I knew I had to have a slab of stone. Being so grateful for it, it was now nearly impossible to leave. Being there 2 hours plus early, plus the nearly 1 hour Bart and getting inside and man it was rough cause if you had to piss you were basically out of luck.
The show. Well, I am not a man who can say this song was so much better played at --- show..In fact even though I have been to several I can say I am hearing nearly all phish songs fresh and common songs are not stale, like they had become with the dead. I think that is why I loved this first show so much, it was just good old classic phish songs played wonderfully well in my view.
Possum opener just said to me: we are going to dance and have some good fun tonight,

Wolfmans – I just like it, I am sure some are burned out on it but I like it, have always liked it since hearing on the Hampton box set.

Divided sky: loved it, just got good and jammy and looking up into the sky with perfect silence, so much better live, hearing the waves of audience response, seeing the SF bay in the background

Funky Bitch and Kill Devil… just really good and well played, both rocked out hard

Haley's comet: I just loved it, never hear it before and was just in music heaven, so fun and well sung….

Sample-NICU-bouncing perfect jamming dancing fun, but the transition into Run like an antelope was so cool, I did not have a clue that I was even hearing run… I just have not heard enough of them to be able to expect it, and it is just yet another great jamin dancing song. I love Run, and this one caught me off guard with a great smooth jam

All in all the first set was lovely some of the finest jam music I have heard in years.

Sadly, it was clear that if I left my stone slab I was not going to be able to make it back, it was just that mobbed. I was kind of hurting by the second set, but did the best I could to hold out leaving my place, one of the downsides of being solo at a show I guess, but it really would not have mattered as I was about to learn

Down with disease again-free-Alaska all sounded really well played, I loved back on the train, but by maze and joy I had to hit up a bathroom so bad I could not stand it anymore. But it was so packed in, with zero room in the aisle to even walk to the bathroom, I had to push and shove my way out… It was a good think I took my stuff with me because I am sure I could not have gotten back to my slab. Now having missed both maze and joy I was feeling better but no where to stand, so I went up to the lawn, and it was so crowded all I could do was stand behind everyone in the far far back where I could hear but not see anything. So, I enjoyed the fluffhead (I was going to bring a sign for it just with cotton balls pasted on cardboard but any extra effort was too much as was the Sunday toga outfit… The rest of the show, watched from the back was a fun but it just makes a huge difference being so far away. I missed a lot of the details like when Trey said: something to the nature “I am going to play this new bad guitar and then sang the line in loving cup I missed it, until hearing the recording. People I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but I think this version of loving cup should be considered for the top version list, check it out and let me know what you think! Now don’t slam me, but Tweezer just does not connect much for me, I don’t know what the hell it is about so I did not mind all that much missing it. Summary: first show was what I would think is a classic phish show, lots of favorite tunes, but not a lot of mind blowing moments, just a ton of good old fashion fun, and I loved it. Suggested cut: NICU-Bouncing-Run like an...and loving cup


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