, attached to 2009-08-05

Review by nichobert

nichobert "Heading up the list of missed opportunities was a truncated "Halley's Comet" that showed up early in the 1st set -- in the past, the song had been a springboard for outstanding group improvisation, but the "new" Phish appears reticent to push the boundaries of the jamming style for which it set the bar so high early in its career (at least for now)."

Actually I think they set that Halley's Bar about 14 years into their career.

It's always so weird when people can simultaneously write off 03-04 and then act like Phish was jamming out multiple songs every night for a long stretch of time. If you're one of those people that doesn't really count the 2.0 era, it happened from June 1997 until 2000. A rather small slice of all the shows Phish has played. One song that got blasted to outer space like that Disease is as many songs as you could hope for in a solid 90% of shows from 93 through 96 and an actual decent chunk of shows afterwards. Not to mention the fact that they jam a lot more than they did before 93.
Sure, that excursion may have been longer, but the jam song/standard song ratio of 3.0 Phish is just about spot on with the 80s through 96.
I mean..I get it, I'm a jam kid. I want Character Zero to run off the rails and meander around and I don't care if the one long Type II Zero on 11/26/97 has less interesting improv in it than 90 seconds of the Burgettstown 2012 Simple or Cincinnati Twist.

It just seems like a lot of fans have this idea that 1997, Island Tour and Summer 2000 are a representative picture of Phish's career, and it's just not the truth.

It's 2012. Go back and re-engage with the 2.0 era. There's about 50 more hours of amazing improv than you remember, and you apparently no longer have to have a bunch of conversations about whose on drugs and the starving dogs and needles on lot in order to properly frame it.

Phish is in a re-evolutionary period. The first evolution pushed its way into a basically 50/50 mixture of spectacular and boring improvisation from post-Island Tour 1998 through Coventry. If this new evolution can push that percentage in the direction of spectacular, we'll be quite happy for it. And considering that their improv is freaking amazing right now, and that they're- by most accounts- almost too happy to cut off a jam before they start jamming for the sake of being a jamband, I'm confident that their new quality control measures will bear the sweetest of fruits.


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