, attached to 2013-12-30

Review by ajcmixer

ajcmixer Never miss a December 30th show is what my long-time Phish Phriends say. They were right. Again. They layed down the nasty in what felt IMHO in many ways to be the NYE performance one day early, the thunderous peaks came early and often, especially in Set II.

But that is not to take away from the glory that was still Set I (spoken from attending 12/28 and skipping 12/29). KDK had an extra kick going for it straight out of the gate and then a pleasantly early Gin had us lapping up the beverages and what-not for a delightful romp in the Bathtub. Wombat whacked me upside my head and Yarmouth Road sounded really nicely fleshed out on this go-around. Then the point where myself and many of my fellow peeps felt that they took it to the next level: 46 Days and I watched myself and my Phriends furiously trying to hang in with the band, who in turn was trying to outpace itself. The trip clicked in, the sound sounded like it got totally dialed in and the band worked as one. Add CK5 to the mix and it was a feast for both eyes and ears. Sensing the collective masses needed a breather, Page walks out to Gordon's side for a fab version of Lawn Boy, The Chairman taking Center Stage and then sharing it with both Mike and a surprised-looking Fishman, who was all too happy to take credit on a song that he had nothing to do on, ha ha ha! The joke's always on us, isn't it? Heavy Things ended on a heavy jam, PYITE was super-ecletic to my ears tonight, it is a Phish song thru and thru and Sample>Jiboo was just wayyyyy too much fun, the Jiboo jam signaled only good things for the 2nd set.

And who wasn't feeling that the opening CDT was going to go to special places? To these ears it did and it ended up being the beginning of the one note that the 2nd Set sounded to me, one long note with different subdivisions, the next being (like the Gin in the 1st Set) an unusually early Mike's song that kept on going and going, everybody leaving space for the other to explore. At its thrilling conclusion the segue to Devotion To A Dream was to these ears an inspired choice and signaled the beginning of the spectacle that was to turn MSG into a full-on danceathon that went full-blown with the Story of the Ghost. Everything 'bout this Ghost screamed 30 on the 30th celebrating their 30th, it was the acknowledgement of their past, present and future all rolled into one.

At this point I lost all track of time, had no idea when the set started and when it might end and from this point on I was so musically satisfied that they could have walked off the celebratory Weekapaug and I wouldn't have known any better. But better was Skyscrapers and Skyscrapers are Grand and the roar of the crowd on that line should have blown off the roof off the newly renovated skyscraper that is MSG and the ensuing jam was yet another musical peak in a set full of peaks. Hood on the 30th just felt perfect afterwards didn't it? In full hose mode, drenched in musical manna disguised as mother's milk. Really thought they were walking off at this point. But evidently not before the reminder that one needs to take care of their shoes, a most valuable lesson indeed. Once again thinking they were going to walk off after it they still had one last major hosing down left up their musical sleeves, it now feeling like an embarrassment of riches, ending with First Tube, Trey triumphantly holding his guitar high above him as would the winning medieval warrior who had just finished slaying the musical dragon with his excalibur. But make no mistake, it was a group effort thru and thru and their individual stars shone brightly within the collective effort, it was a potent attack. And the cherry on top, a beautifully fleshed-out Slave.

There were a number of unsolicited roars from the crowd during many parts of this show that told my ears that tonight was a pretty special night going on. It really felt like a nice way to end the 3 night run, with NYE being bonus time as it takes a life of its own. Viva la 30th! Onward to the 31st on the 31st, viva la gag!

A special thanks to my many many peeps in Section 118, nothing beats out having a great show and being able to share share it with your Phish Phamily of Phriends. Phish won. Again.

Peace,
Alex


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