, attached to 2013-07-05

Review by n00b100

n00b100 First set: a first set, for the most part. Yarmouth Road is perfectly fine; I don't want to make much of a song on its debut, so I'll wait to see if they grow into it or if it gets cast to the wayside. Still, nice to hear some new material, isn't it? Gin made a nice approximation of a Classic Gin jam - it wasn't blistering like 6/28/00 or the Went, but it'll do in a pinch. Cities -> Bowie is the definite highlight; Bowie's jam touched a bit on the brightness of 7/3's Antelope excursion, which reinforces how much *sunnier* (to use a @waxbanks adjective) they are now than they have been since 1994, if not ever. This is Phish now, for good or ill (mostly good, for sure). But yeah, pretty much every 2012 Leg One show had this first set.

Second set: I love "Energy" and support the Elephant 6 Collective, so I'm a bit biased on that song choice. Phish did it justice, tho. (Quick plug: give Fun Trick Noisemaker a listen if you like good music.) And from this interesting cover choice comes Light, and it's (quelle surprise, this) yet another keeper for the ol' mp3 player. If you want to pick nits, I suppose you can say that they took a bit longer than one would like to figure out where they wanted to go. But (IMO) it's hard to deny that when they DID find where they wanted to go things got interesting real fast, first with an ugly and atonal jam that brought back the spirit of '94, then an (aw, screw it) *enchanting* dip into the pool of bliss that has become a hallmark of 3.0. Trey's guitar playing from the 12 minute mark on will bring a tear to your eye. I love the 8/7/09 calypso Light to death; this elicited the same emotional reaction from me.

The jam strips away, then suddenly turns Hydrogen-ish, but rather than flip everyone's lid with an IAH sans Groove the band gently makes its way into Mango, which is (to my ears) a set lowlight - it wasn't offensively bad, but kind of a weird version, almost like they'd only played it a few times before. Then comes a typically powerhouse 46 Days, which (and here's a sure sign the band is on one) seamlessly transitions into a funk breakdown, Trey wah-wahing away, Mike dropping bombs, Fish doing damage to his kit. And from this breakdown comes the all-too-rare Steam, and this Steam is also a keeper; maybe I haven't listened to enough 2009-10, but the whale calls don't bother me nearly as much as others, and I really appreciated how much the band stretched out and luxuriated in the song's jam, with Page's stately piano/organ accompaniment the glue holding things together. A fine Drowned and very good Slave close out the set.

Final thoughts: This is more like it. I'd be a tad disappointed if this ended up the best of the SPAC run, but there's a lot of meat on the bones of this show, and the second set hangs together extremely well with two thumbs-up jams, nice segues, and great flow. Thumbs up.


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