, attached to 2013-07-06

Review by mattyb5000

mattyb5000 SPAC couch tour, night two.

A tale of two sets - both with wonderful attributes, both with wonderful flaws. Let’s begin.

Set I

Up until the opening chords of Split Open and Melt, I would have said this: if you’re suffering from depression, all you need to do is mainline the entirety of set I and you should come out happy and elated on the other side, no Prozac necessary. Except that “split” came along and harpooned any chances of me making that recommendation. In fact, it was a diabolical version, one that might make you want to jump off a bridge, or go on a mad rampage. Don’t get me wrong – it was actually a brilliant version with an extended jam that is a tie for jam of the evening – it’s just that the placement as the final song of what was otherwise a blissful, cheery set was awkward to say the least.

Everything else up until then was “happy, happy, happy.” All singles for the most part, no segues save for Tube>Julius. Well played versions, all of them, with only a few points taken off for a bunch of choppy playing on Trey’s part during Bouncing Around the Room. Trey, what’s up with that? It’s such a great song, and an easy one to play. Oh well, even the best have their sloppy moments from time to time, and this one was Trey’s.

Set II.

Backwards Down the Number Line set opener – interesting choice. One of several songs repeated from first night of the tour in Bangor (along with CDT, Sand, and Possum.) Gotta give Trey credit for giving the solo on that song some glorious sounding build-ups. There are naysayers for this song all over the place, but I’m not one of them. This song is straight-up beautiful, and has my favorite lyrics of any Phish song.

After that fairly standard version of Number Line, into Tweezer we go – the first ever played at SPAC, from what my friend told me. Unbelievable but true. What a letdown. Everybody has been waiting for Phish to unleash a 15+ minute beast of a jam for this tour and if ever there were a song to make that happen, Tweezer is it. Why on earth Trey pulled the plug on a jam that was really beginning to take shape is beyond me. It’s a trend over the course of all three shows thus far: an interesting jam takes place and Trey jumps the gun and moves on to something else. Please, someone tell Trey to start taking Ritalin and just chill. Anyhow, that Tweezer was well played, it was just shorter than anybody expected.

Sand, however, made up for that and then some. This was 100% gooey chill-funk to get all over your hands and lick off like frosting. All Type I jamming through and through, but with that level of funkitude happening, who cares? It killed. That segued into a Carini with a surprisingly uplifting jam that only temporarily ventured into evil territory a la this past winter’s MSG run.

Architect, a new-ish song featured on Trey’s recent solo album, was neat and clean, straight out of the package. Nothing groundbreaking here, just a nice little ditty to make way for a fun version of Wilson.

Boogie on Reggae Woman seemed a bit lackluster to me, with a jam that didn’t really go anywhere. Actually, at this point I found myself feeling like they were just going through the motions at this point. It’s a fun song that gets the crowd dancing, but if it gets a little slow, as this version did, it can be a little dirge-like and kind of kills momentum.

Possum to close out the set, a nice but brief contained jam.

Encore: Show of Life, then Tweeprise. I have to say; didn’t Trey look like he was having the time of his life finishing off the show with Tweeprise? It’s like someone spiked his drink with ecstasy, Prozac, and amphetamines all mixed into one. Lots of energy in this Tweeprise, and it was quite welcome.

Overall, this is a 4 star show. A solid double. Eminently listenable, and very representative of Phish 3.0.

My personal favorites: Split Open and Melt jam, Sand->Carini


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