, attached to 2013-07-12

Review by tubescreamer

tubescreamer Of all the shows I've ever been to, I've never been rained on like this. Heading in, I wondered if I was going to be miserable. The notoriously pushy and relentless ushers clearing aisles and the often loud fratty crowd and quiet sound system of JB past had me worried.

But Phish delivered us all to redemption tonight.

The rain. It was truly relentless, but the fact that we were, and I promise to only say this once-- all in this together, taking a bath-- really gave the vibe of the night a special feel. It also started the show off in half light which gave Kuroda more to work with right away.

It took the crowd a little while to settle, Ocelot quieted everyone down a bit, but when they dropped "A song I heard the ocean sing" was when I really felt like it was going to be a special night. Trey whaled, and then pulled the rip chord too soon, but so it goes most always for any potential sea monster in a fifth-song, first-set slot these days. The beauty of a broken heart also skirted the waves to a higher level for a second and dissolved. Sugar Shack had a great placement, but Trey seemed to skip a chord in the solo and then faltered in the end, despite an extended try at wrapping it up.
I'm going to be completely honest-- around this point I was fully soaked through my three layers, and the prospects of the show actually looked pretty dim. I wonder if anyone else felt that too-- how were we going to make it through this unseasonably cold rain, how could the fellas deliver this crowd from their shivery state?
46 days threw some coal on the fire, but it went out fast. Number Line clearly is Trey's fallback song when he is reaching, I was just thankful he played it then and not in the second set. Reba and Bowie grew majestic for a time and the lights came onto a crowd dashing for shelter.
And like a great force of nature, Phish put an end to the rain for the start of their second set. It came back, but never how it was in the first set, and often just acted as a steam machine for CK5 to work his new rig.
Rock and Roll tuned into a NY Station that we couldn't believe. It went to a place full of bliss before settling on a 2001 that was concise yet successful in it's energy-blast off abilities. When the freezer door swung open though was when we knew we were really set to dive down the rabbit hole, and we were treated to an incredibly captivating performance. All of this is a must hear. The segue however into cities, was, I am just going to make this call-- the BEST segue into cities, EVER. That the band adopted the unique percussive timing-- that flirted with then became the wedge beat during the song-- is one of the greatest Fishman-led passages I have ever witnessed. The wedge flowed here seamlessly and water themes continued as the audience and band basked in the song's composed parts getting a meaningful treatment. The song cannot hit you this way in its normal first set placement. At this point we were turned around and guided back from deep waters to wade to the shore with a beautifully poignant Velvet Sea, and a wildly pensive Character0, thankful to have arrived.

Page, who we welcomed as a rather talkative MC for the night introduced Sleeping Monkey as dedicated to the people affected by Hurricane Sandy, telling us it is a song about redemption. I think Trey got such a kick out of this that he was still thinking about it when he began the song, flubbing the first lyric. Fishman reminded him to "Redeem himself" and brought the word back again throughout the song, and with that we were sent home, witnessing redemption and participating in its cool waters.


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