, attached to 2013-07-06

Review by pikepredator

pikepredator I brought a musician friend I've known for almost 30 years to this show. What better place to pop his cherry than saturday night at SPAC?!?! What's that you say, Sunday night at SPAC? Not fair . . . I tried to guide him to help him understand what he was about to hear:

Crowd Control: phish pop, I told him.
Chalkdust: standard Rock
Wedge: Phishy fun
Funky Bitch: Blues

These tunes were the very definition of average Phish. I told him "OK there's your warm up. now buckle up!" It felt like the right time for a Maze, a Reba, maybe Divided Sky . . . nope. they decided to save all the good songs for Sunday.

Heavy Things: More Phish Pop

Maybe NOW they'll kick it into gear?

Bug: Phish Ballad. He liked how much they could peak a ballad. looking at Bug like that, maybe it's not so bad . . . now it's time to bring it??

Bouncin': Brought even More Phish pop and the set is falling flat.

Again, all reasonably well-played but not a single MOMENT in the set. No Phlow. He goes "this is more normal than I was expecting".

Finally, Tube (keyword: Funk!) breaks the mold with a couple of minutes of Real Phish and the crowd goes absolutely bananas. He was totally digging it when they abruptly returned to Tube. Too short was his assessment. he should've been with us 15 years ago . . .

When they started Melt I told my friend "OK finally, this one's dangerous" and he looked at me "Dangerous?" Sure enough, not only is the improv challenging and unique (I enjoyed the whale calling here) the band got so far out that I was thinking they'd either dial up something like Golgi or Cavern or maybe just fade out to end the set. Instead, we get the joking "we'll just fart through the ending" ending. Not exactly a train wreck, since I don't think they were trying to do it "right" at all.

At setbreak I was really glad I was watching this show with noob eyes, because otherwise my old jaded self might've reared it's head. Instead I was able to find fresh appreciation for the little things that phish does and give thanks for the effort they put forth in split open (much better than the standard version at merriweather).

When they broke into Tweezer I told him this was "Essential" phish. He loved it but recognized the ripcord. Sand was well-played Type 1 and then Carini finally brought a set II highlight. They immediately move away from scary carini into melodious carini. adventurous, new, and then after a nice segue into architect a very standard set-1 closing run brought us to the velveeta-covered encore.

For my only show of this tour, I admit I wanted more. the moments that were good were excellent, but the setlist pretty much tells the story of this show. Not even that great of a show for a noob, no real progression or flow. Check out Tube, melt, carini, and then move along. nothing to see here, except perhaps the embryonic forms of what will likely be killer jams in another week or two!


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