, attached to 2013-07-21

Review by JumpMang

JumpMang The weather clearly cut up what was going to be a much more legendary show...but I can't complain about what we got. The first set was hot and it's a shame Antelope had to get cut off but it was raining sideways and had been since the end of Gin. I thought the show was definitely over at that point.

The first set had the place buzzing like crazy...I'll have to listen to Boogie On again since that's when it was raining hardest and while me and everyone around me were trying to go twice as nuts to ignore the rain, I don't think I heard the song too clearly. But everything before that was played with the same high energy as the rest of the weekend.

Set break was a mess. Tons of people left. I left and took shelter in my car, decided I would wait a bit and go back in if it stopped pouring.

Those who persisted got rewarded! Energy > Ghost > Lizards had the place going crazy. Harpua was obviously greeted with a huge explosion of energy.

Apparently there are some misunderstandings about the Harpua gag, so let me explain. The Second City people were bad on purpose, so it was like they invited phans on stage who were kinda douchey looking and obnoxious and were trying to tell Phish how to do the story "the right way." Hence everyone booing and Trey telling them to "get the hell off the stage" then having everyone in the band say it was bad after. That made way for Mike's version, which was much better. They didn't have a flashing sign that said "this is all a joke" and they didn't constantly go "haha, we're just kidding brahs," so apparently that threw some people off. Maybe its time for those people to lay off network sitcoms with laugh tracks.

So, all of us at the show loved it. But it's moments like these, when fans are split, that reality has to be checked. I guess a lot of the people who think they are the world's best phish fans because they keep spreadsheets of song frequency and type 1 jam to type 2 jam ratios didn't like it. Well, the joke was on them. Literally. It's those same people that are craving bust-outs like they're the only thing worth catching a Phish show for and critiquing every single transition/jam. And Harpua is the "holy grail" for some reason--lots of historical things have happened within it and other times, it's just a fun little story wrapped in a fun song. I guess when DSOTM isn't in the middle of it, Harpua is poison to them.

If those people have been listening to this band for like 10-20 years straight with no extended time off and that second set looks "bad," maybe it's time for a breather. Nobody is fooled into thinking that hardcore fan anal-retentiveness is a sign of being a "true music fan" or "true phish fan" or anything like that. To me, it's just the opposite...totally missing the point and it's about something other than music--it's more like a collector mentality or maybe an insecurity that causes a need to know every single last thing about a band (and a need to evaluate it too.)

As someone whose first shows since Coventry were this weekend, I've been sharply reminded of how dumb the Timers can get. It's just anal-retentiveness and it makes people sound like they're chasing something that can't ever be fulfilled--all it takes is one ballad or something to "ruin" a set for a lot of these people, which is sad enough. Well, now they've come after Harpua and I have to intervene. The band is still about the moment. They might let you record everything, but they're playing for the moment and not for a year later when you go back to the tapes. Its been that way for 30 years.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.

So, Antelope raged but I really wish the set would've been longer. Considering it was supposed to be at the end of Set 1, they must have had much more for planned for set 2, which got truncated by the rain. Oh well. The rain really tried to ruin this weekend, but the band didn't really slow down. They gave it their all the whole time and peaked constantly...I'm satisfied as hell.

Then the character zero encore happened, like it does sometimes. Oh well...this was the only part of the weekend where I was let down by the band and not the weather. It's never the encore you want, but considering the band tore it up and had great song selection all weekend, I can forgive it easily. My feet were in severe pain at that point anyway.


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