, attached to 2013-10-31

Review by bark_obama

bark_obama So far I've heard more positive than negative reactions to this show, but I wanted to respond to the complaints, which I sort of get but also kinda don't.

Most of us would agree that Phish has set the bar pretty high. If a show fails to clear that bar, go ahead and complain. No, they don't "owe us anything" but they owe it to themselves to reach their full potential, just like any other band or any other person in their chosen profession. If they had just played a standard, decent, two-set show last night, many phans would rightly find a bit lazy.

But what they actually did was the opposite. They not only adhered to their self-imposed rule, when they had no obligation to, they did so in a unique and interesting way.

The idea that Phish covering another band's album is preferable to Phish debuting a new album makes little sense to me, especially considering some of the rumored choices. What would be so fantastic about covering Eat a Peach or Sports that it would trump playing their own, previously-unheard songs? The former would arguably be more mundane option unless they chose well.

I've heard the phrase "self-indulgent" multiple times, which strikes me as odd. For god's sake, it's a rock concert. It is by definition a self-promotional activity. And it's not like they are shy about stretching their songs out. Phish was taking a risk and putting themselves out there, when they could've easily played it safe, spent a few minutes learning Led Zeppelin II, and given the crowd a pretty good show. For me, last night's show was better than pretty good, and that is even accounting for the obvious warm up set they opened with.

The only valid complaint is if you don't like the new songs. In that case: I disagree, but people are entitled to their opinion. But to suggest that this show was a "cop-out" is unwarranted.


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