, attached to 2004-04-15

Review by dscott

dscott This is one of those shows that was probably a lot harder to enjoy in person than on "tape." Apparently, Trey was visibly out of it onstage. His voice was a wreck, and that is readily audible on the recording. He doesn't sound any worse vocally than he did at the 2010 Worcester shows, which didn't exactly lead to apocalyptic cries of "relapse" from the fan base, but correctly or not people draw different conclusions about any deviation from SOP in 2004.

No denying that there is some slop to be shoveled aside, as well as a couple of questionable setlist decisions (unfinished Stash segue, Girls Girls Girls). I don't mind when Phish is a little rough around the edges, and at least they were taking chances.

Worthy highlights of Set 1 include thickly jammed versions of AC/DC Bag and Moma, the seamless Stash -> Timber transition, and a beautiful triad of Roggae (poignant guitar variation near the end), Water In the Sky, and All Of These Dreams.

Set 2 has an excellent, crunchy, stomping flow to it before the big oops moment mid-Mule. DWD is a particularly thick and murky improv excursion which thunders authoritatively into Free. Girls Girls Girls is an awkward moment, even from the safe distance of nearly a decade, and the sparks from a reasonably redemptive re-entry into SOAMule just fizzle with the pair of lukewarm stand-alone songs that follow.

Then, true redemption follows in the form of a truly fantastic Slave To the Traffic Light. Long build, and an authoritative peak. This is an underrated gem. The same is true of the encore, Sneakin' Sally. Almost cartoonish in its emphatic funkitude, this version culminates in a wackadoo vocal jam that simply is a must-hear!

All told, it's a roller coaster of a show that IMO breaks even. More highs than lows, but greater amplitude on the latter.


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