, attached to 2013-07-06

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez This was an inconsistent effort, to say the least, but there are some SERIOUS highlights in the show. I mean SERIOUS.

Set 1:
Crowd Control- After the KDF opener the night before, I was hoping for a better opener tonight. I had to wait a night...

CDT- This was a fairly standard version. It stepped things up after Crowd control, but there's nothing to write home about here.

The Wedge- This is always a favorite of mine. Straight forward but well-played.

Funky Bitch- This was VERY GOOD. Page owns one of the jammier versions of this song in recent memory. There were moments this summer where Page's work with the Meters was evident. This was one of those moments. He had absolute control of this song. Another moment came a few songs later.

Heavy Things- Good solo by Trey. Fairly standard though.

Bug- Let's get this one out of the way in the first set. Fine.

BATR- Ditto the bug statement.

Tube- After running through some songs I find to be less than desirable, this one got me back in the game. The middle section was HOT. Much like Funky Bitch, Page owns this one. After a dirty nasty funk solo, Trey starts like he's going to answer the call. It would've been beautiful if he would have, but he opted to go back into Tube. Either way, this is one of the stronger 3.0 versions you will find. The funk is thick here.

Julius- Standard. Kept the energy up after they smashed Tube.

SOA Melt- While Tube and Funky Bitch were great, overall, this set was pretty lackluster...until this dropped.

As soon as they enter the jam, they immediately start pushing outward. There are moments where this one seems to unravel a bit, but every time that starts to happen Trey or Gordo push it forward with a new and focused idea. They travel into some serious acid rock/deep space/ambient territory. Then there is a glorious moment. Trey shoots Fish and Mike a look that just screams "Where the hell do we go now?!?!" Mike makes a little bass slap. Fish hammers a quick beat out. Then they join up, and next thing you now, we reenter Melt. Granted, that reentry was more comical than it was musically stimulating, but hey, it's Phish!! Sometimes it's funny. If this ending ruins this Melt for you, I am so very sorry for you.

Set 2:
BDNTL: I had the great pleasure of meeting @doctordoak at the water station during set break. We were discussing the nastiness of the previous set's Melt when the house lights dropped. We both shot each other a look that said "It's been nice meeting you but..." Then Trey started BDNTL. Looks like we have a little more time to chat!!

Standard version BTW.

Tweezer- At this point, @doctordoak and I knew it was time to part ways. This version had some nice melodic playing by Trey and Page. Fishman and Gordo anchored a pretty decent groove. When it all came down to it, they just couldn't quite lock in. It was kind of a let down being the first version of Tweezer at SPAC. As the jam dissolves, Trey starts...

Sand- Good/standard version. After a Tweezer that meandered before being axed, I think they needed something they could get into and slay. Sand is a good candidate. This version won't stand out as an all time keeper, but it did it's "dance party" thing very well. Trey, backed by Page, got everybody moving. Sand was a nice set up for...

Carini- Like Melt in the first set, this is a MUST HEAR. The jam in this Carini is uniquely positive. Just when everyone is thinking they will soon be embarking on a dark journey, Phish throws a curveball. There is some serious major key jamming hear that seems to borrow heavily from "I Know You Rider" and ABB's "Revival." Trey and Page soar through this version. At about the 9-10 minute mark, Fish appears to signal for a drop into Maze. He doesn't make it very far before Trey starts going off on a fresh new idea. He jumps all over this snappy new lead he found. He expands upon this for another 2 minutes before a very clean segue into...

Architect- This was solid. I won't be rooting for it in the future. Plus, after Carini, who's complaining?

Wilson->Boogie->Possum- Many people seemed to be griping about this stretch of tunes post show. There was zero jamming, but it sure isn't the first time they have ended a show with three consecutive non jam songs. Personally, I enjoyed this ending trio. All three songs worked well together. The energy was good. I love all three tunes. That said, this stretch of music isn't really high in my listening rotation. I guess where I'm going is, is it a great ending? Not really. Is it a bad ending? Certainly not. I've seen much worse. It's a rocking Phish ending. You don't have to rave about it, but it's easy to embrace.

Enc:
Show of Life->Tweeprise- Pretty strandard encore. Openers and encores were not strong up to this point in the SPAC run.

Overall:
The first set had some serious flow issues. They couldn't maintain traction, but the songs that delivered certainly delivered. The second set was not BAD, but the only thing I would say is worth really checking out is the absolutely uplifting Carini jam.

Highlights:
Tube, Funky Bitch, SOA Melt, Carini
*I wonder how many reviews i've done where my highlights are 3:1 first set songs?


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