, attached to 2014-04-04

Review by ProfJibboo

ProfJibboo When I walked in to this show, the only Mike solo stuff I knew was Ether, Yarmouth Road and Say Something. I hadn't heard any of his side-project albums and this was my first time at anything Phish-related where I didn't recognize a song within the first couple of notes. So it was nice to start off with that one piece of familiarity.

The first five songs were great. Ether was a great chill beginning and Cruel World allowed their keys player to show his chops. I was particularly impressed with Pretty Boyd Floyd. The first five songs, however great, were a little up and down with Yarmouth Road really standing out as a song that didn't quite keep up the jam energy. Its Reggae-light feel fits well as a breather or early first set piece, but here it disrupted the fun intensity coming out of Cruel World. Cruel World and Different World were both hot for this Mike noob.

Spocks Brain was...interesting. The song itself came across as a little self-indulgent. It was fun for those of fans around long enough to know the song, but when you hear it, its easy to see why the song never really found a permanent home in the Phish set list. But as Spocks Brain concluded, Face > Peel began. Again, both new to my ears, but both had me dancing hard and Peel might very well be the highlight of the show. If you pick no other Mike song to listen to, this is the one.

Then Mike said "We have a guest" and referred to him as an "actor" as Trey came out and the place blew up. Trey brought an energy to the room that so few can. They talked for a little while and you could hear them discussing what song to play and I'm pretty sure I heard Trey say "Don't know that one" a couple of times with a smile on his face.
They ultimately settled on Cities, which is a complete departure from the way Phish plays it. The upbeat version was different, although a little hard on these ears that has only known one way to jam Cities. But, the common thread was Trey...and like always....Trey made his guitar sing beautifully.

After years of loving live music, I'm not a superfan to the point where I can't objectively evaluate music and - objectively - the second set started too rough for me. It was actually more in line with what I was expecting based upon Mike's past song writing ventures, though very jam friendly. That's not to say it wasn't fun, but the first set was much stronger to me. That changed as the set went on...starting about midway through Traveled Too Far. By the time the band returned to Tomorrow Never Knows, my feet were sore and I found myself wondering why Phish doesn't rock this song too. By the time they returned to Traveled Too Far, my feet were sore and I was fully immersed in a second set as good as any non-Phish set I've ever heard.

Say Something stood out in the second set closer role. I love this song. I came in hoping they would play it and it was justified....Mike nailed it and I hope Phish gives this song some mid-second-set treatment in 2014!

The Encore was the overall highlight for me. It was a dance party when my feet were too tired to dance. The music was too great and it overpowered my foot fatigue. When it was all said and done, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how many songs they actually played that second set. Say Something was the only song in the second set that I was unfamiliar with and its a testament to the band that I couldn't stop dancing even without the slightest clue where each song was going.

In all, it was awesome to watch Mike as the band leader. His excitement was noticeable with the bouncing and the stage banter and the smile. And the multi-instrumentalist off on the side added a truly unique (for me) element to the band that gave me a whole new appreciation for bells and background sounds.

It was a great show, I'm so glad I went and I highly recommend people give this show a listen.


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