, attached to 2009-11-25

Review by patper

patper We all know how awesome 11/24/2009 was - sick setlist, fiery playing, Flyers jersey Trey.

The next night was a generally maligned show, due mostly to an ill-advise late second set placement of Time Turns Elastic and a questionably snoozy segment of tunes in the first set.

For my second Phish show, in retrospect, I probably would have chosen the first night in Philadelphia over the second. I didn't, but still had a great time at the show and can listen back, with a lot of fondness, to some of the great music that may have been overlooked when this show first dropped.

The KDF opener brings a lot of energy and some great Trey soloing. I really like KDF in the opening slot and this one does a great job. 46 Days keeps the heat coming. I love Sugar Shack, so I'll just leave it at that. The drop into Divided Sky from Halley's is just great, and this D-Sky is definitely solid.

Sleep Again - Ocelot - Train song... Let's skip ahead to the seriously hot Wilson > Antelope to end the set. Great great stuff. Snoozy segment aside, this first set is just fine.

The first three quarters of the second set feature some great, although not too exploratory, improv. Birds of a Feather gets deliciously weird - Trey gets whacky with the whammy after a key change (I like this kind of use of the Whammy pedal) while Fish and Mike hammer away at the groove, taking the pocket deeper and deeper. Mike comes in with the Meatball as the jam switches back to the original key and comes to a standard close. Really sweet jam, reminds me of a compact version of some of the darker, effects-laden groove jams of 99-00.

Farmhouse is Farmhouse. The Tweezer jam quickly builds up in typical fashion, until Trey hits a riff centered around the tonic that is reminiscent of the riff from 6-7-2009 Tweezer. The other guys build the progression beautifully around it, and eventually Trey takes off and the jam peaks rather nicely.

The composed section of YEM is pretty much nailed, and the jam starts off quiet with some bluesy, sneaky licks from Trey with his octave pedal. The jam slowly builds from there, and the peak is just fantastic, with Trey really slaying his solo and the band following his intensity at every step.

They followed up this great YEM with Esther. Who doesn't love Esther?

TTE. Okay. I like this song. I really do. I wish it wasn't shelved. I don't think the Phish fan community would implode if they broke it out once or twice a year. However, I have to agree with this show's naysayers when they say that this placement was bad – it was, especially after a quieter tune like Esther. Talk about sucking the energy out of the room. Yikes. The jam at the end has some energy to it, and eventually we are redeemed with a rocking Tweeprise.

Oh Sweet Nuthin encore… It's not a bad song, but maybe after the late set TTE the band could have come out with something a little more rocking, but you know how it is.

In summary, this was a really good show in spite of its flaws, and has lots of great music, especially the Birds, Tweezer, and YEM, and some really solid performances in the first set.


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