, attached to 2015-07-28

Review by thegripp

thegripp This was a "had to be there show." For starters, this show had many obstacles it had to overcome coming in:

1. This show followed two strong performances in CA, and carrying that momentum can sometimes wane on the band.

2. The show was at a new venue, so traditionally Phish can sometimes come off uncomfortable with the balance of sound.

3. It was a single day show, and yes, this is inexcusable, but the previous two obstacles bleed into this one.

4. It was hot as balls.

Right off the bat, Party Time welcomed the vibe of the show - dance, dance dance. Wolfman's, Possum great dance energy, and sticking to the script, nothing off-kilter. The remainder of the show up until Antelope was questionable from a listener's perspective. The joy of hearing Dirt (last played in 2013) live was amazing, but who wants to hear Dirt if you're not there? A first set with Lawn Boy, Bouncing, and a haggard Sugar Shack? I was dancing my ass off to Sugar Shack, not paying attention to the traditional inconsistency from Trey. On a side note the band looked unsubtly uncomfortable in the first set. Trey was not his typically bouncy self, and Mike asked for assistance with his monitor multiple times. Someone said that the band needed an Antelope to save the first set, which was true.

The second set provided the intense improvisation we were looking for - if you do visit this show, 46 Days>Dogs>46 Days is a must. Transitions were seamless, better than any other transitional exchanges of the summer up until that point. The vibe of this second set was more old-school jamming: not trying to explore, yet trying to stay within parameters, extending on structural jamming. I can say that, out of the summer tour song selection before Austin, this show had the least carry. Looking back at stats, any show that has Wading in the second set gets docked. The show closed out with the congenital meat and potatoes rock to accent the brilliant structural musicianship. A Loving Cup closer finished a lovely evening in the Live Music Capital - a definite chill show with no expectations.

If you were to put Phish Summer 2015 into a baseball lineup, this show would bat 8th - yes, your weakest batter, but nonetheless still an amazing contribution to the lineup for their set skills - consistency, energy, and variegation. Don't let the butthurt naysayers chastise this show - true, not as brilliant as the others, but special in its own way. I would rate it higher, but I'm a realist.


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