, attached to 2015-07-31

Review by Tarhead9486

Tarhead9486 This was my first Phish concert.

I'd gotten into Phish sometime during 2003. I was going into my senior year of high school and I'd been listening to the Grateful Dead pretty heavily, since they were launching a series of reunion shows of their own at the time. I was completely oblivious to the newer bands--Phish included. I knew about them, but I didn't know exactly what their music was like. It also didn't help that I grew up in a place with people who didn't share the same musical interests, either. Nevertheless, when I heard that Phish was like the Dead, I picked up "Rift" and "A Picture of Nectar" and absolutely fell in love. However, I got into the band too late, as their "final performances" in 2004 dashed any hopes I'd have in seeing them live.

My interest in Phish waned a bit in the wake of the break up. For some reason, I started listening to them again when I started teaching in early 2008. Perhaps I was feeling "nostalgic" even though I was still, for all intents and purposes, a kid myself. While I was rediscovering Phish I had no idea that they were planning a reunion tour. I was ecstatic when I found out about it in October 2008 and entered the lottery for tickets, but my number didn't come up. Still, it was just great to have the band back and to listen to new material from them (Both "Joy" and "Fuego" in my opinion were very nice surprises). I had a newfound appreciation for the group, but moved on to other bands and genres, so I suppose I partly blame myself for not having seen them since their reunion.

Anyway, when I was making plans to see my sister in Atlanta in July and when she told me Phish was playing, I was fortunate enough to get tickets for this show at Aaron's Amphitheatre. I suppose things worked out well: the Dead's reunion shows with Trey earlier in the month got me back into the Dead's stuff. It was inevitable whether I was going to see Phish or not that I'd have given all their albums another spin.

Enough with the preambles, here, though. I saw the show and it was something I didn't expect at all--and I mean that in the most positive way possible. As a phan, I tend to prefer the older stuff from "Junta" through "Hoist," and was expecting to see more of that material be performed. However, I'm glad that it wasn't. Like many of the folks have stated in their review, it was surprising to see them open with "Prince Caspian" and close with "Character Zero." The first set was a killer one, as you couldn't beat "Mike's Song" > "I Am Hydrogen" > "Weekapaug Groove." For me, though, it seemed like it was building up to a gargantuan second set: the 25-minute "Kill Devil Falls" was by far "the" jam of the evening (which was a great springboard for "Martian Monster"), and I was completely blown away by "Reba" and "Bathtub Gin" being played back to back (coincidentally, they are two of my favorites). Padding all this out were the interesting jams for "The Moma Dance" and "Ghost," and I walked away with more of an appreciation from the songs from "Farmhouse."

Seeing Phish in concert after all these years, you just felt like you were apart of something special. I am glad to have "waited" (or procrastinated?) until this tour to catch my first show, as the band really is playing tighter than they have in the previous years. From the looks of it, I must've seen the best show on the whole tour. It doesn't matter, though: it was the best concert I'd ever been to. Period.

What can I say? I look forward to more shows in the future.


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