, attached to 2015-12-31

Review by 12ozMouse

12ozMouse This show meant a lot of different things to me and these feelings were really brought out in a way that only Phish seems able to do.

I'd been trying to get NYE tickets for a few years now and just hadn't had the stones to go solo and pray for a miracle. Nonetheless, I traveled solo and met up with a couple of friends at the venue. I ended up exchaning my 200-level ticket for their extra in 103 (a miracle in its own right). Enjoyed some paper goodies before the show and we were off.

The flow during Moma and through Wolfman's was a lot of fun. Wolfman's had a little funk breakdown and while it didn't completely go over the edge into type II space, the ferocity and enthusiasm that everyone played with (notably Trey) brought the vibe. I was sitting right behind the soundboard and the "feel" I was getting was that the guys were playing to a relatively small house party...the "no ones' watchin' us" vibe. And that's where the breakthrough hit me: Trey was playing with an enthusiasm that saw him attacking the notes like they were his plaything, as if he was saying, "The world is at your fingertips, snatch it up"! And I think that's the lesson that Phish has displayed most in 2015...the one of being lucky to be here at all, so let's take everything life gives us and run with it!

IDK and Happy Birthday was a lot of fun, definitely a "had to be there" moment.

Martian Monster has had an interesting year. It seems like they've decided to shelve the extended MM jam in favor of more compact (sub 6-minutes - I know, completely arbitrary number...) renditions and I think that actually works very well for this song, provided that it's paired well with another song to -> into or out of.

That didn't exactly happen on NYE, but the Reba that followed was special. It wasn't a version that hit every note, it wasn't a version that reached unfathomable peaks, but IT felt right and blissful. There was a point about 7 minutes in where I literally no longer felt my body or could muster up any thought about who I was as a human being (if I even existed at all at that point)...I felt as if I had been swept up and my complete identity was woven into the fabric of the music. It was a feeling that is too rare in life and one that I know I'll never forget.

WoTC closed and for me, its a song where I'm both, "F YEA! WoTC!" and "...it's WoTC...." But fret not, my completely subjective feelings on the song take nothing away from the fact that it was played very well and fittingly closed out Set I. A set with so much fun energy in the room that I was wondering what more they could do.

In lieu of a complete novel being written, I'll just say Wedge and Wilson were totally welcome and appreciated. Wedge had a little flavor added, reminding us that the Chicago '14 Wedge hadn't been completely forgotten. ASIHTOS was interesting in that it was begging to be stretched out but what it contained was enough to keep me wanting me.

And that brings me to Yarmouth Road. My initial impression was, "The flow has been completely shattered". Then I thought to myself, "Mike wants to enjoy his NYE too and he clearly has something he wants to tell us here". What followed was my favorite version of the song yet and it has actually made be a believer. I heard you, Mike and thank you for sharing.

KDF->Twist. Wow. Can you really complain about the brevity of Piper when you take into consideration the full body of the jamwich we were served? I say, "no". I will say however, the sound in the arena was such that I really didn't see the Twist segue coming. After witnessing the Mann Twist this summer, I think I've been quite spoiled.

Now, for Set III. I could see that the space right in front of me was being set up for something and when they came out to start playing, I was elated. Here I am in my seat and Phish is playing 15 feet in front of me. Unreal.

NMINML finally went where I think we all wanted it to. Great mellow funk from Page before we blast off into ambient space. Keeping note of their shadows in the hourglass, it took a double-take from me to realize that they were gone just before midnight. The balloon drop was awesome and a scene unlike anything, anywhere. Blaze On, Bowie were great and they took their much-deserved victory lap with the Horse->Silent>BDTNL.

Tube for the encore. I mean come on, what else do you need to know? Cavern sends us home and that's all, folks!

This show had IT. There are times where we want to use the phrase and say that show we were at had "it", but 12/31/15 was a show that TRULY had "IT"! I think there's a lot that the SBD just couldn't capture from that night, which was that, "we're all in this together" feeling.

Overall, this show reminded me that:

- Life is out there for the taking; don't remain complacent just because we have the freedom to do so.
- No matter what happens, surrounding yourself with friends and family will bring the satisfaction we so often try to chase in life.
- We should always take care of our shoes.

Happy New Year!


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