, attached to 2016-07-18

Review by pmc2kd

pmc2kd My first show of 2016 - and a "hometown" show as well. Coming off of 2015's monster tour, I think 2016 has suffered from being in the shadow of the previous year (which has been compounded by some less than inspiring performances).

That said, it's Phish - and it's always fun - so here goes.

The first set kicked in with a really great triumvirate of tunes. Martian Monster is really welcome in the one spot (of set I or II for my money) as I think it gives the band a nice groove to get loose and the crowd (read me) a chance to limber up after a Monday at the office. As a bonus, I thought it was also a great way for me to get introduced to the new lighting rig, lots of opportunity for CK5 to shine alongside some space age sounds. As an aside, the lighting rig looked pretty stellar in BCGA, which was a pleasant surprise since I wasn't really digging the look via webcasts.

Short and sweet Halley's jumped into 46 days. Not much to say about the former, but the latter was full of some really good guitar work (let's be honest - 46 days always whips up into a frenzy). I, along with the rest of the room, was moving pretty well during the opening sequence.

Sugar shack gave me the opportunity to purchase an SF priced beverage. I guess beer prices have to keep up with rents in this city? I actually caught the debut of this tune and most of this version - and I didn't really mind it here.

Roggae was absolutely sublime. Most recent versions have been good, and this one kept pace. The set I highlight - give it a spin if you like this tune.

Daniel was a nice rare treat - brought me back to my days in Virginia.

Divided Sky was well played - although I have to say - why didn't they play this in the Gorge setting? Indoor versions just aren't the same (Hampton 2013 aside with all those lighters in the air).

Ocelot meandered to a good peak and fit well with the mellow vibe that seemed to emerge after the 46 days fireworks.

Ya Mar is a fun tune - although like Divided Sky - I like it on a warm breezy outdoor summer day. They pulled out the instrument switch trick, which I would call a gimmick except for the fact that Gordo threw out a couple pretty tasty flurries from the Languedoc. Hopefully they won't be rotating anymore this run.

Possum to close? Yes please. After a pretty mellow run of songs from Sugar Shack to Ya Mar I was ready to kick things back up. Possum was a great way to send everyone scampering off to setbreak feeling good.

Overview of Set I: I wouldn't have picked a single song they played to be on my dream set I setlist (they ignored my Reba t-shirt) - that being said, I enjoyed it that much more because I was so pleasantly surprised by the playing throughout and the flow of tunes. Really good first set.
Highlights: Roggae

On to the second set. I was calling a predictable DWD, so Golden Age was another nice curveball and leading off the second set you know it's going to be a fun one. Good Trey solo and damn if they didn't get down and dirty in a very 2001esque groove. Pretty strong version although not enough to unseat my top 2 SBIX & Hampton 2013...Bronze medal ain't bad.

Twist emerged and I had high hopes that were not fulfilled. Still a fun tune.

My Sweet One in kind of an odd placement, but I always like this tune.

The Line. Bad call guys.

Simple...a life preserver for a slowly sinking set? Yup, this one triggered the turnaround, although not delivering the full goods. Crowd was back into it, and the interplay at the end was really solid between Trey and McConnell.

Sneakin' Sally completes the resuscitation. By this time you know this is the highlight of the show (and will cement itself as an All-Star selection from this tour). Go grab it, have a listen, and if you like hearing Fishman propel the band into the stratosphere (and Trey keeping up with him) this one will have you raising a fist or two in celebration.

A nice and interesting Limb by Limb follows up and is also worthy of a listen. This is an interesting version that deviates a bit from the norm and managed to sound a bit dissonant at times, which made the melodic playing that much more beautiful.

Slave to the Traffic Light reminds us of the heights we can hit through the spirit of communication, cooperation and open-mindedness. This song always restores my faith in humanity and this is a nice version (is there a bad version?).

Encore:

Circus is a perfect choice. Always.

Antelope sits in the house money slot of a double encore and packs a typical punch without breaking any new ground. Now how am I supposed to go home and sleep and get up for work?

Overall Set II: Really good set with a minor hiccup in the middle (I don't need to utter it's name...). Like the first set no songs that I would have in my dream setlist aside from Slave, but made all the more enjoyable by strong playing, some good jams, one very good jam, and a good mix of interesting tunes. Double encore with two great songs doesn't hurt either.
Highlights: Golden Age, Sneakin' Sally, Limb by Limb

Final Opinion: This one will hold replay value for me as it had interesting song choices that made for a really flowing and cohesive show, not to mention a really good jam on a really good song in set II and plenty of other noteworthy moments sprinkled throughout.
4/5 - a better than your average Phish show


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