, attached to 2015-07-24

Review by RobotHeart

RobotHeart This was my first show, after a slow lead-up from learning about Phish because of Fare Thee Well, diving in with a list of "best of" jams and shows, and coming out the other side as the Phish fan that I am today. I can solidly say that it was somewhere between Blaze On and Cavern that I really started to fully get it.

To be real, I don't remember very much of the show, I just remember the experience of dancing on the lawn, watching the sun set, looking at the lights, and just grooving with the music. I had heard so much about how modern Phish was SO BAD - they can't jam anymore, Trey just ripcords everything, Mike isn't audible, Fishman is past his prime, Rage Side is now Age Side... but within a few minutes of the show starting, I realized that I didn't need to care about the grumpy musings of a 20+ year fan who is trying to relive their glory years. This was Phish, and this was good.

Let me be real - the music of Phish is intensely psychedelic, incredibly groovy, and immensely deep. It's an ocean. And the four guys standing on stage today have been doing it for years and years and years. They know what they are doing.

I would check out the Free and Reba from set one, but the rest of the songs are pretty standard. Kill Devil Falls stretched a bit, too, but not much. Standard ain't bad, but if you've heard a The Line, you've heard most of 'em. Also, as a side note, this was the first time I had heard this song and I do actually remember thinking, "Well... this is okay, I guess." The general disdain for that song might actually stretch beyond the grumpiest of grumps. I'll give Moma Dance a special shout-out for being the first song to get me really grooving and making me realize that it's all good, the moma dance eventually, gotta ride it while I can.

Blaze On is fantastic, stretching out for awhile before landing back in the chorus. Twist emerges from the space like an ooze, and it meanders around some delicious space before the Light comes out and cleans it all up. There is a perceptible I Know You Rider jam here, that even I caught while listening. (comedic side note: I thought "Free" was a Morning Dew cover. That's how much of their music I knew going in.) Joy was a great landing spot, and let us all ballad around for awhile, before we all got to feel good with the hood. I remember watching the glowsticks fly during the beautiful build and thinking, "Isn't that dangerous?" before picking up some that fell near me and sending them flying. Danger be damned, it looked pretty. Cavern was the icing on top of the cake, but it did cause a guy near me to get sad because "NOOO! IT WAS ONLY FIVE SONGS!" - something I got the significance of later. In fact, coming out of the show I realized, "Hey, that was... six songs. Isn't that good?"

Character Zero just about brought the whole place down. A Zero is a Zero, but a Zero is GOOD if you're ready for it. It's like a Tweeprise, except with less Tweeprise and more Character Zero. It's not going to change much show to show, but it's always going to burn the place down and it's time to dance, so GET TO IT!

If I were a spry 18 year old, I would have quit my job the next day and followed the rest of summer. However, I'm not, but I did nearly drive to LA. Someone had an extra on my way out they were trying to give away... if only.

This second set is a keeper. The first set is... kind of a keeper. It gives musical context for the second set, at least.


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