, attached to 2016-10-18

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: Literally nobody that is reading this review is going to care what I or anyone else thinks about this first set. Sand and Ghost sounded quite nice, and the first Set 1 ending Also Sprach Zarathustra since 2003 was pretty neat. There, done.

Set 2: So.

1. After Fare Thee Well was announced (and during the shows, and after the shows), I was one of the people on the forum most fervently against Phish covering Dead songs. I've had my fill of "nod to Jer" and "nod from the boys" talk. I want Phish to be PHISH. I love their tunes just as much as any Dead songs. I'm fine with them never playing Throwing Stones, or jamming on The Other One, or some such. My position on that - that I do not want Phish to be a Dead cover band - has not changed.

2. This, however, is not that - this is Phish playing Dead and Phish songs *with Bob Weir*, just as special a moment as when Phish played with Phil Lesh (although a tad less musically successful, perhaps) or when they played with Bill Kreutzmann (although this is several orders of magnitude more musically successful, for sure). I may not be as big a Dead fan as some folks on here (though I'm slowly getting there), but I'm certainly not dense enough to realize what a special moment this was, and is, for so many folks out there. Even if it sucked musically, the occasion itself is worth celebrating.

3. Did the music suck? Well, there were a few awkward moments of Weir not quite syncing up from a rhythm standpoint, at one point in Twist Weir zigged when Mike (who owned that jam just as surely as Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks) tried to zag, leading to a bit of a odd stramash, and I kinda wish Playing in the Band had gone a bit longer. Oh, yeah, and West LA Fadeaway isn't quite my favorite Dead song. So those are my negatives.

4. That said, a) Samson and Delilah sounded very nice (Fish made a great argument for wishing we'd had a 1-drummer Dead arrangement); b) Twist did make a move to the churning major key that 2015 honed to a fine point and then dissolved post zigging into grotty psychedelic weirdness, a nice two-guitar attack jam we just don't get as a matter of course; c) Weir's version of Miss You sounded nice (and I don't like Miss You as much as, say, Joy, although the subject matter really is heart-tugging); d) West LA Fadeaway and Quinn in the encore were both also nicely performed, and e) they played Playing, possibly my favorite Dead jam vehicle (8/27/72's is my favorite Dead jam), and they did make a mid-jam move into the Dorian (i.e. minor-key) mode of the mid-70s Playings, which absolutely warmed my heart and helped make for a very cool version. A great deal to like musically, even considering, well, you know.

5. From a purely musical standpoint, I'll hope to hear stronger shows musically this tour, but that's because I love Phish and how they perform both their songs and improvisations so much. From a "moment in time" standpoint, this is a show that absolutely needs to be heard. Oh yeah, and the music ain't too dang bad, either.


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