, attached to 2016-12-30

Review by SlavePhan

SlavePhan It makes me shudder to think that reviews of this show so far have failed to identify how big of a deal the Sparks song choice is. Some haven't even acknowledged that it was played. For shame!

Sparks is perhaps one of the few rarities with the highest correlation to epic shows of the entire Phish catalog. From the get-go, Sparks was present at Ian's farm, at Full Moon at the Zoo, where Paluska solidified his role in expanding Phish's regional network through dionysian Productions, and Phish's last gig at Wetlands. It showed up in 3 of the most famous early 90s shows: The Ritz 8/2/93, Tinley Park that became a LP release, The Bomb Factory show. It also appeared at the Dick's S gag, and now for a second time in 3.0, reared its head at this show. Before this show, you're batting 7/15, or over 50%, which is incredible. I wonder if any other song with fewer than 20 versions can compare? (The Delay Loop aka Big Show jam is the only one that comes to mind)

That has to give us pause and assess why the selection here. Surely the band has settled into the New Year's run. My thoughts focus on the Tweezer-jam preceding it, a la the 93 and 94 shows that were 'sparked' (ugh, sorry) by jam vehicles. Sparks seemed to come early in sets in those shows too, and got the band to kick it up a notch (which they did here as well). That's definitely a good sign, and not a bad one. The Light->Party Time is a show-stopper in what has to be the best Party Time ever.

Anyways, you be the judge of the overall integrity and rank of the show. I'm not so sure I'd place this (yet) in any of the epic shows also featuring sparks, but its call signifies that the band was moving on all cylinders so it's worth a listen a posteriori.

Have a sparkly New Years everyone!


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