, attached to 2017-01-13

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Ironically enough, NICU > Horn, Wolfman's Brother was the meat of the first set, for me. That's ironic because NICU and Horn are short songs that usually don't go Type II (and they didn't here) but they were played with an infectious energy that carried on into the Wolfman's. I get less enthusiastic about Free and Theme lately because of the rust on those tunes: Free's vocals, and Theme's guitar. I never have been much of a fan of Undermind, furthermore, but if it sets the mark for a good closing trio, so be it.

Fuego presented a lengthy jam. Kind of an underwater sort of vibe from this one, which I think also appeared in the unusual codas to Caspian and Twist, but Seven Below is where this show shines most, in my opinion. A brighter-hued jam that had me excited to hear where it would go; where Fuego was more explorational and diffuse, Seven Below seemed honed in on a direction and succeeded admirably in producing an enjoyable listening experience.

I'm a longtime phan, so I hope you'll forgive me if I don't glow over this one. I love Phish, don't get me wrong. And how can one think objectively about a foursome that's got such a storied history, and that has seen good times and bad times over the years: that has risen above every obstacle in front of it and caused us to invest so much emotionally? I didn't set out to "bring bad reviews," but I think this show would've benefited from a wider range of tempi in both sets, as well as more jamming, particularly of the Type II variety, and my favorite Type II is focused. I'm getting too old and jaded to surrender to every single aspect of the flow, and that doesn't make me less of a phan. In fact, it means I know and reverence what Phish is capable of and want them to shine every night for whomever might be experiencing them for the first time *as well as* for those of us who have been with it for years.

I hope inspiration moves Phish brightly over tonight and tomorrow night, and there's been some great playing so far tonight. These are destination shows, so it's not as if an entire tour (or all of 2017, for that matter) is staked upon them. But I'd like them to really wow us with some thoughtful musical diction and direction. Isn't that what we look to them for? I do. Love and light.


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