, attached to 2018-12-30

Review by RunawayJim4180

RunawayJim4180 Line by line, lets run through the tapes as we would with a show from say, '91, and see how this one turned out just for fun (sans recency or attendance bias).

-The show opener is a bit of a fun/sloppy Alumni->Jimmy Page->Alumni that about two beats slower than, say, 10/26/10. The slower pace works to an extent, but lacks the fire of some earlier versions.
-Mike's Groove is next, and the Mike's is a solid and mostly straightaway version with a brief and fiery peak. The segue into Glide II is a bit of a letdown, though the song's novelty makes up for its playing a bit. The intro to Weekapaug is flubbed and Trey is mostly absent for the first few mins, but recovers nicely and takes the jam into Allman Brother's "Mountain Jam" territory almost immediately as a throwback to the Baker's Dozen teases. A run-up to a dual peak ensues in fine fashion, followed by some effects-laden jamming and signature Trey 3.0 echoplex riffs, woo-ing, and Page synthesizing. Solid!
-A rough segue into Crosseyed leads to a few stumbles as Page and Fish get on the same....page as Trey and Mike. This version is pretty straightforward, nothing too different than most standard takes on the tune. I did enjoy Page's Boston-esque organ outro. I thought for sure they might dip into "Foreplay/Long Time" there....
-But we got a Bliss instead. I've always been a huge fan of this tune, so it was a nice cooldown, especially as it mimicked the album duo of Bliss->Billy Breathes
-Speaking of Billy Breathes, I've always been of the opinion that songs with such intricate vocal layering are best left for the studio, but this version is decent enough.
-No Men ratchets the dance party back up again, albiet with a pretty standard version here.
-A sloppy intro to Tube gives way to a solid and atypical jam with staccato and proto-plinko effects, more akin to "2001" than your average Tube.
-Another pretty sloppy segue back into Weekpaug, but the crowd was digging it. Quick two minute recap that leads into...
-Tube, of course! Nice segue here, closing out the Tube sandwich.
-Although I appreciate More, you can hear the air leave the room on this one. Solid version to close a good first set. 3.5 out of 5.

-Having attended the Kasvot Vaxt Halloween show, I appreciate these new tunes even more, and I thought Cool Amber & Mercury was one of Trey's stronger Type 1 offerings of the night, with clean vocals and guitar tone throughout.
-Everything's Right has delivered the goods since its debut, and this version is no exception. A very 3.0-sounding jam, with restrained solos, slow build to a rolling peak, Page's ethereal Clav, Trey's echoplex, Mike's bass bombs and Fish's cymbal-led fills.
-Plasma follows, and while I enjoy the TAB versions with the horns more, this one is worth the marquee slot here in set 2. Solid!
-Light is next, and the jam is sort of an upbeat version of the previous two songs and their jam sections. Someone once mentioned that Big Cypress sounds similar across its lengthy jams, and I think the same can be said for this second set as well. Not necessarily a bad thing, but hey, if the comment worked there, it applies here as well. I will say that this Light grows brighter around 11 minutes in, with a slow burn until a thrilling peak around 18 mins.
-Wading is Wading, though the vocals here are stronger than some other versions I've heard of late.
-SOAM is not quite the psychedelic journey it once was during its heyday of roughly '93-'98, and there isn't much of note here during the first nine minutes, save a few squealing whale calls. After that, things start to drone into industrial noise, perhaps cool if you were there, but downright un-listenable on "tape" until the last minute closes it out in fine fashion.
-And then the four song encore! All were very well played, Type 1 status.

Overall, I'd rate this show somewhere between a 4.0 and 4.25. Top 10 of all time? Hardly, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a blast to attend live or listen to on Phish.In.


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