The ending of BOTT was repeated twice after the song was finished. Trey dedicated Antelope to The Dude of Life, who was there with two of his children who were seeing their first Phish show. Ghost contained teasing of Seven Below by Mike. Hood contained a brief St. Thomas tease.
Holy Second Set! Review 7/12/14
6 songs, perfectly crafted
Sometimes we say First Sets are unremarkable. Well, in that case, reviews need not remark upon them. The highlight might have been the hilarious self-deprecating moment where Trey claimed their botched ending to “Back on the Train” was rehearsed (it actually is oddly a hard song to get the landing right on). They repeated it once, and then to appease the crowd, again. Then, in a moment of rare self-awareness, Trey even called out his botching of YEM at SPAC as “planned.” In all honesty, the “Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” jam is worth revisiting — just a great type 1, soulful jam. As I argued, Set Is are best if they combine jams, bustouts (where are the bustouts in 2014??), and classical Phish composed sections. Last night really had none of those (maybe “My Sweet One” is a rarity these days?). “AC/DC Bag’s” jam barely got hot before Trey ended it. “Yarmouth Road” should really be shelved in favor of “Say Something.” “Sparkle” is now approaching overplayed status. “Antelope” is always fun (and dedicated to the “Dude of Life”), but this was a standard version.
But, sometimes Phish plays such an epic Second Set that the first set becomes “unremarkable” simply because there is just so much to remark upon in the second.
I feel “Punch You in the Eye” is better as a show opener, but, regardless, it is a good opener of any kind. This version, although sloppy, included some loose improvisation in the opening section — a sign of things to come. The “Landlady” sections and the ending in particular were rough (Phish had trouble “ending” songs all night!).
“Carini”, perhaps the jam-MVP of 2013, dropped next. This one was not about any kind of build or peak, but about a dense, texture of sound. This jam was perfectly hypnotic. As the jam started to venture away from “Carini”, Mike dropped a meatball (around 7:17), and a dense layer of loops and alarm-like sounds dissipated the jam into a slow mush. Around 9:30, Page (I think) starts playing this weird sounding hypnotic line (not sure what keyboard that comes from!?). Above that Trey would play these sparse, repetitive melodies, as Mike created a kind of wall of melodious bass sound. Rather than building, this atmospheric sound just got denser and more gorgeous. In the 12th minute, the jam once again dissipated into mush. While one would expect a “Carini” and “Ghost” pairing to feature a “->”, this one really did not. The jam completely ended, and then Trey started the chords of “Ghost.”
The “Ghost” jam is versatile. It can go several directions — cow funk, hard/edgy rock, blissful melodic, or spacious ethereal. Unlike other versions this summer, this one really started with a edgy rock feel — Trey was playing power chords, and pentatonic licks on the Am chord. As the jam started building through this rock feel, stunningly the jam turned on a dime to a D mixolydian “bliss” feel. All it took was (yet another) Trey trill on a D arpeggio to turn the entire band from A rock to D bliss. Really, it is testament to the band’s level of communication that they can pull this off so seamlessly. The interesting part of this D bliss section is Trey was kind of alternating between a more edgy rock sound (see, 8:25) and that bliss melodic feel. The jam hit a nice peak punctuated by Trey playing those octave phrases (which were all over this show). Then around 9:30 Trey found a loop-noise that he started repeating over and over again. The jam fizzled out via this loop into mush once again. This is where one would expect a standard Ghost jam to end — it had taken us from minor to major bliss. The journey complete. Instead, around 10:50, Trey started playing these punchy rhythmic lines and (again) octave phrases. Eventually, Fishman settled on a complex rhythmic base featuring a two-snare hit (it first hits at 12:22). Above this dense rhythmic stew, Page went to the clav, and Mike was playing these off-beat melodic lines. This jam was reminiscent of the SPAC Limb in its dissonance and rhythmic irregularity — circus-like insanity. This section is what makes this a special “Ghost” and perhaps, the jam of 2014 thus far.
After the craziness that just ensued, most agreed that “Wingsuit” was perfectly placed. This song literally gets better and better every time. Many have mentioned the solo at the end almost reaches “Slave-like” proportions in its soaring, beautiful peak (@mrminer says its “Curtain With-esque”- which is more accurate). But, while “Slave” has a jam that starts quiet and builds to a glorious peak, in “Wingsuit” the quiet part is the song itself. The jam then erupts, but it actually has three sections to it. The first is the decidedly “Floyd-esque” chord changes (rising chords starting on a Gm) that sound like “Great Gig in the Sky” (except guitar rather than vocals soloing over). The middle jam sounds remarkably Phishy because it is a simple Lydian two chord jam on Bb->C (both major chords, giving that bliss feel). This sounds like “The Curtain With” (and also “Reba”) because those jams are also two chord Lydian vamps (Eb-F). It is important to point out that this Lydian jam did not exist on 10/31/13, nor does it appear on Fuego — it appeared first at Mansfield and it has been with us ever since. And, we should be thankful for this amazing addition. Finally, this jam ‘kicks’ back into the Floyd-esqe Gm chord progression (see, 8:09 this version) so that the song can end on those chords as the song was designed. This version’s Lydian peak was the best yet and, wow, I’m just in love with this song right now. It is often described as a “breather” or a “break” but not the case. This jam is a monster in its own right.
“Rock and Roll” continued the trend of not jamming out (type ii-wise) the cover songs. Perhaps this is what this summer is about — reserving Phish original songs for the most experimentation. This absolutely scorching version is again not my favorite style of Phish (Trey rock shredding), but in this context it was perfect. A rocking eruption out of very spacy, dissonant, and then melodic styles of jamming. It provided perfect diversity to the set.
“Harry Hood” came next and I was personally surprised to see this jam once again venture off from the standard “Hood” structure. While @MikeHamad claimed this jam “stayed” in D for its entirety, that is technically correct, but misleading. This jam retained D as its tonal center, but switched keys/scales three times. First, Hood is normally a D major jam over the I-V-IV chords (D A G). Very quickly, out of the “Thank you Mr. Hood” quiet section, the jam concentrated on the D chord alone and eventually modulated to D mixolydian. This is Phish’s favored “major key” to jam in (see Ghost D bliss previously in the set! Or DWD! or Gin! It is also the Grateful Dead’s favorite — see Star, Dark!) — it contains a ‘flat-7th’ note (in this case C rather than C#), which gives the scale a more bluesy and jazzy feel. You really hear that C note emerge as part of the melody around 7:05. As the jam vamped in D mixolydian for a while, at 8:18 Trey threw in the minor third note of F (as opposed to the major third of F#) which indicated a modulation from D mixolydian to D minor. Now, this creates a true blues-rock-funk feel which are often pentatonic scales over a minor chord. For the next several minutes, the jam takes on this blusey funk character with flares of D Dorian (a minor mode that works well with a minor pentatonic scale and is Phish’s other favorite mode…See, Antelope, Bowie, and countless other songs — when Phish jams feel “minor” they are often in Dorian). So, while this Hood jam was still in “D” this minor-blues vamp felt very different than your normal Hood jam (thus, the classification of “type ii”). In the 10th minute Trey was back vamping on those octaves again. Finally, at 12:15, on a dime, the jam modulated back to D major — all it takes is bring back that major third note F# back to the center and establishing the D A G chords to get us firmly back in D major and Hood-jam proper. Now, perhaps this version didn’t contain the “peak” we want (Trey instead decided to create a flurry of octave phrases again), but it was an amazing journey through the different tonal feels of D.
The encore of “Tube,” “Joy” and “First Tube’ was “tubular” and fun. Even if “Tube” remains a short funk song, its odd encore placement was surprising and enjoyable. “Joy” is actually one of my more favorite ballads and who can complain about a raucous “First Tube” to end the night with a bang. All in all, from the spacious, hypnotic Carini, to the peak->circus Ghost; From the glory of Wingsuit to the traveling Hood, this was a set for the ages. Filled with all different styles of Phish improvisation. What will come next? Don’t miss a Sunday show!
Thought the place was fantastic and I had a wonderful time. A lot of repeats from the Mann, but I don't care. Pretty much every one was played better (and I loved the Mann shows). I've seen Hood more than any other song, and I still and shall continue to smile earhole to earhole every time I am lucky enough to see it. So stop hating the repeats.
AC/DC Bag and 46 Days were short, sweet, "you guys paying attention yet" openers. I love Yarmouth Rd. It's never going to "go anywhere," but again, it's about the song. Not every song is going to have 10 minute jams; typically, reggae and bluegrass songs do not. They're not supposed to. Yarmouth Road is awesome because of the way the chorus melody pops with happiness, resulting from the shift from minor to major. It's a cool piece that gets me moving, then scattering so I can dance while hearing it instead of people talking because they don't know or like the song (had to do the same thing for McGrupp at the Mann -- MCGRUPP for God's sakes!)
This was followed by Devotion, which I thought was funny because it's like Trey saying, if we lost you or pissed you off already, here's another one and go to hell. I like the cut of his jib, and thought that this was a very energetic version with a whale of a solo.
I enjoyed Free, My Sweet One and Back on the Train by dancing and wondering through the crowd from Mike side to Page side, then back, then bathroom ,then beer. All typical, fun, short, very danceable tunes, and then the comedy of the 3 endings to Back on the Train. (And thanks for the hive fives, cheers, smiles, nods and ass slaps I got on my venture dancing with and through the crowd, which is my favorite thing to do at shows).
Halfway to the Moon was great with Page really nailing it. I strongly like this song. Sparkle was a lot of fun again. A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing was as awesome as it was unpredictable. Awesome jam. Glad to see at least some people enjoying the Line, as it is a nice tune with cool band interplay and a nice, short jam. Antelope rocked everyone's socks off from what I could tell, and it was quite super.
PYITE was awesome and a lot of fun; nice extended intro to get everyone moving. Carini was it's usual awesome, dark and sinister self. Ghost was well placed and was just fantastic. They really patiently journeyed through this one and established such awesome dance vibes. Great great stuff.
Wingsuit was kinda mindblowing. I love how they've set this jam up (well explained it a prior review). rock 'n' roll was a nice rocker -- again, short and sweet, which was totally appropriate here after the long Ghost), and then a wonderful, wonderful Hood that traveled from light to dark and back to light, driving and gaining momentum from start to finish.
Tube encore? If anyone says they called this, I DON'T BELIEVE YOU. Totally unexpected and great idea. Joy got all Slavey (dove right into a Slave-like climax, as if to say, we wanted to play Slave but didn't have the time, so here's a mini Slave that just skips the build up and hits the finale immediately), and First Tube (with Trey Jibbooing it up a bit) was the perfect way to end it.
I like the bustouts and rarities, stories, and those truly special moments during 25-minute-long jams that everyone else does; but what I also like is seeing my favorite band having a wonderful time, playing danceable songs with tremendous energy, and rocking my face off with songs I normally may not put at the top of my favorites list. Some nights it really doesn't matter what they play because of how incredibly they play it. I am not bashing the song selection here, just saying that even though your absolute favorite songs aren't being played, do you think that maybe if you shut your mouth and put your cellphone down for a minute, you might actually be paying enough attention to discover something about the Line, or an old song that never really got you before, that makes you a fan of it all of a sudden? Try it -- you might like it.
It didn't always come easy, but the sequence comprising the bulk of Set II in this show is some of the most interesting, difficult, and emotionally impactful music that the band has played in recent memory. Phish is at their best, I'd say, when they are (1) playing great versions of individual songs, and (2) weaving those songs together to create a musical narrative, which gives each of those songs greater significance.
Case in point: Carini>Ghost>Wingsuit. Not only is each song worth your time, but taken altogether they paint a pretty masterful picture: a bad-ass, sci-fi, off-the-deep-end triumph that has me kind of staggered at the moment. It's not all pretty and perfect--but why would it be? The hatred that the narrator in Carini holds for the song's namesake erupts in the jam, bubbly and distorted, then collapses into a muddy puddle, creating a strange (and totally inaccessible--I feel for new fans in attendance...welcome to Phish!) and haunting scene. This is raw, unrestrained version that is not always "enjoyable" in any kind of traditional sense, but has a stark beauty to it which contributes an essential element to the overall sequence.
And then Carini is murdered and buried, only to return (to get the last laugh, of course) in the form of a bizarrely danceable and very exploratory Ghost. This Ghost is all over the place, returning to Earth to shed all of its various worldly attachments--anger, bliss, confusion, sexy dance grooves, and noisy psychedelia--before finally dawning its Wingsuit and ascending to the sky. And boy--this Wingsuit is something. Patient! When the peak finally hits, its grander than any of us probably expected, and is easily one of the highlights of the entire show.
From there, it's a hop, skip, and jump to the encore. The rollicking Rock & Roll is a thematic counter to the hatred of Carini, and yet another exquisite take on Harry Hood shows the boys once again stepping into untested waters and wading around for a bit. When they do eventually bring about a peak, it's not like the screaming climax of Wingsuit, but more of the soulful, life-affirming variety. Good stuff! It gets said a lot, but the level of telepathic-interplay and communication on display these days is just silly good.
With such an incredible, emotionally-driven frame of music as that, it's almost an after-thought to say that, all of a sudden, Tube is back in full force, shaking things down with nasty old-school cowfunk. Don't let length deter you--this one brings the goods, and is a perfect refresher for the band and crowd after the density of what preceded it.
As this is my 20th anniversary year I find myself having many retrospective moments. It's never going to be Sugarbush 94' again. But that’s ok. I also know that Sat night was full of all the dummies that have helped disconnect the band from the real fans. That being said it was a pretty good show. And frankly as easy as it is to be critical, no one ever sets out to play a bad show. Sometimes it hits sometimes it doesn’t, and this band deserves some respect and room to do what they do. That’s why they aren't your typical band. Also if all you "fakers" would shut the f-ck up and appreciate what's going on you wouldn’t get a "predictable" Antelope. This is an epic song, each movement of it amazing in its own right. Instead of talking for the first ten minutes maybe you should enjoy each note. They are building blocks. If you just want songs that explode on impact you don't belong at a Phish concert. And believe me. If the audience gave the energy and respect this band deserved, that Antelope could have gone into the stratosphere, like it always used to. Show this song some frickin respect. An Antelope should be cherished not scoffed at. Shame on you. And yes this show had its ups and downs. But its time you take a long look at yourself and the fans around you.
PYITE opens the second set and despite many joyous fans, I saw tons of kids just chatting away or wondering off. During a Punch. Are you serious? Take some responsibility and ask your neighbor to do the same. Otherwise just get spun in the lot and go to the after party. Don’t you think a band that once created secret signals for their core fans, might live and die by the energy and attention the audience throws back to them. After Trey joked about his screw-ups, perhaps if the audience showed him the love and encouragement he has earned he would have turned the screw up into a mind blowing BBFCFM, (see Sugarbush 95,after Lizards debacle). It's time for old fans and new to reconnect and to teach the kids who don’t know that this band is all about the give and take. You show them the respect and attention that makes this band an experience every night, instead of just a regular concert and I promise great things will happen. Hoping tonight will bring out the core fan base and will show Phish that we come first for the music, and the party comes second. That’s the way it was back in the day and those set lists prove that’s how you get Phish at their best. Nuff said....
First set had it's ups and downs, highlights would be that confusingly fun BOTT , a dark and stormy ASIHTOS, and a rocking antelope . The second set of this show wins, PYITE>carini>ghost was ridiculously fun. I feel really good about Hood. Loved the tube encore, loaded w funk. They had a bit of a Lebron moment w Joy, but rescued themselves and everyone listening w a tight first tube. Can't wait for tonight's YEM!
There is something about being able to stand where you want at show, take your shoes off in the grass if you want at a show, get closer than you've ever been or take the spectacle in from a distance throughout the show, something about not having to go up and down stairs at a show. There is something that happens when lotto luck or a big pocketbook doesn't dictate who is closest to the band. Seeing Phish in a big field is as free as you can be. This is true for our experience, and for the band, too. Both shows have exhibited a freedom and a flow that has been top notch in their recent game. Flow has been the word for the past two shows at Randalls. However-- they are two completely different shows. Randalls 1 charged forward in one of the strongest opening quarters we ever see from the guys, and then turned inward, and the boys led us on a journey that was frenetic and brooding at times, it felt like alot of NYC energy trying to get out of everyone's veins, the urban jungle was pushing the music forward. I loved it, but it felt like the best kind of punishment. My buddy Larry related it to the predator finishing off his victim in the jungle by pulling out his spinal cord. yeah, sounds bout right. Night II was different, the yang to night 1's yin. Exploratory, filled with two sets of flow, but the intensity dominated to the major key and resolved only to go even higher. Night II the band took flight and set the course for the Supermoon rising in the east. "Welcome To Our Joy" was the message the band needed to let us know as we walked in, and the message was delivered on Saturday. They even went over their 11pm curfew to do it. Again and again, Joy is worth a little coin, for us and the band to partake in together.
A really damn good show, a show that might stand out more if it wasn't played 24 hours before That One Show Everybody Likes. The first set's just okay, but the second set is exceptionally cohesive and boasts some very good jams, making for one of those whole-set statements that you only get when the band is in tip-top form. After a high-energy (if sloppy in parts) PYITE, Carini briefly devolves into dark squawking noise before Trey moves things into a more contemplative zone as loops fly and Page moves to the forefront, then Trey takes over again with soaring notes and the band rebuilds to a mellow groove before Page plays some squelching organ sounds, Fish starts up an almost tribal beat, and things close out nicely.
Ghost then steps up, and it's a darn fine version that starts out building tension between major and minor keys as Page stays on the piano until Trey gives in to his rock god instinct and starts firing off some solos as the band goes into Upbeat Rocker Mode. They build to a decent peak, then as Trey goes Laser Floyd Page takes things down to a slow boil, with Trey switching to chords and Fish doing some fine work holding the jam together. Page moves over to the clav and we get down and dirty (now is Mike's time to shine), as Fish really starts banging away and Trey plays some nasty licks. This jam also closes out quite well, with Page laying down some organ chords over everything, and a superbly placed Wingsuit serves as a nice landing pad from some very nice improv.
A fiery Rock & Roll comes next to bring the energy back up, and then Hood (the champion of the summer so far) brings yet another fab Type II version, as out of the usual Hood jam Trey and Page start messing around in a different key, settling on a more bluesy musical bed while Fish begins to pick up the pace. It's not too fancy and not the musical monster that the Hollywood or Mansfield versions are, but it's certainly outside the usual Hood envelope and it's actually something of a danceable jam, thanks to Trey (again) ripping off some sharp chords as Fish fires away on the toms, and the return to the Hood jam is as lovely as you'd expect (including a brief St. Thomas tease, which will return the next night to even better effect). That's as good as you'd want to end a set without simply sticking the Hampton Tweezer there, and a fine close to a glorious set.
Final thoughts: if you don't think that setlist flow matters, check out the 7/16/14 Pine Knob show, where the band careens drunkenly from song to song in an effort to find the effortless fluidity they achieved tonight. One hopes this marvelous second set will eventually get the praise it deserves. Give this one a spin - you won't be the least bit disappointed.
2nd Phish show. I had a blast and will attempt to be as comprehensive as possible about my experience and most importantly: the music.
Firstly, basic thoughts on my personal experience there:
Lot: My friends and I walked around the lot for a little while, until NYPD strolled by and told us we had to go to the venue area. It was still really cool as I didn't get a chance to check out the lot scene in Mansfield (arrived just before gate time). Great vibes all around. You could just feel the excitement in the air. I'm am regretting not buying a shirt in the lot as the shirts that folks sell in the lot capture the essence and spirit of Phish (in my opinion) better than any official tour shirt. They had a Reba shirt I saw on the way out that I was tempted to buy because I love that tune.
Food: Mostly positive. I had a corn dog that was pretty standard fare, but not bad. The chicken nuggets coated in Goldfish crackers were outstanding. On the contrary, one of my buddies had a chicken sandwich or wrap of some kind that he told me wasn't that good. Obviously the Phish Food was great.
General: I had a great experience in part because of the great weather, great vibes, and the fact that I quite honestly loved Randalls as a venue once I got there. Great place for a Phish festival, and while there were a few talkers and random folks running back and forth to the beer lines/bathrooms, that's to be expected. I had a better experience during the 2nd set though. I was Mike side and relatively close/in front of the board during the 1st set. A lot of talking for the sake of. No one focused on the show. 2nd set, we moved. My friends actually found a space up on the hill, and I stood Page side but a bit further back even still. This was not only a more respectful part of the crowd, but I really lucked out as to me the acoustics were better being a bit further back and behind the board.
Now, onto the best part - the music:
This show wasn't as tight as Mansfield in my opinion, but was more intense and fiery, even with the ballads from Joy and Fuego thrown in there for good measure. Opening set one with AC/DC Bag set the energy off right (might not have been jammed out, but it's a wildly energetic opening number), and they got nice and funky for a bit with 46 Days. The Yarmouth Road, Devotion, and Free segment seemed to mellow people out a bit at least where I was standing for this set. If being critical I personally could've done without Yarmouth. That's one of those tunes where I actually think MGB play it better than Phish. I heard Mike play it up in Burlington so I was mixed on it. I was mixed on Devotion as well but it's not something I was that bummed to hear for one reason or another. It's a decent tune. Free is nice and I love the funky bass segment, so I'm not complaining, but I was mixed on hearing it again. My Sweet One was next. Nice to hear some good ole Fishman-composed bluegrass, with a great solo from Page. I'm not sure how often they play this one anymore but the crowd seemed to be digging it. Back on the Train followed My Sweet One, and after a botched landing, Trey was chatting for a bit and joking about the intent behind botching the tunes, and they ultimately wound up repeating the landing 3 times (to jokingly say they wrote the botched landing). It was nice to see them showcasing this humor in their shows. Halfway to the Moon. You know, at first I was kind of thinking "really", but it's nice to see Page in the limelight. I love the piano solo, and I think Page may very well have the strongest voice out of the bunch. From a compositional standpoint, this and Wingsuit were my favorite two new (as in off of Fuego) songs played on this particular night. Sparkle. From what I gather, phans are mixed on Sparkle. I had a lot of fun with hearing it. It's a masterpiece of heavy Phishgrass. A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing was undeniably my highlight of an admittedly bizarre (but nice and to the point) first set. As a general rule, I love (or have grown to love) the Undermind album, so it was a treat to hear anything from it - and this was simply a great version of a nice tune. The Line. Meh. I try not to be negative but this one isn't a favorite. I just don't like it. Hearing Devotion was OK. Hearing Halfway was good or maybe even great. Hearing The Line kind of killed the mood for a brief moment, for me. The next tune more than made up for it though. I was psyched to get an Antelope, and though it wasn't one of the longest or most jammed versions, it was a quality version as far as I'm concerned - and dedicated to co-writer of the tune, The Dude of Life aka Steve Pollack, who was backstage or something with his two children who were at their very first Phish show. All in all, some highlights, some lowlights. Interesting song choices and decent performances keep this set as being good enough for my standards though. Set two was the real story of the night. Punch You in the Eye did seem to contain some playing of sour notes by Trey but until I hear the LivePhish I can't say it was downright sloppy. I was just glad to hear it, and there was some nice funk going on in the beginning. The Latin rhythm/melody they go into in this one is great. Page really shines. Carini is such a great uptempo hard rocker. Really got the crowd pumped. The chords are undeniably Trey but still almost remind me a bit of Led Zep's Kashmir in the manner they're strummed, and some interesting effects were used in this tune's rather spacey jam. Loved the lights during this one, too. The Ghost was, in my opinion, the highlight of the 2nd set. Story of the Ghost is one of my favorite Phish albums because it was my first one, so hearing the title track (so to speak) again was a treat. But unlike the Mansfield Ghost which was nice but short and segued into Weekapaug - this Ghost just simply went places. Places that I thoroughly enjoyed. Wingsuit surprisingly had a soaring jam at the end. This was a special Wingsuit that was, in my mind, very preferably to the Mansfield one (if forced to compare again) and simply made me a believer in that tune. It definitely sounds like something off Dark Side or The Wall, that's for sure. You can see what their influences were, but in my mind, it showcases their abilities as songwriters like never before. Very impressed. Next came a personal highlight, a cover of the tune Rock and Roll from Lou Reed's Rock N Roll Animal. A bit of a personal connection/bias but of any possible cover, I was pretty damn glad to hear this one, as I have family who love that Lou Reed album (as do I). Some nice jamming in there. Next was another monstrous Harry Hood. To me, just based on what I heard and experienced in person - this surpassed the Mansfield Hood. The intro featured some nice keyboard funk that I don't remember being as epic in Mansfield, but overall, this version featured and equally lengthy and impressive jam, but I just prefer where they took it last night. Kind of coincidental I'd attend two shows on the entire tour, but both shows get phenomenal Hoods, though. I'm not complaining. I loved both of them for different reasons. Harry Hood wasn't even a real favorite, admittedly, but now I've certainly been feelin' good about Hood. The encore was very interesting, and while not everyone will agree, it was in my opinion, everything I would hope for after such a scorching 2nd set. Firstly, I love Tube. Very great funky vibes, and every freaked out (as did I) when they went into the bluesy breakdown and Trey tore it up. Second, Joy - the title track. I know this tune is a downer for many, but ironically enough I'd been listening to it like crazy of late and was very psyched about it. Wasn't expecting to hear it, though. I know they've been favoring the new stuff but it's just not a tune I feel works quite as well live. For the reason that I don't get into it as much live, I'd say it was just a good song to hear, and not great. But oddly enough, as someone who struggles with chronic depression, anxiety, and anger - this is the one Phish tune that physically brings these weird bittersweet tears to my eyes. I usually never cry. Not just trying to sound tough or whatever but I just virtually never cry. However, I was on the verge of Phish-induced tears yet again last night hearing Trey sing the lines: "We want you to be happy/Don't live inside the gloom", as he could very well be singing the song to me and it'd be solid advice that I often struggle with. If that's not great songwriting to evoke that kind of response, I don't know what is. First Tube was a great closer. Admittedly I was blanking on the name of this tune in the moment (even though I'd just listened to the Farmhouse album) - but I love this tune's melody and it's a classic.
Trey had a lot of energy too. A really showman who had a rockstar moment at the end in holding his guitar up above his head, and was still bouncing up and down after a long show of intense performing. Definitely an energetic guy.
All in all, this show quite simply made me feel alive. It was just an unbelievable experience. Mansfield was great but to me, it wasn't quite this, so if I gave Mansfield 5 stars, this deserves 5 by default. Maybe 4 and a half for some of the slop, but the slop was so minor that if this was a 4 and a half and not a 5, I'd redo Mansfield as a 4. Either way, ratings don't matter anyways. All that matters is how great these shows have been this year.
I hope everyone enjoys tonight! Hopefully the weather will hold.
Just one reason that this show remains notable is a triple ending to Back on the Train. Trey says that to prove it was intentional, they'll do it again, and they do, twice. Personally, I like to hear Devotion to a Dream in its slot in the first set, but otherwise, especially with A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing taking a pedestrian turn, there's not that much to recommend it. Punch You in the Eye in the second set pushes 10 minutes, and is followed by Carini > Ghost, where Ghost takes a Trey-delay-led turn that metamorphoses into a typical 3.0 quasi-peak, but the rest of the set is not that spectacular, particularly regarding the Harry Hood that is introduced by a hi-hat roll rather than the hallowed tom roll. We do get a triple encore, which is great, but if pressed, I'd qualify this show as the least essential of the 2014 Randall's Run.
This was my second show of the summer tour and 13th overall. I must insert a disclaimer that the other show I saw this summer was SPAC on the Fourth of July, and that 7/4 was probably the best I have ever seen the boys in person. This show was a bit doomed to be a let down for me because of that, but it was still a really good show regardless.
First set was rather average. It felt pretty low energy, and rarely (if ever) brought us to any new, weird, and/or interesting places. The highlight was Antelope. Not to hate on the song, but, if that's the highlight of the set, chances are it isn't the best set.
I'd be lying if I said the second set wasn't a monster. Couldn't have asked for a better second set opener than PYITE. Hell yeah. The transition to Carini felt a little unnatural, but whatever. Carini was a lotta fun; I'll have to re-listen it, but overall it was a solid jam. Then came Ghost. GHOST WAS THE INDISPUTABLE HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT IMO. Such a natural, glorious, D-Major guitar-led peak. And then, after that peak, Trey backed off for a bit and the boys discovered some weird-ass wonderful out-there shit that kept on going and culminated in one mind#%@# of a jam that I'll have to relisten to again and again. And Wingsuit was beautiful. One of those tear-jerking moments where you just want to give Trey a prolonged hug. Then came the perfect bustout that we all needed - Rock and Roll. Really well placed, and a nice version that went to some cool places. The hood was great too, built off the Mansfield tradition of breaking from the typical guitar-led jam within the realm of the D,A,G chord progression and letting the jam go in various directions before returning to the D,A,G, guitar-led build to the peak. All-in-all, the entire second set is definitely worth a listen.
And the encore kicked ass. When it's sandwiched b/w as bumping of a Tube and as rocking of a First Tube as those, I'll let Trey have his American Idol moment with Joy any day of the week :-)
One last note: As I said before, the two shows on this tour that I've seen are 7/4 and this one. 7/4 easily beats 7/12 out. One reason is that 7/4 had a much much better first set. Another is that the 7/4 Fuego just blew my goddamn mind. Still another reason, though, is because SPAC had a much better audience than Randall's did. People were talking so so much during just about every note last night, and that really brought the energy of the show down. There was one particular person right near me who was driving me crazy. After a bit of post-show reflecting, I think the lesson I learned from this show is that it is not too dickish to say "Excuse me, could you please stop talking so loud? You're making it difficult for me to enjoy the music." I wish I had politely asked him to shut up. Or maybe I should have just punched him in the eye.
Show started off with a good ACDC opener, as it usually is... the 46 Days was fun and it seemed to get ppl going ... but then it went down hill from there... I thought it sucked... not even the Free or GBOTT was redeeming that craptastic set... but... the Antelope did the redeeming.. fun, energetic and good way to end the set.
2nd set... amazing! PYITE was the blastoff into a great set!! (minus wingsuit! but we all need a bathroom break so thanks for that! lol)... and you know the setlist so I don't have to recap it, just saying it was overall a great set and lots of fun.
Encore... Tube was awesome as usual (no it's not the 12 min tubes from 98 but I've excepted that it wont' ever be the 12 min tubes from 98! lol) Joy? yup they played joy... but then... FIRST TUBE!! heyoo!!
Great song to end any show.
Overall not the best show I've ever seen, but it was a solid, fun way to spend a Saturday night so I can't complain!
@Solargarlic78- great review. I appreciate the layman-friendly music theory explanations. My Sweet One definitely has to be considered a rarity- it hasn't been played more than twice in a single year since '94.
AC/DC Bag- finally! I was a little worried that all the TMWSIY tunes were getting shelved. I do know some Broncos fans that wouldn't mind if Wilson stays shelved a while longer...
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