This show was webcast via LivePhish and featured the debuts of Blaze On, Shade, and No Men In No Man's Land. Mike teased Do You Feel Like We Do before Ghost. The Birds was quoted in Birds of a Feather. Wedge included a Stash tease from Trey and Weekapaug contained a No Men In No Man's Land quote.
Its an average show in a well above average era. The lack of a Big Jam that came a handful of times per tour just a few years ago clouds a drum beating for this.
Definitely some replay here though- Ghost > BoaF goes nowhere, Ghost cooled off and had a chance but the sloppy transition killed any chance of this set blazing at the start.
But it was salvaged- Mike's groove smoked... Throwing two brand new songs inside the Groove was a risk and the payoff was palpable in energy and vibe. NMINML was called a new and better Wombat, I do not quite agree- I think it is a set saver at worst with huge growth potential this tour. I suddenly have this on top of my list in Raleigh and MPP in my future world.
Not a bad show but nothing earth shattering. Pretty textbook 3 star foray and hopefully a warmup for some serious improv this summer
Couch toured last night, so I am not sure what the live vibe was like, but it looked like fun was had all around from what I could tell. The Fare Thee Well shows definitely had Trey ready to rip and he did for most of the night! That aside, an “average” show for Phish, but certainly an above average tour opener. So, onto the music:
Sample – great tour opener in my opinion. Short, sweet, but tight inspired playing set the tone. Also set was the longer than normal breaks between tunes.
Sand – I prefer this somewhere in the 3rd quarter where it can really go deep, but this one satisfied. A very tight groove where everyone had moments and was also the first glimpse of what impact the FTW shows had on Trey. He was playing hot and confident ALL NIGHT…and man did he rock out that ending here after the jam.
555 – Sometime, somewhere this is going to get the second set treatment and go for a ride. For now, it works really well as a first set head bopper. Mike and Fish kept the rhythm section in the pocket and sounded good on the mics. LOVE THE STAGE BANTER!!!!
Rift – I turned to my wife when Trey started this up and said “now we get to see how on he is tonight.” He was on, save for a few minor flubs (particularly during the climb at the end), but hardly something to scoff at. Fish crushed this one.
Halfway to the Moon –Nice and mellow with room for delicate swells by Trey and Page taking the lead on the grand. Great way to cool things off from a hot start.
Horn – Man, you just don’t get to hear this one all that often these days. So, when it is played it is a treat. Sadly, this treat got a little messy…kind of like when my 2 year old gets her hands on an Oreo. Tastes great, but is all over the place. Oh well.
Devotion to a Dream – One I like quite a big from Fuego. Fun, upbeat and room to jam. This one has not yet gone to extraordinarily interesting places yet, but as it is, a great upbeat type 1 vehicle.
Blaze On – NEW TUNE!!! The lyrics in this one seem to be a clear nod to the phanbase, which makes it all that much sweeter to be hearing it the first night of the tour. Serious potential here so it will be interesting to see how much it is plugged into the rotation.
Tube – Someday we may hear this one stretched out again, but for now is just a standard funk romp with a cool blues section usually at the beginning or end of a first set. As it was tonight.
Wolfman’s – Pretty standard type 1 Wolfman’s to close the first set out. Not much else to say.
Ghost – When this one started in, I was fairly excited as it appeared that they were gonna stretch the intro a bit in the same vein as some of the early performances (see 7-6-98). Well, not so much, and that kind of set the theme – good, but not great with some missed opportunities to really go for it.
BOAF – sloppy segue into BOAF killed the Ghost jam and this version did not really ever kick into high gear. Better than a BDTNL rip cord and I smiled a few times when page used the “They Attack!” sample, but that is not really a musical note in my opinion.
Mikes Song – Ok here we go! This one was shredded plain and simple. I still miss the second jam section of old, but this one still kicked the first jam into high gear and it roared all the way until…
The Wedge – Didn’t I just see them do this in Chicago last year? Yes, yes I did and this version didn’t even come close to touching what happened at Northerly. I guess it is ok to see them departing in recent tours from Hydrogen, but would rather see something more interesting. Still finely played, but this really belongs in the first set.
Fuego – somehow I knew this one was coming the first night of the tour. Clearly the best composition of the new music, which makes it fun to hear, but there has not really been too much of an effort to take this to type 2 territory of late. This jam patiently melted away, which could have set the stage for some deep cuts but instead we got…
Shade – another new tune. My wife remarked that this was a pretty song. I agree. A nice new breather song for pre fourth quarter. While I am partial to FEFY and If I Could, this one could work out well long term. Inspired solo from Trey that was quite pretty.
No Men In No Men’s Land – this excited me. Save for the last two Halloween shows, when was the last time Phish debuted two new songs back to back…in the second set nonetheless?! I couldn’t say, but you could tell this one hyped up the guys and clearly showed that the music created for Halloween last year was a theme that will be sticking around. Tight, funky and featuring full band groove based jam. This one has big things coming!
Weekapaug – a little stutter in the segue to this, but it worked out, leading to probably the best moment of the night and a very nice cap to Mike’s Groove. The jam was certainly the most interesting playing of the night as it quickly broke from a standard weekapaug jam, slowly working its way to…
Boogie On – another sloppy segue, but once everyone was in the pocket, a very fine version.
CDT – the set closed with a very brief but energetic CDT. In fact, from about NMINML until close, the energy was palpable. I’m hoping that this is a clear indication of how the rest of the tour will play out.
Theme – nice little stock encore that again showcased the energy from the band.
Overall a great start to the tour in that the playing was energetic and tight for the most part, but also seemed to break away from the setlist formulas of the last two tours as evidenced by two back to back debuts between the 3rd and 4th quarters. I so desperately hope that they continue to move back towards the anything goes setlist formulas of the older days, but this is still a mighty fine era of Phish regardless of where they go. Tonight is gonna shred!
Not quite sure where this sits on the list of all time tour openers - probably towards the middle. The complaints will likely be the lack of a 18 minute-plus jam that will surely leave some "fans" butt hurt... and neither set really had a flow going until the end of the second set - when they strung 4 nice energy songs back to back. And its true, the show lacked a standout long form jam - but that does not a bad show make. To the contrary, it was a solid (if unspectacular show).
A surprise early set I Sand set a nice tone for a great trifecta with 555 and Rift. Page particularly shined early in set 1. The band took a bit of a breather with (arguably) three ballads in a row - in what may be the most new-school first set they've played - including 4 songs that debuted within the past 21 months. Three back to back breathers may have been too much for some, but they recaptured the energy with Blaze On followed by Tube and, the song that is the under-appreciated first set savior of 3.0 - Wolfman's Brother - again brought the house down.
Wolfman's and Tube set a theme for the evening of compact but strong playing of some normal heavyweights (Ghost, Birds, Fuego).
One thing that really struck me, particularly during a compact but strong Ghost, is how fresh Trey's guitar sounds compared to past years. I can't speak intelligibly about the equipment but his guitar had a truly uplifting sound to it. Page was particularly grooving last night as well.
Any show that sees Phish debut new songs is a welcome show - its a sign that creative juices are flowing and that they are inspired - it makes me feel great about the longevity of the band. First impressions was that both Blaze On and No Men In No Man's Land stole their respective sets (and the > into Weekapaug was nicely done). The jury is still out on Shade but it strikes me as following the same formula of many of the less popular 3.0 originals (slow intro that kind of drains energy, before picking up in to a nice mellow jam) - so I'll be very curious how the community warms to this one - I suspect some will hate it and some will dub it their new favorite. To that end, the new songs were welcome, but did serve to make the show feel a little choppy. Thats fairly standard in shows where multiple new songs are dropped. As the band adapts and the songs adapt, and as we get used to them a bit, they will blend more seamlessly into the set I'm sure.
One thing was evident from the show - the practicing was there. The communication was there. How soon that translates to epic jams - its too soon to say - but they are definitely coming....
This show was super hot fire. I was kind of disappointed by the fact that there were no super long memorable jams., but what this show lacks in jams, it makes up for in setlist flow and crazy high energy. The only songs that weren't extremely engaging were devotion and halfway to the moon, either than that this show is blazing hot. listen to the ghost, it's short but it's a goodie. Same with sand.
To me this was a show of missed opportunities. I felt like there were too many slow songs, definitely not enough jamming. I felt like there were some great themes in Sand, Ghost, Mikes, and Fuego that were never really explored, only awkwardly ended. Highlight for me would be no mans land>paug. I thought the other 2 new songs were ok. I prefer my phish dirty, weird, and radio-unfriendly..these songs (much like a lot on Fuego), were too emotional and radio-friendly. Overall an average to below average setlist and show..but Trey has his shreds back!!!! It's gonna be a summer for the books.
Fun show to start the tour. Enjoyed the new songs, Blaze on being the one I'm most excited for. Sand was nice. Ghost was good but had more potential. Boaf=they attack! The Mikes>Wedge>Fuego was my highlight. This show will most likely get over looked due to the lack of jams, but I love shows like this to hear how good Phish songs are. Tonight should be ripping!
Going Ghost>Birds (even if the latter was an audible), knowing you want to have an experimental Mike's, is a curious decision and seems to have handcuffed some of the earlier playing. A No Man's opener would have been raucous and lent itself better to the flow -
Last year The Wedge was fantastic in this spot.... once. It's a cool enough tune; be nice to see it relegated back to first set status.
Fuego is what it is.
Shade here sort of reminds me of Architect at Spac a couple years back; Trey is playing to to bust it out (better here, after a completed Fuego, then out of a really cool Carini).
None of this is to deride. A lot, as usual, to admire.
Solid tour opener. Trey's tone was real nice all night. You could tell he was really on-point, even if all 4 of them didn't really make any discoveries that would have lead to crazy improvisational excursions.
In a lot of ways, this show felt like a 4th-quarter-heavy warm-up show. The 4th quarter (let's say No Men in No Man's Land onward) is FIRE and definitely worth a spin. I really dug all three of the new songs and I love and respect their move of making three debuts in the tour opener.
Overall, a warmup show with a fire 4th quarter that suggests one hell of a tour is upon us.
My body was a squirming coil all night. The band was well rehearsed and the venue was as perfect as a small outdoor location with an early curfew can be. Trey was showered in red roses when he came out, which was a GRATEFUL gesture from the fans up front. I met a lot of cool folks and enjoyed the heck out of my first trip to Bend. Really enjoyed the SIAJ opener (my guess was Devotion to a Dream, which I was glad to see a couple songs later). I enjoyed all the new songs and the highlight for me was a solid Boogie On. I had to offload my tickets for tonight, sadly, but was delighted to get two people into a show! 3.75 stars for my 30th show!
A fairly uneven night with some solid Type I jams and some hiccups; to be expected for a tour opener as they get their feet wet. As for the new songs, I especially enjoyed No Men in No Man's Land, which had a very GD version of "Dancing in the Streets" tone, vibe, and pace to it during the jam. Good stuff, can't wait for more!
First set had it struggles for sure (Horn), but was OK overall. A few sloppy transitions in the second set, but overall the energy and playing was great- Trey's tone sounded great, and the rest of the guys had the show on lock down.
There can be complaints about the lack of a twenty minute jam, but honestly it doesn't concern me. What they DID play was pure joy for me.
This show was a fun start to the Summer Tour and my first tour opener ever. The early start time combined with the mid-summer date meant that almost the entire show was played in at least partial light. Regardless, the city and venue were perfect for Phish. I was able to be up on the concrete 'pit' both nights and had an awesome time.
With that said, it definitely took some time to find the groove again, with some first set sleepers but a few highlights as well. I recall enjoying the Sand, Blaze On debut, and the Tube + Wolfman's to close the first set.
The second set has a lot of great 'hits' but not necessarily any big time jams. They were definitely focusing on working in the new tunes, and I'm really glad I was there to see several debuts on this 2-night run. It's been a lot of fun to see those songs develop over the past year. Hopefully Shade and Mercury (night 2) get some more play time so they can really find the right placement for them in a live setting.
The Mike's sandwich containing Shade and NMINML is a nice treat, topped off with a fun Boogie on and CDT to wrap up night one. I thought the Theme encore was a bit unusual, but I'm not complaining. Perhaps it helped set up a summer of fun encores culminating in the Dick's THANK YOU encore.
Sand in the #2 slot was a great opportunity for Trey to show off his refined chops after the Fare Thee Well run. The unusual placement of this song and the blistering peak Trey wrestles out of this rendition was a possible foreshadowing of an opening set that really pushed the envelope. That's not quite what happened though. Not much to write home about in this first set after the Sand.
Closing out the set, the Blaze On, Tube, Wolfman's Brother trifecta lifted the energy a bit and danced people into the break. And the Blaze On was the first hint of a two-show run loaded with debut material.
The gem of the second set is the 25 minute funkathon of No Men in No Man's Land->Weekapaug Groove->Boogie on Reggae Woman. This is by far the highlight of the show and definitely worth checking out. NMINML stepped onto the stage for the first time, fully-formed and smoking hot. This Weekapaug Groove is straight euphoria. Page and Trey both kill it. It's not particularly stretched out, but there isn't a wasted note. One of my favorite tight little Weekapaugs. And then Boogie On just caps off the groove nicely. (And just preceding this sequence is the debut of Shade. A nice little ballad that I welcome into rotation, so if you're going to check out this portion of the set, I would start there, or with Fuego which segues into Shade, or all the way back to Mike's Song to get the whole Groove, choppy though it may be).
I've been to my share of shows. This one for me, to be honest, was one of the more forgettable, which somehow will maybe be one of the most memorable for me. I don't leave Phish shows too often without a feeling of exhilaration and inspiration. This show's energy was low. At least for me. I also tweaked out on LSD for a bit. Maybe that was the problem. Haha. Ya just never know!!!
I've just listened to the second set again, now that the main leg of this tour is over (next are Magnaball and Dick's), and: it has all it takes to be great ... except greatness. Look at the setlist: a Ghost/BOAF opener, then a Mike's Groove sandwiching four songs, including two new ones: a nice breather (Shade) and a funky asskicker (NMINML), a grooving cover (Boogie) and a CDT to wrap it up. Yet, even though everything is well played, there lacks the over-the-topness of a great Phish show. Everything stays strictly Type-I, with Page and Mike quite shy, and although Fish seems to be having quite some fun, Trey-only improvs are a bit sterile (his solo on BOAF is great though).
Thanks to Icculus's Holy Ghost, all these ingredients cohere into something gigantic in many shows afterwards.
Steve Coleman once said (at a talk before a concert last year) that anything can affect live performance: your mood, what you've done that day, your phone call to your mom, etc., but since these guys (meaning his band at the time: J. Finlayson, A. Tidd, S. Rickman) are professional (and then some), they play at some minimum quality level anyway. That's what's happening here: Phish can deliver a show even without magic, and you really can't complain, it's a good, solid show. But without the magic.
Solid tour opener. Not as good as Eugene last year, but close. First set highlights were: Sand, 555, Rift, Blaze On, Wolfman's Brother. Well played, tight arrangements I thought.
Second set had potential and is a lot of fun in spots. Check out Ghost, Mike's Groove. I thought No Men In No Man's Land a great song. Hope they play that a lot. Solid show. Fun listen. Tightly played. Nice Theme.
I believe they also played The Line during the first set. Also very notable Playin' in the Band teases by Trey during Weekapaug and a single one during Theme (he and Page both cracked up at how out of place it was during Theme, check out before Trey's walk-up melody before the jam). Great night, the new songs were really really cool, the two latter sounding like very mature song writing. Trey's style sounded especially refreshed. There was a real sweet sign somebody had in front of the stage that said "We Love Our Core 4". Mike had a "Let Trey Sing" shirt on in reference to the Grateful Dead shows earlier in the month. Can't wait to see em live!
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