Interesting show. A superb Disease segues into a weirdly directionless Sand in which Trey doesn't seem particularly engaged at all (or so my one listen has me thinking); his decision to inject Horse/Silent into the jam is understandable but nonetheless weirdly, disagreeably executed. Reminiscent of the Hartford '09 Disease > Wilson mistake, if you ask me! The Mike's Groove is as usual an intense pleasure. Stash continues its excellent run. Y'know? It's Phish2K10 and no one's perfect and it's wonderful music. Whaddaya expect.
But it's the shorter songs that come out of nowhere to claim the show this time out: Sugar Shack features a tweaked arrangement allowing Trey more improv space, including a loop-de-loop 4/4 solo before the bridge, and it *really* works; Farmhouse gets some unexpected swing and a long lovely Roggae-like jam; Walk Away is a balls-out instant-classic version of a song I didn't think was even in the running.
Can't wait for tonight's show. This one only deepens my anticipation.
Hadn't seen the boys in a bit. I quit my job to see this show. My fiend called me up and told me he had an xtra.
They paid me in a sick 1st set : Dinner and a movie ! stash/WALK AWAY!/divided sky. Classic. I knew when they ended with Golgi they were having fun.
PARTY TIME!! DWD!!!! literlly one of the best , heaviest you' will ever hear. The crowd went bananas. wtf guyyute/ mikes H20 weeeeeeeee!!!!!
forgot all about being unemployed
High energy the entire way. The final peak has as much force on tape as it did live. That level of energy wasn't gonna last for another 40 minutes so the band had to make a turn to something slower. The final minute of DWD segueing into Sand features some nice noodling between Trey and Page.
During Sand Mike plays through several variations on the primary bass line. Very thick groove with just enough change to make it unique. Around 9:00 Trey breaks into a very dance-y riff that surely got everyone moving. After about a minute he slows back down into a deep funk that echoes his sound from the first half of the jam. Page begins to come to the front on the piano as he and Trey are either going against one another or are becoming in sync. At 13:15 Trey finally washes out what is going on and breaks into The Horse.
Now this transition is much maligned, but I'm not seeing the problem. For about a minute and a half Sand is really sick, but after that it just struggles. If you like listening to a disjointed jam, then by all means let's have them play on. The fact that Mike doesn't immediately find a way to move between two distinctly varied styles shouldn't indicate that it's a bad idea.
That being said, the Tweezer > Horse transition 2010-08-18 is much much slicker.
Last night's show is a good show--It's an odd show, but a blast of one. Knowing their last show was their radio friendly show of the tour, the wanted to improvise and get a bit different last night.
After the first Punch You in the Eye opener of the tour, Phish moves on through their cumbersome laid back ditty, Ocelot. Dinner and a Movie follows, leading into Stash. This stash isn't great, however, it makes me optimistic that the song will come back to it's explosive history that it seems to have lost in the past ten years. The reason why I love Stash is because of the intensely exciting tension/release jamming that would occur in the 90's, and for me, define Phish's style. The reason this Stash makes me happy is because Trey finally started building the tension again in the song, not so thick you can cut it with a knife like in some versions but it's there. The only problem is that before Trey could release that tension and explode, he goes back into the end of the song. Hopefully this is foreshadowing the tension he will build up in this song the rest of the tour and year--let's just hope he blows the roof off with a huge release.
Next song worth commenting on is Walk Away--"WHAT?!!! WHA WHA?!?!" you say? That's right, Walk Away--after the normal composed song is over, they go seamlessly into what I think is clearly a Tweezer Reprise jam. Remember in Hershey when they played Tweezer with no Reprise? I think this was their answer to it. Fishman kicks the drums up immediately, Page switches to the organ while still playing the grand and Trey starts wailing in Reprise's tone. This version clocks in at almost 7 minutes and will be a favorite for years. It's out of left field and totally Phish.
The other highlight in the first set is Alaska. Trey, accompanied by Mike, builds this baby to an explosive peak. Mike is working his fingers up the neck, ready for Trey at the end. Best version of the song to date. Listen for Trey's "There's a Hole in the Wall" tease in the beginning of the jam.
Ok, 2nd set opens with Party Time. Only thing I like about this song is the bass and the drums, other than that I think it's awful. Trey flubs all over this version, too. However, rather than the normal 9min average the song usually stays alive, this one is only 5 minutes. Out of the end of the song, Mike starts up the eerie beginning of Down with Disease.
Madison Square Garden's Disease from last year might take the cake for the best version of 3.0, but it's hard to say. Apples and oranges, really, between these two versions. While MSG's is explosive out of the gates, this version is a roller coaster ride--going up and down, in close to perfect musical communication with the band, Trey takes this puppy for a walk all over the place. My favorite part, when Trey cues everyone to get down and quiet and then slowly builds up until Fish catches on and they go right back into the raging. Total blast of a version, Hartford got a real treat last night with it. Then, instead of going back into the end of the song, they beautifully go into a dance party of a Sand. This is what we seem them for--no more just ending Down with Disease in normal fashion for the rest of tour, please. The sand at about 14 minutes focuses less on Trey, different than Disease launch pad preceding it, but rather focuses on Fish and Mike--a la Hershey Park. Mike, not using any effects in this bad monster, thumps away creating a thick and dancable groove for everyone in attendence.
Then Trey ruins all the fun--in what will go down as one of the biggest "what the fuck" moments of the year, Trey STARTS PLAYING THE HORSE WHILE THE BAND IS IN A FULL THROTTLE GROOVE. Last year at Bonnaroo, Trey went into Horse, ending a great Tweezer prematurely--however, that was different because he ended his own musical jaunt. In Sand last night, they could have basically did the whole jam without Trey-- he sure rained on the other three's parade (and everyone's there). For almost 30 seconds into The Horse, the rest of the band is still grooving, as if they are in total disbelief Trey would do something this ridiculous when the band is locked in so well, hoping Trey will just tease it and move on. When they realize that Trey is for real they just STOP. I'm curious what the conversations back stage after the show were like about that one.
Because of Trey's complete disregard for the song, band and fans the show loses it's steam right there. Playing some random songs before finally finishing with a pretty good Mike's Groove, this show is almost too weird to rate. The Mike's song, again, was better than any 2009 versions however not up to par with Blossom's dirty throwdown from hell. Weekapaug also couldn't muster quite enough strength to stand toe to toe with Blossom's, however it's certainly a fun and energetic version. One thing of note about last night's Weekapaug is that after Mike's basstastic intro, Trey says very matter-of-factly into the mic "Weekapaug in da house!" before going into the lyrics.
This night was like my night in 2010 (amazing set list but no stellar jamming flow) I attended Hershey. No chocolate Harpua surprises no reprises for tweezer no epic inspiration but amazing set list no doubt nonetheless. Minus sugar shack. That song wasn’t even great it’s first time at bat. Limb by limb a life beyond the dream wading in the velvet sea Axilla 1 all kicked it out of Fenway their respectful opening night at bat. Joy and sugar shack are both just ok at best songs. Joy has amazing lyrics I’ll give it that nod but beyond that the only thing that could take Joy to actual Happiness Joy Party Time vibe is with a killer guitar solo matching crimes of the mind chord progressions with Eric Clapton’s and Hendrix upside down skills. I don’t see it happening. But that is ok. My point is A ++ setlist does not necessarily make a great show. Hershey was good. I felt good about Hood but I didn’t feel right about going through a red light that turned green at just the right moment Only a proper slave can do that and this was not that prisoner All to say another great show what would be even better if the performance matched up to the set
I'm writing this on the fourth anniversary of the show, which was my first Phish show, so I feel I have a good perspective now after having seen many more shows, and listened to much, much more Phish.
As a neophyte, I had songs one wanted to hear at my first show - some unreasonable, some valid. The person next to me on the lawn asked what I was hoping to hear. I remember uttering, "a PYITE opener would be cool, would love Divided Sky, Golgi...Dinner and a Movie would be great...off the new album, I'd like to hear Sugar Shack...in the 2nd set, if really like a Horse>Silent."
People around me wanted to know who I was, where I came from, and how I had come across this information. Seriously though...Dinner and a Movie? Pretty ridiculous, I know.
That being said, I felt this show had a really interesting first set. PYITE was fantastic, and Stash really got everyone going. If Dinner and a Movie wasn't a big enough of a surprise, Esther really blew everyone away. The ebb and flow of this set was fairly unique...very different vibes through Stash > Esther > Walk Away > Divided Sky, the last of which was truly beautiful. Unfortunately, I thought Alaska was a bit of a downer, especially since we had heard it's very close cousin, Ocelot, earlier.
Now I KNOW I asked for and received Horse > Silent...but as everyone else has noted, it was a horrible transition. Everyone was really locked into that Sand groove before Trey just started throwing the Horse riff into it, forcing the other guys to essentially stop.
That being said, Guyute brought spirits back on the lawn. Mike's Groove was a solid finish to the set, and I think the Shine a Light closer also fit very well in this show.
All in all, for my first show, one of the more unique first sets in 3.0, imo...in my estimation, despite Trey's pulling of the proverbial chute on Sand, the band seemed pretty locked in (despite a bit of a rough start to PYITE). Then again, if I had only been there a night later to see the Tweeprise Tweeprise...
This show was my first live Phish experience, so for me Hartford is where it all began. Therefore, it holds a special place in my heart. I remember an amazing tailgate party in a huge field, where we all got to mingle and shop at make-shift vendor stands. Comparing this show to the others I have since attended, plus after countless re-listens, this show was certainly at par. Esther, Golgi, and Ocelot I have not seen live since (though this summer tour has been FULL of Ocelots!). For me, DWD Esther and Guyute were the major highlights. A fun, summer outdoor show. This tour I'll be attending Hollywood and Dicks for for the first time; CAN'T WAIT!
I like Ocelot, Circus and Alaska, so I thought the first set was pretty damn good and I had a fun time. The highlight was obviously the Walk Away which was jammed out much more than any other time 3.0. I guess they are going to keep it as a stand alone 1st set Page tune - too bad as when it came out 1.0 - you knew you were deep in the 2nd...
The opening three pack of the 2nd was great...fun, danceable tunes and the place going nuts. I also loved the Farmhouse and loved the placement...great, slow tune in the middle of 2nd and they took this one to a new level as well...Shine A Light is always good, but Hartford1 just does not have the cache as closing a three pack at MSG.
My rating on this one is mind-blowing transformation.
Of course, when they come out kicking with the PYITE, we must put our seatbelts on. The show stole my face right off my head. It doesn't really matter what they play on nights like this, they move deep inside your soul, cellularly, and tear you all apart.
That's what it felt like to me. I had super good pav seats and the whole thing was so overwhelming that I "walked away" quite early in the first set to better take it all in on the lawn.
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