, attached to 2016-06-22

Review by redworm

redworm For me this is a phenomenal *tour opening* show. Between the bust outs, rock solid playing, an incredible energy that circled the Xcel Energy Center, it was really a special night.

What pushed things over the edge for me was taking my best friend since first grade to his first show. He is true lover of music who respects what the band is doing on stage. He is a piano player, so seeing the look on his face when Page (who was on absolute fire and has been the whole 2016 summer tour) would take a solo or began leading in a type 1 jam was really enjoyable to watch.

Hearing Pigtail to open was a nice surprise. That nice little bouncy tune got things off to a really nice start. Wolfman's is always a pleasure to hear even if this was a fairly standard, but great version. I love bluegrass and Daniel Saw the Stone is one of my favorites. Keep playing more Thrilling, Chilling songs! The Dogs is a nifty, driving song, but probably one of the weaker from the 2014 Halloween set (IMO). Well played Undermind led into Dear Prudence. We had heard them soundcheck this one earlier in the week so it wasn't a surprise to hear it, but it's such a gorgeous song and it really set the mood for the rest of the evening.

Things got stepped up a notch during Stash, which like Undermind, was well played which was great to hear this early in the tour. I love Round Room. Mike's tunes are so distinct. Horn rocks. Always. Again, I always welcome bluegrass with open arms. Halfway to the Moon showcased some really phenomenal work from Page and the Duluth line in the song garnered some nice cheers from the crowd. Walls of the Cave is a great set closer, but I'd love to hear it to open a second set sometime soon!

The second set got going right away with a full, traditional Mike's Groove. The creativity they've shown with the sandwich in recent years has been neat to hear, but Hydrogen is such a pretty song and hearing it has almost become a novelty. Nothing wrong with Bouncing here at all. I always get a kick out of how thick Ghost sounds in person…even if this one didn't go "out there" just hearing that riff puts a smile on my face. The Line is The Line. I don't love it, I don't hate it. It holds a special place for Trey clearly, so he can play it whenever he damn pleases.

Simple brought back the energy in the crowd and that segued nicely into I Found a Reason. I'll admit that it took me a few bars to recognize it, but once I did it sunk in how cool it was to hear it. No Man's is one of their strongest newer songs and I thought it was very well placed in this show. Billy Breathes is possibly my favorite Phish ballad and getting my first one in a sort of "hometown" show with my best friend there nearly put me to tears. Wasn't expecting a Gin this late in the game, but it was more than welcome. It peaked very well which has been a characteristic of Summer 2016.

Slow Water in the Sky is my favorite Water in the Sky and Zero was my friend's song that hooked him on the band a couple years ago so he was head banging like his life depended on it.

It was high fives all-around after this one. A show that ultimately will probably be forgotten once the tour is wrapped up, but one that I personally will never forget. I really hope the band comes back to the Xcel Center soon. A multiple night run on a Midwest fall tour would really be a treat.


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