, attached to 2017-08-01

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: O Canada, full of Hendrix-type distortion and clanging accompaniment, is a highlight of the set, as is Maple Leaf Rag popping up incongruously in the middle of Guelah, as is the lovely McGrupp > LxL duo at the end. Always love Walk Away, too.

Set 2: Golden Age, as one of Phish's current Big Time Jammers, kicks off the set, and the band is content to luxuriate in its usual jam before Mike pushes towards something darker and more mysterious (almost that Phrygian mode you may remember from the 8/21/15 CDT), but Trey takes the lead and the jam kicks into a new gear with Page on electric piano and Fish's snappy beat carrying things. Page's synths swirl around as Trey plays some snappy chords (man, those synths really changed the game this year), and the jam begins to pick up speed without moving towards major key (a nice counterpoint) as Trey's minimal licks take the forefront before he gets off a nice solo and the jam comes to a ghostly close. Leaves follows, and I actually like the move; the eerie crowd silence as the song starts up is something to behold, if nothing else.

Swept Away > Steep feels like a nice relaxed mid-set breather, but instead of closing out Steep Trey plays some increasingly dissonant notes before switching to chords, Page goes to the effects as Mike rattles some ribcages with his meatball effect, and Fish kicks into Drummer God mode to urge the band forward into improvisational territory. The jam grows in power and energy, Trey steps into the limelight and really shreds, and they hit a really powerful and thunderous peak. This is a truly awesome jam, and the 46 Days that (a tad abruptly) follows is just as good, sandwiching a pretty interesting Marimba Lumina percussion-fest with some grimy funkiness on one side and an echo-filled spaced-out Mike-driven groove on the other. Piper blasts off into the stratosphere before downshifting into a stripped-down effect-laden jam with Page flashing on the keys, then gets really dark and weird before Fish actually steps to the forefront and Trey sings 46 Days quotes for some reason before the jam comes to a stomach-twisting end. A tension-ratcheting Possum (Page and Trey basically find a Maze peak) closes out the set, and the second Ziggy Stardust cover of the run makes for a fine encore.

Final Thoughts: One of the more overlooked shows of the Baker's Dozen (if the rating is any indication), which I think is a mistake. The second set contains some of the darkest and most interesting music of the run from start to finish, with Steep > 46 Days > Piper the clear main event. I mean, you're not gonna skip a freakin' Baker's Dozen show, are you???


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