, attached to 2021-08-08

Review by SplitOpenAndMalt

SplitOpenAndMalt Night three fell upon us pretty quickly at Deer Creek. What a fun run! Both prior nights had the venue feeling good and there has yet to be a shortage of experimental, funky jamming.

Anyways, my buddy and I got to the venue a little later than the nights prior-- we'd felt that we'd done an adequate job at navigating and exploring on Shakedown within the past two nights. We settled down at the back of the Pavilion on Page side about fifteen minutes prior to the billed start time to continue our drinking and conversing. It didn't initially seem quite as packed as N2, but, hey, it is a Sunday show.

The boys came on stage with a nice, standard Sigma opener. I'm not a huge fan of the tune but it evidently gets them warmed up for a continued and deep night of jamming, plus it's pretty evident that they have a bunch of fun when playing it. They took the energy from that and played a nice version of The Curtain before transitioning to an awesome Mike's (it felt like Trey held that note for three whole minutes!)-- Fishman did an incredibly job maintaining the pace and continuing to elementally challenge Trey to find his groove which created a super uptempo and fun jamming section. I thought My Soul was an interesting interlude within the Mike's Groove-- they were absolutely making a statement about dictating the pace and feel of the show, though (maybe some second set foreshadowing)? Page was, as always, beautifully on from the start of this one until the end, and he took over the bulk of the jamming segment prior to Trey ripcording a few peaks before a similarly-styled Weekapaug. Weekapaug is one of my favorite Phish segments-- it rarely goes Type II but the band displays how much they can do with a structured melodic portion and riffing off of that, this version being no exception. They finish the first vocal portion of Mercury at about six minutes before enacting a dreamy and soft jam led by Trey's 4.0 Guitar's capability-- a beautiful juxtaposition to the bass bombs from the song's beginning. 46 Days and Taste served as the set's pacemovers and it was cool to see a debut with Casual Enlightenment. Bowie was, aside from the Mike's Groove, the highlight of my set-- the band feels confident and on the same page whenever they play this song and the structured jam portions were as clean as ever. Overall, definitely a first set worth listening to with some notable highlights.

Set Two is really the set that people will talk about from this show, though-- not the jamfest that Night One had to offer per se, but the story was chronologically structured. They came out with a monstrous Gin that starts its jam segment at around 3 minutes before departing from Type I at around 8 minutes (side note: I've really loved Page's use of the synth this whole tour, I think it enhances the band's prog sound a lot). This opened the door for a nice, paced out Waves that transitioned into a more alternative Ghost-- this initial 'Ghost' portion lacked a substantive jam section, but, after being succeeded by Sneakin' Sally, the Story of Sally was truly underway with the Ghost tease beginning about 3:45 in-- the complementing jam section was almost a fusion between a Sally and a Ghost jam and it was really, really cool to see them push their musical limits in a creative manner. I'm not usually a big fan of Twenty Years Later and was a little surprised by the set placement, but it definitely continued the feel of the set and gave Mike a chance to lay some bass bombs. Waste was another interesting follow-up, but this tour they've really let loose after the vocal portion. Twist is REALLY where the mashup goes into another world-- there aren't quite discernable ends to the Twist/Makisupa/Martian Monster and the inclusion of lyrics and riffs from each song within the set prior was unlike any Phish experience I'd ever had. MEAP and More move away from this direction and really let Trey let it loose for a much higher tempo closing to the set before wrapping it up with a small Gin reprise to bring the story in full circle.

Contact is a favorite of mine and it was a perfect way to wrap up an awesome weekend at Deer Creek. Slave really capitalized on the whole tone of the second set as well. Deer Creek will be a must hit moving forward-- first time at the venue, but definitely not the last!


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