, attached to 2022-08-02

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Haven't been able to make it to a show on this tour, and life's been crazy enough to prevent a couch tour as well...until last night. The fellas must've known this is the one I'd be watching because GOD DAMN that was a hot show. Right out the gate from the Strawberry Fields Forever opener, I knew I picked a good one.

Set 1 opens with the four dudes huddled around a single mic--always a good omen. SBB and Crowd Control bustouts feel like a perfect way to start a strong summer show. The PYITE follow-up has a nice moment in the intro where Trey and Page perfectly syncopate on a fun groove for a minute, dragging it out like they used to. 46 Days has been one of the bigger hitters of 4.0, and though this version seems to rush a bit faster through Trey's solo section to the peak, a second jam emerges after the final chorus and bleeds into a lofty, airy bliss. As Trey and Fishman lay down some beautiful noodling together, you wonder "where is this going?" On a dime, the boys transition straight to YEM, which sees a classic Trey note, some exceptionally tasty Page, a really great Trey solo, and what seems to be the new norm of short VJ->instrumental jam. The final jam here evolves a little bit between keys and feelings, but Fishman remains strong throughout. From here, the band keeps up the pacing with a great Tube placement. Though a little shorter, this one still hits a sweet spot and every member of the band shines at one point or another. Shade serves as a nice breather before we dive back down for more with Reba, where the composed section struggles but the jam flourishes. As great as Trey sounds on this one, the real medal goes to the rhythmic section on this one, as Mike, Page, and Fishman all carry the groove and energy with awesome phrasing, fills, and board selection. With just enough time for one more tune, I'm expecting a quick SANTOS or something--which I'd be happy to take. Nope. Cavern closer was enough to send the crowd (and myself) into ecstasy.

To quote my post in the r/phish setlist thread: "I'm calling a fat Free." Boy, the Free was fat. Rarely a platform for extended jams, the Phish from VT open Set 2 with the second-longest version EVER at 25 minutes. Like 46 Days, the usual jam slot is on the shorter side and Free proper could've wrapped up at around 6 minutes. Instead, second jam eats like second breakfasts in the Shire and the boys spin this one around the block. Plenty of excellent meat in here from a nice rockin' peak to a funky Express Yourself jam, Mike's sopping wet bass to Fishman's Keith Moon fill style drumming...hear this one. It's spectacular. An amorphous and atmospheric outro serves up Esther on a silver platter (seriously, I love this transition). From here, we get a nice Blaze On that touches on some cool subdued jamming at the tail end. Instead of letting it ride, Trey ripcords into the Scents and Subtle Sounds intro. SaSS gets jammed out big time, too, hitting a phenomenal peak, almost falling apart for a second, but then recovering into a scorching upbeat full-band riff that ascends to another killer peak. One of the best I've heard. Again, a spacey, reverberated outro gives way to the next tune, which in this case is a groovy 2001. Though the space odyssey was shorter than hoped, the Split Open and Melt closer made things worthwhile. This is one of the weirdest jams I've seen these guys rip in a while--almost at a loss for words for how to describe this one other than "anarchic." Everyone is on a mission to drive dissonance and tension--one of those jams that you love but hope no non-Phish fans hear too soon. The transition back into SOaM territory is blazing fucking hot.

How do you encore a show like that? With a rare encore slot Bathtub Gin of course! A sweet upbeat Type I Gin encore takes us home in grand fashion, with plenty of Thank You's from Trey and a nice little Also Sprach tease right at the very end.

Killer show. Listen to Free, SaSS, and SOaM!


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