SET 1: Evening Song, No Men In No Man's Land, Down with Disease, 20-20 Vision, Ghost, Gumbo > Rift, Weigh > Dog Faced Boy, Twenty Years Later > Tube > Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.
SET 2: Everything's Right > Beneath a Sea of Stars Part 1 > Set Your Soul Free -> Gotta Jibboo > Free > Piper, Drowned > Ass Handed > Chalk Dust Torture Reprise > Character Zero
ENCORE: A Life Beyond The Dream, Rocky Top
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Review by mgolia6
Disclaimer: Couch Tour
With a bun in the proverbial oven and greater Birmingham zip code, the wife and I had no conceivable way to make it to the big apple, so couch tour was the only viable option for this fandango.
Coming out of the micro tour of late fall and the micro jam phenomenon, I was conflicted as to whether I could enjoy a show via this long distance relationship.
Well, unlike my failed attempts, during late fall, at connecting to the band’s offerings south of the mason dixon, I locked in early and often for tonight’s performance. This show gave credence to the fact that the band could play a late-vintage heavy show and make it relevant AF (as the kids say)!
The first set included two debuts as well as a catalog of songs spanning the band’s many years, thus cohesively blending a melange of musical tapestries across a relevant aural landscape. Was everyone not happy? Were we not satisfied? Early type two in song two, No man’s gave that extra stroll through no man’s land before giving way to a solid DWD equipped with a sharply dissonant, and slightly extended, bass intro. Although the set had a start stop feel at times, it didn’t detract from the flow. Rather this ebb and flow at will musicianship lent a timeless feel to both sets. Set one certainly didn’t feel like a typical set one, felt like an atypical set one!! Lol’ing. Curating a strong first set disease, that scraped the edges of its shell at times and providing extended versions of Ghost and Tube, Phish expertly crafted this set like a cubist’s take on a gingerbread house. Punctuating the set with the KV rocker, SITMS, I slid into set break like some millennial into a DM. (Again, as the kids say these days!)
Paragraph Break musing here: Mike just seemed happy tonight. A completely different Mike from Carolina, this Mike was locked and loaded.
This set two felt like a set two. I found myself, in moments, lost in the ether, clawing my way back to surface of what song the current jam had formed out of. Everything’s Right successfully launched from the terra firma orbited the stratosphere with the help of Page and his super sonic synths. It was inspiring chilling in Page’s house from the comfort of my couch. Expertly navigating his way from synth to organ to baby grand with effects heavy playing, Page owned much of the second set. Landing in the stars, navigating through SYSF with its On Broadway nod, and somewhat crash landing in Gotta Jiboo, Trey let loose a few ultra sonic loops before Free was let loose and given a chance to breath, albeit briefly. This Free did have a slightly extended intro though it did not open up in the way this author hoped it would have (I would have been content with an all night Free jam rager that didn’t stop til the sun came up, but alas)!
What occurred next was Phish at its finest. Dusting off Drowned for the first time in 2019, our spacey exploration took back to earth and towards an oceanic shift (experts say that deep sea exploration is akin to outer space exploration) and had us swimming through some micro jamming before guy forget quotes started spilling from Fish. The phish dialogue segued into a mash up of ass handed and chalk dust reprise. Say what you will, a good time was being had by all. Zero brought set two to a close and aside from some technical mishaps on the screen share, this rocker took us to set close in the style we have become accustomed to. Effortlessly, Phish wove a delicate and substantial weave of ballads, old and new, jamming, and the phish antics that bring levity to their musical brilliance. They touched on all things that make them Phish.
Life beyond a dream is such a beautiful song. It’s one of those songs that nestles itself just below the skin, comfortably and grows as part of ones being. Like many in the Phish cannon, it has become as comfortable as my dogs head resting on my leg. Makes me tear up when, from the resting spot, she looks up and locks eyes with me.
And had we ended here all would be right with the world. Some sanctity would have been restored in the universe owing to the majestic playing of our favorite band, But No...rocky top comes screaming from...well...the rocky top of the Tennessee mountains. Page screaming away on that baby grand, the band locked in and loaded, exploding from the quick 2 minute ballad, bids us adieu and leaves everyone thinking: if I wasn’t planning on tuning in tomorrow, well, maybe I should. You definitely should.