, attached to 2016-07-15

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Tweezer opener? Yes, please! Ass Handed was fun, though I was kind of the "butt" of the joke in thinking it was just vocals, and then the music came in. It reminds me of Ha Ha Ha. Well-played first set, but the real action for me came in the second. It's very obvious that the band was having a great time; for me, if I had been there it might've ranked higher for me--in this foolishness of ranking that we indulge in, at any rate--but while the quotes and teases are phun and provide a Phishy aspect to the show that hadn't quite cohered until last night, the segues are more appealing to the purely musical part of me, and the one into Stash is IMO barely even a -> rather than a >, while the one into Chalkdust is somewhat smoother but still not reaching the glories of the all-time Phish segues. I've said before that a truly great show cannot lack great segues; here, this show barely misses the mark of being truly great for me by lacking a big jam. Phish's Type II this Summer has been kind of samey to my ears, whereas I'd hoped they'd take the sheer peaking heat of the Watkin's Gin (ok, MagnaGin) and incorporate it into a broader repertoire of jamming tunes, opening up stylistically stolid jamming patterns into a more multicoloured palette that yet incorporates searing peaks. For that reason, 2015 seems eminent above 2016 so far, and I find more relistening value in a show like 7/27/14 or even 10/30/10 for anticky, segueing tease- or jam-fests, although those shows also lack the single revelatory cut, to borrow a term from esteemed reviewer and .Netter @waxbanks. Don't get me wrong. This is a great show. I just think we've yet to see an honest-to-goodness 5-star show from Phish this year, all things reconsidered. I look back--with smiles, of course--on 7/31/15, 8/1/15, 8/12/15, 8/22/15, several other segments from shows last year, and think yes, I'm willing to follow Phish down pretty much any rabbit hole they want to explore, but I'm having more and more difficulty as we approach the Dick's Run with no Fall Tour announced yet sublimating the salivation that arises when I think of how much I long for huge jams or even sets full of them. This is unconfirmed IMO, but someone in the Forum said the new studio album's done now, and I sincerely hope that that will free Phish to explore more, be it within the realms of the newer songs, album cuts or not, or just at all, in any song. This meandering missive is only really meant to satisfy my own need to codify my memory of the show, and shouldn't influence anyone else's enjoyment of it. As is often brought up to newer phans--and something we'd all do well to remember--Phish took years to hone themselves into the majesty of the mid-to-late 90s. In good conscience I have to rate this show a 4/5 for the reasons stated above as well as an intuitive hunch that Phish is burning nervous energy to some extent right now for reasons unbeknownst to me unless related to the rigours of recording an album, and that they will eventually channel the momentum from this summer into some truly inspired shows in the near future that will make this show seem in hindsight a stepping stone to greatness not yet uncovered.


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