Thursday 08/03/2017 by phishnet

MSG10 RECAP: O HOLY GROOVE

[Recap of last night's show courtesy of Nathan Tobey, user @IcculusFTW.]

Check phone for donut announcement Tweet.

HOLES. What could it meannnnn!?

Will they play “In A Hole” for real this time? Would that be too obvious? But weren’t “Harpua” and “Cinnamon Girl” obvious? Wait, does anyone but me care if they play “In A Hole?”

Also, those donuts look super tasty. Ah, what this triumphant run does to our minds.

“Baker’s Dozen” – taken together with the astonishing mini-run that led up to it -- has produced one of the most consistently thrilling runs in the band’s 34 year history. Just when Americans seem to be losing faith in, well, nearly everything – the world apart of Phish is exactly the opposite. Night after night, a band that – by any normal standard of band longevity should have long since become a nostalgia act -- is giving us new reasons to believe. And yes, last night, on August 2, 2017, they did it again.

Photo credit: Herschel Gelman
Photo credit: Herschel Gelman

(I had to webcast, sadly, but the power of this show was easily felt from far away).

One of the most fun aspects of this ridiculously fun run is how creative the band is getting dreaming up covers for the themes. Tonight’s show was no exception, opening with a brilliant choice – the debut of Tom Waits’ “Way Down In The Hole,” which any fan of “The Wire” knows by heart. Trey is obviously no Tom Waits, but Page’s solo hits the spot, and it’s fun to hear Mike’s bass in a tune I’ve heard so many times.

“Buried Alive” is almost always a good sign of a strong show, and this version is no exception. The “Kill Devil Falls” that follows is a focused, tightly executed first set affair. The rare “Guyute” is always welcome, especially in the first set, and, though Trey fumbles a few lines, it still delivers for a fourth song. Next, we finally get fish’s vacuum back out for the first time this year with “I Didn’t Know.” After a straightforward “NICU,” we get a much more intriguing take on the rarity “Meat,” only the 10th version since the band returned in 2009, and arguably the best. Rather than the usual stop/start breakdown, they stretch the songs’ basic theme into some wonderfully contorted places.

Photo © courtesy Stephen Olker
Photo © courtesy Stephen Olker

“Maze” makes any first-set better – and is highlighted (as always) by the Page/Trey interplay in the middle passage. It’s a fine version, but nothing special. This is one song that’s long overdue for another walk outside its normal walls (e.g. 7/12/03).

After a typically charming “Ginseng Sullivan,” we get a typically beautiful “Waiting All Night,” which I happen to love. The once overplayed “Heavy Things” is next, but it’s much more welcome, and often more interesting, in its old age. The version, while pleasant as always, is a bit of a throwaway. Note the laugh after “two holes in my face.” “Run Like and Antelope” may just be my favorite way to close a first set – and this one is fierce and well-played.

Overall, some great first set song selections – “Guyute,” “Maze,” “Antelope,” “Buried Alive,” – but I’ve been spoiled by the fantastic and incredibly rare (for 3.0) run of serious first set jams this tour. I’m hoping they return this weekend (the last one of note was 7/26/17). This was not a first set you need to rehear many times, but one that would have been a blast live.

Photo © courtesy Stephen Olker
Photo © courtesy Stephen Olker

The second set, unsurprisingly, was an entirely different story. Out of the gates with the long awaited first "Mike’s" of 2017, the chance for a second jam was on everyone’s mind. But it’s “Baker’s Dozen.” OF COURSE THEY’RE DOING THE SECOND JAM.

Only, this wasn’t just some novelty act. As good at the two second jams from 2015 are – this was another level. I’d go so far as to call it the most incredible “Mike’s Song” since Cypress (and I know 7-14-00 is great). Ok, who cares what you compare it to, stop what you’re doing, put on your headphones and listen to this immediately.

This is one of those Phish moments that words are not going to adequately describe. Suffice to say that there is superb lead playing from Trey, and the band segues – with throwback fog machine – into “O Holy Night!” Yes, the one you sang in school. Yes, the one from Christmas carols -- and it is gloriously haunting and perfect. In a run full of indelible moments, this one is among the most unforgettable. They harmonize, then it gets psychedelic, and then it gets as quiet as 20,000 people in Madison Square Garden can get before the jam fades away into “Taste.” At first, this call threw me a bit – not a typical placement, and now is not the time to just play a straightforward rendition of “Taste.”

Oh, ye of little faith.

They played one of – if not the – most amazing versions of “Taste” ever, with a spectacular eight minutes or so of must-hear improvisation.

Photo credit: Herschel Gelman
Photo credit: Herschel Gelman
At this point, it’s already one of those shows where whatever else happened almost doesn’t matter. It’s just a bonus. I mean, I’ll tell you about it, but they could have just walked off the stage and it would have seemed appropriate. But no, instead they continued with the best kind of “Wingsuit” – as a delicate coda to a spectacular sequence of deep improvisation. They earned this one, and it’s a fantastic version, full of power and perfect for the moment.

“Sneaking Sally” is a blast, as always, and moves after a (too) short bit of funk into a celebratory, set-closing “Weekapaug Groove,” that Trey ends with many deserved exclamation points. I always think of “A Day In the Life” as the perfect choice to close a special show – its timeless mix of melody and dissonance, whimsy and terror, Lennon and Mcartney, has a way of summing up the whole adventure.

So, where does this fantastic show stack up in the donut box? A first set jam would have been sweet, but once you get to the second set, I think about it like this: there’s a level of patient, connected inspiration the band can reach that is, for lack of a better word, magical. It’s rare for the band to be in that zone, but once they are, it’s not really a question of ‘better’ or ‘worse’ so much as your own taste. Is the 4-3-98 "Roses" "better" than the 6-14-00 "Twist>Jam"? Is the Went "Disease>Gin" "better" than the 2-28-03 "Tweezer"? Is the Tahoe "Tweezer" "better" than the 7-25-17 "Lawn Boy"?

Phish in 2017 – four guys in their 50’s -- has created moments like that almost every night. And last night, they did it again.

Faith, rewarded.

Photo credit: Jeremy Welsh
Photo credit: Jeremy Welsh

If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Phish.net. Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.


Comments

, comment by jimsleftear
jimsleftear Finally got to see an MSG show. So to that end I was pumped.
The first set was high energy and great fun. The "Way Down in the Hole" was PERFECT and set the tone. I've never seen the vacuum in person so that added to the vibe for me. Page was on FIRE during Maze and it drove that one to a fever pitch. Loved it.
The second set Mike's > Holy Night was incredible. In person I felt like the Taste dragged on as Fishman and Mike were locked in together trying to do one thing and Page and Trey were off doing another. Maybe on second listen I'll feel differently...
All told it was a killer show that demonstrates yet again how much the band enjoys inventing, joking, and playing....the reasons we all love them.
Cheers!
, comment by imdano
imdano Is the Went "Disease>Gin" "better" than the 2-28-03 "Tweezer"?

Absolutely it is, yes. You could have substituted almost anything for the "Tweezer" you chose and the answer would still be yes, however the fact that it's a 2.0 offering is odd indeed; at least to me.
I also happen to agree with previous comment and several others made that the taste was actually pretty static and not that impressive after a few minutes into the jam.
"O Holy Night" was definitely the highlight of the show
, comment by Shmendrick
Shmendrick Good writeup. But fück big Cypress. This Mike's Song is better.
, comment by unoclay
unoclay .... people saying this Mikes is better than Cypress? I loved it, but seriously people, keep some perspective.

Holy night was indeed the highlight of the show, for me, anyway. So cool
, comment by n00b100
n00b100 @unoclay said:
.... people saying this Mikes is better than Cypress? I loved it, but seriously people, keep some perspective.

Holy night was indeed the highlight of the show, for me, anyway. So cool
I think the 12/30/99 Mike's Song is a wonderful piece of business (and prefer it to last night's, just so you know where I'm coming from), but the idea that a version from the 21st century could outdo it lacks perspective is, in and of itself, actually lacking perspective. If you can't imagine that anything could top a version of a song played in that Florida swamp, especially if it's in a year that starts with a 2, then what in the world is the band bothering to continue onwards for, anyway?

Anyway, the second set was yet another jewel to add to the Baker's Dozen's already decidedly ostentatious crown. Mike's > OHN > Taste > Wingsuit is absurdly strong.
, comment by WalkLikeACanteloupe
WalkLikeACanteloupe I have found myself a little out of step with my fellow fans regarding how I rank the 10 BD shows thus far. Glad to see a review I really agree with! (Those are always the most insightful ones, aren't they?) I put "Holes" at number 2, right behind "Jam-Filled." A first set with Guyute, Maze, and Antelope? That's pretty sweet. Bust-outs of Buried Alive and Ginseng? A well-played and well-placed Heavy Things? I'm all in on that first set, thank you very much.

And then an entire second set Mike's Groove? With that delicious, delectable Taste and the most beautiful Wingsuit I've yet to hear them play? With O Holy Night to boot (taboot)? And that encore was just the chocolate peanut butter dust on top of a sweet sweet show.

This show has as much replayability as any show this year, including 7/25/17. I enjoyed it much more than 7/26 or 7/28 or 7/30, currently rated higher than this one among the consensus of dot net raters (although let me say here that comparing and ranking these BD shows is something of a fool's errand--we have truly been blessed with an embarrassment of riches. The "worst" of the ten BD shows so far (IMO, 8/1/17) is still a solid 3-star show, and I hold it in higher esteem than any show from 2016's "regular" summer and fall tours (i.e., excluding Dick's, Vegas, and New Year's runs). In fact, I could probably say that about any of the summer shows so far this year other than maybe Chicago night 1.

Thanks for another excellent review (and I tip my hat to the previous BD reviewers as well--you've all done a good job; I've really enjoyed reading the reviews of each of the BD shows).
, comment by Jayrizzledizzle
Jayrizzledizzle mikes song jams are too much of a ripoff of stranglehold by ted nugent to feel like much more than a cover. i attended 7-30 and 8-2, and ill take 7-30 for the win across both sets and as far as original music goes. i could do without 8-2 AND 7-26 set 1s entirely. they also ripchorded a great cover to play one that should be left alone, for an encore.
, comment by WhyDontTheyPlayBuckethead
WhyDontTheyPlayBuckethead So I know they worked the word "holes" into the set many times last night for the donut theme. But I can't help but notice how interesting the heavy devil / god / good / evil / life / death themes are. I might be stretching some of these, but I'm not sure you can call this a co-inky-dink.
Your thoughts?

Keep the Devil down in the hole
Buried Alive
Kill Devil Falls
Guyute - "As I sleep the sleep of death"
I Didn't Know - "Is that a picture of Otis Redding? Yes, right before he died."
NICU - is pretty damn dark lyrically. "I try to convey what you strive to condone"
Meat - is about death and ghosts... and feeding meat to them. "I need a resting place 'cause I already felt my body die"
Maze - "To the cavern of shame and the hall of dismay"
Ginseng Sullivan - "So I guess I'll never make it back to home"
Waiting All Night - "I'm so alone"
Heavy Things - "Stumbling as I fall from grace"
Antelope - "Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul"

Mike's Song - "This is the end My only friend, the end"
O Holy Night - need i explain?
Taste - "'Cause all I want is a taste for free" (kind of another The Wire reference)
Wingsuit - "Step outside, feel the sun It’s only you, be you, ‘cause you’re the only one"
Sneaking Sally - an all adultery song all day (up there with Baby It's Cold Outside)
Weekapaug - "Trying to make a woman that you move" (hmm?)

A Day in the Life - "He blew his mind out in a car"

Intentional? You be the judge. I don't know anything. But fun to think about.
, comment by User_22582_
User_22582_ lawn boy jam lovers/perhaps the band is looking You as pathetic. Joke. A song making all-time status " civility. The band loves to play inside practical jokes. Don't look now you are getting what you always drserved, happy happy life8!!
, comment by curleyfrei
curleyfrei Greatest band on Earth.
, comment by User_22582_
User_22582_ Greatest Mike's from your couch? 6 years after it was played beCAUSE you just turned 16?
you rank stuff like Phish MSG Summer in the City 2017 because it's impossible for you to resist JUDGING people, places and things?
The reviewer who discussed the song "meanings" is one of the very few Phish phans who adds to a meaningful discussion. So so many of you are being hosed, made the fool, sadly cannot break free of your impulse to spew out such soul crushing lines as "the band is inspired compared to (some inane time interval not relevant to anything) the avg song gap is 48!!"
Phish and the Team have been writing, rehearsing and now delivering a symphonic masterpiece where opera intersects with Bach pretty close to Broadway. Think CONTENT and meaning of what is being played out and then go and listen to Dec 31, 2013 (i know it's not "relistenable because the set closer wasn't 27 minutes) and read the fucking Book!!! per Trey's directive. This is where you may "find the light if you are looking right." Yes that's another clue...
Now please stop judging, criticizing the Divinely inspired, THINK outside of an arbitrary number like song length to connect with Grand Master Trey and really listen to 8/1 -8/2...46 Days contains a reference to The Devil right? The mood shifted , the STORY changed mood, we got Buried Alive in some deep dark hole, we tried to get out through the Weekapaugh Groove, but alas no. Our Captor would not set us free and we are stuck up in that "loop" described 7/30/17 Harpua as it's just another "Day in the Life."
Hopefully we are not "stuck in the Freezer" and The Book helps us escape because our Warden is clearly pissed off and seeing lots of RED...something our expert stream reviewers cannot possibly convey. So please stream watchers and setlist experts, study the content, context and subtext. My wish for you is not to "Get Fooled Again." Oh one last thing-to the "reviewer" who asked if anyone else cares if Phishes plays "With your A Hole" the answer NO!!! No one gives a shit (pun intended)
, comment by burlingtonnuthouse
burlingtonnuthouse I've been mulling posting this, I mull. I am not in here to protect you from me, I am the happiest idiot. I am in here to protect me from you. So I mull, you can too.
I sent the following to my family, after my parents recent visit. In my mulling, I realized that this is precisely how I am feeling about this band, and the associated family that suurounds me. To find me, you must have the Secret Bubble Mix. Follow the Secret Bubble Mix. Okay, love you all, ///////////
Quotes, etc.

I believe there is a pot of pure gold inside every family dynamic.

To find it, first you must believe in its existence. Then each family member must work for it, while they also lead their own individual lives.

And when we find it, it is a bit like a balancing act on a high wire. We all should be smiling at that sentence.

From my vantage, this family has found its pot of gold, and we are all very rich for it.

Love,

Andy
, comment by User_22582_
User_22582_ Greatest Mike's from your couch? 6 years after it was played beCAUSE you just turned 16?
you rank stuff like Phish MSG Summer in the City 2017 because it's impossible for you to resist JUDGING people, places and things?
The reviewer who discussed the song "meanings" is one of the very few Phish phans who adds to a meaningful discussion. So so many of you are being hosed, made the fool, sadly cannot break free of your impulse to spew out such soul crushing lines as "the band is inspired compared to (some inane time interval not relevant to anything) the avg song gap is 48!!"
Phish and the Team have been writing, rehearsing and now delivering a symphonic masterpiece where opera intersects with Bach pretty close to Broadway. Think CONTENT and meaning of what is being played out and then go and listen to Dec 31, 2013 (i know it's not "relistenable because the set closer wasn't 27 minutes) and read the fucking Book!!! per Trey's directive. This is where you may "find the light if you are looking right." Yes that's another clue...
Now please stop judging, criticizing the Divinely inspired, THINK outside of an arbitrary number like song length to connect with Grand Master Trey and really listen to 8/1 -8/2...46 Days contains a reference to The Devil right? The mood shifted , the STORY changed mood, we got Buried Alive in some deep dark hole, we tried to get out through the Weekapaugh Groove, but alas no. Our Captor would not set us free and we are stuck up in that "loop" described 7/30/17 Harpua as it's just another "Day in the Life."
Hopefully we are not "stuck in the Freezer" and The Book helps us escape because our Warden is clearly pissed off and seeing lots of RED...something our expert stream reviewers cannot possibly convey. So please stream watchers and setlist experts, study the content, context and subtext. My wish for you is not to "Get Fooled Again." Oh one last thing-to the "reviewer" who asked if anyone else cares if Phishes plays "With your A Hole" the answer NO!!! No one gives a shit (pun intended)
, comment by AbePhroman
AbePhroman Great review, sir. Bravo.
, comment by Kriddaz
Kriddaz Reporting from dead center on the floor, I'd say Kill Devil Falls was the highlight of that first set. Antelope will always get the room bouncing but that "oooooh whoa woaaah" section from KDF was scorching
, comment by SplitOpenAndMule
SplitOpenAndMule @Hammy said:
46 Days contains a reference to The Devil right? The mood shifted , the STORY changed mood, we got Buried Alive in some deep dark hole, we tried to get out through the Weekapaugh Groove, but alas no. Our Captor would not set us free and we are stuck up in that "loop" described 7/30/17 Harpua as it's just another "Day in the Life."
The devil revealed itself in Crowd Control on Tuesday, in fact. And it's undeniable that the death theme continues in Friday Night's See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.

If you have a theory about the overall story arc of the Baker's Dozen, I'd love to hear it.

Looking over the setlists, all I can gather is that on N1, our spaceship blasted off, we went into cryogenic sleep (inside the freezer), we've gone waaaaaaaaaaaay the f*** out into deep outer space (funk) (the music has been so so so so good), we had an epiphany about the finite nature of the entire universe (shaped like a donut) IMMEDIATELY before the arrival of the Monolith (2001, and I believe that placement is significant, also possibly signifying awakening from cryogenic sleep but not necessarily)... and then the Devil showed up and now here we are, Saturday morning, deep in a hole with our graves kept clean. Perhaps the finite shape of the universe is too much to live through...

If Tweeprise is the final song played of the BD (rather than ending N13 set 2, for instance), I fear we may remain frozen and asleep, flying unconsciously through the space of the donut for the rest of eternity...

That's my take on it, anyway. What's yours?
, comment by User_22582_
User_22582_ Love the in depth thought, The Golden Age-Leaves (Breath "not free" so it
Didn't wreck anyone's experience of no
Repeaters was pretty lively. Leaves is based on a book with the supposition tress communicate with great complexity we just can't understand them.
Oh, i see what you did-the trees are the coach potato heads and Song-length lovers speaking a different languge. Ooh I likey!! Really cool. Good stuff
Tonight We got out of Trey's holey hell when he
Took us to see Dinner and a Movie and most certainly when he proactively excercized his demons with his guitar raising Sunday morning preacher tidbit at end of Set I. First Tube just rocked !! Dancing like a man possessed with my wonderfully sensitive gorgeously elegant wife of almost 16 years.
See ya tomorrow
, comment by JuniorGong
JuniorGong My God some of you are insufferable
, comment by SplitOpenAndMule
SplitOpenAndMule @JuniorGong said:
My God some of you are insufferable
I'm not sure if that comment was directed to those weaving sci-fi/fantasy/surreal stories to go along with Phish's setlists, but based on the placement of your comment, I'm assuming it is, and just want to say that I think a mindset that scoffs at fans making up silly creations about a band that makes up silly creations is more insufferable than a harmless game of "What do you think this show spells?" You might not agree with an interpretation, but please, don't disparage creative fun as "insufferable."

Whatever the shows mean to you is not insufferable to me, and I think it'd be rude for me to even suggest that. Stay high and free, enjoy your experience of the music, and let others enjoy theirs.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Support Phish.net & MBIRD
Fun with Setlists

Warren Haynes: December 09, 2017
5 days ago
U.S. Cellular Center

Set 1: Miss You[1], Midnight Rider[1]

[1] Trey on guitar.

Check our Phish setlists and sideshow setlists!
Phish News
Subscribe to Phish-News for exclusive info while on tour!


Phish.net

Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal

© 1990-2017  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation