Monday 06/24/2019 by phishnet

MPP2 RECAP: CROSSEYED AND NOT SO PAINLESS

[We would like to thank Cotter, the youngest fan ever to recap a show for this blog, for recapping last night's MPP2 show. -Ed.]

Phish means more to me than nearly any other aspect of my life, so the months leading up to any given show are filled with anticipation. I imagine I’m not alone in this sentiment, but my point of view may be different. Being a diehard Phish fan in high school is one hell of an experience. Be it the incessant checking of this very site in class, or even explaining to people that "no, I’m not in love with a water-dwelling animal, but instead with the magic four middle-aged rock stars produce." This leads to some pretty obnoxious scorns, but shows like last night make it worth it. The 40-minute drive north was chalk full of questions by my family on setlist predictions and song meanings, but that’s really not a problem, as I’ll proudly flaunt whatever knowledge such an obsession leads to. Now to the music.

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

The "Carini" opener was obviously welcomed with open arms. I liked the jam that ensued, and based on the reactions by those around me, almost everyone else did as well. The first thought that popped into my head was the "Fee" from 7/27/14, another Sunday Merriweather gem, and I started to draw parallels between the weirdness of the two openers, and chills followed as I wondered what was next in store. "My Soul" did nothing to dampen this idea, as the dancing continued. Then onto "Rift," my first phish love, which brought back memories of building elaborate Star Wars structures with my little brother. It was relatively well played with a few bumps here and there, but it’s a tough solo, and we still love you Trey!

"Gumbo" sent the crowd into a frenzy, and I can’t remember a more welcome falsetto ending than Trey's during this jam. The “oh crap I didn’t let Page do his solo” look, and the two extra minutes of funk, were awesome and were well deserving of the hollers from many around me. "It’s Ice" seemed like a change, maybe not in energy but in pace, and a fun Page-and-Mike-led jam followed.

Then the four song slowdown arrived, and the general mood followed suit. "Winterqueen" began the slowdown, but Trey's solo was fantastic, and I don’t think anyone can say it wasn’t pretty, so I had absolutely no quarrels with it. "Yarmouth Road" is always a fun sing-along, and it felt like Mike’s first real moment of the evening to shine at the microphone, so I was still out of my seat and dancing like only 17-year-old knees can. "Shade," much to nearly everyone’s dismay, slowed the slow-down even more, but then again, if all Phish fans had their way, only about 30 songs would be played all-too-frequently and whatever surprises a show offered would be taken away.

"Halfway Home" came next, and while it was my least favorite of the quartet, I was still standing for it. I am certainly no jaded vet with 20+ plus years of experience under my belt, but I still know a lot about Phish. I know for sure that no one knows what’s coming next, or what songs they’re going to jam, and---much like last night---what songs they’re going to bust out. So for this reason, I never want to miss a moment, and I’m sure as hell not going to let a four-song stretch of music ruin a night that’s been built up for so long. That’s just my two cents.

"The Wedge" was received in a much different fashion by the crowd, as most everyone stood back up and began the telltale jam-band dance. "Run Like An Antelope" damn near burned the place to the ground, while CK5 brought the lights to near seizure inducing levels.

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

The second set lived up to the all too common mantra, “never miss a Sunday show," while Trey might still be waiting for "Crosseyed and Painless" to end I’m still waiting for the hair on my arm to sit down after the note Mike hit during "Everything's Right."

Speaking of, the second set opened with a solid "Crosseyed and Painless," which jumped right into "type 2" territory with Mike leading the jam, which I feel like he’s done all weekend. "Everything's Right" came in the two hole, and a solid dance party obviously followed with some weird experiments going on towards the end with Page”s new found toys. "Ruby Waves" was my personal highlight and the woos were well deserved to my ears. The segue into "Twist" was the best segue of the night, and made the near permanent smile on my face even larger. "2001" was a dance fest with a glow stick war like always, but a relatively short version gave way to the crowd favorite, "Blaze On," which ended the second set with about as much energy as it started with.

At this point I checked my phone and saw it was only just after 10:30, and I wondered what kind of weirdness we were about to experience. The weirdness was a "Maze" in the encore slot for the first time ever, and in my view it was incredibly well played, with Trey hitting every note on the white-light-backed solo. "Waste" came next, garnering groans from even me, the most optimistic 3.0 fan ever. "SANITY" was amazing, and all 20,000 collectively lost whatever marbles they had left, as the guy in the row behind me can attest: he screamed like there was no tomorrow for a solid two minutes. The closer was the seemingly all knowing "Wilson," which thousands of Phan’s were more than willing to sing after going insane just prior.

All in all it was a fantastic show with some great highlights, and much like my previous 12 shows, it will not soon be forgotten.

Thank you Phish, for everything.

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

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 gratefulterp
gratefulterp Thanks for this recap. I enjoyed reading it.
, comment by bbowen
bbowen Nicely done my friend. The insights of a jaded vet with the optimism of a first timer. Keep on writing and keep on rocking. Hope your 14th show is just as great.
, comment by FunkDog
FunkDog This was my friend's first show. It was great to be there with him. He loved every song. The only thing is that the significance of "Sanity" and "Gumbo" and other aspects of the show were lost on him. I tried explaining. To him, they were just another amazing Phish song to enjoy. His favorite concert as an adult. Impressed with just the ability to play like that so long.

Last night was one of those shows that I felt like I won the lottery. If I knew what winning the lottery feels like.
, comment by JackFromWitchita
JackFromWitchita Great review, as someone who is also a 17 year old Phish fan. Constantly dealing with confused friends wondering why I am looking at setlists and song histories during class. I was there for N1 but couldn't make it to N2, anyway way to represent us young Phish fans!
, comment by InsectEffect
InsectEffect Solid recap, thanks!

I have to elevate these notes @Laudanum posted on the setlist page:

The first 45 minutes are one long jam sequence, with callbacks to the opening Crosseyed in the subsequent Everything's Right and shiny-new Ruby Waves. Anyone with an interest in 3.0 is probably familiar with the Crosseyed sets by now, but this one has a wrinkle or two. Here, the 'still waiting' line is sung over two polyphonic grooves that eschew the typical rock peaks for loping, skipping beats and airy, even happy, playing.

When the Crosseyed motif shows up a third time in Twist, it's at a point where the band has dropped to near silence in a breakdown of the familiar Twist jam, encouraging (without urging) the crowd to sing along, and when they do it involves them directly in the creative process in a way that the recent woo breaks have not.

The effect, then, of hearing the Crosseyed motif re-purposed and presented in multiple ways is sort of like watching an origami master folding shapes. See this crane? Now it's a fox. Now it's a squirrel.

Combine this style of playing with Trey's interview quotes referencing jambands needing to move beyond the '70's, and maybe we can catch of a glimpse of where they're heading this year, i.e. an aesthetic focused on the new, whether that be songs themselves or former jamming styles deconstructed and rebuilt. A listen to some of the other jams of the tour (Blossom Birds, Charlotte Jim) give credence to this theory, but who knows? The sheer unpredictability of 1.0 is back, with changes from tour to tour and even show to show. As phans, that's something we should all be celebrating.
I love these observations, which echo my quick note about the Roo2 "Twist":

The Twist jam is time-distorting... incredible what the band can do with 10 minutes. Patient and purposeful, ascending to heavy cosmic prog. Doesn't "peak" but goes deep instead, which is essentially an inverse peak, earth rather than sky. Do we have a name for that?
While not totally unique, the band does seem to be emphasizing these subversive and deconstructive approaches A LOT more this tour, which is (so far) producing mostly shorter, more compact and dynamic jams that together comprise incredibly fluid (sometimes set-long) sequences. This bodes mighty well for the continuing tour. Lively up myself!
, comment by JMart
JMart Thanks for reminding this old-timer that no one sequence of songs should ever taint what happens next. I failed at that on Sunday. I guess I’ll have to practice at more shows :)
, comment by PhanFromWI
PhanFromWI I thought I was fortunate to find Phish and all that it is and comes with it at the ripe age of 17. That was the Summer of 2000. Today as I enjoy the writing of a current 17 year old, with 13 shows under the belt, it makes me smile as only Phish can...

I have a 5 year old who was disappointed just as much as anybody about Curveball... Because his two favorite things in life are Phish and Jamming to Them, and Playing Baseball.. What I am getting at is that my Father shared his "Love of Music" with me, and I have in his very short life shared "The Love of Phish" with my son.

If this band is still playing in 12 years when my son is celebrating the summer he turns 17, I hope I am on show 100 and counting and he is hovering right around your mark. Great writing and thanks for making this old head feel like a young Phan touring for the 1st time again. Enjoy the ride.

Phish is DEFINITELY the best thing I attached myself to at that age...
, comment by Phescado
Phescado I saw my first show many years before Cotter was even born, yet he still wrote a more insightful and interesting review than I ever could have. Well done, I enjoyed the hell out of this review and look forward to hearing more from you.
, comment by Drewvolution
Drewvolution Better than many I've read, but sometimes less words or notes speak louder. Glad you enjoyed yourself!

Notes: Focus less on the crowd and more on you and the band.
, comment by kidrob
kidrob Awesome review! It’s great to see that a few youngsters are becoming passionate about phish. According to Trey, they’re going nowhere! So you’ve got plenty of great epic phishing left!
, comment by lbag420
lbag420 Great review man.
I am still hving trouble getting my brain working after the shows but you have a excellent review man.
Such a good review my plan is to try and memorize it and then try to repeat it when people ask how the show was.
I hope thats cool with you
;)
, comment by dertyhippie
dertyhippie Awesome review Cotter! A bit of what's to come from an older fan, the scorns from those who dont "get it", dont just happen to highschool aged fans. I still get those and the same " You're going to see Phish again? 2 nights in a row? You've seen them how many times? Why?" Questions and looks at 40 years old. I've pretty much given up explaining it to those and usually respond with "Why not?" Please dont ever let anyone's ignorance deter you from something you love my Phriend. That being said, Walking around the venue this weekend, mentioning numerous times to my friends, some a bit older than myself as well as seeing shows with them for 10+ years, that I was really noticing all of the "younger, wide eyed" fans. Turning 40 this year, I still feel as excited for shows as I did when I was 16. It just take a bit longer to recover after shows these days despite being sober. It really hit me this weekend, seeing so many newer, younger phans, kids the same age as I was when I fell in love with this band and its phans. Maybe it seemed there were more than usual because im begininng to come to terms with my own age, mortality, growing up, maturation finally. Ive had the privilege of seeing this amazing band and being a part of this collective journey for over half of my life now. There was something unknown and amazing back then that obviously translates still, 25 years later. My only hope is all you "noobs" get to experience the joy Phish has given us "jaded vets" half as much as we have. From everything I saw out there this weekend, I'm pretty sure thats not going to be a problem. Thanks for making my show experiences that much better. Most of us need to remember we were once those wide eyed noobs as well. 13 shows or 330. We still never know what's going to happen next. While the set list might not look good on paper or jam charts, ive yet to ever have a song, show or setlist keep me from seeing or hearing the next one. My favorite shows will always be the one I was just at and the next one I'm going to see. Thanks again for your youthful review and have a good show my Phriend.
, comment by aeklund
aeklund I want to tell you that I appreciate the fine words written by a young person. Plus -- and I can't stress this enough -- a young person who can WRITE WELL! :)

I'm 50 and started seeing this band when I was 24. When I'm at a show, I'm always 24. Or 35. Or 18. And that's the point. Phish is an ageless band playing ageless music. In Trey's most recent NY Times interview, he said as much:

Interviewer: But I’m curious about what a midlife crisis might mean for someone who’s spent the better part of 35 years in the extended adolescence of a rock band.
Trey: This is a good door you’ve opened. I’ll step in. It is true: Being in Phish is a bit of an extended adolescence.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/24/magazine/trey-anastasio-phish.html

There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I feel Phish keeps a part of me perpetually young. Keep going, my friend! Never give up! I'm about to go to three nights at Alpine myself for the millionth time, and I look forward to the lot scene, the grilled cheese, the hula hoops, the whoops from all of us headed onto the hill, the evening sky, the show, and the memories to be made. OK. I'll admit. At 50, I'm more likely to head out and play some golf during the day, and having figured out at age 45 that I needed to get sober, my days prior to the show are more clear headed.

And of course, all of this is right. Everything's Right just so hold tight.
, comment by makisupamikey
makisupamikey @FunkDog said:
This was my friend's first show. It was great to be there with him. He loved every song. The only thing is that the significance of "Sanity" and "Gumbo" and other aspects of the show were lost on him. I tried explaining. To him, they were just another amazing Phish song to enjoy. His favorite concert as an adult. Impressed with just the ability to play like that so long.

Last night was one of those shows that I felt like I won the lottery. If I knew what winning the lottery feels like.
What was the significance of Gumbo and Sanity?
, comment by cmg348
cmg348 Talented young writer.
, comment by CForbin
CForbin I love and relate to your enthusiasm - I am 45, first saw Phish when I was 17, and I remember the curiosity and excitement of driving hours to see this intense band who would leave a pile of burning ash and rubble wherever they played. Fast forward 28 years and the feelings of curiosity, anticipation, excitement are still there - and they STILL burn it down on a regular basis!! I missed a very large chunk of time seeing them, and even now don’t get to see them as much as I would like (every show?), which I think adds to my deep respect, admiration and appreciation for everything they do... I was moved to tears of joy during Antelope, and more tears of reflective sadness/joy/appreciation during Waste - no groans for this beautiful encore. Then Sanity, I exploded - taking the opportunity to relish in the moment... because you never know when or if there will be another moment. Maybe it’s age, maturity, experience, but I try to savor every note and every moment... and Sunday was no exception. Like you I looked at my watch at 10:30 and thought, “man there’s room for a double encore..” but even if not I would accept and enjoy, and then they hit us with 4. What a reward!! I was curious if Maze was ever in the e spot, thanks for answer!
Great review, blaze on!
, comment by cannabination
cannabination @InsectEffect said:
Solid recap, thanks!

While not totally unique, the band does seem to be emphasizing these subversive and deconstructive approaches A LOT more this tour, which is (so far) producing mostly shorter, more compact and dynamic jams that together comprise incredibly fluid (sometimes set-long) sequences. This bodes mighty well for the continuing tour. Lively up myself!
The Tweeprise bit of the Crazy Sometimes at Blossom also comes to mind here.
, comment by Justplainjohn
Justplainjohn @makisupamikey said:
@FunkDog said:
This was my friend's first show. It was great to be there with him. He loved every song. The only thing is that the significance of "Sanity" and "Gumbo" and other aspects of the show were lost on him. I tried explaining. To him, they were just another amazing Phish song to enjoy. His favorite concert as an adult. Impressed with just the ability to play like that so long.

Last night was one of those shows that I felt like I won the lottery. If I knew what winning the lottery feels like.
What was the significance of Gumbo and Sanity?

I'm guessing rarity, especially when talking about Sanity.
, comment by Karl_Hungus
Karl_Hungus Spectacular review. Hope to see a lot more content from Cotter in the future
, comment by Tando
Tando 17 years old... 12th show... nice.
, comment by makisupamikey
makisupamikey @Justplainjohn said:
@makisupamikey said:
@FunkDog said:
This was my friend's first show. It was great to be there with him. He loved every song. The only thing is that the significance of "Sanity" and "Gumbo" and other aspects of the show were lost on him. I tried explaining. To him, they were just another amazing Phish song to enjoy. His favorite concert as an adult. Impressed with just the ability to play like that so long.

Last night was one of those shows that I felt like I won the lottery. If I knew what winning the lottery feels like.
What was the significance of Gumbo and Sanity?

I'm guessing rarity, especially when talking about Sanity.
I was wondering if this is what he meant...despite the fact that Sanity was played already in 2019 and fairly recently at BD.
There were far rarer songs than Sanity that night, and Gumbo is certainly in rotation. Maybe they were just special to that guy.
, comment by bobo697
bobo697 "[...]if all Phish fans had their way, only about 30 songs would be played all-too-frequently and whatever surprises a show offered would be taken away."

OMG Thank you for this. People can complain about set list flow I get that. But if Phish only ever played what we wanted it would lose ALL unpredictability. And unpredictability is a cornerstone of a Phish concert.
, comment by StillWaitingforSuzy
StillWaitingforSuzy It was my 3rd Phish show, and I appreciate the review. It was good to hear a bunch of songs for the first time, and am glad to see folks are still enthused to see the band whether it's their 14th or 50th show.
Anywho, I've been thinking about the strange and somewhat sleepy first set and wondered if I am the only one who noticed the overarching theme of the first set being the change of the season and the juxtaposition of hot and cold in a lot of the lyrics? Maybe I'm crazy reading too much into it and it's just a coincidence, but you've got:

Gumbo: Trapped in the snow / hot sand
It's Ice: Ice
Winter Queen: Winter Queen/ Summer Queen, Butterflies and Bees; Ice and Snow
Yarmouth Road: "Buzz with the Bees and Hang with the Honeycomb"
Shade: "Gets so cold in the dark of the night - And I only like the shade when you're blocking the light"
Halfway Home: "Waked outside in my winter coat - I can feel you here in the cold" - Halfway Home also could be a metaphor for changing of the start of summer?

If you're reading this and thinking maybe I'm on to something, you'd be crazy if you didn't think Trey brought it to a close at the end of the 2nd set with Blaze On, kinda as an afterthought to the motif, and also just to say that now that it's summer it's gonna blaze on.
, comment by pureguava
pureguava Loved the review but you listen here everyone: Waste is a beautiful song. ;)
, comment by joeylew74
joeylew74 Cotter thanks for a fun review. Good to hear some non jaded thoughts. Cross Eyed and the sanity wilson closer did it for me. weather was great, good friends and good phish.
, comment by Ceviche_Mixto
Ceviche_Mixto Great review Cotter, thanks for representing all the high school fans out there & appreciate you volunteering! Keep doing your thing. I always read the reviews but have never added to the dialogue so figured I’d do so now since I was in attendance this past weekend and left Sunday night more than satisfied. I'm also just generally excited about this tour - is it me, or do odd numbered years seem to be above average for Phish? Here is my lengthy commentary, of course please feel free to ignore my (relatively) pointless banter…

MPP2 was my 70th show, all 3.0 since I was in middle school as of 2004 (could that make me a “jaded noob”? Is there such a categorization? LOL). Though I haven’t yet listened back, I thought Sunday was fantastic and have zero complaints about any of the songs or set flow. To me, the first 40-minutes (Carini > My Soul > Rift, Gumbo, It’s Ice) represent what I love about Phish – an eclectic mix of genres & pace changes, technicality and jamming (a slight flub here and there but otherwise pretty darn good). Winterqueen came next (only other that I’ve seen was @ Randall’s) and at this point of the show I thought a slow-down was appropriate given the energy from the previous 5-songs (just my opinion though). I look forward to listening back to this version. Yarmouth Road’s silly lyrics provided for some fun people watching from my post against the front lawn rail (quite entertaining to see people of all ages “hang with the bees and buzz in the honeycomb” on the cement pathway below), and Shade was a nice surprise for my fiancé, providing an opportunity for us to embrace each other in slow-dance (there are thousands of different preferences at every show, so there’s gotta be something for everyone!). The details of Sunday's Halfway Home is a bit of a blur for me, though I will say – again my opinion – that I personally like the GOTF additions more than previous non-Phish song additions including certain of the Kasvot Vaxt & Thrilling Chilling Sounds songs. Many likely disagree (perhaps strongly, in fact is it taboo for me to say that or do others agree?) … GOTF is certainly not for everyone, and can be a little dismal but in general a welcome addition in my book.

I will need to listen back to the show in its entirety to offer a more precise evaluation but overall I thought The Wedge>Antelope, the entire second set and encore were excellent. Maybe I was having too much fun or was too far from sober to critique the show as much as I inevitably will during my second listen-through, but I guess that’s good right? Having recently moved back to the west coast (after 8-years in NYC) I’m still adapting to life with Phish being significantly less accessible than before. Unless I attend Mexico, these will be the only 2 shows I’ll see until next summer (and were the only 2 I caught since attempting to attend Curveball) which doesn’t quite reach my preferred quota. Songs like Yarmouth Road used to warrant a grumble or two from me, but not so much nowadays. The comedic, yet emotional and unpredictable nature of each Phish show is like traveling internationally … you never know what you might see, hear or experience. Even Waste – albeit on the slower side – was a beautiful addition to the encore, especially since my friend had bartered a “Come waste your time with me” pin for a cigarette prior to them starting Maze. Funny how things work out – the value of that pin appreciated 400% in just 2 songs (jk)! Might be the same with the hot/cold juxtaposition mentioned above – just a “coincidence” – which I believe is likely given the expansiveness of the band’s repertoire and the post-diction interpretations you could offer from any set list, but you (certainly not I) never know the extent to which those things are planned. Phish is no coincidence, but rather all the energies perfectly colliding in space and time.

I love that this exists. Thank you all for contributing to one of the most special things in the world.
, comment by Lisahw
Lisahw You are such a good writer! I really loved this review. "17-year-old knees" made me laugh out loud since dancing on these 43-year-old knees is not easy sometimes. Enjoy the next one!
, comment by InsectEffect
InsectEffect @cannabination said:

The Tweeprise bit of the Crazy Sometimes at Blossom also comes to mind here.
Totally! I missed that on my first listen, thanks for pointing out. "Crazy Sometimes" was an insanely good call after that "Birds." Easily one of the strongest sequences of summer so far.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Support Phish.net & MBIRD
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 | DMCA

© 1990-2019  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation