Permalink for Comment #1378249158 by funkbeard

, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard At the same time, I think the band makes efforts to create turning points whenever possible.

'09 - Return, yet rough

'10 - The year ends with Trey abandoning rapid-fire playing and embracing slow, melodic phrases in his soloing.

'11 - Superball is a demonstration of song mastery, and, yes, the Storage Jam.

'12 - Making the grooves more masterful. The Long Beach Rock and Roll, and the actual departure into bringing that spirit night after night at Dick's.

'13 - The introduction of the analogue sbd, terrible storms. Secret Smile at the Gorge is the year's hidden treasure, and the Tahoe Tweezer follows. Also, the band starts really writing music again, debuting an album at Halloween.

'14 - The band starts figuring out how to swing the groove, to lead with the words rather than the groove. Many sets sound disjointed and many flubbed. Some are, on the other hand, incomparably brilliant.

'15 - 2015. A year of great grooves. A fattening of the sound. Not sure how I'd describe it. Band more unhinged, playing for the connection on the groove, rather than just in the arrangements.

'16 - Band striving for mastery of short songs. Fewer jams throughout the year. Band actually sounds at an impasse for much of fall tour, for unknown reasons. But they emerge triumphant at Vegas with the deepest jams of, possibly, their career. See Disease->Birds of a Feather.

'17 - Band has attained perfect unity. Trey steps back into the lead. Phish are a band that benefit most from taking on monumental challenges, and they rise to the occasion. At the 12/29/17 show, they play one of the tightest sets of their career, as though envisioned by one person thinking.

'18 - Building on the triumph of 2017, the band casts off all pretention, and allow the spirit of improvisation to permeate every aspect of their music. Some songs and shows are naturally more mellow, but the music, at its core, is the most authentic and honest. The band challenge themselves, I think, to play a greater show every night than the show before. An incredibly consistent year with an embarassment of musical riches.


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