, attached to 2013-08-30

Review by nichobert

nichobert An interesting gimmick, sure to send some people pouring back though setlists looking for messages from the past. Fortunately, Esther is the only song representing the most common letter in the English language to be played more than 4 times.

Solid and concise Ghost as a surprise opener. Seemed Page doninated at first with Trey playing languidly, but then Trey went for the jugular.

eally enjoyed Fishman during NICU.

The 25th Icculus ever, and the 1st in set 1 since Halloween 95 was a treat and clued us that the fix was in. Before Heavy Things there's some funny banter about the chords and lyrics of Icculus and Heavy Things.
It's an interesting dichotomy. Icculus has foreboding music but (generally, brusquely) a message of positivity and hope for the future. Heavy Things has the happiest music ever, combined with lyrics that roam from sad sack to menacing and back again. "she rips and tears my ventricles, steals my one remaining breath" and what not.

During Heavy Things I said "if the next song starts with T they're going to spell Spell Something or Spell Anything backwards, In honor of all the people wondering if they'll spell something. Is Vegas taking bets on Esther and Ocelot?" - I was pretty close at least!

Page is so awesome on Heavy Things. Theme>Esther was a great pairing. Theme was paced well and really deliberate in its ascent whiie the Esther really popped. Moma seemed to tug at its leash, Fishman unleashing some tasty rolls. Ocelot broke free for a bit, It reminded me of one of those super patient Julius jams where they take it down quiet and slowly methodically work back upwards. Or maybe it's just like Julius in that it's hard to tell when one rises above the pack.

Stash went for MPPs title belt with some cool key changes. It didnt win it, but definitely my 2nd favorite Stash of the year. Fishman continued his MVP set with some unobtrusive woodblock / roto-Tom work. Mike added some really crisp basslines to counterpoint Trey's staccato pointilism as they slipped into a major key jam. Just phenomenal interplay in Stash again. It's so nice to hear Stash and Bowie regain their greatness through pure inspired communication instead of just tacking 10 minutes of extra jam on. Page's ascending chords into the crescendo and then Jerry Lee Lewising of the piano.. Golly. What a release! The second half of this Stash is amazing.

The Limb almost reprises the Stash jam in a few points with Page playing a similar style. It sounds like they're improvising the multifaceted surface of some glowing crystal in this jam. Poor Cactus seems a little insistent on taking into a darker realm. Or maybe he's just throwing the shadow that puts the jam into stark relief. They crest into the crescendo so nicely a and Trey fan shreds for a few seconds. Beautifully done Limb.

Easy To Slip.. Well. The beginning was a disaster. The first sign of some surprising sloppiness that would be an issue throughout set 2. The jam section has some great push and pull from Fish. I can easily imagine the triumphant ending chords being used as a launch pad for great things. Unfortunately, they may have just needed an E song that wasnt Energy - sure to be massive in the next 2 nights, or Emotional Rescue - played at Dicks last year.

On to set 2..

The Landlady segments in PYITE were really inspired and mildly atypical. Pretty great if you ask me. One of those PYITEs that makes me think about how surprising it is that they've never jammed this song out, or really done a monster segue into it. This one was dripping with potential!

I could have sworn I heard some DEG towards the beginning of the Sand jam last night but on re-listen im not hearing it. Trey keeps everything tethered to Sand for the first half, but Fish and Page are all over the place yet again. Then it mutates and it almost sounds like Antelope, Gin and Weekapaug for fleeting moments. At around 12 minutes it sounds a lot like a 97 funk jam from a Weekapaug. Things get kind of staccato, then things get incredibly sloppy. Mike stopped playing at one point and visibly sighed. It's great that truly sloppy moments stick out like a sore thumb now. Especially after my salad days in the 97-00 range when extreme flubs and slop were part of the package on a routine basis. But yeah. This Sand ends hideously. When Say Something started it made more sense. My assumption is part of the band thought they were going to work the funk jam straight into this. The other part didnt.

Say Something seemed less tight than the Phish debut, but it followed Energy's framework for new songs to a tee. Pushing the jam of the second version a ittle further than the debut. Nice melt into Walls.

Walls was bursting at the seams with energy. Page brought the thunder and Trey ended up getting really grimey with his solo. Great stuff.

Oh Kee Pah had some issues but it popped more than usual thanks to some incredible Fishman.

Hood showed major flashes of Worcester 2010 with the staccato interplay and some of Mike's specific basslines. Page on the Rhodes was a welcome addition keeping this plinko jam a little gauzy.

They've segued out of Hood a bunch of times the last few years, but this segue into Silent was utter perfection. I guess my imagination runs too wild, but I thought they were on the verge of going back into Hood every single measure of the Silent ending, oh well lol.

On one hand, I thought I loved this placement of Twist.. But then it seemed kind of anticlimactic. There were a few really cool wrinkles including one where they seemed to bore into a little improv black hole but they don't last long. Few seconds here and there. If I could back seat drive this set, I'd say Taste would be the exact right song to go in that T slot. We got some woos! And the. The crowd finally annoyed me with a Woo by doing it in Slave!

Slave started off really active, then calmed down to normal realms for the start of a Slave..ending up hitting yet another massive peak for the song. They're really blowing this one up lately.

Overall... I'd say it's a decent show. I'd expect the next 2 nights to top it handily though. Just a little disjointed from a setlist perspective and sloppier than I'm used to for 2013 Phish.

Seek out.. Stash, Limb, Hood-> Silent, Ocelot, Slave and Sand.


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