, attached to 2013-07-26

Review by Penn42

Penn42 If there were a venn diagram of people who like this show and people who are me, the diagram would be a circle. The first night of Gorge 2013 often stands in the shadow of the second night. Having attended both, I'm of the persuasion that this is the greater of the pair. For one reason: this first set. The second set too, but hawt dawg this first set kills.

This is by far one of my favorite first sets of Phish 3.0 and easily my favorite first set I've seen. The flow is just phenomenal. The Secret Smile > McGrupp > Curtis Loew segment is particularly good. I don't mind Secret Smile at all; however, when I was standing in the pavilion I was worried about how they'd get out of the mood change it brought. If the subsequent song was too rocking SS would have been like a giant gaping hole in the set. Yet another ballad would have been an energy killer. McGrupp couldn't have been a better choice. A song that starts delicately and builds energy? Perfect! It couldn't have been placed better. This is a damn fine version too. Then we get a little Page segue into The Ballad of Curtis Loew?!??! God damn that's just too good. Another fine rendition to be had here. Rarities galore! The Melt, whole quite excellent, is really just icing on the cake.

Set two is no slouch either. Crosseyed is a wonderful way to start the set and is also, ironically, my least favorite part of the show. The jam begins super raging, but once it starts to get out there it just derails and never fully gets back on the tracks. It rambles on, each member doing their own thing without much musical empathy for their bandmates, never really locking in, for nearly four minutes. A more appropriate name for this jam might be Willful and Powerless since everybody wants to go their own direction and a single direction is not decided upon for a long time. Until the Roggae jam, in fact, which just gets ripchorded for Twist.

Whew! That's quite a bit of negative for this being such a great great show! Despite its imperfections, Crosseyed really does do what it's supposed to: set the mood and get everyone raging. The rest of the set is damn spectacular. Great jams and great songs. Nothing super-duper standout, but the jams are fiery and the song selection is money. Plus we get some hilarious antics in the Character Zero that concludes the triple-closer finish.

Who's gonna argue with a Hood > Fire encore?

This is one of the most well-rounded and phenomenally structured shows of 3.0.


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