, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by FreeGhost82

FreeGhost82 This was my 3rd show and it was so much fun! Hearing/seeing a show online is VERY different than actually being there. There were so many different age groups in Charlotte: young kids playing with glowsticks, young teens smoking and drinking and kissing, husbands and wives, singles with friends, and older folks enjoying the ride! Many people I met had birthdays that day or said it was their first show.

Since I had gone to the previous Charlotte show, I was going in with some idea of a few songs I wanted to hear, but I kept an open mind since I knew Phish had been in an experimentation mode this summer!

Mike's for an opener was shocking! I didn't expect it at all! The crowd went nuts! I instantly thought, dang, this is going to be really fun! Then Back on the Train, which was on my list, and was played really well. Fun to dance to! I didn't expect Weekapaug so soon, though. Last time they played in Charlotte, they had more songs in the sandwich, so much that you forgot about the sandwich, so I have to admit, I wasn't too thrilled that it ended so soon. But, it was played really well, the band was tight and locked in with each other. The break during the week really did them some good!

Wow, my first of the new tunes: Wingsuit! One of my favorites on the album, and very interesting to see live. I sang along and felt like I was listening to a movie soundtrack or something! That song is perfect in the first set, too. Mike's drill is really loud! The band took a moment to pause and figure out what to play next. At this point, much of the crowd was calling out what they wanted to hear. One guy near me yelled, "Tweezer Reprise...right now!" Our area laughed! POSSUM started, which was fun. It had a really long build-up and everyone danced. Kuroda's lights started becoming more noticeable. Then, Tube, which was also played in 2012, continued the dancing and had some really great jam moments. People shouted excitingly for My Friend. The lights were really fun on that one, and Trey did the guitar-screaming-from-feedback-on-the-microphone thing.

Oh, but then Winterqueen hit and many people sat down or left to get more drinks. I felt bad for them because Winterqueen is a really beautiful song and it's just as great live as recorded! I saw a couple kissing each other a few times. Trey had a great solo there, too. I didn't really care too much for Beauty. The crowd was feeling anxious and I kinda wish they did something else, but hey, it's what they want to do. People typically really just want to dance around in the first set, and then be blown away in the second. That's usually how it works, but so far, this set had been a constant up-and-down of emotions. I was surprised with Bowie because it seemed too early to close the set, so I knew something had to come after it. They played Bowie last time they were Charlotte, too, and both times, it was flawless. Then a shocker to close set: GOLGI! Again, the crowd was so excited! Many, including myself, held up our ticket stubs!!

My friends and I decided to go on the lawn for the 2nd set so we could hear better and see the lights better. The vibe was weird where we were because it seemed like there was no energy. No one around us cheered, clapped, danced, or anything. I don't know what that was about, I didn't care. My friends and I did our thing.

Second set was really interesting. With 555 starting the set, I began to think, ok, they're really going to play around with placement at this show too. (I think they tend to do that with shows that aren't usually streamed or sold out.) Comparison: Mike started both sets. Then, CHALKDUST. I really didn't expect them to jam on it, but it was amazing! It was the third song with the "back on the train" beat at which I felt was being overdone at that point. But the jam was great, and I was focusing more on what Kuroda was doing, which was MAGIC during the whole 2nd set! The backdrop is such an asset to the other lights, and it really makes a difference with the vibe.

"EVERYONE GETS A FUEGO." My 1st one! I wondered what the 1st timers thought of it. Following CDT was a bit slower that I would have liked it to be, and you can't really dance to it, unfortunately, but I could run to it! I was really glad to hear it. I think Phish is letting everyone have one because it's such a unique song. The lights were really something in it, too. Someone wrote that they heard "Twist from miles away" from within the last min or two. I heard it too and got really excited. Woo! They jammed Twist for some time while I got lost in Kuroda's lights, especially taking notice of the small blue and purple circles that "twist around" within the longer & bolder lights. Phish then slowed the jam down and SEGUED SEAMLESSLY into CIRCUS! Woooowwww. That. was. it. THE first perfect segue of tour and it was totally unexpected and it worked! Any other time, that song would have lost some interest, but that was the right move. At that point, I thought, I think this show's theme is very lovey-dovey. So many slow-dancing type songs. Piper started up the excitement again and I quickly realized, you can't dance to that song! I don't know what you do, but dancing is not easy for that one! But I could easily see myself running or driving to Piper and Rift. I don't know how Fishman plays like he does. I would never be able to play that beat in Rift (or others) for that long without slowing down or stopping completely! That's tiresome!

I think somewhere into the 2nd set, Trey and the band did that start-stop thing and tried to make the audience "Woo" again like last year, but I don't think it quite worked out… I was like, ‘come on, guys, where is everyone at?’

Anyway, then my ultimate favorite song from the new album came to play: Waiting All Night. Man, this song just gets me right in the heartstrings. There's something so magical and beautiful about it. And it was absolutely beautiful with the color choices Kuroda made. I sang out every word, especially the main chorus, no shame.

Reba followed and easily excited the crowd again! It was absolutely flawless! The Zappa-esque rhythms and over-the-bar lines melodies were on point, and the jam was just amazing. It seemed to have lasted just the perfect amount of time, and Kuroda's lights were just breath-taking. In fact, there were multiple times when you saw the signature purple, green, and yellow light set during the whole show, which means that Kuroda is very happy with either the song or what Phish had played musically.

Zero continued the excitement, had everyone sing along and dance, and set ended. I don’t think Zero ends sets usually, so that was cool. Didn’t know what to expect for encore. I heard someone call “Suzy,” which would have been great, but then they came back out and played Loving Cup! Forget the whole no covers thing. I love LC!

Overall, the band experimented and had fun. They played cleaner than they had all tour so far, which led to more fun for them and a happy audience. Solos were good, but sound was bit weird. I really didn't hear Page all that well. Trey's guitar was a bit much, and it kinda drowned out everyone else, and one of my friends said that there was a weird back-n-forth sound delay from the large speakers where he was in the middle center. I don't know if that was the venue or what, but when we moved to the lawn, the view and sound was better.

Now, since I was there, I had a totally different perspective than sitting at home listening to a stream. After listening to the show at home, it was a really solid and fun show, but the experience of being there was really special. Every show is so unique, you have to just be there to know what's it's like to give the band your energy so that they enjoy playing there.

Thank you, Phish!


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