, attached to 2014-07-27

Review by unoclay

unoclay As posted to the forum last night:

2:01 AM, 28Jul, just home from Merriweather Post

It must be a thing this year; when phish play an epic show, you are then required to drive in a proportionally voluminous rainstorm. Barely missed wrecking my car in a pileup, i was swerving through deep rivers of accumulated highway water. Unexpected swaths of flooding and the resulting turbulence had smashed 3 others just before i swerved through; it was fine, i held the wheel, i kept the hand steady. It was close but not so much. The force was with me tonight. The rain was beyond. Liquid slamming down. I saw 4 or 5 lightning bolts slashing down to ground, all of them directly located in the general direction i was heading. Something awesome and humbling. And so appropriate, somehow. A capstone to a night.

The show should be called The Free-zer, or the Merriweather Post Freezer. Obviously that isnt everything one might mention about the show; the Catapult, the spirited goofs, the feeling you forget and forgot again. There was something tangible in the air; I’m not kidding; when the set started with Wilson i turned to Wenger and relayed what was coming down the psychic line, “Opening with Wilson? Something big is coming.” I don’t say dumb stuff like that lightly or often. Air. It can tell you things. Objectively, it definitely could have been a trickle down sensation from the approaching storm; perhaps my gut instinct came from subtle atmospheric pressure drops, or whatever. Crisp summer-yet-sweaty-air pockets. The goofs in Fee relaying some sense,a hint?, of a set to come. The Wilson; i dont have anything statistical to back it up, but it just telegraphed a vibe of calm-before-the-roller coaster. And then it all went off.

Man, this was One of Those Shows. It called to mind 7/11/00. I know, im on sacred ground here, but its like that sort of show. Like a goofy modern Roxy. The electric guitar from redhead guy might not be as fast or flashy, but all that Phish is in there, still, and when it erupts out, you get a thing like a show we saw tonight. The kind of thing where the cosmic goof, the band’s own laughter at themselves, is as important as what or how they play. The high water mark, perhaps, being, the I’ve Been Around march around the stage. For real. It might have been the best part of the show, the guys in a line. I still generally reject the idea of televising phish, but absentees should seek out the video of this part, or set, even. The band in a line, old friends in music and comedy, pranking Fish and then marching like goofy stageshow actors. Like I said, it might have been my favorite part of the show. It’s pretty tough to say.

It’s not Randalls or SPAC; it’s part of the hopeless schizoid cannon of phish. A smaller subset than the ‘forever jammin’ sorts of shows--almost the rarest kind of gig, in fact. 1 in 50? 1 in 75? More? There’s no one big gag to latch onto; no Tuck or Woo or Page’s House or Moby Dick or anything else; the Free-Zer transitions are really it, a willingness to T2 and be ridIcculus and all that sort of thing. The Jennifer Dances. The moment when he’s got nothing, then ‘takes a request from the drummer’. Yes. Yes, they remember. They just like to keep the suspense going. They know the jokes too. It’s pretty damn obvious.

Merriweather FreeZer, the truth, the kind of thing.
Phish 2014. It is oh so real. See you on the road.


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