, attached to 2015-08-11

Review by JMart

JMart A comment about setlist construction stolen from an earlier review:

Hardcore, I mean *really* hardcore, phishheads focus on 93-95 as being a (if not THE) golden time in the band's history. I won't disagree, but it's not necessarily the era I personally associate with being the band's greatest (that being, for the record, 97-99). I think that has more to do with the fact that I saw more shows in that era, at a more impressionable age, than any attribute of the music itself. Comparing any era (especially those two) is an effort truly akin to apples and oranges, etc.

To the point: when you look at those 93-95 setlists, they aren't packed to the stuffing point with 20 minute ragers. Far from it. They *are* packed with 90 minutes of really tight playing and excellent song flow, even if there are very few true "->'s" to show for it. And there's nothing wrong with that. Far from it. IN FACT, when I think about it, I wonder how challenging it must be sometimes for the band to hit the stage for the second set acutely aware of the expectation that if there isn't at least one 20 minute rager or a truly epic "->" or some incredible bust-out, all the phans are going to say it was just an okay show and not as good as Sunday Alpine set 1 or Shoreline set 2 or anything from Atlanta. "Gosh," I imagine them saying to themselves, "isn't it more important that we go out there and play what what's in our hearts and have a good time? Can't we go out there and play two well constructed and well played sets and people will go home happy and content even if they didn't have to search for their faces afterwards?"

Yes, yes you can. And friends, that is what you get from this show: two well played sets of really good songs played to an appreciative crowd. And also a bustout. And also a couple of really decent segues.

Who knows who reads these things? I am a very critical phish fan and even I can't help thinking that this summer tour is special for the amount of creativity being displayed and, and this is the most important thing, fun being had. I'm really jealous of everyone who gets to hit more shows this tour. You may not have your face melted off, but if you look in the mirror, you may just find it smiling.


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