, attached to 2015-08-22

Review by RunawayJim4180

RunawayJim4180 As much as I tried, I wasn't able to attend this show due to myraid reasons (not least of which finding the time/money to fly out from LA). Excuses aside, I've finally found time to listen to this one after hearing only random clips here and there...

Set 1:
Divided Sky-This is one of the tunes that got me hooked on this band (the Junta version, that is). I used to play it for people late night at our fraternity parties, after Jay-Z and Ludacris had their run. This version is fine, nothing out of the ordinary really (though has anyone noticed Trey's guitar tone trending back toward the 2.0 "dirty" sound that growls a bit more than it barks?).
Moma Dance-Who doesn't love their Moma? Standard version for the most part.
Mound- A little bit of a sloppy intro that leads into a rather poorly played Mound. Seems like this one had a layer of rust.
Army of One- This was cool to hear! Page does a nice job on vocals and this version is quite nice with the baby grand doing most of the work.
Scabbard- Sort of a throwback to early Phish compositions that contained odd time signatures that eventually come together into a nice groove (see: Divided Sky). This one seems to fit better on a TAB setlist, but I have to say the last minute of this version is pretty sweet.
Sample- Standard juke box fare, more fun live than on "tape".
Tube- Sounds like Trey is nailing the Echoplex halfway through this one to some good effect. Solid, if short, Tube.
Halfway to the Moon- This one has a lot of potential to jam, and although that wasn't realized here, its gotten better and better every time out (I was at its debut in SPAC in 2010 and it was pretty boring then).
Camel Walk- Kind of like Moma Dance, its hard not to love this dance favorite. Decent version here, nothing to return to though.
How Many People Are You- Nicely played. You can hear the practice shine through on this version, which sounds like its inspired directly by "The Who"
When the Circus Comes-A bit of a downer here for an afternoon set. Ok playing.
Undermind-The lite and sweet warmup for Antelope, though a well played version in its own right. Trey has shaken off some early flubs and the band is much tighter as a unit because of it.
Antelope- Ok, now we're getting somewhere. Typical buildup to a brief period of exploration into a strong peak, an above-average version that should be revisited. Good example of the tension and release style that so typified early Phish.
Overall, a decent set, but will likely only relisten to the Antelope.

Set 2:
Wolfman-Sliding into a familiar set opening spot, its still a bit disarming to hear Trey mostly take a backseat on a Wolfman's, but it works to good effect here. Mike and Fish lay a nice bed of rhythm for Trey to pluck a few hazy notes rather than drive, and Page works the piano to round out the solid take.
Halley's Comet- My version features a lot of crowd talking during the intro, so it sounds sloppy. Decent version, but there's better stuff here...
46 Days- Starts off ok, hits a rough patch around 3 minutes in where Trey can't quite figure out the direction he wants to take. Fish really doing nice work to continue the upbeat direction, but still meandering a bit and sort of falls apart again around 4:45 and kind of floats aimlessly despite Page's best intentions to take it up to blissful mode. Trey finally settles in around 7:50 and the rest of the jam is a sort of feelgood distant cousin of the Bethel Waves soundcheck. So I guess its 50% of a strong jam?
BDTNL- This tune gets a lot of hate (and you can hear a lot of chatter on the AUD) but I enjoy the message and the music more and more as the years go by. I'd say the version from the LA Forum is the stronger of the two, but this one isn't half bad.
Tweezer- After the standard intro, this one gets dark around 5 minutes in. Mike drives the train for a few minutes while Trey blasts out bursts of notes with the Echoplex. Weirdness settles in at 8 mins, but you can hear Trey already teasing taking this one to major chord territory. The rest of the jam is an uplifting Mike and Page show with Trey strumming Bobby Weir-esque chords until fully taking over around 13:30 with some soaring licks that dance amongst the clouds for a bit and dissolve into the space that sounds as if it would be filled by 2001, but it turns out its...
Prince Caspian- I'd agree that this is a Tweezer jam in the middle of Caspian, which serves as a bit of a fake out to the audience perhaps? As in, here comes Caspian to ruin the set, and then Tweezer comes back and rips? This closing sequence is excellent and saves it from a good but not great designation. A strong 4 out of 5 star set overall.

Set 3

Meatstick- I think this tune has had its day, but its a good sing a long. Not a keeper version
Blaze On- I like the potential of this one! An initially funky version that again feels well practiced given its newer status. A period of bliss ensues, followed by some dark start/stop jamming that serves to detract a bit from the overall jam.
Possum-One of my favorite live tunes, pretty straight forward here on tape.
Cities- Dark and dirty version, though I'm still having some issues with Trey's tone here (not as clean as other version, more power chords, etc). I'll have to get over it, but the MLB tease was cool nonetheless.
Light- To me, its Light and Carini for MVP of the modern era. In this version, its a standard open and a bit of a meandering start to the jam portion. Lot of directionless notes from Trey from 5-6ish, starts to find some interesting grooves shortly thereafter but nothing really finds a home until about 8:30. The minor chords rule the rest of the way, with a pleasing and mellow interplay between Trey and Page (I have to say I wish Page would have kept the organ going throughout, but they are the experts).
555- Mike's new toy is taken for a good ride here and is straightforward yet rocking.
Wading- Kind of funny hearing the groans on tape, but in terms of ballads, I have a soft spot for this one as it closed out on my favorite shows ever (11/27/98). The vocals here were really nice, some of the best I've heard in a few years.
Walls of the Cave- Man, I love this tune. Great choice as a set closer, rocking as usual despite some early flubs from Trey. The dirty tone works to nice effect here and we finally get those thrilling peaks! To me, I'd rank this above Light and Cities, second to Blaze On in terms of musical interest in this set.

Boogie On- I love Page on this one. Is there a tune that gets people moving more than this one?
Tweeprise- Always the icing on the cake!

In terms of overall rating, I'm not sure how this could rank as the second best show of all time to Big Cypress (I could think of a good 30-40 shows to rank ahead of this one) so I'd chalk it up to attendance bias. As far as festivals, I'd say it falls somewhere behind Cypress, Went and Lemonwheel but probably just ahead of IT and Clifford Ball, and a good margin ahead of Superball, Fest 8, Oswego and Coventry. I'm sure it was a great time had by all, and thats all that really matters, isn't it?


Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal | DMCA

© 1990-2019  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation