, attached to 2013-07-26

Review by zarathustraz

zarathustraz I'm writing a review for this show 2 1/2 years later not to recount my experience at the Gorge that night, but to talk about why I keep returning to this show and to address an issue that all of us phans face: how to introduce a curious but skeptical friend to Phish. (I do not advocate forcing Phish on our unwilling friends, although I understand the conviction that "if they hear it and understand it, they will like it.") My answer is a CD/playlist from this show, including Timber and Wolfman's from the first set and Twist through Bowie from the second (exactly 80 mins, CD size). Here's why.

I think as connoisseurs of Phish we've developed a taste for Type II jams and the radical musicality of the early-90s, but we need to be patient with the uninitiated. There's a lot of variety to choose from in the Phish catalogue, but I think we would be best starting a noob off with something more polished and simplistic. (Btw, for a friend just venturing into Type II territory, I recommend selections from 7/13/14. All polish, variety, and quality). For that reason, I choose this show. Very polished, solid Type I jams (C&P is too meandering to qualify for re-listens, but good attempt Trey & Co!), and all of a similar vein. If this show had a color palette, it would be dark blue, like the album cover of Rift.

Timber starts things off rocking and fun. The chorus is contagious, so even if your friend doesn't make it past this song at first, you have a good chance at landing an earworm that might bring him or her back later.

The funk of this Wolfman's is cooking pretty hot, and it has some nice extension, so, in addition to being just a generally pleasing song to the ear, it provides a nice taster of jamming. Remember: funk jams will always win over the most converts.

After that, you have the seamless sequence of Twist > Steam > Waves > Twenty Years Later > Mango Song > Bug > David Bowie. Transversing eras of music, all songs include exceptional Type I jams and maintain a consistent energy and vibe. Twist has the added bonus of a Tequila tease, which most people will recognize, and C&P teases abound (this, in fact, could also be the only downside to the song selection because without the C&P second set opener, these teases are a bit divorced of context).


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