, attached to 2015-08-23

Review by pmc2kd

pmc2kd After two unbelievable nights (and a day set), Phish came out for the third and final day and gave us a loose a fun show, which didn't hit the musical/jamming highs but manages to embody everything that is right about Phish (and still had it's share of fine jamming).

Punch You In the Eye is a classic fun summer set I opener. I love it and this version had everyone happy. They did a good job with it too.

Buffalo Bill was a fun and rare tune. It's nice to get some more "jokey" stuff, and I think this one captured and set the mood for the entire third day. We were here, celebrating what could only be called an amazing peak year of a band that had been playing together (more or less) since 1983.

ASIHTOS was pretty standard, but gave us a quick run through some psychedelic rock.

Limb By Limb was pleasant, but also pretty standard.

Waiting All Night gave us a Fuego tune and paired with a pretty mellow limb in a complimentary mellow fashion. I like the tremolo guitar outro solo.

Theme was up next and was a decent enough take. Nice solo from Trey, but nothing super outstanding.

After a sort of mellow, lazy, summer, end-of a three day fest sort of opening frame they turned to Maze to crank things up. Boy did this Maze deliver. Maze is another song that they've found some really interesting and compelling spaces to explore. This one featured some maniacal chording from Trey in the Page solo part. Trey then treated us to a short and fiery peak. Great version of a song that has really managed to raise the bar in recent years.

The Line cooled it down a bit. It was what it was. I was ready to pretty much indulge whatever they wanted after the first two nights, so I won't complain too much.

Stash was a perfect shot in the arm. This version was really cool as it took a nice divergence into the major key without sort of lingering too long. They just slid in and out of different modes so well (all weekend) and this Stash was a great example of nice loose but cohesive playing. Another standout.

Reba followed that up. I was very happy, as I had the old Reba Re/max lot tee going on. This one didn't go the SBIX creative route, but it was a nice classic and tight version. They played very well off of each other and found a very satisfying peak. It's your classic 8/10 Reba, where it's just so pleasant and great (but it's not an all-timer, or even the best of this tour). Either way I loved it.

I Didn't Know was fun and gave Trey a moment to thank everyone. Very heartfelt moment, but infused with classic Phish comedy. Fun fun fun.

Character Zero gave us the expected conclusion to a nice relaxed and fun set.

Overall Set I: I guess this one was a little up and down, but the ups certainly beat the downs. Standouts in Maze, Stash & Reba(always) gave us some great jamming. In between we got treated to some fun songs and some Phishy moments. It had a day set vibe, which for me was jsut perfect after two days of mega jams.

On to the final set. I was thinking we'd get at least a few more treats (judging by the tour, festival, and even some of the set I playing). Well this set was one of those "Only Phish could do this" type of sets.

They opened with Martian Monster, which was a really great call. This one got pretty serious too. The space effects and sampling are always cheer inducing, but I'd stick around this version for some truly strong jamming - heck I think this was damn near 10 minutes long. Eventually they churn out some bubbling noises that signal only one thing.

DWD pretty much was a guarantee. This one gave us a really nice dose of jamming as well. They did enough during the classic Disease and type I sections to keep us happy and departed into several interesting sections led by some good themes Trey had discovered. Definitely a nice open version. Very patient. Trey than had a lightbulb moment and in the slickest fashion hits the opening to Scents and Subtle Sounds.

Perfect segue. This Scents was a real treat. They absolutely rocked this one out in dark and dirty fashion. Boy did they pack the jamming in. Definite must hear version that bled perfectly in What's The Use?

Well this was the show highlight most likely for everyone in attendance. Probably doesn't quite translate to tape, but they took this psychedelic and noise drenched song down through several amazing passes with each one diminishing in dynamics. It was a near-hush, with the audience completely engaged during a incredible moments of silence, only broken by the most delicate placed notes that eventually built back into an incredible climax. It was the ultimate catharsis. I haven't heard a better version, nor been a part of a more emotional and powerful moment. The feeling was palatable and so very real.

Dirt gave us a nice moment to pause and take a breath. Perfectly placed. You never look for it (like the Waste in night I set II), but when they find a spot for it that works like this, you are so happy to hear it.

After that serious and emotional opening frame, we then got the classic "Hey let's just let it go and have some fun" Phish. It felt so right.

Mike's was dirty, rocking, loose and packed a major punch. If they play type I versions you want them to sound like this.

Fuego gave us the anthem. I feel like this tune is sort of that 3.0 anthem, how everyone keeps each other going feeding off of fire and passion. Great version and I think both band and fans alike were happy to just belt this out.

Twist had a Great summer. This version wasn't the Mann or some of the longer jammed out versions, but it sure was fun and interesting. Once they finished the brief lyric section they basically deconstructed the song into a Mike and Trey back and forth of sorts. Really cool, fun, and engaging playing and ramped up into a nice weird space. Fishman finds this swing beat and all of a sudden they are playing a bluesy swinging version of the twist chord vamp. Woah! Amazing energy, everyone was just loving it. They move from that into a just rocking heavy jam that culminated in Fishman howling the immigrant song intro over the top giving us a nice primal moment. They don't kick into Immigrant Song proper, however, and instead drive us into a silky smooth segue into Weekapaug (we knew it was coming, but they still managed to surprise us with this). I think the fact that I wrote a paragraph on an 8-10 minute version of Twist speaks for the quality of this version.

Well we were all grooving hard during Weekapaug and this version hit the spot nicely. More strong playing across the board and in a final moment of genius they capped the set of (as only Phish can!) with another sloppy but fun segue back into Martian Monster! It was hilarious and awe inspiring at the same time (which is the ultimate Phish compliment right?).

Well they encored with YEM. Much like the entire three days, they weren't about to mail anything in. This to me was an ultimate recognition of the magic everyone was feeling at this moment. In the Phinest way possible we'll cap off the festival.

Overall Set II: After a couple years, what strikes me most about this set is simply how engaging it is and how it really embodies the band. There's ample jamming (sure maybe not the longest, but seriously almost all songs are very worthwhile takes - DWD, Scents, Twist), hilarious inside jokes (Martian Monster bookends, Immigrant song, Bluesy swinging Twist vamp), masterful segues (->Scents ->WTU?, ->Weekapaug), pure raw emotion (WTU?, Dirt, Fuego), straight-up guitar theatrics (Mike's/Groove) & incredible compositions (YEM).

In an odd sort of way, this set IS PHISH - in the best possible sense. I may not spin it as much as the Tweezer>Caspian, Gin, or some of the other big jams from the previous nights, but this may be the finest set to have been a part of "in the moment". It's even more satisfying in the context of those amazing shows that preceded it.

Overall show: Like I said this was a PHISH show with a capital P. Even set one had a similar vibe, although there was a bit more of a lull in the middle. We got PYITE>Buffalo Bill Maze, Stash & Reba for jams, and I Didn't Know for more Phishy goodness. Throw in some Fuego tunes (for those of us who might forget what year it was). Set II was perfection. Dock it if you want for missing a signature jam moment like the Gin or Tweezpian, but your a downright curmudgeon if you don't like this one top to bottom.

4.25/5 A Phan favorite.


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