, attached to 2015-08-14

Review by Timpanogos

Timpanogos I was at this show and think that it is criminally underrated. On one hand, the shows before and after this (Mann 2 and MPP 1) are top tier shows in a top tier tour. With the Mann, you have arguably the best jam of the year and with MPP, you have an incredibly *fun* and energetic show top to bottom. On another hand, Walnut Creek was a bit out of the way in the context of where the tour was taking the band. I think that this definitely had an impact on attendance and in combination with no webcast of this show being available, it is definitely not getting the love it deserves.

Anyways, onto the show itself.

SET ONE:
The first slow Llama ever!! And boy did it get the crowd going. My buddies and I danced our way down the lawn to our pav seats during the jam and knew that the party was on. Chalk Dust was short but sweet. Next we have an unusual Moma Dance, but unusual in a great way. Lovely little jam in it that stays in major mode and finds itself in a lovely place. Trey's playing in this reminded me (a lucky attender of 7/3 Fare Thee Well) of how dialed in that whole experience made him and how it was paying off in dividends this summer tour! Next up was Yarmouth Road. Very well played, I love this song and welcome it anytime. Tube into to Bouncin was very nice and well received. Next up was Maze, which I would refer to as an above average version for sure. Very on point playing by all band members and definitely reminded the crowd that the boys weren't there to fuck around this tour. Waiting All Night was what it was (not a huge fan of this song). Lawn Boy was great, Page addressing the crowd and Mike ripping a lil' bass solo is always a treat. Devotion to a Dream was fine (like WAN, not one of my favs off of Fuego) and hey, two Fuego songs in this show and both were placed very well in Set 1! Next up was Wolfmans which was my favorite jam in Set 1. Instead of the normal funk, it opted for a straightforward, type I fierce energy-building jam that peaked nicely. Suzy was fun as always (love when Fish screams) and closed out a set that was pretty par for the course (the course being held to an extremely high standard - Summer 2015).

SET TWO:
Opened with the Wedge...have always loved this song and every time I get one, I immediately hope it will get jammed out similar to the one at Northerly Island in 2014. Unfortunately for me, it got pretty standard treatment but was nonetheless a superb way to start off a great set. Next out of the gates was Golden Age. It ended up being probably my favorite jam of the night. Starts off in typical major key jamming and then finds itself in some awesome funky flowing territory. Upon re-listening, there are definitely some themes that now remind me of 10/28/16's monster version. Anyways, from the funky section, Trey starts to lead us up the mountain in a real nasty and well played manner. Someone reffered to this as a "dirty peak" and I could not agree with that description more. The jam then fizzled out into some reflective quiet space and while I was praying that they would keep the jam going in another direction, the next best thing happened and Trey went into Reba! As far as I remember, there were little to no flubs in the composed section and the jam was rather decent for 3.0. (Side note: boy do I wish Phish could still jam Reba like they could in 1.0 and 2.0 - I hope to someday eat my words about a comment like this) Either way, a second set Reba is always welcome and ended up crashing into an absolutely excellent Mike's Groove. Would have loved a second Mike's jam like those lucky bastards did in Nashville but I was still very satisfied by clean and energized playing by our phour phavorite nerds. Ghost was song one of two that served as the sandwich in this edition of MG and it was a mean rendition that meant business. Trey put to work his echoplex and after ten minutes or so of multi-layered jamming, No Quarter emerged. God damn Page loves playing this song and I am so glad the boys let him. It was a great version and I was really happy to check it off my list. Out of No Quarter, the beloved rhythm dept brought us in Weekapaug and it was an impeccably played version. It somewhat reminded me of the Clifford Ball version and to me at least, was yet another reminder of what wondrous things Fare Thee Well had done for the Bad Lieutenant's playing. He and the boys brought it to a ripping peak and after some fun No Quarter Teases, it was time for First Tube. I often refer to FT as the song whose jam "can do no wrong." It always brings the energy and served as a a perfect closer to an incredible set.

ENCORE:
I am totally fine with Farmhouse being played as the first song in a two-song encore (It worked pretty well a week later at Watkins Glen). I always loved that song before I really *got* Phish so I'm never unhappy to hear it. Fire was a great way to close out the show. I had been hoping to catch one someday and while it lacks the energy that the RHCP brought to it during their performance at Woodstock 1999, I still really enjoy what the p-fish do with it.

OK! I know that this show didn't have the bust-out *special* moments of Alpine, nor the *big jam* of the Mann, and obviously didn't have a set to rival either of the two at MPP1. However, it is an incredibly well-played show with an above average second set during (maybe) the best tour since Summer 03. Excellent song-placement, plenty of fun covers and well worth-it risk taking (slow Llama). Again, I understand why this show gets overlooked based on where it was on the East Coast, and its lack of a webcast. But I do challenge some of you to give it a re-listen and tell me I am not crazy for thinking that it is very, very underrated.

Side Note about the Lot: There was a sting by the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement and they ended up apparently arresting 65 people on lot...I remember seeing some very harmless folks getting cuffed and it really was sad to see. I am, for the most part, very happy with the work that law enforcement do for us citizens, but I thought this was complete bullshit and it was very obvious that they were targeting us phans. Anyways, as far as the venue, I loved every aspect of it aside from that.

Looking back I really miss this tour! Had a great time driving down from northern VA for this show and then making my way back north for MPP and the Ball. So glad I made it to this show and hope to see them again someday and Walnut Creek1


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