, attached to 2017-07-30

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: A nice mix of rarities (Curtain With, Esther, B&R) with some usual Set 1 stalwarts, peaking with (as one might expect) Forbin's > Mockingbird; some sloppiness throughout doesn't take away from the power of these tunes, or from Trey's amusing lyrical quotes during Forbin's. Good start.

Set 2: Drowned gets things going, and it doesn't take long for the band to settle into a brisk groove with Page at the forefront, Trey adding scratchy effects and occasionally firing off some tasty licks. The jam grows warmer in nature, then weirder as Page goes to the synths, then Fish switches up the beat and we enter a relaxing, dreamy zone with whale call-esque effects and Mike working his way to the forefront. Trey goes to his pedals and Page switches to piano, and a more powerful jam emerges, then after some nice trilling from Trey Page steps to the forefront and offers some wonderfully contemplative playing as a fog creeps over the proceedings and the jam winds to a close.

ASIHTOS moves in, and this is an incredible version, one of the finest ever played. Page goes to the synths right away to help set a mood during the usual ASIHTOS jam, and after some fine playing the bottom drops out and a delicately miniature jam develops, with Trey scratching on his strings, Page playing off-kilter notes, and Fish tapping away behind. Page suggests a dissonant chord pattern and Trey catches on, then the jam reignites as Mike flips on the envelope filter to really add to the depth of the jam. It sounds like they've returned to the ASIHTOS theme, but instead Fish goes to a military-style drumbeat, strange ghostly effects rise to the surface, and the band rides this stark groove to its natural conclusion. This is truly interesting and dark music, the kind they might have played in 1994, and a must-hear jam.

Harpua comes next (Jimmies night, remember), and instead of a goofy cover the band has a droll conversation about the nature of the universe, leading them to conclude the universe is a donut (and allowing our good pal Page to drop some dad jokes), to which the cat dying sort of gets shoehorned in rather amusingly. And, after the scripted silliness, Also Sprach Zarathustra makes its presence felt in a neat synth-laden version, Golgi offers a blast of rock and roll catharsis, and they wind up the set with their cover of In The Good Old Summertime (hey, can't let that go to waste). A Hendrix tune makes almost too much sense as the encore, and they skip their usual repertoire of Hendrix covers to debut The Wind Cries Mary; it's not the tightest version you'll ever hear, but neither were Hendrix's live versions, and the spirit was certainly there.

Final thoughts: A true smorgasbord of the Phish experience, with some of the deeper jams of the Baker's Dozen tempered by the fun Harpua. Well worth the listen.


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