Some fans showed up for the rescheduled YEMSG run with visions of a one-stop Island Tour Redux swimming in their heads. Others perhaps saw it as a late-pandemic milestone, a sign that the clouds are clearing and the time has returned when we can safely gather indoors with 20,000 of our closest friends without worrying about spread of the coronavirus. (Though science tells us that is not the case.)
Whatever expectations or mythology fans built into their perspectives, it’s clear a profound sense of gratitude informed the experience for so many people in the room and on the couch. Actual performances notwithstanding, the return of the ritual itself was deeply meaningful.
And yet, Phish did happen to deliver a musically terrific run. With a series “win” already secured in many fans’ eyes, the band still turned up Saturday as if it had something left to prove.
The show boasted an impeccably constructed, Phish-holiday card of a first set; a second set with lots of action; and a doorslammer of an encore. It felt like old times and new times all mixed together. It was another example of why we do this.
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