2022 has been an interesting year of Phish. There have been moments of brilliance, but the music has rarely reached the improvisational peaks of Fall 2021. We discuss this at length on HF Pod. Of course, we don't really know how or why Phish’s playing is different tour to tour. But for me, one major factor is the band’s willingness to take risks, and I think last night’s show was a prime example of taking risks—and seeing it pay off.
A 22-minute opening “Fluffhead” set us off in a great direction. In the 7 minutes post-jam, it starts slowly and melodically, with Page on piano. The tempo wasn’t fast, but that allowed for more interplay between Page and Trey. That could have been the end, as it started to get quieter—but they kept on it and ended up in a really nice jam that, with a little bit of teasing before, ends in “Your Pet Cat.” But we don't really get the typical Your Pet Cat jam, we get a huge, booming climax, making people at MSG, and at home, wonder "what the hell is going on"? And that's exactly where we want to be.
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