, attached to 2015-08-02

Review by yam_ekaj

yam_ekaj This show is sort of puzzling for me. I was lucky enough to score pits in the lotto, and I was up close on Page-Side. With that kind of proximity to the band, there was no way I was going to have a bad time. As usual, Phish delivered an amazing concert. However, unlike the previous two nights in Atlanta, there felt like there was something missing from this one.

Set 1 started off with great energy. Trey's rediscovered ability to deliver short rocking solos brought standard versions of Sample and Chalk Dust to a different level. However, after those two, we lost a bit of steam with the pairing of Train Song and Devotion to a Dream. Now, I love Train Song as much as the next guy, and again, Trey's playing was on point during Devotion, but there was certainly a dip in the vibrancy of the set. They picked it up again with the always-awesome Meat and a rocking Maze. It's redundant to say that Trey killed it here (which he did), but I also was really impressed with Page's section during this one. It was less of a solo than a Page-led high-tempo funky jam, which was awesome. Next up is The Line, which is The Line. Luckily, it was followed by My Friend, My Friend. While the song was played at a slower tempo than usual, it was still it's typically amazing self. Finally, we end on a high energy note with 46 Days and Cavern, which never disappoint.

All in all, this was a solid first set. Nothing special (like the Ghost at Lakewood1), and it didn't have the flow of what I thought was also an excellent first set at Lakewood2. But still, some great Phish.

Set 2 is where my problems with the show really lie. My friend @jklinow) and I both called the Disease opener, which is about as impressive as winning lawns in lotto. (Sidenote: this didn't stop the Alabama native next to us from marveling at our predictive skills.) The Disease is an awesome jam. It goes type 2 pretty quickly (as Disease's tend to do these days), and went through some darker sections as well as that great major-key interplay that the band is so adept at in 3.0. The jam began to wind down in to some cool rhythmic interplay. Trey wasn't playing, and Fish, Page and Mike seemed like they were going to take it somewhere else. If Trey had come in with an improvised lick, this jam would have gone to another level. However, Trey instead comes in with the opening lick of Camel Walk. Now, I'm not going complain about Camel Walk, a song I love. However, as I mentioned above, I felt like the Disease jam could've really taken off even more, and that Trey's decision to go into Camel Walk was a bit of a ripcord. Nonetheless, Camel Walk was well-played and very awesome. Right on the final note of Camel Walk, Trey starts up the tour-debut of Seven Below. This is a cool version. My friend @jklinow) said about this jam: "It seemed to, um, let me think, um, it seemed like it was threatening to break away at any moment as the jam turned dark and powerful, but never really lifted off into Type-II territory." Sounds pretty good to me. When, Seven Below was winding down, Trey frantically told the rest of the band what to play next, and Page jumped quickly into the opening notes of Fuego. I was excited when this began, but when it winded down, I was a bit disappointed with how un-exploratory it was. Of course, still quite enjoyable, but very short. Not one I'll be rushing to relisten to. However, the band kept the impeccable flow of the set up by immediately jumping into 2001. This was, other than the DWD jam, the highlight of the set for me. It was a pretty standard version, but "pretty standard 2001" means amazing funk-rock dance party. As 2001 wound down, Fishman played those opening tom hits we all know and love, and so began Harry Hood. This was without question the low point of the set for me. This Hood literally went nowhere. Again, I will quote my friend @jklinow). After the show, he said, "That Hood could have gone somewhere, if Trey had actually started playing. He just chorded the whole time. It was the musical equivalent of blue balls." While of course it was still somewhat enjoyable, there have been so many awesome Hoods of late that this one looked like a huge disappointment. Hood moved into a regular-rocking version of Possum, and then the set was over. Encore was A Day in the Life, which was great, but I wish it was something bigger, like YEM or Fluffhead. But that, of course, is wishful thinking at it's best.

This set, for me, is the "What Could Have Been" set. I believe the Disease could have been an amazing jam, had Trey not started up Camel Walk. It could have been defined by unbelievable flow, and swift song switching, but this was sullied a bit by a lack of inventiveness in Fuego and Hood. (Sidenote, the flow of the set was very good. As you can see in the setlist, all the songs are separated by carrots, and you could argue that DWD > Camel Walk was DWD -> Camel Walk.) However, as always, Phish delivers an amazing rock concert that is a joy to attend, no matter what they play. And this show is certainly a complete dud, a la some shows from 2010 or 2011. It's just that in comparison with the previous two nights (which in fairness were two of the best shows I've ever seen), it fell a little bit flat for me. Still great Phish though, and I'd definitely take a listen to the Disease.
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