, attached to 2018-10-21

Review by ThomasFunkyEdison

ThomasFunkyEdison Before I begin my review, I want to let the readers know that I was in attendance and was overall blown away by the band's performance. They were a completely different band (in a good way) than this summer, and overall this was another solid Hampton run. After raging hard for 2 nights, the crowd (and myself) were much in need of a rocking, hardcore, classic Phish throw down -- and boy did they deliver during the first set. There really isn't anything you could ask more in a first set...and who doesn't love first set-second sets? Skin it back really got the place grooving and set the tone for the rest of the set. B&R slowed it down for a brief moment before kicking it into second gear with Timber. Timber was short, but groovy. Simple is next and boy is it a monster. My favorite Simple in recent history. They waste no time getting to the jam segment, which had several themes including a dark funky jam featuring Trey on the wah pedal, and several minutes of their newly developed sinister fall 2018 type II jam style. The jam ends with a multi-tiered, non-telegraphed peak which sent the Mothership into a frenzy. It is so refreshing to see them regularly jam in the first set, for me it makes the show more exciting and unpredictable. Mexican cousin was a fun little rarity which lead into Camel Walk. Near the middle of Camel walk Trey gives the "lets keep this going" signal and it erupts into another funk-wah jam. Saw It Again was an absolute head-banger, ending in a cacophony of sounds akin to the bakers dozen "I am the Walrus." It was one of those times where you could feel the music rattling your bones. That capped off arguably the best first set of the year...and left us all itching to see what they'd do in set two. Trey was the clear leader this weekend, really being patient with jams. He's clearly been practicing and getting to know his new pedal board and toys.

As incredible as the first set was, the second set was equally as lackluster. With the kind of energy they built, and the theme and direction they seemed to be heading, none of the songs chosen in the second set built on that energy. In fact, the song selection took away from it, in way. The songs are well played for sure, but there wasn't really any flow. Waves was a great jam, albeit an odd set II opener -- that said, it's always fun to get songs in unusual placements. The jam in waves is beautiful at first and eventually develops and moulds into the more haunting, dark space that was found on many occasions this weekend. the -> R/CT was smooth as butter, but that was the first indication of where the set was ultimately going. Light was next and boy that jam really got the place rocking. Definitely one of the highlighs of the night. That said...the song proper of Light is way to fluffy and added to the flat song-selection (whereas, say a Mikes Song, Rock & Roll, C&P, etc would have really brought the energy back). The back-to-back second set killer combo of The Line > Wingsuit sealed the deal for this set. After The Line (much like BDTNL the night prior), they seemed to just patch the rest of the set together. Your Pet Cat was well-played and jammed out a touch more than usual, and of course WTU is nice, but nothign mind blowing or energizing. Possum was one of the better versions I can recall in 3.0 -- the intro was extended and they even briefly touched into that type II space, but after a set that kind of took the wind out of the sails, it felt like a weird, "easy" choice. More as an encore felt fitting for the set that just happened, and by then any semblance of the energy that had once been there was gone. Coming out for a YEM double encore was cool, but, almost fittingly, they called for the woo's, which this reviewer absolutely despises.

Overall the show was really enjoyable, every single song was well-played, and the crowd energy was off-the-charts. All is good in the Phish world after this weekend, and I can't wait to see where the rest of the tour takes them.


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