, attached to 2019-06-12

Review by the_nitty_gritty

the_nitty_gritty Phish taps into moments that matter to people, and to the city of St. Louis, this moment was special. The crowd was chanting “Let’s go Blues” before the encore last night, and from what I hear Trey was at Game 6 (which is where he heard Blues fans singing Gloria). The band fully grasped the moment and responded memorably.

A high energy first 4 songs with Blues up 2-0 instilled confidence. An average Undermind followed by 3 whatevers gave phans a chance to fire up hulu and watch the first period end still up 2-0. Funky Bitch and Set Your Soul Free forced a resurrection of the energy inside the arena, and Antelope came at the perfect time. Barely into the jam, a cry rose up and cheering continued for multiple minutes as the Blues scored the crucial number 3. Kuroda switched to blue and gold, and Trey teased Gloria. If the venue had allowed champagne the corks would have been popping. Before the set ended the Blues had scored a fourth.

At break phans gathered around the concourse in front of concession stand tvs as the internet was worthless with so many people streaming. The minutes counted down, and phans cheered the victory, high fiving strangers and rejoicing in the literal once in a lifetime (51 years!) championship.

I had two conversations pre show in which we swore Phish would not play Gloria. Too cheesy. No way. It would be some combination of Party Time, Loving Cup, and It’s Ice. Well, they played Gloria. Fuck yes! And then Loving Cup - type II !?!?! Hell fucking yes!

In a moment when a not small contingent of phans would have orgasmed should the band play 2001, Phish dropped a Twist. Early reluctance at the decision was rapidly abated by an epic monumental jam recalling 4/2/98.

About to Run was a terrible tone deaf song choice which almost ran the celebration off the rails. Mr. Completely did not do much to help the situation and you could feel the disconnect between phan exhilaration and weirdly dark lyrics. I almost bailed for a concourse break to reconnect with the unrestricted joy of the moment. Then the band played easily the best Light I have ever heard and unquestionably the best jam of the run. Type II perfection where you can simultaneously listen to each of them playing without ignoring anyone. And play they did. The second must listen of the night.

Waste was yet another of the poor song choices from the night, although it was as usual touching and beautiful, given that phans had no interest in hearing a ballad at this point of the evening. Suzy tapped the energy and let Page lead which is always awesome, but I just don’t like Suzy which I know is kind of sacrilege so I was like ok what’s next. However, as Trey said “Thank you St. Louis. Congratulations!” And Fishman yelped, “St. Louis Blues!” At the end, I found myself warmed with joy and intolerant of my own personal preferences. Just enjoy this!

Farmhouse encore was way down my list of “I hope they play” but it was surprisingly moving and I found myself tearing up in gratitude for this night, this memory I would never forget. Eye on the clock I thought this might be it, but Phish once again realizing the moment knew no one gave two shits whether they played past “curfew” tonight in St. Louis, especially after they paid homage to the city with such pure authenticity. So First Tube. Again, hell fucking yes Phish! Trey was way into it, moving and dancing like Santana meets Eddie Van Halen. Outstanding version, with visceral effect changes, and a full realization of the power of this song in the moment.

Unless you are from Boston (or perhaps Chicago) this was a synchronistically stellar conflagration of two major events that resulted in a far more meaningful and memorable experience than otherwise possible. It couldn’t have happened without the incredible chemistry this band has with its phans, or for that matter their just plain common sense awareness of the world and what things mean to people. The story of this show will be without question handed down to generations of phans in St. Louis and frankly much of the midwest. It will live in Phish lore phorever. I love this band and am eternally grateful for everything they have brought to my life and those I love!


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