Debut Years (Average: 1997)

This show was part of the "2017 NYE Run"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by Hamphish

Hamphish To the point: very, very good show. I was there but relistened before reviewing.

Set 1:

They really found little pockets/jamlets to explore in full – the sound was nice and stripped at times, with Mike and Fishman taking the lead (see the beginning section of Wolfman's, which overall was a true joy and played with a smooth force, and Roggae where it really felt piloted by Mike). Other areas were ooey gooey playpens of funk that showcased Trey's new sweep echo (I believe that's the correct term - adds a wonderful dimension to his delay playing in my opinion) and Page's 2017 keys. The Tube and YPC, while perhaps a bit more truncated than we'd all like, sum to over 10 minutes of pure indulgence of micro jamming, like eggs with hairline fractures leaking out goodness here and there while maintaining their hard structure. That egg fully cracks in BOTT and opens up a very atypical jam that spray paints the train tracks a tye dyeish haze, with Trey's new rig in full force.

Overall, a fantastic set 1 and IMO would be in the upper half of BD first sets, and I know that's an incredible statement. With such a short "tour" of 4 shows, a lengthy break between Dicks and New Years, and some new toys added to our guitarist's kit over the year, the first set style is very telling of what is coming. This theory proved true 30 minutes later:

Set 2:

Wilson was Wilson, No Men's on the other hand, took me to a PLACE. The colossal ambient soundscapes of Dayton Disease, 1st half of BD Crosseyed, and the BD Drowned return in divine fashion – a new genius genre of jam is flourishing under our noses that is incredibly patient, varied, and making the best use of Trey's minimalism crafted under 3.0 and the new timbres possible by the various gadgets of Page/Trey/Mike. This jam, as with 2017 in general will age very, very well.

Twist is a nice complement to the No Men's and capitalizes on some of the same themes of space exploration, but is a bit choppier with Fish's syncopated beat as opposed to the former's driving splashes. Man, Trey's guitar tone is fantastic. Just orgasmic. Return of the Dick's 15 DWD theme that we all love (kind of) before a nice space rock ending. Tough > to Everything's Right.

I think we're just going to have to accept that Everything's Right will lead to a good to great jam every time – it's basically a slinky version of Tweezer jams. Tripped out funk was a great move after the space scape of the last 40 minutes, culminating in 2001. And what a dripping and chunky Sprach it was. I and my buds were up in Chase Bridge, and with the dancing space afforded up there, this was EXACTLY what we needed. A longer version than usual, as has been the welcome trend of late.

Hood was an exclamation point, executed well with a brief minor excursion. If 2001>Hood closed every show, I would not complain. The Slave encore was an EXTRA exclamation point and had the garden drowning in euphoria as Trey rocked the sustain and trills. A very very solid version to send us home, waiting for more the next few nights.

Some knocks: while I LOVE the sons played (it's nice seeing them when they're not constricted to playing 13 shows with no repeats), the segues/flow was jerky at points. There were also a few hiccups in the songs proper. But honestly, who's counting, Phish is playing well and fresh and we're in for a fantastic run.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by crepu

crepu Everyone knows 12/30 is the show of the ’17 NYE run. Perhaps. But there’s something about 12/28 that I prefer. 12/28 was the show that said this is Phish, and that means this isn’t going to be a rehash of the BD, nor would there even be subtle nods or gestures towards those shows. This would be new, different. That’s what Phish does best - evolve. To that, we must acknowledge. And might I add the near lack of filler in any of these shows?

12/28 was my New Years show. Where folks heavily predicted a space-themed gag on 12/31, that’s precisely what we got with 12/28: the spacey jams, layers upon layers, and CK’s lights turned the Garden into a spaceship. Sure, we got that feel from “I Always Wanted It This Way” from the next night (which was fabulous and changed many minds about the song, and one has to wonder if those who detest those particular songs off BIG BOAT like "Waking up Dead" are familiar with XTC or that 80s quirky punk style), or 12/30’s “Steam” (Ok, that was so good). But most of 12/28 worked with the space theme. No, this maybe wasn’t as totally Parliament-dance as some wanted it (although there was plenty of funk), but it was the Mothership of ephemeral zone and drone.

I cringe when fans say Phish does shoegaze. They never have, and a soundcheck of My Bloody Valentine sounded nothing of shoegaze. 12/28 was not shoegaze, either, but there was a blending of sounds and layers that some wrongfully dismiss as Trey hiding behind his effects. For those who don’t merely come out of the classic rock scene, for those who kinda like some sloppy or loose play (a la Pavement or Built to Spill, or maybe in the vein of Okkervil River’s lyrics: “And this film we once saw was reviled for its flaws/ But its flaws were what made us have fun”), for those who actually seek the shows many call listless (see those ’99 gems), or for those whose transcendence comes out of ethereal layers without any hint of the blues, 12/28 was special. And it signaled a new kind of Phish in their old tradition of moving on to nuanced territory.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by salorsino

salorsino Well they are back, and they're sending us a message that they aren't gonna lurk in the shadow of the BD - this NYE run is gonna be one to remember on it's own, not just because it's the follow up to perhaps the greatest run of shows they ever played.

Bag opener, let's get this show on the road eh? Pretty solid, nothing wild here. Wolfmans brother rained down on us next and it was a real tone setter. Might get a few replays but overall pretty standard. Roggae is a good breather, and Tube comes in lay some funk. This might not be a BD or a '97 tube, but hell it packs a punch that is for sure worth a listen, even if they may have flubbed the transition out of the jam just a shmidge.

Bouncin was welcome here as a quick cool down before we hopped Back on the Train, and this one felt extra funky to me, with some hints of Type II emerging but generally never strayed too far from the Train. YPC was a great way to keep every grooving, especially with that little fake out at the end. Waking Up Dead is weird and I love it and that's all about that. Theme was exceptional, I never think of this as a jam until I see it live and remember they just pour emotion out in that song, and though no one expected it as a set closer, it fit well.

Wilson comes out for the second set and gets everyone rockin hard, then we bust into No Man's Land and I'm not sure if any of us have returned yet...I am 95% positive that aliens landed some time in 5-10 minute range of this jam, or perhaps some transformers were having a laser gun battle, either way it was dark, weird, and awesome. This was one of those jams you could tell was sort of fading out, but they didn't want to stop and at those low points someone would take lead and bring em back around. Twist slides out of NMINML and this one gets dark quick too, and when it does Twist back around it comes in a great, heavy hitting fashion that we love about 3.0

Everything's Right was a sit down song for me, but the jam really does get groovy almost reminiscent of some cow funk type stuff IMO. 2001 is always a 4th quarter banger, and this was no exception. Finally, we all felt very, very good about Hood, and properly it served as a perfect cap to an excellent show.

The Wedge encore was just confusing to most, but hey, it was a killer show, we'll take the cool down encore. I check the clock, 11:36, no way there's more? But those opening notes of Slave ring out and we are free'd from the Traffic Light by Trey's emotional and soaring solo.

Overall, great start to the run, can't wait to be back again tonight.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by fukuoka_gumbo

fukuoka_gumbo I think this show is pretty underrated. It's less impressive than 12/30 on paper but it's nearly as good in terms of performance IMO. This NMINML is one of, if not the Jam of the year for me. It's just completely flawlessly executed and flows so well. The whole second set carries the vibe of that jam so perfectly.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by whitecollarw00k

whitecollarw00k This show was a blast, top to bottom. The Wolfman’s early on really set the tone for the night that it would be funky and psychedelic as all hell. The Tube jam peaks hard but doesn’t totally break through. An excellent, short version though. I thought this was the best version of YPC to date and the set ended with a really great Theme. All high points of a great first set.

Second set is even better with that killer NMINML > Twist combo, the best improv of the night. Late in the second set, 2001 is a great way to land from the first hour of extended jams but kept the energy way up and it erupted at the end of a solid Hood.

The encore combo of Wedge and Slave, good versions of each, made this among my favorite shows of 2017. An excellent way to start the run.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by gratefulphishy

gratefulphishy The first set was pretty standard. A nice short but exhilarating wolfmans. Decent roggae jam. Tube didn't get jammed out as hard as others this year. YPC was super funked up tonight.

Second set was awesome. Wilson obviously had the crowd going. The NMINML was easily the best from this year and there have been some pretty damn good versions of that in 2017. Was a big feat to bring down the one from dicks. Twist was super mellow but definitely has some replay value in it. Everything's Right gets super funky and comes out strong. That song is really starting to grow on me. 2001 was incredible as usual. A decent Hood but nothing super special.

A nice encore to end things off. Was hoping for a slave later in the run but can't complain.

Overall it was a great show. The whole second set is worth a listen if you haven't done so already. Excited to hear the rest of the run!
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by massofparticles

massofparticles Plenty has already been said about this show here but I did want to share a story from this night that I was reminded of recently.

My friends and I ended up getting 200 section row 1 behind the stage. There are TV screens in front of every seat in this row (not sure if this is is the case the entire way around the arena). During set break the TVs were showing the set break screen from the Live Phish stream. Moderately intoxicated and feeling mischievous, I start playing around with the buttons on the side of the screen and somehow managed to change it to the Caps game. As a Caps fan, this was a fun discovery and I was feeling rather proud of myself. After enjoying the game for about 15 minutes in my seat, cold beer in hand and an entire arena buzzing with excitement all around me, Tom Wilson scores on an epic breakaway. SWEET!!! Seconds later, the lights go down for set 2. "Well this is an easy call," I think. OBVIOUSLY it's gonna be....


Of course they are playing Wilson. OF. COURSE. What else could they have played? There are no coincidences with Phish. I've learned this many times over by now. Of course, I was visibly and audibly losing my shit over the hilarious synchronicity of it all but couldn't properly explain it to anyone in the moment, or since really. Does that feeling sound familiar to you? I think it's a Phish thing.

Anyways, behind the stage is sweet and the sound is good. Also, this show is underrated.
, attached to 2017-12-28

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I feel confident in rating this show 3 stars. The song selection and setlist construction--especially in the first set--weren't all that interesting, and Waking Up Dead in particular had trouble of the same sort that Mike's newer compositions tend to have in its reading (although unlike recent Sugar Shacks, this doesn't seem to have been due to Trey.) Wilson to open Set II is interesting, and you get a fully >'d set (though nary a -> to be found in the whole show) with long jams in No Men in No Man's Land and Twist, both of which feature novel synthesizer usage by Page. Everything's Right is stretched out a little bit, and without the benefit of another relisten, I'd call it my jam of the night, even though both NMINML and Twist were longer. 2001 doesn't really get off the ground (wasn't there; 2001 is often a "you-have-to-be-there" kind of song) and Harry Hood closes the second set. A The Wedge, Slave to the Traffic Light encore is poignant, but this show just didn't have its precision or experimentation fully involved. Trey and even Fish seem a little disengaged from the entire affair. I'm also not a big phan of Trey's octave effect that unnecessarily muddies the bottom end, which already suffers from a lack of definition on Fish's kick drum.
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