Soundcheck: Backwards Down the Number Line, Buffalo Bill
SET 1: Brother, Runaway Jim, Dogs Stole Things, Boogie On Reggae Woman > NICU, Foam > Wilson > Timber (Jerry the Mule), Fluffhead, Walls of the Cave > Character Zero
SET 2: Drowned > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Reba, Roses Are Free > Chalk Dust Torture > Prince Caspian -> Silent in the Morning, Bug > A Day in the Life > Down with Disease
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Review by waxbanks
Dig the packed, punchy first-set Timber, which bubbles and pops like Saturday's Wolfman's and Ocelot (not to mention the porno-Tube and Stealing Time from Friday). Char0 isn't quite as filthy as the Worcester version, but it ain't exactly polite; I usually skip that tune but two outta three 2012 versions have gotten into some straight *grownup* shit.
A reined-in but involving Drowned turns into some basement makeout session stuff in 2001 -- another tune revitalized for 2012 -- which tees off a sublime Reba. Looks like the Worcester Roses jam was a fluke, maybe a farewell tribute for Dean and Gene (classy). As Fiona Apple says: Oh well. And who can complain about nearly 40 minutes of solid primary-coloured playing? Either way, what follows shows the band isn't running in neutral here.
Chalkdust > Caspian > Silent feels like a deliberate descent into deeper hues, setting up the festival farewell. That segue into Silent is really, *really* nice. I'd rather linger longer with Caspian but last I checked *I'm not in the band* if ever I was. (Was I ever?) (WTF?!) And whether or not your dream Phish show involves hourlong 'Type II' jams, one of Trey's rarer gifts is his ability to use his tunes in interesting ways to construct setlong suites (on the fly!).
I dislike Bug but it does its job, which in this case is to tee up the wistful-then-awwfuckit Day in the Life/Disease combo to close.
Jibboo is one of the worst songs ever 'written' by a human being; you are welcome to disagree if that's how your thang hangs but civilized people will laugh at you. That said, it's a perfect encore tune despite its epic vapidity, and Quinn's even better, playing like 46 Days with an actual chorus.
Nothing here belongs on the shelf with, say, Crosseyed > Slave or Light > Theme or *any* of 6/15's startling second set. But this show without any marquee jams is still beautiful in its own terms. There's a strong continuous arc from Drowned through Reba, and another taking in the dumb fun of Roses, Chalkdust clatter (we're too old for this aren't we), weary sunsettling Caspian giving way to Silent dawn, Bug and the Beatles and Disease wishing dancing children fare well (as if it matters).
I wasn't there so this isn't 'legit,' apparently, but there it is, or I suppose here I am for ya: taking up beautiful things we find, giving them names, dwelling on form even in the Garden. All their intent is for our delight. Divine creation hears me, and -- nah. Just creation. Just a thing and what a thing goddamn. Four dudes, a ferris wheel, diminuendo, safe travels. Over to you.