This show was part of the three-show Festival 8. Playbills were distributed on-site (beginning at 12:30 p.m., 8 hours in advance) confirming that the second set (the band's "musical costume") would be the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. After Divided Sky, Trey acknowledged the beauty of the venue and announced that Page would now play a love song to the lawn since it was the first time they had played on grass in a long time. Antelope's lyrics were changed to  "Been you to have any Coil, man?" (The Coil was an art installation on the venue grounds.) Set 2 began with a video highlighting selections of the 99 classic albums displayed and then systematically eliminated on the web site leading up to the festival. Selections in the montage included snippets from Michael Jackson's Thriller, T.Rex's Electric Warrior, Metallica's Master of Puppets, Miles Davis's A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and The Doors (self titled), among others. All of the Exile on Main St songs were Phish debuts, except for Loving Cup and Sweet Virginia. All songs in the second set except for Casino Boogie, Torn and Frayed, and I Just Want To See His Face featured Dave Guy on trumpet, David Smith on trombone, and Tony Jarvis on saxophone. Tumbling Dice, Sweet Virginia, and Loving Cup through Soul Survivor also featured Sharon Jones and Saundra Williams on backup vocals. Trey introduced the horn section after Tumbling Dice and again after the completion of the costume, before saying "We are the Rolling Stones. See you later." Suzy Greenberg was played with Jones, Williams, and the horns. This show featured the first Sweet Virginia since September 26, 1999 (175 shows).
Debut Years (Average: 2000)

Show Reviews

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Review by paulj

paulj Sometime during the third set, a guy with a couple of beers in his hands joins a group of folks behind us, one of whom is dressed as a gorilla. One of the folks says, "Where have you been, man, you've been gone for almost an hour!" To which beer guy says, "Dude, I followed the wrong gorilla."
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Review by jadedforbin

jadedforbin FESTIVAL 8
Review by D.C. Smith (clforbin2001)
Minneapolis, MN 11-5-09

As anyone who knows attended, FESTIVAL 8 was the cap-off of Phish's triumphant return from self imposed exile (hmmm, wonder if they thought this same thing when picking the album).

The festival site is the best EVER...period. Anyone who doesn't believe me wasn't there. No possibility of rain, no 3 foot deep mud, just perfect; warm to hot during the day and cool and beautiful in the evening. Those who honestly complained about the heat must have missed Summer 99, cuz that was ten times worse.


SET I ("Uno")

Some dismissed this first night a "warm up"; which in some ways, it is. But choice jams like the semi-ambient "Stash" and the best "Time Turns Elastic" yet made even this first set seem special to me. For the (few) folks that don't like the new songs, maybe this set did seem a "warm-up". But I loved that they came right out and played a bunch of new tunes - the lyrics to the "Joy" songs have deeper meaning than most of the band's catalogue, and even if I am in the minority, I nominate "Elastic" as THE new first-set closer.

SET II ("Dos")

I don't know why, but they were a little off on PYITE...the intro was pretty sloppy, with Trey even in the wrong key for a bit. After that though, this set gets going quick...anyone who bitches about the list need only look at it on paper - minus "Joy", that's straight Fall-97 song choices, folks. And if you don't like "Joy", consider that it is basically the band's love song to the fans, and maybe you'll change your tune; personally I love it. Wolfman > Piper was spacy but not super-extended; their new sound overall is a bit stripped down from the delay loops of the late 90s, and I don't think they really WANT to do a bunch of 25 minute "alien lazer" jams anymore. Bowie was pretty standard but very tight and energetic. Hood was interesting, as it has been since the "re-return", lacking the old guitar punch at the end but gaining in sentimental value with every performance. It just reminds us again that this is a finite thing. We can feel "good about Hood" right one knows for how long it will last, so enjoy it and savor it.


SET I ("Tres")

Possibly one of the tightest first sets of all of 2009. Divided was amazing in the hot sun. Mid-set Killdevil, Coil and Gin are nice. The Possum doesn't stand up to 8-2-98 Deer Creek (but I don't think any version since does, if you know one let me know). Then they closed with the classic first set capper, "Antelope", a tight, fairly short, yet fiery version. Hella good. I mentioned to my wife how it was cool how they played the new ("Elastic" on 10-30) vs. the old ("Antelope" on 10-31) for the first two first-set closers of the event.

SET II ("Quatro")

"Exile on Main Street". Not my first choice for the album, yet the band completely MURDERED every lick and vocal on this double LP. I loved it despite it being perhaps my last choice of albums for them to cover. So damn well played. Irresistable. I pick "Torn and Frayed" and "Shine a Light" to appear in future sets (perhaps this fall?)

SET III ("Cinco")

Best set of the phest for me personally. "Number Line" is really turning into a monster set opener. Transition to Fluff is nice, version is tight with some little flubs (find me a post-hiatus Fluff with no fuck-ups, it doesn't exist) and great energy. Ghost is best version of 2009 IMHO, having listened to all the others. Length isn't everything; this one is the grooviest. Circus, to me, is always a throwaway, but w/e it's their show they can play what they like. YEM to close was beast - tight throughout, no noticeable flubs, and perhaps the best version since "Cheesecake" (if you don't know what I'm talking about, I am sorry). If anyone honestly complains about this setlist....check yourself, it's possible you DON'T REALLY LIKE PHISH (Haters take note).


SET I ("Seis")

The first ever acoustic set for the band and a landmark moment in Phish history. Many nice little tunes that have fallen by the wayside, such as "Mountains in the Mist", "Bri & Rob", the slow version of "Water" to open (SOOO much better than the fast version, guys, keep it up!) "Curtain With" puts the Coventry version to absolute shame (where it frankly belongs). And who would have called "McGrupp", the biggest bustout of the entire fest, to come in the acoustic set? This was my first, and it sounded very natural unamplified. Throw in a TRIPLE ENCORE ON THE FIRST SET OF A THREE SET SHOW and this really is just epic.

SET II ("Siete")

For some reason, I found this to possibly be the most uneven set of the entire weekend. I liked the song choices but to be honest Trey was a little off, and sometimes a lot off. And I love Reba so much, it hurts when they totally nail the composed segment then botch the transition to the jam (which is so much easier than everything they just played lol). Guelah was a nice bustout but semi-flubbed. Melt was nice but semi-tame (as it has been all year).

SET III ("THE OCHO" or just "Ocho" for short)

As with Set II, this last set on 11-1 had some uneven-ness in the playing. Whenever they transition out of Tweezer I'd just prefer for them to keep going at it and really take it out there. That being said, this "Tweezer > Maze" is one of the tightest transitions since the "re-return". For whatever reason, the next four songs all seemed out of place here, and the playing was subpar in both Free and Limb by Limb. Fishman didn't even try to do the drum outtro. But the boys brought it back home in style with the un-callable, unpredictable "Mike's>2001>Light>Sick Alien Hose Jam>Slave". Holy fucking shit. Who would have called Light for the highlight of the entire last two sets? If you don't believe me, listen to it. All the people calling for 97-era space jams can STFU right now.

Add in "Grind", the ultra-rare "Esther" and Tweeprise, and there you have it. Anyone who says this festival wasn't seriously fucking sick are out of their minds. Or maybe they're just too jaded by memories to enjoy the band anymore. Ah well, more for the rest of us - I see Cinci tickets for 25 bucks on stubhub. I'm fucking going. :)
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Review by kflinn1

kflinn1 When I think of the Empire Polo Field, home of the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival, my mind conjures up images of legions of hipsters patrolling the field, smoking Marlboro reds and trying to decide whether to spend their time yearning for the Cure or lining up a few hundred deep for Daft Punk.

I directly recall the moment I first set foot on the Polo Field's heavenly green grass in May 2004 -  I turned to my longtime tour buddy and said, "This place would be perfect for Phish."

You see, even though I'm a veteran of five Coachellas (and three Stagecoaches), I've also seen Phish 52 times (counting Saturday). That includes three of the band's previous seven festivals, New Year's Eve 1998 and, perhaps most importantly, the last time Phish played on Halloween (also in `98, when the quartet played the Velvet Underground's Loaded in its entirety as its "musical costume").

I honestly never thought I'd actually get to see Phish at the Coachella site; it was mostly just wishful thinking. After braving the elements and withstanding the band's so-called final festival -  the super-sloppy (both weather and music) Coventry, in August 2004 -  I was skeptical that Phish would ever throw another multi-day bash, let alone throw one in my proverbial backyard.

But when rumors about a Halloween festival in Indio began circulating towards the end of June, I couldn't help but get excited. Here was a band on which I'd spent thousands of dollars over the past 13 years, and the possibility that it was going to set up shop some 120 miles from my front door (as opposed to the 2,500 miles I traveled to see Phish's reunion shows in Hampton, Va., this past March) was simply too good to pass up.

You can imagine my delight when the whole thing eventually came to fruition, and as I strolled onto the same grassy lawn where I saw my second Radiohead show in 2004, I could hardly believe how different the site looked -  instead of two main stages and three smaller tents, one big stage stood in the northeast corner of the property (where Coachella's Outdoor Stage usually resides) and a series of oil-rig light stanchions stood guard a few hundred yards away.

Phish's Festival 8 -  the band's eighth major festival -  kicked off Friday with a delightfully crowd-pleasing pair of sets, highlighting material from the band's September release, Joy, as well as a bevy of fan favorites. It was an enjoyable way to kick-start the weekend, but the real treat was Saturday: sandwiched between two sets of Phish would be this year's musical costume, the Rolling Stones' 1972 classic Exile on Main St.

Joining Phish in tackling Exile were a three-piece horn section and two backup singers, the more notable of whom was Sharon Jones, who performed at Coachella 2008 with her funk/soul outfit, the Dap-Kings. Augmenting Phish's usual lineup, the extra five members made the band appear not altogether different from guitarist Trey Anastasio's various solo projects of the past decade, the most notable of which was the nonet with which he recorded his eponymous debut in 2002.

As a precursor to my review of the costume set, it should be noted that Exile on Main St. is undoubtedly my favorite Stones record -  influenced greatly by the fact that before Saturday evening, Phish had performed the album's side-two closer, "Loving Cup," 80-odd times since 1993. It was "Loving Cup" that led me to Exile, which led me to Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Some Girls -  you could say I owe my Stones fandom to Phish.

So "... my favorite band playing one of my favorite albums in one of the most beautiful concert venues in the United States "... you'd be right to assume that my excitement (as well as that of the other tens of thousands of attendees) ran at an all-time high when the band released its Broadway-spoofing Phishbill (announcing that Exile would indeed comprise the second set) as fans entered the venue Saturday.

This wasn't like 1998, when I walked into UNLV's Thomas & Mack Arena and read about Loaded, thinking, "I know `Sweet Jane,' but that's about it." (I'd come to love Loaded, and Phish would introduce "Rock and Roll" into its repertoire, where it remains a second-set juggernaut to this day).

No, this time I'd know every song, every word, every brassy blast. This was peanut butter and jelly, a perfect musical marriage. Really, the only way Phish could've done any better by me would've been to play the Clash's London Calling or Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (both of which were eliminated from the running during the month-long lead-up to Halloween on the band's site).

But Exile it was meant to be, and as Phish launched into the opener "Rocks Off," it became clear the band would show due diligence to an album that all four members have repeatedly cited as a major influence. Anastasio and keyboardist Page McConnell shared vocal duties on most of the songs, with bassist Mike Gordon taking over on "Shake Your Hips" and "All Down the Line" and drummer Jon Fishman stepping outside his usual jokester role for genuine readings of "Sweet Virginia" and "Happy."

While Jones and the horn section lent authenticity (and a great deal more soul) to Phish's rendering of Exile (most notably their subtle, delicate accents on "Sweet Black Angel" and show-stealing, spine-tingling moments in "I Just Want to See His Face"), it was the Phish-only moments that truly stole the show, or at least the set.

During the few songs unadorned by additional personnel, Phish stayed within its comfort zone but stretched the Stones' bluesy song structures, making "Casino Boogie" and "Torn and Frayed" sound like songs that the Vermont foursome could have written at any point its 25-year career -  they escalated the Stones' simplicity into shimmering, glorious peaks while maintaining the originals' feel, which is no small task, especially considering Exile's notoriety.

Three songs in particular, however, defined the Exile set:

* The aforementioned "Loving Cup," in which the audience fired thousands of glow-rings in the air and the horn section added a punchy layer to a song that Phish mastered 15 years prior, when McConnell first brought a grand piano on tour. Watching Anastasio's ear-to-ear grin as he bounced back and forth was a revelation. "What a beautiful buzz" indeed.
* "I Just Want to See His Face," which segued out of "Ventilator Blues" (as it does on the album) and sounded like it could've been the tail end of a drawn-out "Piper" jam, featured Anastasio and Jones in a call-and-response mantra: "Let this music relax your mind." The gospel-tinged number caused more than one member of the audience to throw his hands up and shout a "hallelujah" to the nearly-full October moon. (Note: this song has never been played live by the Stones, who would do well to give Phish's reading their full attention.)
* Exile's penultimate song, the shout-along "Shine a Light," was nothing less than an exercise in redemptive glory for Phish. "May the good Lord / Shine a light on you / Make every song you sing / Your favorite tune," the guitarist sang, and we could almost see the exorcism take place, the personal demons plaguing Anastasio (and the band) since before Phish's 2004 breakup dissipating from his shoulders as he shook off Fishman's attempt to end the song, uncorking a searing solo that served as a proper exclamation point on a personal and professional triumph.

Did I love Phish's Halloween reading of Exile on Main St.? You bet. Am I biased? Certainly. While I would've been happy to see the band take a stab at David Bowie's Hunky Dory or Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, I feel incredibly lucky to have had the good fortune to see my musical heroes take on a monumental challenge and conquer it with flying colors.

When I step onto the familiar green grass next April, I won't recall Bright Eyes or Belle & Sebastian. My memory will undoubtedly harken back to Halloween 2009, when the proverbial stars aligned and every song was indeed my favorite tune.

In many ways the albums Phish has chosen to cover over the years have reflected the band's mindset and direction at the time. For example "...

The White Album is an ambitious (arguably, over-ambitious) mash-up of wildly divergent songwriting styles, much as 1993-1994 Phish was akin to a hyperactive child with a shiny new toy, often jumping back and forth between musical genres in their trademark devil-may-care style that earned them early accolades (and early scorn from critics who couldn't stand Phish's attention-deficit swings). The sometimes playful/sometimes serious dichotomy of songs on the Beatles' self-titled 1968 release fit the wildly divergent idiosyncrasies of a 10-year-old band entering its prime.

As the band's audiences grew -  in the wake of Jerry Garcia's August '95 passing and the subsequent demise of the Grateful Dead -  Phish was suddenly playing bigger rooms (even arenas with some regularity), and while the band hadn't necessarily changed, it sometimes struggled to maintain the club/theater vibe in a huge hockey stadium. The Who's Quadrophenia, about a young Mod with four distinct personalities, suited Phish's growth spurt perfectly, as the band wrestled with inheriting the Dead's longstanding legacy. Ultimately, by December 1995 (quite possibly the best single month of shows in Phish history, leading up to a New Year's show that Rolling Stone dubbed "one of the greatest concerts of the '90s") Phish had grown comfortable wearing the jam band crown.

Talking Heads' Remain in Light, long cited as a major influence on all four band members, would mark a turning point in Phish's career, leading it from a 1996 that saw the band grow more comfortable headlining arenas and outdoor amphitheaters to a 1997 characterized by a complete musical renaissance. David Byrne & Co.'s striated, synthesizer-laden work laid the groundwork for the "cow-funk" that would permeate Phish's '97 outings, leading to more laid-back, patient grooves from a more grown-up and confident band. Remain in Light's impact was felt almost immediately, as a third-set "Simple" on Halloween '96 stretched into undiscovered funky territory, setting the stage for a monstrous 1997.

As in 1996, the band distributed a Broadway-style Phishbill to fans entering the venue. This essentially gave away the second-set surprise and many fans looked at each other quizzically, wondering why Phish chose the Velvet Underground's Loaded over the heavily-rumored (and heavily-favored) Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon. That gesture defined the band at this time -  while some of the playfulness that characterized its early years had dissipated, Phish had grown into a group that favored simplicity, and Loaded fits that bill. No horns, no guests, no quirky compositions, just a classic rock record that perfectly reflected the mature, 15-year-old Phish and introduced a number of jam fans to the genius of Lou Reed. (Also of note: three days later, the band performed Dark Side in its entirety to a half-full arena in Salt Lake City, presumably as a make-up gesture for a brilliant-but-bizarre third set on Halloween.)
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Review by jackl

jackl I've seen about six random shows this year so far before Indio (Hamptons, Jones Beach 1, SPAC, Indio 1) and can say without a doubt that the second and third sets last night were the first I've seen since the breakup that rocked out and sounded like the "old" Phish of the 90's that we all loved.

Short review: best Suzy Greenberg, EVER. Best Loving Cup EVER (in versions that are unlikely to be topped because of the onstage presence of the guests Sharon Jones and her Dap Kings horns). Great, jammed out, spooky Ghost for Halloween. All best versions. Get this recording, you will not be disappointed.

Extremely satisfied. Got my money's worth last night. The band does not seem to be practicing or warming up or "phoning it in" any more. Phish is back.

Sorry this is not a terribly articulate review, but I'm shaking off the sunday morning cobwebs and waiting to shower and get back to the polo field for coffee, commemorative donuts and the acoustic set and just wanted to get my 0.02 on this show since it seems YMMV.

The trainwreck at Coventry has at last been redeemed.
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Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Perfectly fine first set, but you don't care. The third set goes Solid, Solid, Great, Solid, Great; Ghost is a particularly fine version, though there's no pornofunk in sight. The encore is (yeah) the Best Suzy Ever, Probably. And the costume? After a couple of shaky tunes they did that thing they do where they're nerds from Vermont, nerds, nerds, nerds, then suddenly they're the best band in America. Loving Cup onward is 24K gold. Kudos to Sharon Jones and her band for tearing shit up - and to Phish for topping themselves three nights running.
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Review by XavierMudbottom

XavierMudbottom I'm just going to add what I feel may be missing from the earlier reviews.

First, I enjoyed that there was an afternoon set. It's not the same as showing up, knowing that you'll be standing there for the next several hours. It was also nice to be able to go back to camp, make some dinner, and put on appropriate clothes (or costumes) before regrouping for the evening's festivities.

The concert field was an incredible space, with Kuroda's skills in evidence everywhere. From the highlighted palm trees, to the moving lights traversing the tents in the rear, it was beautiful. Also, the towers, strung with lights and topped by torches added a great element of extravagance.

In general, the playing at Festival 8 was not the most energetic and powerful of 3.0, compared to when I had seen them at The Gorge in August (I heartily recommend those shows). Still great to get together, all the same.

I'm not a huge Stones fan (I really think they're an overrated pop band), but there is no denying the mastery of songcraft exemplified in Exile. The boys did a great job and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (w/ Saundra Williams) were just what was needed to fully flesh out the tunes.

A note about the Festival as a whole: Overall, it was a great weekend in a great place. Ninety-six songs, more than 13 1/2 hours of music over 8 sets, in 3 days...though to complain. However, it seemed to me that the movie-making had taken over to some degree. In all that time they only covered one song, other than the Exile album, and that was Circus...not really the biggest crowd-pleaser, in my opinion. In fact, I'm a little surprised that no one here has mentioned the glaring omission of Frankenstein from a Halloween show...frankly this hurt me deeply. I kind of felt like the band was sticking to their own catalog because the 3D cameras were rolling, and they wanted to be able to use footage without having to ask permission, or pay royalties, or negotiate those royalties...but maybe I'm reading too much into it. (This sure as hell wasn't a consideration at the Superball! - which coincidentally also had 96 songs, more than 13 1/2 hours of playing, over 8 sets in 3 days)

It was good to be at a festival again (the last one I attended was Oswego '99), but the scene at The Gorge a few months earlier was far less restrictive (and the playing was more unbridled), the scene at The Greek the next summer was far more celebratory, and the overall experience at Superball IX (scene and sound) was simply superior.

One man's opinion.

As I write this, I'm anxiously anticipating the 3-night stand at SPAC this summer. Hope to see you there.
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Review by phishymike

phishymike I am 34 and been a Phan since 93'.

After attending 8 and listening to the Halloween set several times I am ready to give my opinion. Overall, I think the band sounded great and I loved the Exile choice. Yes, the energy was there big time and I could tell the boys were enjoying themselves. I am trying to not sound negative about this review because I was pleased with the set. I just get frustrated when people get all crazy and say it was SICK and the BEST EVER! IMO, Quadrophenia was better and I think I like Loaded more as well. Remember, this is my opinion. I realize that Exile tells a story of the band, but it didn't have the same story feel that Quadrophenia had. IMO, Phish should have chosen an album with more of an overall vibe. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were awesome and they sound great on the sbd. Loving Cup is for sure SICK! I really enjoyed Fish on the songs he sang, especially Sweet Virginia.

3rd set was tight...great songs.

Suzy sounded amazing, but I found it to be too predictable. Sorry, but I expect more from this band on such a big night.

Go ahead and axe me if you wish!
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Review by toddmanout

toddmanout October 31st, 2009. Hallowe’en. Day two of a three-day Phish festival in hot, sunny southern California. A very festive and highly anticipated day indeed.

Woke up in the tent, found some coffee and breakfast, explored the nifty art installations that had been artistically installed throughout the site, chose to strike out on the very cool event poster – I just wasn’t up to spending half my morning standing in the blazing sun waiting to spend $50 on a piece of paper – and enjoyed a slow afternoon chatting with m’lady and our campsite neighbours.

On our way into the first set the Hallowe’en handbills were being distributed throughout the crowd. It was now official: after months of teasing and speculation Phish would be covering Exile On Main Street by The Rolling Stones for their musical costume this year. I was over the moon; one of my favourite bands covering one of my favourite bands, and with a horn section and a pair of backup singers, including the great Sharon Jones (1956-2016)! The crowd (or was it just me?) was tingling with anticipation.

With the Hallowe’en set nigh upon us, Phish’s super-early first set felt like an opening band – the group excited and striving to grab the attention of a crowd more interested in the next act that would be hitting the stage. In truth it was a standard, nothing special first set; Sample opener, the excellent and always fun Divided Sky, Lawnboy, Bathtub Gin, Possum, and an Antelope closer, a song I invariably don’t recognize until Trey implores me to set my gearshift to the high gear of my soul. M’lady invariably finds this quite amusing.

At setbreak the whole crowd went back to their tents to get in costume for the Hallowe’en set. M’lady and I had spent hours and hours (and hours and hours) over the previous few months making our costumes based on a vest I had made for Burning Man 2001. For the freaky desert fest in Nevada I had glued a bunch of plastic googly-eyes all over the front of a vest. It was my daily uniform at Burning Man and I had pulled it out on a few special occasions since.

So m’lady and I went to the local craft store and bought a bunch of googly-eyes – I mean hundreds of them – and a bottle of glue. We started glueing the googly-eyes to some bargain-store formal attire and ran out before we could blink. Back to the craft store we went, buying out their entire googly-eye stock. (Curiously, in craft industry parlance they are actually called “wiggle eyes”.)

After a week of spending several hours each night sitting around the dinner table glueing googly-eyes we ran out again. Luckily the store had restocked so we bought them out. We must have gone back to the craft store five times to empty their shelves, and I swear we spent fifty or sixty hours glueing.

And in the end I had pants, jacket, tie, shoes, hat, and my old vest while m’lady had a skirt, blouse, hair pin, wallet, bracelet, shoes and a necklace, all covered with thousands upon thousands of hand-glued googly-eyes, from as large as an old silver dollar to teensy-tiny ones literally a single millimetre in diameter. We were the Great Googly Mooglies.

After carefully shuttling all of this across the continent we went to the tent and donned our outfits. We finally got to strut our stuff and I tell you, people were impressed! We sounded like the ocean when we walked, as with every step came the whoosh of countless tiny plastic discs looking around their little plastic domes.

The only two downsides: a) we both left a trail of googly-eyes everywhere we went as a few would drop of now and again, though at least we’d be sure to find our way home, and b) gravity made it look like our clothes were always staring at the ground. A lot.

Which couldn’t be more wrong, because when Phish came out and slayed one of the world’s great rock albums our eyes were on the stage the whole time.

We stayed near the back of the crowd, which wasn’t too far from the stage given the width of the polo field and the relatively small crowd of 30,000 or so. Back there we had plenty of room to dance and rock out, and dance and rock out we did. I thought the band sounded really, really great – they had certainly rehearsed this one – and the horns and backup vocals were stupendous. The light show was amazing as always, augmented by the strategic lighting of the rows of palm trees that stretched out peripherally from the stage in both directions.

Almost every song was a highlight, though Loving Cup was the best ever. Torn and Frayed was stellar and Shine A Light was pretty great too. It encapsulated the feeling of togetherness of the whole thing; a bit of rock and roll advice we all follow, preached by the band(s) we love the most.

The third set was fuelled by the excitement of the whole evening and though a bit short in time, it was nothing short of spectacular. Dressed to the nines, we all communed while the band rollicked through a handful of their best jammy tunes – Fluffhead, Ghost, and a YEM that featured an ethereal vocal jam under a stunning wide desert sky – but the Suzy Greenberg encore was just off the hook. The horn players and backup singers had returned to the stage and the band raged their three-chord rocker like it was a victory lap. We had all just won the race together and the energy that was pulsing back and forth between the stage and the crowd swelled with exponential greatness. It was the best song of the entire weekend (imagine that!) and the best Suzy Greenberg ever played. Frankly, they should have retired the song. Every version since can only sound like a weakened, second-rate cover of the version they did to close this night.

Simultaneously spent and energized, the costumed crowd dispersed to join a thousand parties. And while the bustling, celebratory collection of happy souls was full of festive disguises both grand and outrageous one thing I can promise you: for the entire evening all eyes were on us.

Except for the ones that fell off, of course.
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Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I'm much more of a Beatles fan than a Stones fan, but like Halloweens '95, '96, '98, and possibly '10, I have the musical costume of this show to thank for giving me motivation to learn more about the covered band. My Dad used to have Hot Rocks on eight-track, and I enjoyed the singles from the Rolling Stones but didn't give much credence otherwise to their albums at all until after hearing this show. As I said, it was pretty much that way with The Who, Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, and Little Feat--respectively--as well. Now, after hearing Phish cover it, Exile on Main St is my favorite Stones album, and the one I'm most familiar with. Just as an aside, if Phish is going to keep doing musical costumes for Halloween--and I hope they do!--I could go for some more modern selections. Remain in Light was from the 1980s, but I'm left scratching my head when I think of what Phish could do with more recent material to cover and their choice not to. Mike Gordon Band does a good job of keeping the covers interesting, but for the most part, I'm not most enthusiastic about Phish's covers, but rather their originals, so does it matter? Who knows, man... who effing knows!
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Review by phishhead802

phishhead802 saturday night halloween was the best night of my life, trey stole my face and i for the first time got COMPLETELY PHISHED!!
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Review by TJC12TJC

TJC12TJC Casino Boogie !!!
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Review by mrminor1

mrminor1 This show may officially mark a new era of Phish. An era where anticipation and mystery mean nothing.

Halloween has been used to scare people and I am officially scared. Scared that the band I have grown up loving and admiring is nothing but a zombie brought back from the dead, slowly walking blindly with its arms stretched out, looking for fresh blood to feast on.

The truth is that if the 20 year old versions of these men met the aged men that we now know as Phish, those young versions would laugh in the faces of their now zombified selves.

Don't get me wrong, I love Phish and will always love Phish. I am glad that I can see them perform and be together on stage, but I am painfully coming to grips with the reality that this is now a band that will tell me what they are going to do before they do it, that when it gets dark out, they get tired, that the songs that used to be rare treats are now novelty songs used to make us feel okay that we spent hundreds of dollars to see them struggle through their material.

When they announced that they were doing an album for halloween I was baffled that they would tell us such news in advance, but i remembered that the first couple times they covered albums on halloween they told the audience in advance and had us vote on which album we wanted to hear. So I just wrote it off. Immediately I though to myself that the obvious album would be Exile on Main St. The Beatles, Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, The Who, Velvet Underground. The Stones seemed natural and with a couple songs already in their bag, Exile seemed even more obvious. But wait. Phish is a band that represented originality, searching the unknown, surprise and anticipation. So i hoped and prayed that this obvious choice is something they would never do, because its just too obvious. But as I listened to Phish perform their music over the weekend, I found myself guessing every song correctly, knowing exactly when we've reached the highest peak and when the songs would end. And when the flyers circulated that told us they would be performing Exile on Main Street, completely destroying the last remaining element of surprise, my heart sunk and a turned to my young girlfriend and told her that I wish she could have been old enough to have toured with me in the 90's when they were true masters of their craft.

I will continue to see Phish shows. I have seen 9 shows since they have been back and have my tickets for fall tour and will most likely get my tickets to new years. There is still no band like them. They are still living legends and still make me feel great when they stumble through their master pieces. But the resurrection of my favorite band is officially no more than an opportunity to relive the past as opposed to an opportunity to trail-blaze new paths into the future.

Perhaps Phish 4.0 is on the horizon but, to me Phish 3.0 is as sad as it was for me to visit my grandmother before she passed. I loved her so I kept going to see her, but it seemed like she forgot who I was and became confused about who she was.
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