, attached to 2015-08-23

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: Mainly distinguished by its second half, with one more Maze from a year of really good Mazes, a Stash that made a very nice diversion into major key (it was longer than I'd remembered it live, actually), one more soaring Reba for a wonderful year for Reba (if, perhaps, not on the Shoreline/Atlanta level), and a very heartfelt rap from Trey in I Didn't Know. Much of the set bore the hallmarks of a tired band (Trey in particular), making you wonder if they'd shot their bolt with the Drive-In Jam.

Set 2: Well, as it turns out, that wasn't the case. After Martian Monster finds yet another place for it that works as Set 2 opener, Disease swoops in as we all knew it would, and this Disease dives into a darker minor-key range, Page and Mike leading the charge, before Page (again) pushes for a more upbeat jam space and Trey follows along, leading to a warm and lovely groove. It sounds for a few minutes that the band might be heading back towards Disease proper, but instead Trey gets a better idea and we head into Scents and Subtle Sounds with an absurdly smooth grace. They really tear into SaSS, too, and a gorgeous take-'em-down-and-bring-'em-up What's The Use? popping out of the back end is just an added bonus.

Dirt gives the band (and us) a breather, then comes an absurdly fun final 36 minutes, starting with an action-packed Mike's Song that leans more 1/2/15 than 8/4/15 (which is fine, honestly, if it's that nasty), then a hopped-up-on-amphetamines Fuego...then things get REALLY good. Twist, having one hell of a summer, pops up, and it almost immediately pulls itself apart, Trey and Mike having a duet of sorts, then we get a monster-movie take on Twist, *then* they rebuild into a bluesy My Soul-esque take on Twist, then they start building towards something really nasty and heavy metal-ish, which very nearly resolves into Immigrant Song as Fish howls the famous opening vocals...and with an almost hilarious inevitability, Weekapaug Groove comes hurtling out in another wicked segue. Weekapaug is as full of piss and vinegar as it usually is, but then Trey gets one more good idea, slows things down, and they roll into a peppier version of Martian Monster, which closes a wild and crazy set. YEM, in the encore, is powered with the same stripped-back lankiness as the Reading 2013 version, and closes one hell of a three-day run.

Final thoughts: Not being quite at the level of two utterly astounding shows is hardly anything to sneeze at, and there is a wealth of riches to be found in this show. If you ever doubted just how much fun Phish can be, look no further than this one.


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