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Michigan Revisted

Posted 3 years ago by ericwyman - 22 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/4deb9c7f

Phish left the confines of the East Coast following two shows in New Jersey that produced mix results in the final date. The show had great parts, but completely failed in the second set where Trey seemed to rush through every song to successfully cross it off the setlist. Heading west for Clarkston, MI the band unleashed an unparalleled performance that contained all the pieces for a great show. Fun vibe, good songs and deep jams.

Now the 72 hour rule is still in effect here, but I am very comfortable in saying that this is the best show Phish has played since 2003/2004.

Flying out of the gates with a 10-min Wolfman's Brother, led by Mike's driving bass and Trey razor sharp guitar, the band checked the first great show pre-requisite off the list. An extended jam in the opening slot. In my mind, every great show should start with 10+ minutes in one jam. Followed by a Funky Bitch that, as always, showcased page but also contained a excellent turn from Trey where sometimes he chooses to simply move on. Even Sample In A Jar didn't suck in the third spot. Vocals sounded crisp and the band sounded good. One theory for the outcome of this show, will undoubtedly be as a celebration of Mike's birthday. In NICU, Trey improvised a birthday wish in the lyrics and followed up with a Happy Birthday tease on guitar. Continuing with the traditional, and as of late rare, Mike's Groove Phish more than made up for the disappointing effort in Bethel. While they seemingly extended the "tramps" segment for a few bars, I waited on egg shells for the band to carry on into a second jam segment. When it changed into Hydrogen I was yet again deflated, but its first appearance since last summer surely pleased most fans. I on the other hand am a jaded ungrateful bastard who will secretly hate Mike's and whatever follows it in the same fashion that I hate hockey ever since he Whalers left Hartford. The set closed with another spin of the "Request-O-Matic" machine from Trey, when a girl down front shouted out for Tela, a high energy Chalk Dust and a Wedge finale. Great set.

The second set opened to several (poorly coordinated) serenades of Happy Birthday to Mike, who responded with a tease of his own already deep into the preparations for his DWD effects. The DWD that followed is unquestionably the best version they have played in 3.0, it's the longest that they've played on a single song and it featured at least three truly unique jam segments. Unreal. Add to this a fantastic segue into Fluffhead, which maintained all of the energy in the house and an above average David Bowie with Stash-like jam elements made for an unbelievable stretch of music that is unlike anything else in this era. Is the DWD the best overall jam in 3.0? Needs re-listening, but no one will question saying that's true. In a lot of respects, this feels like 3.0's coming out party. Even when you talk about the Camden Sand or Albany's Seven BeGhost, you can quickly be met with a "what have you done for me lately answer". The fact that this jam comes in this show is a seems to reinforce how real this appears to be. When Waste followed this unreal segment, you'd expect it to kill it all, but guess what? It didn't. Now I'm never gonna defend poorly placed Anastasio ballads, but this one features a slick segue into a James Brown laden 2001. Closing the show with Cavern and Good Times Bad Times this show just didn't quit.

It's the best show of this tour, duh. And it's probably the best of 3.0.

Postscript notes: I erronously ommited mention of the amazing jam on Coltrane's, A Love Supreme. Definitely listen for that in particular. Also, I just left "Tela" out of the sentence on the topic. Check out the comment from @MJZ1974 on the circumstances of how the Tela request came to be. Very cool!

Comments

MJZ1974 Reply
MJZ1974 Wonderful, wonderful spot on review.

Interesting there's no mention of Tela after Mike's Groove though(?). Especially since it arose from a rather spontaneous and humurous triade involving Trey, Page, and a fan's well placed and timely volleyed beach ball...with the 4 block letters T E L A inscribed across it.

It was just one of those "you had to be there" funny Phish moments. Since the ball made it to the stage...and got passed around all 4 band members...then whacked back into the audience via a line drive shot courtesy of Mr. Fishman's drumstick...one could almost consider that a "Big Ball Jam Tease"

:)
Score: 5
bryontreece Reply
You didn't even mention Tela. But anyways, while I obviously must agree about DWD, & the whole 2nd set for that matter, it still bothers me that they are constantly having trouble playing their own arrangements correctly, ie. Hydrogen, parts of Chalkdust & The Wedge. Don't get me wrong, I'm no hater here, but it just annoys me that they play their own songs so sloppily sometimes. It just makes me feel like they don't give a poop.....and tickets are quite expensive these days, so I think we should all expect their "A" game at all times. I know that it's most likely not the case that they don't care, but it irks me all the same. That being said, I can't get enough of that 2nd set. Looking forward to SBIX!

PS - Moving on to the next night...."Steam" is a keeper.
Score: -1
Fitz2001 Reply
Fitz2001 "James Brown Laden", is there a pyite joke in there?
Score: 0
mofo313 Reply
Really dug the little jam they mixed into Chalkdust as well. Great night, walked away really fired up for the west coast later in the summer.
Score: 0
2grandmaz Reply
2grandmaz Great review. After listening to the show I was really impressed. Tight tight play and a set list that did not let up. Can't wait until Camden.
Score: 0
rasbenton Reply
How can you review this show and not mention the fact that the jam in DWD is based on one of the greatest jazz albums ever. Not one word of Coltrane, or did you not even know. Clearly it was planned therefore the reason it was so long. Something that would have never happened before 3.0. I agree with the fact that the DWD was great but I think you are selling Hartford 09 short when you say best show of 3.0.
Score: 0
Gallium Reply
Gallium not to mention the msg new year run, but i will not fault one for a post show glow
Score: 0
ericwyman Phish.net Staff Reply
ericwyman I love you guys.

I kill Bethel 3 and I get killed. I fluff Pine Knob and I get killed. LOL!

The omission of the Coltrane note was just an oversight. I had a five year old lobbying to play outside. I would question the idea of that being planned though. Highly unlikely IMHO.

I'm also a big fan of Hartford 09, a sentiment that is definitely questioned by the public. "BEST" show is really a discussion of 4 or 5 shows at all levels.
Score: 3
bertoletdown Phish.net Staff Reply
bertoletdown Wait, why are we to believe the Love Supreme stuff was planned???
Score: 1
bertoletdown Phish.net Staff Reply
bertoletdown I know DWD was great, and that Pine Knob had lots of other highlights, but I think I actually prefer Blossom. Blossom has a weird setlist on paper but the playing made it flow. I can't think of a second set that is more entertaining from start to finish in 3.0. Just rock solid.
Score: 0
charliefogg Reply
charliefogg I agree that the A Love Supreme segment was probably not planned. Otherwise, I think Trey would have played a bit of Coltrane's melody (at which point I might have started crying, had I been there.) They could definitely pull that off, but it would take some serious preparation. Not something quickly figured out on the road.

I also agree about Hartford, '09, but since I was there, there may be some bias. (I think the BOAF from that show was amazing, one of my favorite jams ever, but I digress,)

Score: 0
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 LOL PYITE; It's hard to please anyone...imagine how the band feels? I assume this is why they likely don't pay that much attention. It would drive me batty. Both of your reviews have been spot on. Thanks for the insight.
For what it's worth, I think DTE is a better show than Hartford.
Score: 0
lumpblockclod Phish.net Staff Reply
lumpblockclod I'm definitely sitting in the best of 3.0 camp at this point. The thing about this second set is that literally every song crushes. They even found space in Fluffhead to stretch things out a little, which is rare for any era. The DWD is, of course, one of the finest they've ever played and the Bowie is an easy best of 3.0 IMO. Waste was perfectly placed and perfectly played. 2001 wasn't an all-time version by any stretch, but it was nice to see it getting back to it's 96-97 funk roots. Even the Cavern served its purpose as a solid closer. You could argue that other 3.0 jams are superior to the DWD, but I think the second set was the best sustained stretch of playing I've seen from them since Hampton.
Score: 0
_jolly Reply
@bryontreece said:
You didn't even mention Tela. But anyways, while I obviously must agree about DWD, & the whole 2nd set for that matter, it still bothers me that they are constantly having trouble playing their own arrangements correctly, ie. Hydrogen, parts of Chalkdust & The Wedge. Don't get me wrong, I'm no hater here, but it just annoys me that they play their own songs so sloppily sometimes. It just makes me feel like they don't give a poop.....and tickets are quite expensive these days, so I think we should all expect their "A" game at all times. I know that it's most likely not the case that they don't care, but it irks me all the same. That being said, I can't get enough of that 2nd set. Looking forward to SBIX!

PS - Moving on to the next night...."Steam" is a keeper.
how could you expect them to play perfectly every night ? not that i love when they mess up but i think its alright just because it reminds me that they are humans, since i'm normally convinced there gods. i think every phish show i've been too has been awesome but my opinion doesn't count too much there since i've only seen phish in 3.0. but still its pretty unfair too expect this. if they didn't care why would they be back at this and playing amazingly and clearly having a great time doing it too. i would think they randomly swing by sites like this but idk maybe im wrong about that..just my 2cents onthat

anyway, definitely loved your review. i really wish i could have been to this show. after hearing about the 25 min dwd right after it happened i bought the show immediately bc i couldn't wait to listen. the segue into fluffhead blew my mind and i wish i drove the 10+(?) hours to michigan for this show. i live in ny which is amazing for the # of phish shows nearby but i definitely wish i could make it to some awesome venues further west. anyway awesome review wish i could have made it to this show and the next night in ohio, which i hope you write a review for tooo! :)
Score: 0
nichobert Reply
nichobert Somehow didn't put Waste on my ipod, and omgz that set sounds so good going straight to 2001. Although you don't get the epic crowd response that would have surely happened if they followed up that Bowie with 2001 instead of Waste.

The Bowie was a masterpiece, for what its worth. Whereas that DWD might have been overshadowed on a Fall Tour 97, the way the Bowie weaves in and out of the darker Bowie theme and the other theme which felt ecstatic yet tinged with melancholy.. So beautiful. Not the longest, craziest, or tightest Bowie, but there are very few versions of Bowie that manage to feel so emotional. Even better, it's a very conflicted & complicated set of emotions. Possibly the most impressed I've been with this band since the first time I heard The Nassau Tweezer and realized there was still hope. I really think this Bowie would have been extremely well received at any point in this band's career. Sometimes you just have to put aside your personal preferences and stand back in awe.
Score: 0
rasbenton Reply
@ericwyman said:
I love you guys.

I kill Bethel 3 and I get killed. I fluff Pine Knob and I get killed. LOL!

The omission of the Coltrane note was just an oversight. I had a five year old lobbying to play outside. I would question the idea of that being planned though. Highly unlikely IMHO.

I'm also a big fan of Hartford 09, a sentiment that is definitely questioned by the public. "BEST" show is really a discussion of 4 or 5 shows at all levels.
Score: 0
rasbenton Reply
Ok maybe my planned love supreme theory is off base. Probably selling the masters of improve a little short with that one. I just watched the video again and the bottom line is it's just flat out sick. Hopefully more supper jams to come especially tomorrow night at great woods because I'll be in the pit. Thanks for the intelligent back and forth.
Score: 1
iandisoftheworld Reply
iandisoftheworld Of my 21 phish shows (all since 09) I am pretty sure this is #1. I need to relisten but my initial reaction was that it was tops. The DWD-> Fluff-> Bowie is definitely the best jamming I've ever heard Phish do. And of the 9 diseases, 7 bowies, and 6 fluffs I've seen live I think the versions from DTE are all the best versions of those songs I've seen live.

Really had a blast. Can't wait for The Gorge, UIC pavilion and maybe CO.
Score: 0
DollarBill Reply
DollarBill Did anyone mention the hot pink bra that Mike picked up and threw at Fishman? Which he then put on over the sundress and continued to play.

Great show, I'm a huge fan of NICU, but I think Blossom eclipsed it a little as the best of 3.0, and was a continuation of the Mike's celebration.

Still a great show! No Detroit Rock City bust out?
Score: 0
me_no_are_no_nice_guy Reply
me_no_are_no_nice_guy This was my 24th show, my first being 12-02-99, and I've never had a Phish show just fly by like this one did for me. That 25 minute DWD didn't feel that long at all. At the end of each set I was left wanting more. I was able to go to all 3 shows of this run and I had the best Phish experience of my life. Any chance we get a DVD out of the Pine Knob show? I'd kill for one.
Score: 1
jraras Phish.net Staff Reply
@rasbenton said:
How can you review this show and not mention the fact that the jam in DWD is based on one of the greatest jazz albums ever. Not one word of Coltrane, or did you not even know. Clearly it was planned therefore the reason it was so long. Something that would have never happened before 3.0. I agree with the fact that the DWD was great but I think you are selling Hartford 09 short when you say best show of 3.0.
I do not think it was planned
Score: 0

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