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SPAC3 Recap: Pressing Your Luck

Posted 1 year ago by TheEmu - 93 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/51da8b8d

The last time Phish ended a run at SPAC, it was the cherry on top of a sweet 2012 first leg. This time around, the band is still gearing up for the summer and their 30th anniversary, as well as adjusting to a new/old configuration with Fish in the middle. In short, tours rarely seem to hit the jackpot right off the bat. SPAC3 2013 cashes in on a few jams, breaks even on others, and occasionally loses out. The takeaway from the evening, though, is that this slightly-above-average-great show means that the big bucks are still on the way.

The first set has great song selection, even though “AC/DC Bag” isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind by opening a show. It appears in the first or second slot so often for a reason; it’s a good way to loosen up and get the blood flowing. After a false ending from Trey, we get the real tightening of the noose, and the first highlight of the evening in the form of a solid “Back on the Train” boogie. This is a fun and extremely danceable type-I version, with accompaniment from Kuroda’s mesmerizing-yet-simple new lighting backdrop (which I’m in love with). “Divided Sky” is an excellent choice to follow “BOTT,” and the composed sections are clean. But while the jam starts in delicate fashion, with some nice additions from Fishman, to my ears there are a lot of sour notes from that point on.

Free” has become an enormous tease for me. Every time, they get me thinking that they might stretch it out and give it some air, and every time Trey hits that chord that means the end is coming and leaves my balloon flat. But I’ll keep hoping. In the meantime, we are offered a Rift-fest in the form of “It’s Ice” and “Mound” (both solidly performed) and “Maze.” “Maze” is a different sort of tease, a potential detour into something completely un-“Maze”-like. There is a bit of reggae, which is quickly dropped, and then it seems like they might slow down and deconstruct the jam, but the result is just miscommunication and a botched transition into the Trey solo. The Trey section delivers the “Maze” tension well, but the release doesn’t explode as the best versions can. “Limb by Limb” then compresses the elements of this show into one song; the first part of the jam is fairly standard, then about six minutes in there is an interesting detour into Cactusland. But that lasts for only a minute, and there are some more unpleasant moments (again, to my ears) before “LxL” wraps up. “Walls of the Cave” is another great selection, and does as well closing a first set as “AC/DC Bag” does opening it. This version performs capably, but is not “SPACtacular.”

Down with Disease” second set openers have become as common as “AC/DC Bag” first set openers, but when the jams have the potential to go just about anywhere, who cares? This “Disease” flirts with a few different moods. It first rages in typical rock fashion, then briefly becomes uplifting and melodic before taking a dark and dirty turn. I particularly like the last two minutes of this jam, which eventually dies and gives up to “Ghost.” Aside from some “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” teasing (and some technical problems with Page’s new vocoder), this “Ghost” mostly just floats around until the 7:30 mark, when Page injects plinko and things get interesting. There is a brief return to the “JJF” theme, but as the jam nears 11 minutes, there’s some musical indecision. Are we about to get spacey and cool down? Are we about to speed back up? No, we’re about to make an abrupt segue into “Piper,” which accelerates quickly and smoothly, peaks with authority, and descends into a beautiful coda that concludes with “Wading in the Velvet Sea.”

Run Like an Antelope” is a little rough at the start and doesn’t run with its brother from Bangor, but it’s pretty much spot on and nice to hear mid-set rather than as a closer. It also has the vocal tag at the end, which you don’t often hear live, and contains lyrical changes which require a subsequent taste of the “Meatstick.” With that little Vienna sausage consumed, we’re ready for “You Enjoy Myself,” which is money in the bank on most nights. This, in my opinion, is not one of those nights. The jam gets off to a good start, with some staccato/plinko action between Trey and Mike especially, but what Trey plays from there just is not pleasing to my ears. I am not a musician, and I don’t have any idea about technique and equipment. I only know what I like and don’t like, and this pitch-bending effect that Trey uses, to my untrained ears, sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Here, as in “Divided Sky” and “Limb by Limb,” I don’t think it works. The beautiful buzz of “Loving Cup” tops us off, and SPAC ’13 is in the books.

It was a fantastic holiday weekend, and this is just the start of what promises to be an amazing summer. While I wouldn’t call this a “great” show, it has plenty that makes me excited for what comes next. Look for the band to gamble bigger and press their luck as they play Toronto and then move down the coast this week. Hope to see you at MPP! Be safe, everyone!

Comments

Bradford33 Reply
Bradford33 Thanks for the comment about CK5 and his new rig. I haven't been able to see it yet, but heard there was a change. Love to hear more about it from those who where there!
Score: 0
fluffhead108 Reply
fluffhead108 Always a pleasure to read these reviews, and thanks for being so prompt!

Still, you're crazy to not love that YEM. ;)
Score: 2
mazed207 Reply
Phish is like a drug, cant expect the same results every time, but no matter what - a smile upon your face! If we got 25 min jams for every song every show, soon the "tolerance" would be 25 min jams. Lets take the perfect and the not-so, cuz no other lifetime will give us PHiSH. I for one am thankful for every show start to finish
Score: 8
MrMiners Reply
That YEM was A+. Best I've heard in a long time..Regardless, thanks for the review!
Score: 0
TimberCarini Reply
This review is spot on. Great contextualizing. Recognition of how this run was very uneven, but ended on a high is straight truth. To me this is a stronger start to summer tour than 2012, so I expect great things in the coming weeks!
Score: 1
gratefuldiscgolf Reply
gratefuldiscgolf In my opinion, I felt this show was a little less sloppier than Saturday night and I was diggin the song selection. It was absolutely POURING rain on all of us dancing on the lawn for basically the entire first set, thunder, lightning, the whole schpiel. I feel the band was definitely feeding off the weather and trying their best to kick our rain-soaked asses. For not seeing a Phish show since Super Ball, Saturday and Sunday night were two good shows to come back to for me personally. And, how could you not love SPAC, I've been to this venue quite a few times and it's definitely one of my favorite. The place is absolutely beautiful and I'm glad the band feels the same way!
Score: 4
lenuto46 Reply
You guys astound me. Reading these reviews is great insight into each of your egos and how you compete with each other... pretty hilarious. Unfortunately, it doesn't say much about the band Phish and what is happening right now. Stop listening for your own (unmet) expectations and begin listening objectively again. Being jaded is only a little cool. FWIW, Bangor was #217 for me, so I've been around -- maybe not as long as you guys, but long enough to know what's up.
Score: -1
Kodiakfloyd Reply
Good review but really think you moved through the first set fast without hitting on any of the bread and butter. The first set had tons of excellent parts. BOTT was very nice and stretched out a bit which is what i was hoping for. The Divided Sky to me was beautiful and very melodic but think they stretched it out more as well which was icing on the cake. The main theme I got after the Sky was played was their amazing interplay and psychedelic improv. Although not full of deep meat, it really was excellent playing. One of the best It's Ice I've heard. The It's Ice, Mound, LxL, and WOTC were pure psychedelic madness and a very happy trip. Really thought this 1st set was the best of the tour as for 1st sets. Besides that this show has tons of momentum to move forward on. The boys are really letting it fly out there and not holding a lot back. Getting their feel and trying and this is what it's all about. Tons of excitement heading into Canada and I can only be humbled to sit and watch how brave the boys have been by taking chances with the songs. Good review though man! #sand
Score: 2
Kodiakfloyd Reply
@Kodiakfloyd said:
Good review but really think you moved through the first set fast without hitting on any of the bread and butter. The first set had tons of excellent parts. BOTT was very nice and stretched out a bit which is what i was hoping for. The Divided Sky to me was beautiful and very melodic but think they stretched it out more as well which was icing on the cake. The main theme I got after the Sky was played was their amazing interplay and psychedelic improv. Although not full of deep meat, it really was excellent playing. One of the best It's Ice I've heard. The It's Ice, Mound, LxL, and WOTC were pure psychedelic madness and a very happy trip. Really thought this 1st set was the best of the tour as for 1st sets. Besides that this show has tons of momentum to move forward on. The boys are really letting it fly out there and not holding a lot back. Getting their feel and trying and this is what it's all about. Tons of excitement heading into Canada and I can only be humbled to sit and watch how brave the boys have been by taking chances with the songs. Good review though man! #sand
Oh and I could go on about that Maze that I meant to throw in there but will save you all the time. Psychedelic playing all around ;) Anyhow, loved the show!
Score: 2
Ravinus Reply
I guess I'm the only one that wishes Loving Cup was retired. Not saying I don't like the song, but it's so overplayed. And, I feel ripped off when I get a Loving Cup encore. Okay, go ahead noobs, throw your daggers.
Score: 6
frankstallone Reply
frankstallone Thought last night was easily the best show so far this tour. Good flow, and Trey sounded much sharper than he did the first few shows

No earth shattering type II jams or anything, but this show was solid start to finish. Thought the piper was smoking, and it was nice to see Trey nail the Antelope peak like that after kind of butchering it in Bangor
Score: 1
uglypigggg Reply
"nice to see Trey nail the Antelope peak like that after kind of butchering it in Bangor" ummm... ?????
Score: 4
bertoletdown Phish.net Staff Reply
bertoletdown @lenuto46 said:
You guys astound me. Reading these reviews is great insight into each of your egos and how you compete with each other... pretty hilarious.
Please expound. I'd like to know more about the insights you've garnered into each of the recap writers and their interaction with one another. I'm serious. Having known these people for almost 20 years now, I'd love a fresh view into them. And myself. Go.
Score: 7
J_D_G Phish.net Staff Reply
J_D_G @lenuto46 said:
You guys astound me. Reading these reviews is great insight into each of your egos and how you compete with each other... pretty hilarious. Unfortunately, it doesn't say much about the band Phish and what is happening right now. Stop listening for your own (unmet) expectations and begin listening objectively again. Being jaded is only a little cool. FWIW, Bangor was #217 for me, so I've been around -- maybe not as long as you guys, but long enough to know what's up.
@lenuto46, you are the latest in a long line of people to say, in effect: "Hey guys, stop enforcing your personally derived view of Phish onto everyone else—if you were less egotistical, you'd accept my own personally derived view of Phish instead! Stop trying to tell us what's what: this is what's what."

Snooze.
Score: 6
bertoletdown Phish.net Staff Reply
bertoletdown Leave him alone, Jeremy. He has insights.
Score: 2
Spirit Reply
Spirit Excellent review!

i agree on every point you made. the only way our opinion separates is that i think they did a fantastic job recovering from and camouflaging their mistakes. they pushed on through them all, kept on experimenting and having fun. Example being the Piper intro was definitley jarring to say the least, but they pulled it off by building the song around that abrupt start. To be honest the mistakes, didnt happen to often and some fantastic music was played around these sour spots. Phish carried the energy of the night over the mistakes and they in turn felt easy to put behind. But in the end, i feel the blemishes do set the show down a few notches from being a truly great show.
Score: 1
Mcbuckeye45 Reply
Mcbuckeye45 The show was phucking great! All 3 were great!? Highs and lows, but superb.
Score: 0
angry_pirate Reply
angry_pirate the new configuration is a disaster...they shouldn't mess with the formula
Score: -3
frankstallone Reply
frankstallone @uglypigggg said:
"nice to see Trey nail the Antelope peak like that after kind of butchering it in Bangor" ummm... ?????
Bangor antelope had a really interesting type II style mid section, but you cant tell me you dont think the buildup/peak before the breakdown was rough, whaley, and pretty much a mess. Last night didn't have the type II mid section bangor did, but Trey absolutely shredded the buildup/peak at the end
Score: 1
NippleSlicer Reply
NippleSlicer Alrighty then... Thanks to Phish for the webcasts
From SPAC and a helluva start to the tour!

This is my 1st post but I have been around awhile..
Gorge 2 this summer will be my 50th show :0)

I just wanted to add a few things to the discussion...

First thing, no, the performances are not perfect
but the boys are smiling and taking lots of risks at a
seemingly increasing clip. This is a great thing!

Second, Trey has found something special with the
pitch bending aka whale call technique... When he keeps the
Swells short and controlled his sound takes a sweet
Garcia, Allman, or Clapton type of direction. This is a great thing!
What's not so great is when the effect is overused to the
point of making the listener almost dizzy... SPAC 3 featured less
Digitech Whammy than the 1st 3 shows so maybe and hopefully
Trey will continue to limit its use and keep it tasteful..

Thirdly & Lastly ...
The new light rig & stage setup is a welcome sight to me..
It's just more evidence that Phish is ready for a hot summer leg
filled with change aimed at keeping the focus on the music.
I would really like to see more shelving of the old covers but
you can't always get what you want :0)

Thanks for the reviews & the open discussions..

Brooks
Score: 1
AlbanyYEM Reply
AlbanyYEM Man this gets tiresome but here goes. Pointing out flubs/sloppiness is entirely valid in a review of a show. In fact, I would go so far as to say a review without noting these is incomplete. It gives a sense of how tight the band is and how well they are performing overall. Some of the trey flubs are timing issues due to some seeming hesitancy on his part that I would expect to dissipate as the tour unfolds. Assessing this gives us an insight into trey's confidence level which has a direct correlation on both length and quality of the jams. If you view this totally relevant information as a threat it says more about you than it does the reviewer. I don't see why we have to sugarcoat everything around here; are we that neurotic?

That said I would like to humbly ask for a little more info on the jams themselves. I realize this venue is more of a show notes sort of thing and not a full-on surgical review, but I find that listening along with these things in mind helps me focus more intently, agree or disagree with the reviewer's view. One of the things I love about phish is that it directly rewards how much effort you put into listening, so that would be nice. No attacks on your reviews or insults about egos here. Just want more.
Score: 8
ericwyman Phish.net Staff Reply
ericwyman OMG! WE DONT ALL HAVE THE SAME OPINIONS!!!!!!!

#metadotnet

Image
Score: 11
SunlightSplatters Reply
Okay, as an old Deadhead who saw his third and fourth Phish shows on Friday and Sunday night (first one was '99 and I had a 12 year hiatus!!), I just need to say that I'm hooked. Heading for Holmdel and Jones Beach and I can't wait. Do I really have to work two days in between shows? Darn.

What took me so long??
Score: 17
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 This review is immensely evenhanded, IMO. If I was ranking (and I am here, obviously), I'd put set 1 last night as the worst of the 6 I've heard thus far this tour (haven't heard Bangor). Slop in almost every song, at least as i heard it. Set 2 was pretty good, with some interesting jamming. I'd disagree w the review bc I really dug the yem and antelope.
Knocking a show has everything to do w ego, and that's not bad. I wish people had enough ego of their own to not give a hoot what other people thought of the show.
Score: 2
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 I also think some general conversation about the effect of the new stage setup and treys use of the old doc is warranted. I think there is some adjusting going on there. Guitars r different. His sound right now is great (even w the whale), but is it possible certain notes r harder/easier to hit w this guitar as opposed to his last? I would be intrigued to hear what others think in these areas.
Score: 0
phorbinphan Reply
kind of a persnickety review if you ask me but to each his own....I thought this show raged.
Score: 1
Harryshappyplace Reply
Harryshappyplace Pointing out flubs is a part of the game (in my opinion) and to me can even make the show more enjoyable as long as they don't totally fuck it up. It shows people are there to actually listen to the music and are actively participating members of the show. Sure flubs can suck at times but when was the last time Phish was totally perfect?

Aside from flubs or miscommunications during some jams I thought the show was phenomenal, I watched it from my couch and was blown away. Both sets had wonderful flow and I was never thrown off by song selection, it all felt just right. Wading could not have been placed more perfectly and was the perfect cooldown after that strong Piper.

Another side note here; say they had not played Loving Cup as the encore and played another Phish song. When would be the last time they ONLY played Phish songs at a show? Phish was just being Phish and I loved every minute of it.
Score: 2
bertoletdown Phish.net Staff Reply
bertoletdown @AlbanyYEM said:
Man this gets tiresome but here goes. Pointing out flubs/sloppiness is entirely valid in a review of a show. In fact, I would go so far as to say a review without noting these is incomplete. It gives a sense of how tight the band is and how well they are performing overall. Some of the trey flubs are timing issues due to some seeming hesitancy on his part that I would expect to dissipate as the tour unfolds. Assessing this gives us an insight into trey's confidence level which has a direct correlation on both length and quality of the jams. If you view this totally relevant information as a threat it says more about you than it does the reviewer. I don't see why we have to sugarcoat everything around here; are we that neurotic?

That said I would like to humbly ask for a little more info on the jams themselves. I realize this venue is more of a show notes sort of thing and not a full-on surgical review, but I find that listening along with these things in mind helps me focus more intently, agree or disagree with the reviewer's view. One of the things I love about phish is that it directly rewards how much effort you put into listening, so that would be nice. No attacks on your reviews or insults about egos here. Just want more.
This is a great comment per usual, and a very reasonable request.

I like to think I can write about Phish and music in general fairly well, but writing about a jam is about the hardest thing I can think of. It is very hard to describe a type-II excursion -- which is perhaps one of the many things that makes them so valuable and addicting. I try, but never, ever feel as if I've succeeded, because so little of it is empirical and so much of it is subjective. Even emotional and spiritual.

But I'm going to remember this comment, and try harder.
Score: 9
AlbanyYEM Reply
AlbanyYEM Thanks man, I definitely appreciate all you guys do on the site. The old cliche 'dancing about architecture' about sums up the difficulties on the whole jam review thing. The best I can do is a completely technical dissection without a whole lot of music theory behind it, which certainly misses the magic. But part of the fun of it is knowing no one's got the definitive word on it--dare I pompously say like creating out own little response art to the jam. Thanks again for your thoughtful response. Respectful and real.
Score: 3
nichobert Reply
nichobert Glad to see someone else thinks this one might be a step below the others

My Facebook feed was full of people saying this show slaughtered the first2 SPACs. I don't agree in any way shape or form.
Score: 0
whatstheuse324 Reply
whatstheuse324 Friday and Saturday were solid shows but last night was far superior. 7/7/13 has now set the bar for the summer 2013 tour. It may not take long to knock it down a peg, but it is there for now.
Score: 2
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
Can't agree with your overall assessment. I thought the whole was greater than the parts last night. The song selection, and subsequent performances (It's Ice and Mound come to mind), created great flow last night. Combined with the energy of an edgy and exhuberant crowd, it became a real winner. No it wasn't perfect, and that's clear to anyone, but it was great fun, they took some real chances and had a blast doing it, and largely succeeded, I thought. Some hilarious moments such as Trey dancing (can I call it that?) during YEM, the botched talk box with Page and subsequent laughter, all added to the feel of the night. Everyone was smiling through it all. I think that you're a little too obsessed and hung up on Trey's pitch-shifting. He's been on this tack since TAB this past spring. He's after something and I think it will come together. I don't find it offensive. I'd like to see him incorporate some of that nasty distorted growl he had in 2003-04 for some of this stuff (such as Walls), but I really have no complaints with the sound or the playing. Phish was NEVER mistake-free even on their best nights; how could they be?
All the above being said (too long, sorry), I agree that this show was not leaps and bounds ahead of the previous three. I personally like the Bangor show for what it was, which was mellow, and find it a very enjoyable relisten. Also loved SOAM on night 2 and parts of the 2nd set that night.
Thanks for the review....keep it comin' guys, for a bunch of egomaniacs I think you're pretty cool. ;)
Score: 2
tomwom51 Reply
I was there all weekend. Each show just got better and better. I've been seeing Phish consistently since 2010 and this was probably my favorite weekend of Phish ever. Night 2 was a rager and contained some of the best jams I've heard since the reunion or even all together. I thought they set the bar pretty high and that they couldn't top it but as always, they rose to the occasion. Dancing in the mud with rain DOWNPOURING on us and lightning crashing across the sky made for one of my best concert experiences EVER. As if set one wasn't enough, they picked it up and brought it to new heights. The energy in the air was electric and truly an experience I will never forget.
Score: 0
tomwom51 Reply
If they keep this up, we're looking at Phish 3.1!!
Score: 0
JojoeHaleysComet Reply
Let's just say that after 120 or so Phish shows, last night was possibly the most interesting of them all. We were getting rained on, not a light rain, but not a deluge. Rain tapered off during the second song, but during the third song ironically called "Divided Sky", the skies opened up with heavy rain and unsafe lightning conditions. Teresa was freezing, soaked and worried about the lightning, and yeah I was quite concerned about the lightning myself. After a whole sky lighting up lightning bolt, Teresa and I decided to leave. We get off the lawn and under an overhead ticket gate. The lady there so kindly told us to move along, even though we were the only people leaving the concert during the fourth song. Get out to the parking lot and Teresa sees a taxi and she jokingly says "wouldn't it be funny to take a cab to the parking lot to find our car." I thought it was a great idea and flagged down the cab. The path that we had walked from the parking lot was closed off so this poor taxi driver had to drive randomly through a few parking lots (they all look the same in pouring rain) We get to the car finally, change our clothes and we could hear the band quite well from where we were. I set up my lawn chair in the middle of the parking lot and then the overzealous law enforcement stopped to see why I was sitting on a chair in the middle of the parking lot. I mentioned the whole fearing for my life thing and he was cool with that. A little later on, a female officer saw (of all things) two guys getting into their car (in a parking lot no less). She rapidly pulls her car right behind them, blocking their escape and proceeds to give them the third degree of rapid fire questions and pretty much downright drug accusations. This is going down adjacent to me and my car and parking spot. After she was convinced that these gentlemen weren't any threat she lets them go. She asks me what my whole deal is and why am I (heaven forbid) standing next to my car in a parking lot no less. I told her the wet, fearformylife, last 1/2 hour of my existence, and she let me go with the stern warning of "don't you do any funky, hunky stuff" I have no clue what she meant by that, but after all this we decided to go home. PS, all is not lost, I am listening to the professional quality recording from our show from last night.
Score: 1
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I think that you're a little too obsessed and hung up on Trey's pitch-shifting. He's been on this tack since TAB this past spring.
The first time I actually noticed it was reviewing the versions of Reba from June of 2010. At that time I assumed Trey had a new guitar or something that was giving him equipment problems; I assumed it was a mistake. Now I know there is something he's trying to purposefully do.

I'm definitely hung up on it. I find it more distracting and unpleasant than almost anything I've heard in the band's history. The 6/18/10 Reba is one my least favorite of all time because of the use of that effect.

Just my opinion, of course, and I'm willing to believe that Trey is trying to work out exactly what he wants to do with that whammy.
Score: 2
NippleSlicer Reply
NippleSlicer @whatstheuse324 said:
Friday and Saturday were solid shows but last night was far superior. 7/7/13 has now set the bar for the summer 2013 tour. It may not take long to knock it down a peg, but it is there for now.
I agree... I would love to land a show that features this many darker shades of Phish..
Setlist & Accuracy have always trumped Jam style & Energy for me... but I'm one
of those Phish lovers that prefers the composed prog tunes. SPAC 3 Delivered...
Score: 2
NippleSlicer Reply
NippleSlicer @JojoeHaleysComet said:
Teresa was freezing, soaked and worried about the lightning, and yeah I was quite concerned about the lightning myself. After a whole sky lighting up lightning bolt, Teresa and I decided to leave.
Joe, You are a good guy for looking out for Teresa...

Well Played, there will always be more shows to see :o)

Brooks
Score: 0
pronice Reply
pronice Personally, I enjoy reading these reviews, especially the ones that describe the shows that I've been to. Is all the information correct & accurate? No. Is all the information wrong & senseless? No. It is somebody's opinion, so take it as it is. I know one thing, I could definitely choose one specific real or made up word (i.e. SPACtacular) from each of the four 2013 summer tour reviews and you'd have one funny ass sentence! Thanks for all you guys do. Sadly I could only go to Bangor this summer. No festival? Awwww c'mon.
Bring on Fall Tour!!!
Score: 0
peachykeen Reply
Started off under one of the ramps after checking the radar and seeing the impending storms, but the sound quality was so bad during AC/DC Bag that I convinced my husband and our friend to brave the downpour in favor of actually hearing the music. Soaked within minutes, but totally worth it. Just kicked off the flip flops and danced in the mud for the next 3 hours. Highlights for me were the Divided Sky lightning storm and my first Maze. My friend visiting from France had his first Phish experience with this 3-day run and really only was able to remember one song from our pre-SPAC Phish education sessions: Meatstick. He was one happy man last night! Great show to end this run!
Score: 1
fhqwhgads Reply
fhqwhgads It's a Talk Box, not a vocoder.
Score: 1
paddycabes Reply
paddycabes @Bradford33 said:
Thanks for the comment about CK5 and his new rig. I haven't been able to see it yet, but heard there was a change. Love to hear more about it from those who where there!
There's a white scrim in the background, all the way in the back from the floor to the top of the rig. There's a line of LED lights at the very bottom of the scrim, and when they're lit it shoot beams of light up the white back drop. He changes the colors and patterns of the lights frequently. My favorite parts however, have been when the LEDs are on one constant, unmoving color, and then CK5 shines lights from downstage back up at the band. It looks like theatre light. Like a stage play. It's incredible.
Score: 1
josedob Reply
must say.....that last few minutes of DWD were quite nice.....
Score: 0
Mrpalmermusicman Reply
Risk taking, smiling, laughing, having fun. These are the things we want from the band. Not perfect, short, nonadventurous versions. I would much rather see and hear long, straying, risky jams than your basic, everyday studio length songs, performed flawlessly. Night 3 SPAC was one of the funnest setlists, and jammiest shows I've seen or heard since Dicks. And let's face it....All this is really just practice for Dick's, anyway...Great show. Great versions of DWD, Ghost, Divided, YEM. Yes, there were some choppy moments and miscues, but they weren't scripted versions. Great setlist, with some VERY solid jams.
Score: 1
BigDudeInTheDoorway Reply
I thought all 3 shows were great. First bight maybe had a lil too mich to drink as we were almost late and pounding jaimeo on the way (night was a lil fuzzy.
That Melt was the highlight of the seekend for me. Being with many friends for this show made it that much better. Loved seeing glowstick man come out for this one! Set 1 of sunday was a lil off for me, which is odd because i love ice, maze mound free and cave but maybe the pouring rain, slightly cold and still not dark had somehing to do with it. Also i reall want to hear that maze again, that lil cyncapted beat they did in the middle was strange.
Now..set 2... Damn!!!. I mean the number of heavyhitters they played was increadible.
Set the gearshift for the meatstick of you soul!!!! See yall wednesday!
Score: 0
Riftkane Reply
There is music, then there is Phish. Everyone has opinions and I guess the more shows you see, the more critical you can become. It's easy to do. If I were to believe that they should live up to my favorites every time I would only be kidding myself. It's hard to not take critical comments personally too. I love this band sooooo much and to hear any negative talk, it's almost as if someone is talking bad about a phamily member.

Now, on to the highlights for me. It was my first time at SPAC. Shows 18-19-20 respectively. Each night was progressively better. Sunday was epic. Personally I don't think I could have arranged a better set list. I picked up a Divided Sky T-shirt about an hour before walking in on Sun. (1st Phish T-shirt ;) . I had a funny feeling. Scored a nice spot on the lawn, dead center and about 20 ft back. Then the rain came, and did it come. I was there with my girlfriend and it was her 1,2,3rd shows, so she was pumped. I was hoping for and called ACDC. Good solid opener to get the blood flowing. BOTT was a superb follow as the rain, lightning, and thunder intensified. All the phans on the lawn were pumped !!! When they slid in to Divided Sky the place was rocking. Funny thing happened about halfway through Divided. The rain stopped. My girl looked at me then looked up and just smiled. Priceless moment.

The rest of the show just kept getting better. The YEM closer was nice. The boys brought the heat, and the rest of the tour should be outstanding. I may get to MPP for Sat night?? If not, SPAC was unbelievable and it's on the list for next year for sure. The place is gorgeous.
Score: 0
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@TheEmu said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
I think that you're a little too obsessed and hung up on Trey's pitch-shifting. He's been on this tack since TAB this past spring.
The first time I actually noticed it was reviewing the versions of Reba from June of 2010. At that time I assumed Trey had a new guitar or something that was giving him equipment problems; I assumed it was a mistake. Now I know there is something he's trying to purposefully do.

I'm definitely hung up on it. I find it more distracting and unpleasant than almost anything I've heard in the band's history. The 6/18/10 Reba is one my least favorite of all time because of the use of that effect.

Just my opinion, of course, and I'm willing to believe that Trey is trying to work out exactly what he wants to do with that whammy.
I respect your response because it's amusingly unguarded and honest. I know, also, that he's used this effect for some time, but I was specifically referring to his soloing style, which I think has been evolving over the last year, really. He seems to me to be focusing on playing less notes than he used to, and making them count more, if that makes any musical sense. Like you, I struggle to explain the technicalities of the whole thing.

My problem with your review primarily was that I felt you threw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater, as it were, because of your irritation. To me, a great show is by definition a show that the majority of people who experience it agree is great. An example is 8/31/12, which I think could be the single most overrated show in the band's history, but I must acknowledge it as great by consensus.

Anyway......I'll send you a get well card.
Score: 0
FLUFFDREAD Reply
@Ravinus said:
I guess I'm the only one that wishes Loving Cup was retired. Not saying I don't like the song, but it's so overplayed. And, I feel ripped off when I get a Loving Cup encore. Okay, go ahead noobs, throw your daggers.
i couldnt agree more. I love that song, but its always an encore. Even if it was part of a two song encore i'd feel better about it being exclusively in the encore slot except for the occasional 2 song spot. I heard from a few people in the lawn that the groans were audible when the started the cup up. But dont get me wrong, i also tend to stand out on a limb by saying things like "I'd love to not get the reprise, shock me here and there" Crazy i know, but i like to be surprised.

Theres no question the momentum is building. Bangor was safe, 2nd set Sunday showed great promise, closer to those 5 song sets the boys have done in the past.

Score: 0
lenuto46 Reply
@bertoletdown said:
@lenuto46 said:
You guys astound me. Reading these reviews is great insight into each of your egos and how you compete with each other... pretty hilarious.
Please expound. I'd like to know more about the insights you've garnered into each of the recap writers and their interaction with one another. I'm serious. Having known these people for almost 20 years now, I'd love a fresh view into them. And myself. Go.
Haha, I doubt I have any insights that I can fully expound upon, but I have been reading these reviews RELIGIOUSLY for a long time and have been an avid phish.net reader since shortly after catching this affliction after my first show, The Clifford Ball, way back in 1996. It often seems as if the reviewer wants to be able to be negative for the sake of negativity and that can only be an ego thing, from this reader’s standpoint, and it has me wondering what goes on at the phish.net office? Are you guys so longing for the “glory days” that as soon as something doesn't measure up, in your opinion, you rally around the concept that this YEM was poorly executed, or this Antelope was not as good as the last, or whatever? There is definitely a battle of wits going on and to say I have it figured out would be quite pretentious, but I am aware of it and I know others who are as well. In fact, you guys have become a kind of good natured joke among my friends. Whenever we see something we really like, we will inevitably turn to each other and someone will say “That was sick, I can’t wait to read the phish.net later, they’re gonna hate it!” Or we wonder if you all see shows and get so disappointed that you’ll go home and take it out on the dog. I will say, of all the reviewers, I find Chris Bertolet’s reviews to be the most balanced and in general the bar-setter for what a Phish review should look like, whether or not I personally agree. That said, there are times when I read reviews, like this one by The Emu, and I am literally scratching my head. This one really had me wondering if we were listening to the same show or the same band even. And then to read a disclaimer stating that the writer is not a musician and doesn't know about technique?! That kind of thing really irritates me, simply because this band, more than anything, is striving for that kind of technical perfection and falling short (as we all do) into the ballpark of excellence. Evidence of this pursuit can be gleaned from the stripped down lighting rig, the new stage setup (it is genuinely new, this configuration has not been done before), the resurgence of songs like Mound, Fluffhead, Guelah; the resting of tough songs that have been under rehearsed ie Guyute, It’s Ice, Reba, The Curtain, Lizards, etc. They are trying to accomplish more than just sounding good, or creating interesting jams, or wowing us with crazy bust outs; they are trying to be their best, and as musicians that has more to do with technical excellence than creating sonic landscapes that stretch songs way out and make some of us very happy. That kind of exploration has its place, for sure, but in the history of Phish, the prevalence of such, when executed with aplomb, is limited to about 4-5 years tops in a 30 year history. I am speaking of 94-95, 97-98, and some hits and lots of misses in 99-00. Winter 03 has some cherry moments as well, as does the summer of that year, but it became clear that high quality exploration was giving way to the senseless meandering of leadership bogged down by an opiate induced haze of self-indulgence and confusion. So what has happened the rest of the time? They have been engaged in the struggle to be the best they can be. I believe you can find more insight into the band Phish in the periods between the big years. Listen to shows from 1993, 96, Fall 98, 09, and 2011 to really hear a band striving for something. It is easy for them to jam and make everyone happy [Soundcheck jams evidence this: Bethel Waves and this most recent Bangor soundcheck Jam, which I can say was wicked tasty] and much harder for them to be the band they really want to be.

There is something happening this year, however. It started last summer, stretched through NYE and has been obvious to me in these past four shows. This band is on the verge of breaking through to new terrain yet again – the energy is palpable. It was obvious from the first moments at Bangor; the groove is richer, steadier, and more complete. They are all settled-in in a way that might be hidden by rust or a jumpy Trey overthinking song selection, etc. They are trying to be their best and are actually approaching it. I promise, once the grease is flowing again, we are all going to see some serious shit. But I caution everyone, despite the temptation to do so, not to compare this moment to any other in Phish history as that kind of thing is foolish and futile. This machine has been ever changing since the beginning and they will continue to do so until they are really done. If you like Fall 97 better than Fall 10, that’s great for you, but reviewing Summer 13 against any other period and whatever personal disappointment arises because they are not doing what they do they way you like is not really reviewing but more like whining. 3.0 is no less valid than 1.0, it’s just a different version of the same thing. And it is that thing that keeps us all coming back for more.
Score: 7
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
interesting piece lenuto. A long dissertation, and I can't agree with all of it but I think you make some very valid and interesting points, especially (in my view) about the band being after something new. I also sensed this in the Bangor show. While everyone else seemed to be dismissing the effort as a warm-up, I was smiling and grooving to a new approach and sound. I loved the Bangor show for that reason and think that this year has the potential to be their best by far since they reunited. Then again, I'm not as smart as the compendium.
Score: 2
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@Ravinus said:
I guess I'm the only one that wishes Loving Cup was retired. Not saying I don't like the song, but it's so overplayed. And, I feel ripped off when I get a Loving Cup encore. Okay, go ahead noobs, throw your daggers.
I, for one, knew the Cup was coming and dreaded it. I was hoping for a Lizards or a Coil or some other curveball, but no....the inevitable. Agree that the Cup should either be retired or put into song rotation but no longer as an encore.
Score: 0
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@ckess22 said: [quote]This review is immensely evenhanded, IMO. If I was ranking (and I am here, obviously), I'd put set 1 last night as the worst of the 6 I've heard thus far this tour (haven't heard Bangor). Slop in almost every song, at least as i heard it. ]

Really? REALLY? Wow....you must hate 97-98, because I haven't heard a "clean" set yet during that period of blissful energetic creative wizardry. You may want to skip the tour, buddy.
Score: -1
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @lenuto46

So, if you and your friends think something was "sick," everyone else must be wrong? If you actually did read these reviews and recaps religiously, you would know that we do our best to provide our own honest assessment of a show. We don't unrelentingly bash everything. If we think something is fantastic, we say so. And I tried to do that in this recap as well. Did you not read that I enjoyed the Back On The Train, the Disease, and the Piper? Did you not read that I praised the song selection in the first set and the fact that they nailed It's Ice and Mound? No, because the only thing that matters to you is that I don't agree that the show was "sick" and also gave my honest opinion about the DSky, LxL and YEM.

Did you read my recap of Dick's 3 last year? BGCA 3? Apparently not, because then you might have an idea that it has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with 1.0 vs. 3.0. In my opinion, those shows were amazing. Those shows were sick. 7/7/13, IMHO, doesn't come close. All I can do is give my opinion. You are under no obligation to read it, let alone agree.

I'm not sure what irritates you so much about me not being a musician. That was specifically addressing the whammy pedal, because I don't get what Trey is trying to do. Plenty of other people feel the same way. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate how skilled they are, and how difficult what they do is. The reason I write recaps about Phish shows is because I'm passionate about the band and spend an insane amount of time listening to, thinking about, analyzing, and writing about Phish.

We go through the same thing, year after year, every time someone posts a review that's even remotely critical of a show. So, again, I say with all sincerity, if you are looking for blind praise of every note that Phish plays then these recaps are not for you. I would recommend you read something else, perhaps something written by one of your friends.
Score: 7
NippleSlicer Reply
NippleSlicer @Ravinus said:
I guess I'm the only one that wishes Loving Cup was retired. Not saying I don't like the song, but it's so overplayed. And, I feel ripped off when I get a Loving Cup encore. Okay, go ahead noobs, throw your daggers.
Agreed.. I think almost all of the old covers need to be shelved..
Score: 0
RoundMound Reply
SPAC3 RECAP RECAP

The recap opens up in typical form with a solid reference to a great game show, Press Your Luck. But the excitement quickly waned and the opening lines were just muddled with missed metaphors and clichés that did not seem to work.

As we move to the second paragraph, the review is well underway. A reference to the new lighting setup was definitely a high point of the first half of the review. But unfortunately, while the content of this section was bold and daring, the punctuation was wayyyyy off. Misplaced and missing commas, i.e. "BOTT," and the overuse of words-separated-by-hyphens is all too common in these 3.0 reviews. Despite the overuse of misplaced punctuation, the review of the first set really does begin to pick up steam until the reviewer cuts it short to drop in a "SPACtacular" pun that brings the 1st half of the review to a screeching halt.

The second half of the review follows the standard template for show recaps found in "How to Write Negative Reviews for Dummies ":
(Insert Song) has the potential to take off until (Insert Band Member) pulls the plug and segues into (Insert Song), which had some great moments until it too fizzled out and lead us into (Insert Song) which was played perfectly except the second-note-of-the-third-verse was an off and Trey flubbed a lyric. Then the band (Insert song) which was good but not as good as (Insert Different Show Version). (Note: If at any point a fun moment occurs during the show, make little reference to it as possible and jump to the next song). (Insert Song) closes out the set and while it is a great song, this version just missed, just as (Insert 2 earlier songs from the night) missed.

For an Encore the review drops a Press Your Luck Reprise, which, like the first reference, misses the mark. But they do leave us with kind words to be safe and to promise that the rest of the tour will be ripe with great reviews. Can't wait!
Score: 6
pzerbo Phish.net Staff Reply
pzerbo For the folks who want only unicorns and rainbows in any discussion of Phish and who believe every note is handed down from the heavens, there are in fact outlets that provide that service for you. Perhaps you'd find more comfort reading those. If you don't like a restaurant, do you rush home and write a bad review... and then keep going back, night after night, and rush to Yelp, every night, and tell everyone how much they still suck? Perhaps... but that strikes me as odd, and not an especially good use of one's time. If I think a restaurant sucks, I go to a different restaurant.

The whole point of these recaps, for us, is to provide a starting point for discussion... of the show. So many of the commenters seem to think that the point is to examine the recap, determine how it differs from the thoughts they may have, and criticize the OP and the site for not stating their opinion. Nobody here is telling anyone what to think, and we provide copious opportunities for anyone and everyone to share their thoughts in virtually every nook and cranny of this site. If folks find pleasure in bashing us, that's cool, but if you don't agree with what someone else thinks, wouldn't it be more productive, and fun, to simply assert what YOU think? Crazy, I know.

Finally, for those who feel the need to take it a step further... and not like what we write, not offer their own thoughts, take personal shots at the writers, and then try to analyze the motives of the writers as a group... I offer you this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=mental+health+services

Keep comin'...
Score: 6
yelram4life Reply
You gotta admit, RoundMound's SPAC3 RECAP RECAP was pretty humorous...
Score: 0
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @RoundMound

Pretty cute. You left out a few things, though. You left out the part where a volunteer who works overnight comes home, works around the house, gets four hours of sleep, gets up and watches the webcast, then stays up until 5:30 in the morning writing the recap so it can be posted on the free fan website, then sits back and waits for people to tell him what a shitty review it is because they have a different opinion of how good the show was. You also left out the part where those same people ignore the actual content of the review in order to make personal attacks, mock their efforts, and cry "jaded vets do nothing but hate on Phish 3.0" despite ample evidence that it's simply not true.

Not bad, though.
Score: 11
RoundMound Reply
pzerbo, All I was trying to say is to show how trivial some reviews can come accross and how predictable they seem to have become. It is not to personally attack the reviewer, it's to point out that sometimes when a review is focusing on everything from a show that didn't work, it loses focus on what did. I've read good reviews to shows that I didnt think were great.

I don't think that it is fair to have a "If you don't like our review go somewhere else" attitude when you said it yourself- you are trying to stir up discussions.

I like this restaurant, but when a dish that i like becomes stale, predictable or just misses the mark and tastes bad that night, I feel like I should tell the chefs.

Score: 1
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@ckess22 said: [quote]This review is immensely evenhanded, IMO. If I was ranking (and I am here, obviously), I'd put set 1 last night as the worst of the 6 I've heard thus far this tour (haven't heard Bangor). Slop in almost every song, at least as i heard it. ]

Really? REALLY? Wow....you must hate 97-98, because I haven't heard a "clean" set yet during that period of blissful energetic creative wizardry. You may want to skip the tour, buddy.
Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, maybe you should skip the tour man. yeah! there. i win. Sheesh. Butthurt much?
Score: 3
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@ckess22 said: [quote]This review is immensely evenhanded, IMO. If I was ranking (and I am here, obviously), I'd put set 1 last night as the worst of the 6 I've heard thus far this tour (haven't heard Bangor). Slop in almost every song, at least as i heard it. ]

Really? REALLY? Wow....you must hate 97-98, because I haven't heard a "clean" set yet during that period of blissful energetic creative wizardry. You may want to skip the tour, buddy.
I loved loving cup. Maybe if u don't like what the band is doing u should do _______, which is unrelated to phish. C'mon, man, I know u have more smarts than your reaction to my (very innocuous) comment.
Score: 1
bertoletdown Phish.net Staff Reply
bertoletdown @RoundMound said:

I like this restaurant, but when a dish that i like becomes stale, predictable or just misses the mark and tastes bad that night, I feel like I should tell the chefs.
So you're saying people should call it like they see it then.
Score: 1
AlbanyYEM Reply
AlbanyYEM I've noticed that everyone who's metacriticizing on here has set up a straw man. Don't agree with someone's point? Put words in their mouths and then argue against things they never said. A favorite of politicians since democracy was invented. NO ONE who has reviewed has said anything about comparing different eras of phish. You're just making that up so you have ammo to use in argument. Trey is significantly sloppier this year from LAST YEAR. Seriously, stop with the rhetorical tricks, everyone can see thought them (or at least should). End rant.
Score: 6
RoundMound Reply
@TheEmu said:
@RoundMound Pretty cute. You left out a few things, though. You left out the part where a volunteer who works overnight comes home, works around the house, gets four hours of sleep, gets up and watches the webcast, then stays up until 5:30 in the morning writing the recap so it can be posted on the free fan website, then sits back and waits for people to tell him what a shitty review it is because they have a different opinion of how good the show was. You also left out the part where those same people ignore the actual content of the review in order to make personal attacks, mock their efforts, and cry "jaded vets do nothing but hate on Phish 3.0" despite ample evidence that it's simply not true. Not bad, though.
I never questioned the efforts of you or anyone who volunteers to keep this site up and running and appreciate all the work that is put in. But I also drove home 5 hours dropped 5 people off and unpacked all my gear to get it cleaned up and ready for the shows this weekend, did yard and housework, then dragged my ass to work today and wrote up a humorous, satirical review for people to enjoy as a different way to say "I disagree", only to be told to go elsewhere.

Sometimes when you are in a position to give an opinion to the masses you will have people disagree and personally attack you.

My post was not a personal attack it was a way to vent at how I feel that some reviews sound the same over and over again.

Score: 0
RoundMound Reply
@bertoletdown said:
@RoundMound said:
I like this restaurant, but when a dish that i like becomes stale, predictable or just misses the mark and tastes bad that night, I feel like I should tell the chefs.
So you're saying people should call it like they see it then.
Yes. But I was told that if I didnt like that opinion I should go find a site that will agree with me. In the analgoy i was given, the review/reviewer is the restaurant, not the band. I think the review should be honest and if people dont agree, then they should say so and not be told to go to a different site.
Score: 1
TwiceBitten Reply
TwiceBitten Oh boy it looks like we need another Phish show, STAT! Psyched for Toronto tonight.

@lenuto42, you have some great points, but why wrap them up in criticism of the reviewer?
Score: 2
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @RoundMound said:
@TheEmu said:
@RoundMound Pretty cute. You left out a few things, though. You left out the part where a volunteer who works overnight comes home, works around the house, gets four hours of sleep, gets up and watches the webcast, then stays up until 5:30 in the morning writing the recap so it can be posted on the free fan website, then sits back and waits for people to tell him what a shitty review it is because they have a different opinion of how good the show was. You also left out the part where those same people ignore the actual content of the review in order to make personal attacks, mock their efforts, and cry "jaded vets do nothing but hate on Phish 3.0" despite ample evidence that it's simply not true. Not bad, though.
I never questioned the efforts of you or anyone who volunteers to keep this site up and running and appreciate all the work that is put in. But I also drove home 5 hours dropped 5 people off and unpacked all my gear to get it cleaned up and ready for the shows this weekend, did yard and housework, then dragged my ass to work today and wrote up a humorous, satirical review for people to enjoy as a different way to say "I disagree", only to be told to go elsewhere.

Sometimes when you are in a position to give an opinion to the masses you will have people disagree and personally attack you.

My post was not a personal attack it was a way to vent at how I feel that some reviews sound the same over and over again.
No, the personal attacks have come from people who assert that the criticisms of myself and other reviewers are driven by ego.

Yours was just a straight up bashing of my writing and of the review itself, rather than of the content. "Negative Reviews for Dummies?" Hilarious.

In the past I have read the comments on my own recaps because I wanted to engage in the discussion about THE SHOW. When @FACTSAREUSELESS suggested that my dislike of the whammy pedal skewed my perspective of the show, I wanted to discuss that. That's a discussion of the show and my view on it. If you have a different take on THE SHOW, that's great. I would have loved to talk about it. Instead, you wanted to bitch about what a shitty review I wrote.

But if I want someone's opinion on my writing, I'll ask someone whose opinion I value. If someone actually wants to talk about THE SHOW, you know where to find me.
Score: 3
yelram4life Reply
But you BOTH love Phish and that's gotta count for something, right?
Score: 0
lenuto46 Reply
@TheEmu said:
@lenuto46

So, if you and your friends think something was "sick," everyone else must be wrong? If you actually did read these reviews and recaps religiously, you would know that we do our best to provide our own honest assessment of a show. We don't unrelentingly bash everything. If we think something is fantastic, we say so. And I tried to do that in this recap as well. Did you not read that I enjoyed the Back On The Train, the Disease, and the Piper? Did you not read that I praised the song selection in the first set and the fact that they nailed It's Ice and Mound? No, because the only thing that matters to you is that I don't agree that the show was "sick" and also gave my honest opinion about the DSky, LxL and YEM.

Did you read my recap of Dick's 3 last year? BGCA 3? Apparently not, because then you might have an idea that it has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with 1.0 vs. 3.0. In my opinion, those shows were amazing. Those shows were sick. 7/7/13, IMHO, doesn't come close. All I can do is give my opinion. You are under no obligation to read it, let alone agree.

I'm not sure what irritates you so much about me not being a musician. That was specifically addressing the whammy pedal, because I don't get what Trey is trying to do. Plenty of other people feel the same way. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate how skilled they are, and how difficult what they do is. The reason I write recaps about Phish shows is because I'm passionate about the band and spend an insane amount of time listening to, thinking about, analyzing, and writing about Phish.

We go through the same thing, year after year, every time someone posts a review that's even remotely critical of a show. So, again, I say with all sincerity, if you are looking for blind praise of every note that Phish plays then these recaps are not for you. I would recommend you read something else, perhaps something written by one of your friends.
This is exactly the kind of thing that is so frustrating, you basically missed the entire point of my response.

There is a general taste in the mouth of Phans that you guys are negative curmudgeons. Why do you think you keep encountering this kind of criticism year after year? And the fact that you vehemently defend yourself points to just how much your ego is wrapped up in all of it. Thank you for proving my initial point better than I could.

P.S. I have read all your reviews positive and negative, but it doesn't matter at this point. The few positive ones pale in comparison to the general state of negativity that exudes here -- and it's not just my friends who think so. It is clear that you are writing for a specific group of like minded, self inclusive, folks and not the community en masse. Whether this was intended or not, the Phish.net is now bigger than those who created it and run it. There is a level of responsibility you must embrace that serves all of us, including the it's-all-Hood fans, but most importantly the spirit of fun that surrounds this band and its music. Wake up dude! Or should I ask... can you still have fun? Seriously, don't be Wilson....
Score: -3
whatstheuse324 Reply
whatstheuse324 I'll play your favorite song...Darling
We can rock it all night long...Darling
Cuz I got love...Darling
Love, Sweet Love
Score: 0
title3jimi Reply
title3jimi @Harryshappyplace said:
Pointing out flubs is a part of the game (in my opinion) and to me can even make the show more enjoyable as long as they don't totally fuck it up. It shows people are there to actually listen to the music and are actively participating members of the show. Sure flubs can suck at times but when was the last time Phish was totally perfect?

Aside from flubs or miscommunications during some jams I thought the show was phenomenal, I watched it from my couch and was blown away. Both sets had wonderful flow and I was never thrown off by song selection, it all felt just right. Wading could not have been placed more perfectly and was the perfect cooldown after that strong Piper.

Another side note here; say they had not played Loving Cup as the encore and played another Phish song. When would be the last time they ONLY played Phish songs at a show? Phish was just being Phish and I loved every minute of it.
I think it was at SPAC actually..... 6/20/04.
Score: 0
title3jimi Reply
title3jimi @title3jimi said:


I think it was at SPAC actually..... 6/20/04.
Sorry, night before, 6/19/04

Set 1: Reba[1], Runaway Jim > NICU > Scents and Subtle Sounds[2], Wolfman's Brother, Walls of the Cave -> David Bowie
Set 2: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > Piper[3] -> Gotta Jibboo[4] > Limb By Limb, Cavern[5]
Encore: Wading in the Velvet Sea

A truly great Phish show, taboot.
Score: 0
jakechyllenhaal Reply
jakechyllenhaal Hi.

"@" the .net reviewers: thank you for what you do. More often than not, you are totally on-point. I downloaded all the summer shows so far in 24-bit and if I was you, I'd have written the same review. I also read glowing reviews on phishthoughts.com and "Tackle and Lines" which, in my opinion, the shows did not live up to.

That is not to say the shows were good or bad. It's just an opinion.

I think the current format of the .net reviews (one 'official' review and then comments) creates a divide that lends itself to people who disagree with the review to feel like their opinion is less-than-important and that a middling review of a show they had a great time at somehow devalues their experience. I humbly propose that a return to a more anarchistic review page (a la http://phish.net/reviews/archive/ ) be considered. Since '11, it's been the same stupidity of people who had a GREAT time at a show being mad when the one official review isn't totally glowing.

"@" anyone else who wants to read it: My first and second show were 8/10/96 and 8/8/97. The first was great because it was my first, but musically, it was kinda "eh". I had high hopes for 8/8/97 and it was kinda flat to my ears at the show. The online reviews echoed that sentiment and it confirmed that I wasn't at a 'classic'.

When I finally got to my third show, 8/1/98, and realized that I was witnessing a classic show, it all seemed worth the journey. Had I read a Miner-esque fluff piece from the Tinley Park show talking about the "Hoochie Coochie Man" encore tearing about the fabric of the universe; maybe it wouldn't have been as satisfying.

As someone who was 'on' r.m.p. in the mid-90's, it was always helpful to hear about the shows so I could make a determination of whether or not I wanted to go through the rigamarole of seeking out a trade for a show. There were no 'official' reviews posted on the newsgroup but some people there had a more elevated presence and their insights were trusted.

In the modern era of everyone having immediate access to several different sources for each show within twenty-four hours of performance (and in the case of livephish.com, minutes), the 'trouble' involved with getting a show is minute. No trips to the post office, no calling Terrapin Tapes or going to Sam's Club to buy XLII's, no scammers (I'm talking to you, Vince Piracci). . .just a few clicks and boom, it's yours.

The main point is that (from what I can tell) the .net reviews are for people who weren't at the show to make a determination as to whether or not it is worth their money and time to download and give an attentive listen to a show. There will be some that want to listen to every show and there will be others who want to hear only the classics as deemed by people who have listened to most every show and know what's up. The .net reviews aren't for people seeking validation of their good times at a show and hopefully, they don't take away from the good time you had - because when you do witness a truly great Phish show, you'll know and it won't matter what .net says.

I hope this all makes sense and doesn't add fuel to the fire.
Score: 6
jakechyllenhaal Reply
jakechyllenhaal PS. I found this on Charlie Dirksen's review of Ventura '98. Food for thought.:

"DISCLAIMER: I have been seeing Phish off and on since 1989 and have
heard a majority of the shows in the Helping Friendly Book. I still
LOVE Phish, but am jaded, having liquidated nearly 500 Phish tapes
within the last three years. If I were to list out the Phish songs I
never want to see again *live*, the list would probably be more than a
page long. I prefer several of Phish's newest songs to the vast
majority of their older songs (which I think is really, really weird..
this band is incredible! =^). I think it is wise to distrust all
opinions on music, regardless of experience, until you hear something
for yourself, because your opinion is all that matters. I
nevertheless also think it is important to contextualize your opinions
on the Internet, for greater hermeneutical harmony."
Score: 2
HenryHolland Reply
HenryHolland Sorry, night before, 6/19/04 [snip] A truly great Phish show, taboot.

It was, from the moment they sent the crowd in a to a frenzy that scared the crap out of the 78 year old ushers by opening with Reba, all the new songs (at the time) that turned in to jam monsters (Scents..., Walls of the Cave, A Song I Heard...), even the Velvet Cheese encore wasn't bad. :-)

Having only heard the just completed SPAC run from my very comfy computer desk chair, I enjoyed the playing, thought there was some really interesting jams, was happy with vocals of all 4 guys but wish that the song selection was a little more adventurous.
Score: 1
RoundTheRoom Reply
I just want to say that I *really* appreciate the phish.net reviews. Haters, you guys are jokes. Thanks for all you do phish.net team.
Score: 3
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@RoundMound said:
SPAC3 RECAP RECAP

The recap opens up in typical form with a solid reference to a great game show, Press Your Luck. But the excitement quickly waned and the opening lines were just muddled with missed metaphors and clich�s that did not seem to work.

As we move to the second paragraph, the review is well underway. A reference to the new lighting setup was definitely a high point of the first half of the review. But unfortunately, while the content of this section was bold and daring, the punctuation was wayyyyy off. Misplaced and missing commas, i.e. "BOTT," and the overuse of words-separated-by-hyphens is all too common in these 3.0 reviews. Despite the overuse of misplaced punctuation, the review of the first set really does begin to pick up steam until the reviewer cuts it short to drop in a "SPACtacular" pun that brings the 1st half of the review to a screeching halt.

The second half of the review follows the standard template for show recaps found in "How to Write Negative Reviews for Dummies ":
(Insert Song) has the potential to take off until (Insert Band Member) pulls the plug and segues into (Insert Song), which had some great moments until it too fizzled out and lead us into (Insert Song) which was played perfectly except the second-note-of-the-third-verse was an off and Trey flubbed a lyric. Then the band (Insert song) which was good but not as good as (Insert Different Show Version). (Note: If at any point a fun moment occurs during the show, make little reference to it as possible and jump to the next song). (Insert Song) closes out the set and while it is a great song, this version just missed, just as (Insert 2 earlier songs from the night) missed.

For an Encore the review drops a Press Your Luck Reprise, which, like the first reference, misses the mark. But they do leave us with kind words to be safe and to promise that the rest of the tour will be ripe with great reviews. Can't wait!
Awesome.
Score: -1
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@ckess22 said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@ckess22 said: [quote]This review is immensely evenhanded, IMO. If I was ranking (and I am here, obviously), I'd put set 1 last night as the worst of the 6 I've heard thus far this tour (haven't heard Bangor). Slop in almost every song, at least as i heard it. ]

Really? REALLY? Wow....you must hate 97-98, because I haven't heard a "clean" set yet during that period of blissful energetic creative wizardry. You may want to skip the tour, buddy.
I loved loving cup. Maybe if u don't like what the band is doing u should do _______, which is unrelated to phish. C'mon, man, I know u have more smarts than your reaction to my (very innocuous) comment.
How do you sleep at night with the knowledge that you are innocuous? By the way I am skipping most of the tour because I'm not independently wealthy. My consolation is having bright young people like yourself to cheer me up after a wonderful evening wondering how the tour's going.
Score: 0
pzerbo Phish.net Staff Reply
pzerbo @jakechyllenhaal said:
Hi.
Hi. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

I think the current format of the .net reviews (one 'official' review and then comments) creates a divide that lends itself to people who disagree with the review to feel like their opinion is less-than-important and that a middling review of a show they had a great time at somehow devalues their experience.
That is a relevant point, though I'm not sure there is anything that can be done about that. Phish shows are FUN. It's the point, right? :-) People have a great time – I've had a great time at every Phish show I've ever attended, even the ones that were less than awesome performances. But reviews aren't intended to validate the personal experiences of attendees. If they were, they'd be really short! And, frankly, sorta meaningless... "Wow! Awesome! Raging!" etc. Not that anyone is *trying* to be critical, of course. But here is the thing: nobody is trying to define, influence, or comment on anyone's individual experience. In fact, the person writing the recap often went to the show and, regardless of how they sized it up in the cool light of pixels, also had an awesome time.

I humbly propose that a return to a more anarchistic review page (a la http://phish.net/reviews/archive/ ) be considered.
That is an AWESOME idea. I wish we would have thought about that. Oh, wait... we DID think about that! :-) Go to any setlist, scroll down, and you'll see a review archive. Anyone can post to it, they stay there forever, and are sorted according to their popularity via their score. It is a great resource for the community and allows anyone to voice their opinion, good, bad, or indifferent. It is the very existence of this resource that makes us (well, me, at least) scratch my head when people get bent out of shape because one person's review didn't match their experience, given that the site is structured to allow *everyone* to share *their* experience.

The main point is that (from what I can tell) the .net reviews are for people who weren't at the show to make a determination as to whether or not it is worth their money and time to download and give an attentive listen to a show.
THIS. X1000! This is precisely the intent (again, at least my intent, I can't speak for others). Because here is the thing: whether you were having the time of your life at the show, dancing your ass off with your best friends, falling in love, having great seats, meeting cool people, etc – all of the "experience" components – none of those things will be available to the person making a decision about whether or not to listen to that particular show. So we take a slightly more objective, analytical approach. Again, if you want to hear how every note descended directly from the hand of God, there are options out there.

I hope this background helps. We're really not a multi-headed "Wilson" around here... sometimes I think that the negative flak commenters imagine us standing around with arms crossed, clipboard in hand (well, ok, that is one of us, but still :-)), shaking our heads, etc, whereas the reality is that we all love Phish, and have every bit as much fun at the shows as everyone else. Many of the commenters take us WAY more seriously than we ever take ourselves, which is 'not much'. Each recap is just one person, sharing their perspective on one show, in the relatively sober light of day. If that is helpful to folks, and we'd like to think that it often is, awesome. If that isn't helpful to you, that's cool, too.

This site is set up for maximum participation. Use it. Ideally, while doing so, remember that the reason that we love Phish is because it isn't the same every night, and it is sufficiently complex and different that we're all not going to have the same reaction to every gig. If we did, it would be a "fan club" and how f-ing boring would that be?

Cheers...
Score: 3
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply

In the past I have read the comments on my own recaps because I wanted to engage in the discussion about THE SHOW. When @FACTSAREUSELESS suggested that my dislike of the whammy pedal skewed my perspective of the show, I wanted to discuss that. That's a discussion of the show and my view on it. If you have a different take on THE SHOW, that's great. I would have loved to talk about it.

Good point. I'd like to get back to discussing the show too, if you're up to it at this point. I'm sorry for how this all turned out, I can appreciate you feeling a bit touchy.

Anyway, to support your assertions made in your review, I found it interesting that someone on livephish.com posted (who claims to be a musician) and explained that when Trey pitch-shifts, he often is playing in a different key than the rest of the band, creating unneccesary discord. He feels that Trey is an outstanding player and is actually playing quite well but that he is throwing off his bandmates and the audience by his constant deployment of the device.

I suppose there's a balance in all this. I still think that the show was better than you did, but thought you'd appreciate the feedback.
Score: 0
TheLizards91 Reply
@JojoeHaleysComet said:
Let's just say that after 120 or so Phish shows, last night was possibly the most interesting of them all. We were getting rained on, not a light rain, but not a deluge. Rain tapered off during the second song, but during the third song ironically called "Divided Sky", the skies opened up with heavy rain and unsafe lightning conditions. Teresa was freezing, soaked and worried about the lightning, and yeah I was quite concerned about the lightning myself. After a whole sky lighting up lightning bolt, Teresa and I decided to leave. We get off the lawn and under an overhead ticket gate. The lady there so kindly told us to move along, even though we were the only people leaving the concert during the fourth song. Get out to the parking lot and Teresa sees a taxi and she jokingly says "wouldn't it be funny to take a cab to the parking lot to find our car." I thought it was a great idea and flagged down the cab. The path that we had walked from the parking lot was closed off so this poor taxi driver had to drive randomly through a few parking lots (they all look the same in pouring rain) We get to the car finally, change our clothes and we could hear the band quite well from where we were. I set up my lawn chair in the middle of the parking lot and then the overzealous law enforcement stopped to see why I was sitting on a chair in the middle of the parking lot. I mentioned the whole fearing for my life thing and he was cool with that. A little later on, a female officer saw (of all things) two guys getting into their car (in a parking lot no less). She rapidly pulls her car right behind them, blocking their escape and proceeds to give them the third degree of rapid fire questions and pretty much downright drug accusations. This is going down adjacent to me and my car and parking spot. After she was convinced that these gentlemen weren't any threat she lets them go. She asks me what my whole deal is and why am I (heaven forbid) standing next to my car in a parking lot no less. I told her the wet, fearformylife, last 1/2 hour of my existence, and she let me go with the stern warning of "don't you do any funky, hunky stuff" I have no clue what she meant by that, but after all this we decided to go home. PS, all is not lost, I am listening to the professional quality recording from our show from last night.
Not trying to rag on you, but if no one else is leaving the show, and you see that you are the only ones doing so, why leave. On top of that when is the last time lightning struck a person at a concert? Sorry dude, just cant picture myself ever leaving a Phish show once the show has started, especially only 3 songs into the first set!! I'll admit the rain was bringing me down for a little bit, made it harder to groove and whatnot, but I knew to just keep powering through it since I knew Phish would try to make up for the shitty weather, which they did. Brave it out next time, b/c you missed a killer show.
Score: -1
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@ckess22 said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@ckess22 said: [quote]This review is immensely evenhanded, IMO. If I was ranking (and I am here, obviously), I'd put set 1 last night as the worst of the 6 I've heard thus far this tour (haven't heard Bangor). Slop in almost every song, at least as i heard it. ]

Really? REALLY? Wow....you must hate 97-98, because I haven't heard a "clean" set yet during that period of blissful energetic creative wizardry. You may want to skip the tour, buddy.
I loved loving cup. Maybe if u don't like what the band is doing u should do _______, which is unrelated to phish. C'mon, man, I know u have more smarts than your reaction to my (very innocuous) comment.
How do you sleep at night with the knowledge that you are innocuous? By the way I am skipping most of the tour because I'm not independently wealthy. My consolation is having bright young people like yourself to cheer me up after a wonderful evening wondering how the tour's going.
Forgive me. I thought my comments were innocuous...clearly I didn't realize the power I have speaking about my favorite band on an anonymous Internet forum. Here's to u becoming indepently wealthy so you don't have to rely on anyone for a cheerful evening, least of all me.
Score: 1
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 **independently**
Score: 0
yelram4life Reply
I LOVED the show! I was with two great buddies: a Phish virgin and and old veteran. We drank beer! We saw some neat-o clouds! We did some other stuff! Then we went into the show! We saw the band we paid to see in the venue in which we were excited to see them! They played some songs we expected them to play and some we didn't expect to hear. We drank more beer and when we ran out of beer, we drank some Twisted Tea! We got rained on and we also snuck down almost to the orchestra pit! We danced ALOT! Some people REALLY enjoyed this show, some people didn't. I REALLY enjoyed this show but the fact that someone didn't doesn't take away from my enjoyment in the least. I just joined Phish.net today and the very first thing I see is all this childish bickering and "quoting" everyone's comments to pick them apart point by point. Life's too short! Respect an individual's opinion! It's okay to have a different experience but JESUS! Respect an individual's opinion!
Score: -1
Azimuth Reply
Azimuth Great time at the show as always. Go home, get on the global connectivity interface and complain.
Score: 0
jakechyllenhaal Reply
jakechyllenhaal @Azimuth said:
Great time at the show as always. Go home, get on the global connectivity interface and complain.
This sums it all up. However, 'it' is the misunderstanding of the motives and intentions of the recappers and anyone who doesn't bestow glowing praise upon every show the day after it was performed.

No one is complaining. That's the thing. With maybe a handful of exceptions; we all, regular users and admins alike, love Phish and are 'on board' with what they are doing in 2013.

Phish is playing twenty-five shows this summer, which is about seventy-five hours of music. It would take somebody over three days to listen to the tour in its entirety, which is like ten midnight-to-sunrise sets at Big Cypress in a row. That is a lot of music. Some people are going to listen to it all, which is great. Some people are going to pick and choose what they listen to - either a few select full shows or highlights from each night - and will still thoroughly enjoy the music and love Phish. What is the problem with someone providing a matter-of-fact appraisal of a performance for someone who again, loves Phish, but wants to stick to the highlights?

I love Bob Dylan more than probably any musician in history but I have yet to hear "Tempest" because I don't really have any interest in hearing it. If I was at a place that was playing it or had it recommended very highly by someone who knows every nook and cranny of the Dylan world, I'd give my ears to it. Does that make me an ersatz Dylan fan? I guess so, but who cares? It's my life and I'll do what I want.

The bottom line, to me, is this: the music is out there and is easily accessible. No one is restricting access to it and it will be around forever. If the show is in fact truly great, people are going to hear that and pick up on it eventually. Maybe it might take ten years for people to come around to its greatness, but if you like it now, that should be all that matters; and if you had as great time at the show as you say you did, who cares if someone gives it a 'C+' review?

It seems to me like a certain segment of Phish fans need to feel like they saw a great show as deemed by someone else's opinion on the internet. I can understand and relate, I read people's opinions about music to the detriment of my own critical faculties sometimes too. I'm not going to get mad if someone gives a three-star rating to an album I love and say the person doesn't know what they're talking about and say their jaded and complaining.

I don't know how to wrap this up, um, thanks for reading if you made it this far.

@pzerbo Thanks for your response, insight and kind words. Cheers!
Score: 1
ckess22 Reply
ckess22 @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@ckess22 said:
**independently**
That's "interdependent", kind sir. :)
No, it's not. It's independently. No one becomes 'interdependently' wealthy. Typo the first time, I corrected it immediately before u corrected me incorrectly.
Score: 3
Tando Reply
Always love the reviews but I rarely comment, and just don't take the time to read all responses... so, don't know if this has been addressed.

Page is using a talk box, not a vocoder. A vocoder can be a pretty complicated device. Talk box... not so much. A talk box can give a similar result in sound as a vocoder, but it's still a very different kind of tool. Google them to learn more or ask your favorite music tech geek. ;)

And thanks for the review!
Score: 0
Bing42 Reply
Sunday night SPAC was my favorite SPAC show ever.
Score: 0
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@ckess22 said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@ckess22 said:
**independently**
That's "interdependent", kind sir. :)
No, it's not. It's independently. No one becomes 'interdependently' wealthy. Typo the first time, I corrected it immediately before u corrected me incorrectly.
Yes, I know it's independent @ckess22. I was making a vague and obscure reference to the old Christmas show about the elf who wanted to be a dentist. He wanted to become "interdependent". My attempts to heal the painful wound in your heart is falling flat. I'm sorry.
Score: 0

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