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Reading Recap

Posted 6 months ago by lumpblockclod - 44 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/52713c4d

Coming off the heels of a particularly strong three show stretch, the question coming into last night's show in Reading, was could Phish sustain the momentum, or were we in for a relative letdown, much like last week's Rochester show? Looking at what had been played over the last few shows, it looked like we were due for a "Disease," "Piper," and "Hood" centric second set (we went two for three), with the show-before-Halloween factor lurking as the wildcard. Would Reading deliver?

The first set was, let's just say, uninspiring. Even accounting for the fact that first sets have largely felt like warmup acts in 2013, last night's opening frame left much to be desired. The song selection to start was fairly pedestrian. Even a pleasant surprise like "Walk Away" fell short of the standards the band has set for that song as of late. "Melt" sounded like a litter of dying kittens before awkwardly transitioning into "Julius." The rest of it? Look at the setlist; that's pretty much how it sounded. But we all know by now not to judge shows by the first set, right?

So, as I mentioned before, the "DWD" opener was pretty much a given last night. They hadn't opened a second set with it yet this tour and most of the other likely candidates had been played recently. I sometimes think of "DWD" openers as the meatloaf and mashed potatoes of Phish sets. You know it's probably going to taste pretty damn good and it will fill you up, but it's hard to get too excited about it. It lacks the novelty of "Waves," the gravity of "Crosseyed" or the history of "Tweezer." On the right night, though, it can stand up to any of those, and the band cooked up a legendary helping of meatloaf last night that might just have been the best jam of the whole damn tour. It simply did not quit as it wound from theme to theme over the course of 20+ minutes.

"Taste" was up next and was a nice version. The "Twenty Years Later" that followed seemed like an odd call as it didn't seem like we needed a breather quite yet. Luckily we didn't get one. Instead we got easily the best ever version of the song with the ensuing jam actually resembling a Dead-like jam. Page, in particular just slayed this "20YL." "Piper" was its usual incendiary self and featured a quasi-start/stop jam (not really, since Fish never really stopped, but rather relentlessly pushed things forward until Trey started up "Number Line." Even a late second set "Number Line" couldn't hurt this set, though (and this version was actually quite good. One of the stronger recent versions of "YEM" effectively closed what was basically a six song set (sorry, “Grind”).

When “Bouncing Around the Room” started, you could forgive the band for playing a perfunctory encore after such a huge set. While clearly no such forgiveness was necessary, the band went and made it doubly so by starting up a rare encore “Reba.” At this point I’m not sure if I could even say how good this “Reba” was (though it seemed really well-played). Just playing the song in that spot was gift enough. “Good Times Bad Times” served as the cherry on this fantastic set, yet another contender for best of the year. It seems like we keep on saying that on this tour. If the trend continues in AC, we may start talking about October ‘13 in the same hallowed tones as we do August ‘93, December ‘95 and November ‘97. I wouldn’t bet against it.

Comments

mterry Reply
I guess to each their own! 1st set, to me, was just some good ol' phish. Not racing out of the gates, but not trying to perform a up the ante set. Just well played. A good arena opening set. But, as always on a forum; that's just IMO.
Score: 5
btp907 Reply
Terrible review. First set was amazing. Lots of energy and played very tightly. Second set was ridiculous. Killed taste, disease and yem. While number line was played very very well and sounded good, it's beginning chords sucked all energy out of the building that the previous jams had fought so hard to build.
Score: 13
Zhaph Reply
Zhaph I haven't listened to this show yet, and I liked the review of the second set here (especially the meatloaf/potatoes analogy to DwD; I feel the same way!), but I would have liked to see more information on WHY the first set fell flat for the reviewer. Saying "look at the setlist; that's pretty much how it sounded," doesn't give me anything to go, really. I've heard plenty of soaring Wolfman'ses, and Stealing Time can get nasty on occasion as well. Was Divided Sky played tightly? Did the band pick up the bluegrass beat properly for Ginseng Sullivan? As always, my thanks to @lumpblockclod for reviewing the show, I just wanted him to be less dismissive and more informative about set I.
Score: 15
HarrysHoods Reply
First time contributor to the site here: As someone who was at the show last night, I think it's better to look at the reviews dedicated to that particular show's webpage rather than this one. Uninspiring? Please. Before Sparkle and Walk Away, Trey walked over to Fish (presumably to tell him, "Hey, Sparkle and Walk Away next" ;) . I saw Fishman give an "Oh Yeah!" fist pump with his drumstick as he sat back down from leaning forward to hear Trey. And they killed both of those songs! Pumping up your band members after 2391571235 shows is inspiring in itself. Divided Sky was great! I'm a bit biased since it was my first, but during the pause, everybody held up their lighters, continuing the theme of Fall '13. You know the band loved that, and they showed us just how much by giving us a great Divided Sky into SOAM. Now okay, the SOAM may have been chaotic, the members occasionally losing time with each other, but I kinda like that in a way. Wouldn't you rather them try and get crazy and experiment and just go for it, knowing the risk they're taking? I personally loved the chaos and the wall of sound that came with it. They have had that song for over 20 years and they're still pushing it to the limit! That's another difficult thing to do. I apologize I can't give a longer review at this time and I'll probably add to it later tonight on the show thread, but, until then, check the other reviews on the show thread. There's a lot of detailed info over there
Score: 9
whatstheuse324 Reply
whatstheuse324 The first set last night was off the hook, I don't know where the hate comes from. CTB had some excellent improv and interplay despite a flubbed ending. Stealing Time hit all the usual peaks with some fire behind it. Everyone was singing and dancing to Ginseng Sullivan and they covered up well when Mike forgot the opening lines to the second verse. Wolfman's was a surprise because I figured they would save it for Halloween, and they nailed it as usual. Sparkle was flawless, Walk Away was awesome. Divided Sky is my favorite song and it was played perfectly and with high energy during the outro jam. Melt took us all down a black hole and back again. I remember telling my friend next to me that this was the kind of black hole that Phish is unafraid to go down, which separates them from any other jam band. Julius was butter on the popcorn.

The second set was full of jaw dropping improv and extended versions of DWD and 20YL. They also played strong versions of Taste, Piper, and Number Line. Trey started YEM before Mike got the memo, but they finished strong. Follow this with a three song encore with Reba in the middle and you end up with one of the best shows of an already powerful tour. I left Reading in awe of what I had just witnessed. This show had everything I wanted. Excellent song selection, precision playing, extended jams, and REBA in the encore. Five stars. Phish is amazing and can do anything right now.
Score: 8
phunky58 Reply
awesome show got the jam filled second set ive been chasing since I missed the past three shows. I also texted friends after dwd that this could very well be the jam o tour or if not it's right up there. and twenty years later came out of nowhere and just was awesome. this fall tour blows summer tour away imho. so grateful to have been in reading last night.
Score: 0
davidpo61 Reply
@Zhaph said:
I haven't listened to this show yet, and I liked the review of the second set here (especially the meatloaf/potatoes analogy to DwD; I feel the same way!), but I would have liked to see more information on WHY the first set fell flat for the reviewer. Saying "look at the setlist; that's pretty much how it sounded," doesn't give me anything to go, really. I've heard plenty of soaring Wolfman'ses, and Stealing Time can get nasty on occasion as well. Was Divided Sky played tightly? Did the band pick up the bluegrass beat properly for Ginseng Sullivan? As always, my thanks to @lumpblockclod for reviewing the show, I just wanted him to be less dismissive and more informative about set I.
Score: 0
davidpo61 Reply
Agreed! I've seen over a hundred shows dating back to '93, and this show, plus the last three, have all had incredibly high peaks and consistently tight jams. There are so many factors that go into a personal Phish show experience, that it's hard to be objective. Practically everyone near where I was dancing was feeling the grooves as much as me. Great energy level shared by the band and the Phans. Keep on Rockin' Phish! -po
Score: 0
lumpblockclod Phish.net Staff Reply
lumpblockclod Ok, since you all have asked, I didn't provide much detail on the first set partly b/c I wanted to get the recap up as soon as I could and I just didn't think there was a whole lot to say about it. But CTB was a solid opener, STFTFP was pretty standard I thought, Ginseng I thought was actually quite enjoyable. Wolfman's in 3.0 usually feels like it takes me to the cusp of a great jam before returning back to the Wolfman's theme. This one didn't even get to that cusp. Sparkle was Sparkle.... really, what more is there to say about it? Walk Away... to those of you praising this Walk Away, I suggest you go and listen to some of the other post-6/17/10 versions. This was simply not a great version of this song. Divided Sky was pretty well played as far as I can remember. I love the song, but I can't say it really stood out good or bad. Melt, I hear the points about the risk taking and I generally agree (although I'd point out that they've been taking the same general dark whale calling risk with this song for the better part of 4 yrs now), but this simply wasn't well executed. And the ending was painful. Sorry. In any event, all of these thoughts are simply my opinions. If you loved the set, that's great. I had a great time during the set!!! It was a fantastic night, but looking back critically, those are my thoughts. YMMV.
Score: 13
PennPhan Reply
First set was okay (certainly not "amazing" to me. Anything that opens with CTB fails that adjective *IMO*) I didn't get too too interested in it til Divided Sky piped up, though I didn't think it quite descended to the reviewer's depths. "litter of dying kittens" is a bit melodramatic for me.
I'd convinced myself that we were going to be in for a killer Crosseyed 2nd set opener. The DwD made me forget all about that. 2nd set wayyyyyy superior, and I'm normally not a "just give me 2nd set" kind of phan. Did anyone mention the Reba encore...complete with whistling? Last Reba I saw (I think it was AC last summer) they omitted that.

Listening to the download makes more sense of some of the jamming that was a bit chaotic and tough to follow in Section 105.
Score: 0
PennPhan Reply
@lumpblockclod said:
Ok, since you all have asked, I didn't provide much detail on the first set partly b/c I wanted to get the recap up as soon as I could and I just didn't think there was a whole lot to say about it. But CTB was a solid opener, STFTFP was pretty standard I thought, Ginseng I thought was actually quite enjoyable. Wolfman's in 3.0 usually feels like it takes me to the cusp of a great jam before returning back to the Wolfman's theme. This one didn't even get to that cusp. Sparkle was Sparkle.... really, what more is there to say about it? Walk Away... to those of you praising this Walk Away, I suggest you go and listen to some of the other post-6/17/10 versions. This was simply not a great version of this song. Divided Sky was pretty well played as far as I can remember. I love the song, but I can't say it really stood out good or bad. Melt, I hear the points about the risk taking and I generally agree (although I'd point out that they've been taking the same general dark whale calling risk with this song for the better part of 4 yrs now), but this simply wasn't well executed. And the ending was painful. Sorry. In any event, all of these thoughts are simply my opinions. If you loved the set, that's great. I had a great time during the set!!! It was a fantastic night, but looking back critically, those are my thoughts. YMMV.
Pretty much exactly what I thought (minus the kittens) but your line about "Wolfman's in 3.0 usually feels like it takes me to the cusp of a great jam before returning back to the Wolfman's theme. This one didn't even get to that cusp." is sooooo on. I was there saying, "waaah, it's over already?"

That being said, this DwD from about minute 16 on has me bouncing in my office chair. For some reason, Trey is totally evoking Dickey Betts in my mind.
Score: 3
steve_and_em Reply
I honestly don't understand what all this is about in regards to the first set? It was solid. I thought the review was quite accurate and not every review has to point out Wolfman's was funky or a nice treat and that STFTFP hit it's peaks. Certainly people danced to Ginseng. It's Ginseng! Reminds of Chris Rock talking about being proud of things you are supposed to do any how. Wolfman's was funky! Man, Wolfman's is SUPPOSED to be funky! It's Wolfman's! Don't get me wrong, I loved the first set! But I can honestly say some of my favorite sets are not always what I considered the "best" sets. It's ok. You can love them anyhow! For anyone thinking that Walk Away was amazing you should really REALLY listen to Blossom from 2012 because there is something wonderful waiting for you! First set was fun and it was solid but the 2nd set is where the meat and potatoes were (pun intended). In that regard the review focused on that. Solid and accurate review and yes I was there.
Score: 1
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @btp907 said:
I have a different opinion, therefore yours is invalid.
Score: 3
ikew73 Reply
I actually thought SOAM was one of the best versions I've heard in a while. And I'm glad they transitioned into Julius at the end because let's face it, they weren't going to nail that ending anyway.
Score: 5
Forgot_About_Guy Reply
thought set one was great set two was great too
Score: 0
tedp19 Reply
"The "Twenty Years Later" that followed seemed like an odd call as it didn't seem like we needed a breather quite yet. Luckily we didn't get one. Instead we got easily the best ever version of the song with the ensuing jam actually resembling a Dead-like jam. "

the circular phrasing style at the end of 20YL reminds me of the same style at the end of Terrapin Station.
Score: 1
Tripps86 Reply
I disagree with the reviewer's opinion of the first set. I thought it was top-notch. It obviously wasn't the greatest of all time, but the CTB opener was excellent and set a good tone for the rest of the night; it had very strong renditions of Wolfman's, Divided Sky, and SOAMelt; and I found the segue into Julius to actually be quite smooth.

Second set review is spot on. It was pretty much flawless. The intro chords to # Line did indeed deflate some of the energy from the audience, but the band picked it right back up with a spirited rendition. DwD and 20 Years Later are certainly defining jams for 2013 and in all likelihood for the entire 3.0 era. The YEM was a funk machine, and the encore was obviously killer.

This is the best consistent playing from the band since Summer 2013.

We're a spoiled phan base!
Score: 3
Josephiah Reply
@btp907 said:
While number line was played very very well and sounded good, it's beginning chords sucked all energy out of the building that the previous jams had fought so hard to build.

This is pretty much always how I feel about number line: as soon as it gets going it's great, but that intro is pretty much their least inspiring ever. Writing a decent intro or doing a lovely segue minus the mind-numbing chord strumming at the start could totally change its reception I reckon.
Score: 0
fallsdevil Reply
fallsdevil From what I heard via an A++ stream, sounded like another solid set one akin to this tour's modus operandi. Faulty Plan, Wolfman's, SO&M were strong; although Split Open could've/should've gone on longer. Much longer. Great stuff seemed to be happening/about to happen when it went into (prematurely) Julius. Oh well, just left me hankering for a sizzling 2nd set. That second set did sizzle. First 3 tunes took some 45 minutes. Great jamming/soloing all around. Another superb 2nd set, like all of these Fall tour dates before it. Hard to say which was the best, of course a trio of shows left.
Reba encore??!! NEVER would have called that one. NEVER. Killer version too.
Score: 1
deBebbler Reply
deBebbler @lumpblockclod

I am not going to jump on you here, even though I did not find your review particularly engaging. I am just going to say this: "that" you didn't like something (like the first set) isn't sufficient in itself. You need to give the "why" for what you did not like. I think I would have enjoyed your review (even if I didn't agree with you) had you fleshed out a few more paragraphs with some justifications for your opinions.

That said, I was very impressed with this show, as a by-the-numbers performance would have been fairly routine here. Many noteworthy events were within this show, and they definitely kept the "what's next?" factor pretty high. 20YL was the biggest surprise I've had since the 6/7/12 Sally. Also, I find it hard not to like a three song encore that includes Reba. Great songs, incredible jamming, and Taper420's stream was ( . Y . )

Such a damn shame all I have to look forward to is a webcasted Halloween show, lol.
Score: 1
PersnicketyJim Reply
PersnicketyJim Who knew that dying kittens sounded so good? If one were to normally distribute the 297 SOAMs ever played, I'd put this one well to the right of the mean.

Re the 20YL: Perhaps more than any other recent stellar jam, I suspect its uniqueness will come into focus after we see which costume they don. Which is not to say that I think they'll play The Dead because I heard Rider, but I do think it oozed some kind of new influence.
Score: 2
OutFocus80 Reply
Just finished listening to last night. Wow! Good stuff.
Score: 0
Tripps86 Reply
@Tripps86 said:
I disagree with the reviewer's opinion of the first set. I thought it was top-notch. It obviously wasn't the greatest of all time, but the CTB opener was excellent and set a good tone for the rest of the night; it had very strong renditions of Wolfman's, Divided Sky, and SOAMelt; and I found the segue into Julius to actually be quite smooth.

Second set review is spot on. It was pretty much flawless. The intro chords to # Line did indeed deflate some of the energy from the audience, but the band picked it right back up with a spirited rendition. DwD and 20 Years Later are certainly defining jams for 2013 and in all likelihood for the entire 3.0 era. The YEM was a funk machine, and the encore was obviously killer.

This is the best consistent playing from the band since Summer 2013.

We're a spoiled phan base!
I meant to say:

"This is the best consistent playing from the band since Summer 2003."
Score: 1
theothr1 Reply
theothr1 Whoever is going to dismiss an entire first set based solely on the basis of a show opening C's T's & B's (NOT refering to lumpblockclod, here) SERIOUSLY needs to listen to the 9-20-00 Riverbend show...sillier assumptions have been made but not by much
Score: 0
theothr1 Reply
theothr1 I apologetic apologies for the slight redundancy above ; )
Score: 0
PennPhan Reply
@theothr1 said:
Whoever is going to dismiss an entire first set based solely on the basis of a show opening C's T's & B's (NOT refering to lumpblockclod, here) SERIOUSLY needs to listen to the 9-20-00 Riverbend show...sillier assumptions have been made but not by much
"Not amazing" != "dismiss", assuming the snark was aimed at me. The vast realm of "okay" lives in between the two. Okay?
Score: 0
FoundMyselfACity Reply
This review is certainly a beauty, or lack thereof, being in the eye of the beholder. I cannot disagree much more with this review. The guys were having a lot of fun and that makes for great music. The arena was awesomely intimate. This is the Phish that overloaded an Indian reservation and jammed highways for miles stuffing all that energy, musical bliss into a living room of 9000 friends. Mike using the drill to tweak some funky bass notes for DwD, the intense light show, acapella fun, seriously intense jams throughout, Pop Goes the Weasel teases, trampolines, Trey putting down his guitar to dance before concluding YEM, the chat between the songs of the first set as they decided what to play.... I even saw Mike smile somewhere in Reba. This show was amazing. Please listen to it, decide for yourself. Hopefully a few videos pop up so you can enjoy it visually as well.
Score: 2
AlbanyYEM Reply
AlbanyYEM "legendary" "best ever" "one of the stronger recent versions" are all evaluative phrases from this review. Seriously, read the content before busting out the jump to conclusions board. Standard, averagely great versions of first set songs are not 'bad' they are just that, average. Nothing too unusual, good or bad, occurred. That seems to be a pretty objective statement of fact. I like phish, so I like average phish songs. We don't need to pretend they're something they're not. Good phish sets are, by definition, better than average. Now, I admit I don't know what a drowning kitten sounds like, so I'll withhold judgment on that one.

Is anyone else tired of the comments section repeating this scenario ad infinitum?

Snarky meta-meta comment: Mike smiling or good times had by all doesn't translate to tape.
Score: 5
shaunfunk Reply
did anyone notice how the house lights that stayed on all night were pretty bright? In my opinion that kinda took some of the energy out of the place. I prefer when its super dark and the light show can really take you places.
Score: 1
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @AlbanyYEM said:


Is anyone else tired of the comments section repeating this scenario ad infinitum?
Image
Score: 2
aqualung23 Reply
I guess its easy to say the first set is crap when you fail to mention the two best songs of the set, Divided Sky and Wolfman's. And I must have missed the "dying kittens" part of the melt. But a lot of people hate on these really dark twisted 3.0 melts.
Score: 0
spotted_striper Reply
Its almost as if this reviewer missed the show entirely, checked the set list yesterday morning, read some posts in the forum and quickly ran this to print. Zero details, a few cliches, post.
Score: 2
waxbanks Reply
waxbanks next-day recaps are bound to be short -- there's lots to do! -- and without the benefit of extra time to mull things over, recappers' opinions will tend toward 'it confirmed my biases/surprised me; i love/hate it when that happens.'

*that's what recaps are for.*

if you want to know whether the show was good or not, listen to the show and decide for yourself. you do have time, y'know.

if you want to be part of a communal opinion-sharing activity -- which happily has no goal except to bring enthusiastic folks to the same webpage -- then carry on commenting, but don't go in expecting critical analysis.

there is a legitimate critique to be made of recaps in general. same goes for online discussion among phish fans in general. i guess the place for those critiques is the forum.

or your blog, of course.

at this point, if you're surprised or dismayed by content-free phrases like 'average great phish show,' you're reading the wrong KIND of phish fan-stuff. i bet you can find other stuff, though.
Score: 3
castinajig Reply
castinajig review is spot on I was there,and sober. DWD was Epic can't say that enough.
Score: 1
Fluffyfluffyhead Reply
Fluffyfluffyhead Just listened to the whole show.
I love these guys! Especially when they break free from the normal way they play songs.
ESPECIALLY MELT.

Kittens? idk Whales...
Score: 1
deDfIsh Reply
deDfIsh Since there's only a 7,000 or so capacity at the Reading Center..I know it's not called that, but who cares? Anyone that was there will tell you it was one of their favorite Phish Shows in years.

There;s simply no way to properly describe it. Just listen to it. It was a wonderful performance by the best live band in the world right now.
Score: 1
tweezedout Reply
Both sets were fire... grow ears
Score: 1
PennPhan Reply
@deDfIsh said:
Since there's only a 7,000 or so capacity at the Reading Center..I know it's not called that, but who cares? Anyone that was there will tell you it was one of their favorite Phish Shows in years.
Well, it's 7,000 seats, not counting all of the peeps on the floor (ice). I figured another 2k there by counting a section and mentally gridding it.
Score: 0
Edgolfterp Reply
This was a very strong show for several reason of which I will now explain, because my opinion is obviously essential and many have waited several days to read it. Sorry to have kept you.

First, the venue. Reading is a dump of a town. I should know, I have to work there on occassion. Trust me, it sucks, but that doesn't mean the venue is bad. As one who has seen Phish since 1990 in small bars, this size I really think fits them well. Not so big that your overwhelmed by the size of the venue and zeal is somewhat diluted, but not so small that you lose the spirit of an energized gathering of phans. Security was fairly laxed and friendly, parking was fine and traffic wasn't outrageous. The sound quality was ok, I guess, I'm not a good judge of that...I could hear everything.

Song Selection: I really enjoyed the song selection of this show, a good combination of rock, funk, country, progressive and trippy. As well as a nice pallatte of songs covering their whole career, including some acapella. I felt like I was back at a mid 1990's show. Throw in a couple of strong (and diverse) covers and you have a well crafted set list. Also, I'm not sure how often they play 3 of their most structured compositional songs in one show. Divided Sky, YEM and Reba all are some of their more complex classics that I think are in the Mt. Rushmore of Phish's Progressive compositional songs (a la Pink Floyd or Yes) with very structured, complex and long intro's. Can we get the Phish.net folks to research this??

SET ONE: Musically, I felt they were a bit restrained and more on the spacey side this set. CTB, Number Line, and Ginsing were all good starters, nothing truly memorable for me, but they were tight and Page and Mike seemed to be taking the lead. Wolfman's Brother is a great groove and certainly perked up the crowd. My expectations for this song (and I believe the crowds) are usually high, so when the jam went more to the soft and spacey side and then went back to the refrain, there wasn't much fanfare. I was very happy to hear Walk Away, just a great tune to cover. This version wasn't as strong as other Walk Away's Phish has done, but certainly a quality tune.
Divided Sky...well here are my thoughts. Divided Sky is like the worst blow job I ever had...it was awesome. DS is really just one of those standards that is always inspiring. That being said, there is a progression in the final jam. Sometimes they go through it 3 times, sometimes 5, sometimes 7...and when they go through that progression 7 times you know it! This was a restrained DS, I think only going through 3 serious progressions and i really feel Trey held back a bit. Now the pause with everyone holding the lighters (remember lighters flaring before encores???) was very very cool.
SOAM is another classic, but this jam got muddled and lost, and I think it never finished because they got lost in it and didn't know how to get back....does that make sense? I just felt the jam lacked cohesion. And I know SOAM gets to a point where things get lost, but then they find themselves and get back in a groove. It didn't seem to happen here.
Julius is simply a great tune, excellent jam and a strong way to end a set. Not much more to say other than it left the crowd hungry for the second set.

Second Set: I'll recap below, but if anyone truly thinks the first set even came close to the second set then they must have been up in the Pagoda.
DWD was outstanding! I don't know about anyone else, but because it was the show before Halloween, I was listening to jams wondering if I would hear hints of what they would play for Halloween. I swear I heard some very Doors-esque stuff from Paige, and then there was definitely an "I Know You Rider" Grateful Dead Europe '72 thing going on. Top notch DWD, that alone elevated the show.
Taste was very solid and had the crowd very pumped once completed. Then came 20 Years Later, a tune I admit I'm not as familiar with, and the opening definitely deflated the crowd....BUT man the jam was absolutely killer, redeemed the exhale of the intro. I'm looking forward to re-listening to this one. And from reading the comments above, apparently this was a stand out version.
Piper, BDTNL and YEM were all very good, not particular eventful but solid. YEM is a lot like Divided Sky, never bad, always satisfying.

Encore: REBA encore is about all you need to know. It was almost like getting a 3rd set. Thank God Reading lets you go until 11:45 instead of 11:30. Add a stellar Good Times, Bad Times and you have a damn good show

Best show of the tour?? I don't know? Only show on the tour I saw, and I loved it, especially the 2nd set and encore.
Score: 0
isawitagain Reply
i am so sorry, i have to write this...and i would like to preface this as: 'im not a jaded vet'...but there is no way in hell that i will ever be comparing oct/13 to 8/93, or 12/95 or 11/97.
lets just say this...i have only been to two shows this month, and about 30 shows in the other listed months, and all i have to say is this. the band is not the same.
we could discuss how they have changed through the years from 93 to 94 to 95 to 97 to 98 and where they are at now...and that would only distract us from the truth.

the truth is this: the band is playing well right now...
sometimes they play some great and heavy jams...
but most of the songs are cookie cutter, and short and go nowhere.
just because they are well played and there are few mistakes, does not mean that the band is on fire like in the middle 90's.

comparing this decade with the 90's is turing the time elastic...
and we all know where that takes us...having a seat...
so please just enjoy the music for what it is and try not to compare it to the past.

Score: 0
deDfIsh Reply
deDfIsh Never feel bad about having an opinion. There's nothing like great art to divide us all. No one can really ever claim what the best is by themselves. It takes years of retrospection to find any kind of consensus for something that we could maybe, most of us, agree was the 'greatest'. We don't have that context now. What I will say is these guys are all hitting their 50's and don't have the energy they may have had when younger to play 9 hours of amazing music without a break. This tour and Summer I think we see a clear trend which is that they don't waste too much of their creative energy in the 1st sets. Yet as a unit they are so tight now that it's really hard to go top a show and not love what they are doing there anyways. But consistently, on this tour in particular, they are pulling no punches in 2nd sets. At almost every show this tour they have done some version of a fan favorite that 100 people will say the next day it was their all-time favorite. They are just killing the 2nd sets (or in last night's case, the 3rd). That's just my take on this tour. I think it will go down as one of the finest, most consistent, tours to be a part of.
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RIchiethat Reply
If the trend continues in AC, we may start talking about October ‘13 in the same hallowed tones as we do August ‘93, December ‘95 and November ‘97. I wouldn’t bet against it.

Seriously???
I know everyone is entitled to their opinions but.......Seriously????

There is ZERO comparison from '93 to '95, from '95 to '97 and the possibility doesn't even remotely exist to compare '97 to '13. Very Ouch!!!
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2ndSetSnobsSuck Reply
I don't even like that it has been accepted that certain Phish is a "type", especially framed in the same vein as some corporate version of computer software. The whole label thing turns me off. I do heart me so good old early Phish and also the latest show. Equally. I can obviously hear the difference in sound, and speed mostly in the different eras but I also think that they as a band have been changing tempos and sound so much over the years that there is just no way to lump it all into three classes. That off my chest, I think this has been a sick tour so far. The 25th in Worcester was my favorite. Mike dropped a big bomb and Rocky Top is one I sing all the words to.
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tedvanberg Reply
I've gotta chime in with my two cents, simply because after many years of seeing the boys I feel that the two SOAM I heard this year (SPAC, Reading) were fantastic and possibly some of my fav moments of all time. (12/29/96 Harpua, walking after a flatbed at the Ball being a couple others.)
As a musician I really enjoy when the improvisation the band is doing strays from the usual patterns one tends to fall into even while improvising. At Reading they went"out" but there were many interesting layers of complexity going on particularly when one focused on the chord movement created by all 3 non-drummers and not just the gnarly sounds....'twas very Charles Ives but it frickin' rocked. I usually keep my mouth shut while the band is playing, but they got a "F@#$ Yeah" from me during SOAM.

...ok that was 4.5- 4.7 cents sorry
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