There are three ways a Phish show can be spectacular - there can be interesting jams and otherwise unique versions of songs, there can be rare songs played, and there can be funny band/fan interaction. Tonight had all three, which makes it really special.
Rare songs, I think we all know what those are. Two debuts - including "Gone" which I was really hoping for - and then the return of the much lamented "Tela." Fan interaction? Well there was the subtle game playing of breaking the 240 record that was going on for those who were in the know, and then there was the more obvious fact that they blerping brought a fan on stage to play the vacuum. And then they gave him it! Throw in a really nice "Sand" jam, an amazing "GBOTT," and the "Run Like a Reggae Woman," and you have the unique versions criteria met.
I don't think there's any way this show won't be praised to the heavens. There's a reason for that though. The easiest way of knowing a show was great was to ask people after the show what they thought. A good show would have people saying mostly positive things, but a great show, one of THOSE nights? Well when you ask someone what they thought about those, they just laugh or can't be coherent or bitch about something just as a joke. Walking out of the AAA, that was the reaction....
...and tonight is New Years' Eve. I can't imagine they'll top last night, but I can't wait to see them try!