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In particular, this philosophical take on the show hits home with me (a philosophy major). I loved the personal connection to Jones Beach and the lead in regarding how the pig that is the venue, it’s entrance and exit, and dilapidated condition will always be seen as majestic in the narrators eyes hit home with me. I moved to Hawaii in 2014 and saw every 3.0 JB show from the 2009 run with additional date added (a run of shows that I could probably write a book about due to personal anecdotes about an experience, with Phish as musical backdrop that profoundly changed the trajectory of my life) to the Monsoon Bowie dancing as it felt the venue was being consumed into the ocean that it abuts.
I was particularly struck by the mental construct of the proverbial Song or the Jam-conundrum. I think back the Jam filled night and the Lawn Boy Jam that ensued. What does it take for the boys to want to jam. Clearly an intention to want to. But, as the author notes, not being able to get into the collective head and mull around, one is left to just assume that it will remain a mystery and that you just have to show up to circus when it is in town to see the answer that night.
Maybe magic is the better metaphor here. I am not a magician. Most of us aren’t. But we all yearn for magic in our own way and then when amazed by a magic trick we try to logically decipher the magic that took place before our very eyes. Unless we are determined to learn magic, spend the thousand of hours it takes to begin to gain skill, we won’t ever begin to scrape away at the trick to surface the truth. Phish is magic. That they can turn a jam from just about any conceivable song in the catalog, and might on any given night…or that they can, again to the author’s point, continue to progress their song selection, their sound and the experience for the audience is simply magic and a testament to the endurance of this fabled band and the grit they have had to muster over the last 4 decades.
Sorry to ramble but this review really spoke to me and I love when the wheels turn. To answer the question of what came first the jam or song, that’s easy: it’s the