, attached to 2015-08-15

Review by raidcehlalred

raidcehlalred When Phish puts together a first set the likes of which we got tonight, it really makes you wonder what, exactly, they were doing in Raleigh.

Open with Simple whenever, however often you like. I mean it. Seriously. Please.

(What might have been wild(er) is the Glide— An ‘f you’ of sorts to people (like me) who questioned the rationale behind the hobbled Llama….)

Either way:

Lest anyone worry, had Glide been buried, it had been done so ‘alive.’

McGrupp is a song which, for me, makes long nights, sometimes going a little bit hungry, worth hitting up a bunch of shows. It’s a song that in so many ways epitomizes the band (cementing Page’s place in the order, for one—yeah Page, it is your night) and seems to get played the exact right number of times, at the exact right places in time.

But forgetting even that.

Any set that goes deep with a Roggae and Limb (two of the best songs to emerge from one of the band’s best ‘eras’) deserves serious attention.

And then it just gets ridiculous. Might be time to cool down. Or Sparkle was checked. Let’s laugh and fall apart.

Nope. Well, sort of….

Let’s laugh and fall apart, but do so MPP-style…. With the tone-setting BBFCM …. into Cat(!) …. back into BBFCM.

(This leaves what for Jimmy to listen to during Harpua? The thrilling, chilling, spaghetti-western that is The Unsafe Bridge?)

As I’ve mentioned before, the playing has been great: but the deliberation going into set list creation really cements this summer as an all-timer. Not only do we get a joyful, incredibly confident Trey, there are simply an outrageous number of fantastic, original tunes to cull from. What more could you ask for?

What I like about Horn is that it’s Horn. A fine ‘ballad’ in its own regard, this song brings back so many memories, and really ‘fits’ better in this set than a number from, say, “Fuego.” This is not a dig at “Feugo!” (Or any other record. ) It simply underscores the reflection that the band demonstrates going into these gigs – and man, does this sort of effort pay huge dividends.

Blaze On.

What more can be said? A Bowie, or, better yet, an Antelope,* might have worked well to end the set— No one would have complained.

But, true to yet ANOTHER great set, the band has the wherewithal to pull, as the set’s ‘new to tour’ selection, the fist-pumping _Not Fade Away_ feel good anthem. A bit of the old (Leo!) touched with the new (_Women are Smarter_…. pick your Dead influence), the closing slot seems like a great spot for the tune, too (Trey’s raging Alpine solo still fresh in mind) as the band continues to toy with this number and others….

(Let’s see what’s up with that heavily checked Scabbard, next…. Nice to hear Magilla teased—again—as Scabbard brings to mind pre-arena rock Phish….)

But you can usually smell a *Lope a mile away, and, yup, the band wanted to blaze on. So it’s Marco [Gacktoidler] who slips on his nice shades to bring this classic set to a close.

For as long as I’ve followed Phish, I have loved first sets. Before YEM, before there were lengthy, dance party Tweezers, I connected with songs like Jim and Foam, Bag and Sloth. I loved the diversity of hearing Peaches en Regalia and Reba, of Divided Sky and All Things Reconsidered. All in one set.

Phish have both butchered and executed their way through a great many numbers throughout the growing number of decades. It has always been that way.

But the one constant seems certain to remain: Give me my instrument and let me play.

And, regarding certain venues: Anything is fair game.

Let me leave some space…. Others will do a better job dissecting Set II….


1. What’s up with Halley’s?
2. Is it possible that this is where Days is destined to stay?
3. You know, it doesn’t matter to me: I like Bug and I like it in this spot.
4. While I like the light in Light, there’s something about that steam in Steam (it’s a little underrated, too: the song can catch a fat little jam).
5. There is never a bad time to get What’s the Use?, but does this mean that we can expect to get one whenever?
6. Can it get any darker and yet remain so bright?
7. If you’ve got a problem with Piper, you’ve got problems.
8. Plenty of people called the Tweezer, but I didn’t hear one Nitrous.
9. I was totally thinking Slave, not Cave.
10. About time.
11. Best time.

I’m a big Animal Collective fan. They are the only band, I believe, who have been given permission to sample the Dead (_Unbroken Chain_); this from the very cool _Fall be Kind EP_.

And this a couple years before they release the awesome Merriweather Post Pavilion.

What is it about MPP?


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