, attached to 2016-09-03

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads The continuing swinging of Dick's... what a feeling! Slave to the Traffic Light opener gives a good-time cast to the show from the get-go, with its beatific opening phrase. I love the song proper, but Slave jams don't usually do terrifically much for me. Call me a relic, call me what you will! Say I'm old-fashioned, say I'm over the hill, I suppose! Another finished DWD follows, with Fishman in particular calling some impressive shots and the last minute or so of the jam taking a somewhat dark turn. Maybe inspiring the WTU? that follows. What's the Use? is truly a beautiful song, if you're in the right state of mind for it. I love hearing Page use a more varied synthesizer palette than just relying on his Yamaha; it's something that I've clamored for quite a while now. Maze is tight as clockwork, maybe not an all-time version but you win some, you win some. "Still waiting" for 555 to get its long-overdue jam segment, but that's neither here nor there (though it will be soon... I can feel it in dem bones!) Echoplex-enhanced Wolfman's follows the Farmhouse, 555 sequence, and it's an average-great version, to be sure. I think Trey was waiting to Echoplex. ;) I would've preferred a huge jam to close Set I rather than D. Sky, Rock and Roll, but I'm not complaining with the song selection, if it had to be a songy conclusion to the set.

Fuego was just starting to turn in an interesting direction before the somewhat boffed > into Sand--unless, like me, you kinda really like Mike's syncopated bass in the first few measures--but otherwise this is an average-great Sand. I'm thinking about going back and relistening to the jammed-out Blaze Ons that have appeared so far so as to be able to contrast and compare this one with them... would make for a worthy and enjoyable project, indubitably. This Blaze On jam doesn't cover much new ground, to my ears, but that doesn't mean it's bad; just not something to write home about, for me personally. Firmly Type-II Simple follows, featuring Trey on Marimba Lumina and a very interesting variety of motifs in the jam. I'm a big fan of standalone Simples, and though I like how Phish has been experimenting with sandwiching different songs within recent Mike's Grooves, I am an ever bigger fan of Mike's Grooves with outstanding Mike'ses, Simples, *and* Weekapaugs (Hydrogen is *always* bliss.) To me, that's the classic formula for a Mike's Groove. Then again, I love the 12/6/96 Groove, with its Hood firmly entrenched, so what do I know about partying or anything else? Twist takes a kind of standard rocking approach with a peak that's on the milder side, but I don't often get very excited about a Twist (notable exception: 6/22/12.) Always excited to get a Theme. 2001 gets kind of squiggly (in a good way...) good to see it have some breathing room. The set-closing Hood is a virtuosic display, really reminding me that Phish can do anything when they are on form, which, fortunately, is much more often than not--in fact, nearly all the time! Coil is a perennial favorite of mine, and this is the first time I know of that it's ended with a Mike solo rather than a Page solo. Very interesting.

Like the previous night, this show feels all of a piece. Unlike the previous night, both the big jams don't grab me as much upon first exposure. 9/2 had something a bit more special about it, a kind of energy that was really contagiously engaging, which 9/3 doesn't entirely lack, but the tightness is evident in 9/3--well, it was in 9/2, too, but yunno--to the point that I'd categorize this more along the average-great echelon of shows with just one (Simple) jam that will probably be talked about for years to come, but then again, everyphan loves different aspects of Phish individually as well as together, so you have to factor in the subjective aspect of it, rather than fooling oneself that we can be rigidly objective about a rock concert, Phishy though it may be.


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