THE BAND WHO STEPPED INTO YESTERDAY...AND BEYOND


THE BAND WHO STEPPED INTO YESTERDAY...AND BEYOND

      Tonight, honestly, I wasn't sure what was going on...in a good way! My girlfriend and I had two songs apiece we allowed ourselves as wanting to hear at JB. (we haven't done the SPAC choices yet) and mine were Tube and Alumni. I don't know what it is about the song, maybe the connection to school (pretty sure Trey exclaimed in muted fashion "...from Goddard!") So when I thought my sun-burned viasge would need to sideline himself for most of this show, having expended more energy from my body the evening before, then in the last few weeks, and meandered the boardwalk of Long Beach, then sizzling under the mid day sun for the afternoon, and my dancing legs showed up again, I knew this evening would be special.
      
      Let me preface, yours truly did not bring cash to Long Beach, walked the boardwalk from its beginning, to the Alegra Hotel, whose ATM was out of order, then to a BOA whose kiosk would not open, it was nearly an hour after we arrived, feet blistered and clothing soaked, that we finally hunkered down in the sand for really expensive hour in the holiday sun!
      
      Happy Fourth, quatro de julio, and welcome to Phish's house; Jones Beach got owned tonight. Alumni->Letter->Alumni, Head Held High got the crowd moving and positioning myself between VIP tent and Taper Section throughout the show, I was able to meet my spacial needs at the drop of a hat when need be.
      
      The first set seemed to have a surreal flow, but KDF is where things began to take off, and while there was certainly a relief song occasionally, KDF has solidified itself as premier Type I track, that can occasionally hit type II and certainly is a rocker, Trey came party tonight, and unlike the minimalist approach, the role which he assumed, and which almost propelled him further to the forefront, his presence was felt, and he showed his leadership starting with this KDF. And though the Bowie was short, there was a conciseness to it that while not being a 20 minute rager, with a three minute tease intro, it got to the point; something that Phish has been able to do more and more frequently. Meandering jams, where notes are played for notes sake, and not for their placement in the midst of the tapestry created are a seeming thing of the past. And no, the gumbo didn't get jammed out, but the latter part of this set that wouldn't end was just straight up fun. Punctuate with Star Spangled Banner and the first frame did not disappoint. Theme-wise, Hold your Head up, or hold it high, and Hotel-Motel-Holiday inn, seemed to resonate. The former certainly a nod to the fact that any true fan in the venue need not fret at the almost always clean playing of this group of college buddies on stage.
      
      Frame two saw a bass bomb onslaught finalize an early Tweezer. Moving from plinko funkiness , Boogie on gave way to yet another unique and complete Tweezer, that extended from the song proper, and saw Trey expand from the central theme with a vengeance, starting off with that Wacka wacka signature that he has added to this song this era, Tweezer, after being infused with some space age Trey loops, stepped from the freezer, and expanded initially on a type I movement, with searing licks from Trey, branding this version like a well cooked steak, grill lines neatly emblazoned into its sides. But as the song began to drift from its roots, a sound, very reminiscent of 4.0 emerged and fusing all eras, complete with Space Age Loops, bliss seemed to formulate from the ether, and I swore I heard Uncle Sam exclaim from his watery grave. Trey cued Twist into the virtual Wurlitzer that was this evening and what came next just floored me.
      Again, Trey at the helm, this single minded ship navigated the musical spectrums, working away from Twists main theme, flirting with very Dead-esque territory, blissful in it's creation, like the birth of this nation, Phish brought magic from the mid summer sky and I swore Uncle Johns Band was somehow cued to this playlist.

      Instead, Taste appeared and gracefully took center stage, Trey leading the pack, and thematically, it all worked. Quinn followed, and did not disappoint. (I am kind of through with -> denoting songs seguing into each other though...if the band rambles into another song, that should be denoted elsewhere, in a different way, because, while there was little in terms of stoppage, they did not fuse songs in each of the latter instances where certain sites denote "->") That is to say, these songs moved fluidly, in my opinion, and just as a seeming late set Bowie entered into the first set picture, Rock and Roll materialized as if to say, you have no clue what we are up to; the band masters of their own domain. Sprinkle on a very tight Hood, as well as a very inspired, albeit straight forward, Slave, and through the Sleeping Monkey (my girlfriend could leave it, where I could take it, at this juncture) and it may have not been the perfect game I am anticipating will arise from these final run of leg one shows, quatro de julio did not disappoint!
      
      PS I told the boys "where it hurt" and that was in terms of song count, so they acquiesced, and threw down 33 in total. JK, J f'ing K!

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