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Review by The__Van
Walfredo is busted out for the opener. Has the novelty of this song worn off? I would say no. The odd lyrics, vacuum reference, instrument switching. It's all very Phish. The decision to open with a bust out and then play the recently unearthed Curtain With had to have been intentional for the webcast audience. It works well. The Curtain With proves itself to be back for good with this solid version. Maze has it's typical fury but with just a little extra thrown on top of this one. Roggae cools us down... or so it seems. This one is an all timer. Intricate and airy, the band deftly weaves in and out of each others melodic lines. It really gets out there in a way Roggae hasn't before. I Didn't Know comes in next and has reference to Joe C. as a nod to Kid Rock from the previous night. Mike's is played to it's trademark intensity but never quite coalesces into anything more. Simple sounds like it might become another floaty jam like Roggae but instead it fizzles away and Trey starts up Saw it Again. On the best nights, Saw it Again can be the full the release of pent up emotion. Here it serves more as a connecting part in Mike's groove because neither Mike's nor Simple went big. Either way, it's good to hear Esther busted out. Trey makes it through all but the last verse where he flubs the lyrics and instead gives up "she died. She's dead." It's a funny moment and get's a pass from me as he got every other word right in a song that has a lot of words. Weekapaug gets super funky to end the set. Weekapaug always delivers.
Timber starts the 2nd set with a bit of a gloomy jam. Melancholic notes from Trey and Mike really drive home the dark sound. AC/DC Bag at first looks like it might be a rare big one but stays inside it's structure. It does have cool false ending though. Forbin's is another surprise bust out. The rust shows a bit as this very is a little rough around the edges. As far as the narration, I did some research and concluded the hiatus was announced in an Entertainment Weekly cover story, but this being an age before social media I'm sure there were many in the audience unaware Phish was planning a break. Trey sounds a bit nervous, like he doesn't know how the crowd will react. When the audience cheers Trey laughs and makes a joke. Everyone's in a good mood. Once again this moment stands in stark contrast to the "won't be needing this anymore" moment from 8/11/04. The actual narration itself is about a Trey growing a long tooth and the earth becoming a raisin. At the end he concludes "Gamehendge is a state of mind." I can't think of a better way to send off 17 years of Phish. Mockingbird is played well and more adeptly than Forbin's. Despite Twist and Sand being jam vehicles neither go anywhere especially Sand, being one of the shortest versions since it's debut. Based on the last few versions it seems like they had run out of ideas for Sand. Given it's near complete absence from 2.0 this could be the case. ADITL brings the house down and Emotional Rescue closes the show with just one bust out. There's an odd duel/dance thing Mike and Trey do at the end of the song but it doesn't hold up on the audio. That was for the webcast.
This is a bit of a weird show. Strong in some parts, weak in others... and not the parts you'd expect. Jam of the show goes to Roggae. Weekapaug and Timber aren't too shabby neither.