Chalk Dust Torture was unfinished. Trey teased Johnny B. Goode in Back on the Train.
Johnny B. Goode tease in Back on the Train
Debut Years (Average: 1994)

This show was part of the "2023 Spring Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by Hippogator

Hippogator This show is a solid example of how trivial and conceited the whole "rating the band" thing is. It's steeped in some weird ego elitism. What more could anyone possibly want from this band other than a show like Saturday night? How can you put a rating on a show like this and, if you do, why is it anything less than 5/5??

They come out swinging and do not ever let up. Every song is a banger. The Leaves placement is perfection, beautiful cool mossy field surrounded by raging hot fire. The band's interplay at the end of Coil is beautiful and when Page is finally left to do his thing is is tear jerking. Chalkdust stretches its legs and goes for a cross country run on the moon. Twist comes in and is welcomed friend that keeps the bacon sizzling. The 2001 is all-timer. Seriously they were super into this one, a must listen. Sneakin' Sally is another very welcomed song for the ears and they are not letting up!!

A perfectly placed Life beyond the Dream and closing the 2nd set with First Tube is CLASSIC.

This is peak Phish and if this doesn't do it for you, seriously ask yourself what are you even doing here in the first place? Still can't wrap my head around how anyone can put some sort of rating on this show. Enjoy this shit while it lasts folks. Are you going to look back when it's over and congratulate yourself on how trivial and score-minded you were about every show, patting yourself on the back about how you only accept the phinest Phish has to offer? Or are you going to look back and say "Holy shit I had such a great time with this band, they were such a gift."
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by agelva

agelva I want to agree with a lot of the sentiments reflected in some of these other user reviews. I hate to be the guy who says how many shows he’s seen and for how long he’s been seeing the band but I feel like this sort of requires it. Saturday was my 203rd show since 1995. I’ve seen the band on New Year’s Eve 14 times, starting with 12/31/95. I was at the Went and the Lemonwheel and Oswego and cypress and festival 8. I was at thrilling chilling and Kasvot and quadrophenia and ziggy among others. Saturday night at the bowl was one of the best concerts I have ever seen in my life.

We all see phish because there are random nights when you catch magic. When it all comes together to be so indescribably great that you’re at a lack for words, and the only thing you know is that you need to see them again.

It was evident from the moment the show began this would be a magical night. If you cannot recognize that this is a pantheon level show, or if, for some reason you feel the need to downplay the greatness of this show, then I’m not even sure why you’re continuing to see the band.

We all follow this band because we know we will eventually see a show like this. Pure magic.
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by topherbartos

topherbartos I've been listening to Phish since I was 12 years old. I remember when I "stole" my brothers boombox and I turned it on and it was a Phish live show. It wasn't during the beginning of the show or after the show, it was during a jam that I thought was some of the most pleasing sounds I've ever heard. To this day, I still don't know what song it was. Cassette tapes were nuts.

Last night, every single jam was as pleasant as I remember as if I was still my 12 year old self. Phish is on PHIRE. I can't describe how incredibly grateful I am for listening to Phish in 2023 as a 36 year old, and still in awe that a band can improvise this well and I still can't understand how it's so pleasing to my ears.

I truly hope this never stops. It's always getting better. It's always going to make me happy as long as Phish is playing... as long as the entire band seems happy and healthy. I'm so impressed.
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by DevinB

DevinB It's always gratifying when this band turns in an undeniable performance — that is, a performance that we can all unanimously agree on. One of the joys of following this band is the fact that, with a catalog of over 200 songs in regular rotation, their shows can mean completely different things to different people. I think it's a safe bet to say that many were disappointed when Lonely Trip and Farmhouse appeared in close proximity in the second set in Berkeley on Tuesday (with Numberline waiting in the wings to close, no less), but there's a substantial minority of Phish fans who live for songs like Farmhouse and Numberline. To those fans, Tuesday might have been a masterpiece.

Which brings me back to my original point. This little West Coast jaunt has had some truly exceptional moments — rare bustouts, unconventional song placements, some genuinely inspired jamming. In truth, each and every show from this tour has something great to offer, but your opinion of each individual show is going to vary depending on what comes between those moments. For whatever reason, some of the most exceptional shows of this tour have proven to be controversial: Berkeley N1 for its commitment to jamming, Hollywood N1 for its repeats and (I guess?) new material. It's a bit of a mystery why two different Phish fans might hear the same show and have completely different opinions of it, but it makes sense to some extent. It's not like we have objective criteria by which we can "score" a show. It's a gut feeling.

And that's why it's all the more remarkable when this big, diverse, opinionated fanbase manages to nod our collective heads in approval. This show, for a variety of reasons, seems to be one of those rare moments. It represents a perfect blend of rare material, unusual setlist placement, and inspired jamming. There's something for everyone here and very little for detractors to latch onto.

I love these moments. As a Phish fan, I live for these moments.

So, let's talk about this setlist. The first set is the more unusual of the two, featuring a parade of out-of-place songs that propel some truly transcendent moments. The set kicks off with a raging Ghost, faster and meaner than your typical first-set outing. The band wastes no time launching into an agile, exploratory jam. Despite its compact runtime, this jam — which goes Type II almost immediately and stays firmly in that territory throughout — packs a lot ideas into it's slender timeframe. It's a must-hear. The band keeps the energy up with a serviceable Bowie. There's nothing remarkable about it aside front the fact that it doesn't close the set, but its appearance in this slot effectively highlights the band's willingness to defy expectations early on.

Next up, we are treated to the formerly rare Esther, which saw a major resurgence in 2022 and has become something of a regular in Phish's setlists. It is performed very well and it sets the stage for our second significantly out-of-place song of the night: Harry Hood. it's safe to say that any Phish fan who has managed to catch the band live a few times has seen this number, being one of the most common songs in rotation, but it nearly always closes a second set or the show. Dropping it in the middle on the first set? That's a bold and unexpected move. It proves to be a good decision, as this Hood jam mostly avoids the big dynamic and harmonic swing we associate with it. What we get instead is a focused, high-energy jam featuring some dextrous playing by Trey in particular.

Next up, the band treats us to another increasingly common rarity: Meat. Never much of jam vehicle, it serves as a bridge here — a moment of contrast. Its lilting funk grove and strange lyrics aid in changing the mood from triumphant to weird. It effectively sets the strange for a wonderful Split Open and Melt, another out-of-place set closer appearing just a hair too early. This particular version doesn't reach some of the heights of some recent Melts, but it's awash in the sort of deep psychedelia we've come to know and love. Mike takes full advantage of his new goodies here, generating loops that expand and contract rhythmically, in tension with the other instruments. Trey carves out a little space in the din to bring the jam to a minor peak, then navigates back to the principal riff before they get too deep (a common occurrence with Melt). It may not make the highlight reel, but there's a lot of good stuff in this one. The band takes a well-earned breather with Leaves... and nobody seems to mind. Finally, with no less than THREE potential set closers already off the table, the band drops perhaps the most quintessential set closer of them all: The Squirming Coil. This version is clean and well-played. It features a lovely little duel between Page and Fish before Page takes his final solo bow. After such a fiery set, it's a nice comedown — a moment of contemplation after the sermon.

The crowd at the bowl was buzzing after this unorthodox first set. What could they possibly have up their sleeves for the second?

The band answers that question right out of the gate by leaning in to one of their most reliable songs: the ever-enjoyable Chalk Dust Torture. Underrated for its versatility, this song can land just about anywhere in a setlist, but its appearance here — in the opening slot of the second set — usually means the band is looking to jam. And, boy, do they ever. This one manages to break the 20-minute mark, though it rarely flounders. It feels strong and directional, favoring some blissy major-key exploration early on before stumbling into something darker and heavier. There is a moment where it seems like the entire thing might fall apart entirely, but Mike emerges from the psychedelic soup with a recognizable shape and Trey latches on immediately. Eventually, Fishman find a neat little staccato grove that the rest of the band coalesces around. Trey leads the charge back to major-key territory and a thrilling conclusion.

I spent most of yesterday telling people we were due for a Twist, so I was delighted when I heard that recognizable riff emerge from the psychedelic afterglow of CDT. Proving to be more of a bridge than a destination, the band scales back the jam to make way for an effervescent 2001. It's little longer than your typical outing, with some really nice work by Mike, who establishes an ascending counterpoint to the melody. The rest of the band seem so delighted by this development and that they nearly forget to end the song. It's these little spontaneous moments, I think, that set great shows apart from those we might describe as "average great." This is an excellent 2001 and contributes a great deal to the quality of this show.

With the energy high and the crowd on their feet, the band treats us to a highly danceable Sally and a ripping Back on the Train. There's nothing remarkable about either one, but they're both worth hearing for their sheer energy and momentum. Finally, with everyone exhausted and smiling, the band takes their second breather of the night (no pun intended) by way of A Life Beyond the Dream. Normally, it would be a controversial pick this late in the second set, but it just feels right here: one final contemplative singalong, a moment of recovery and positivity, before they burn the whole goddamn house down.

And that's just what they do with First Tube. Again, nothing remarkable happens, but the energy is what puts this closer over the top. It's an emphatic exclamation point at the end of a thrilling chapter. Decidedly less jammy and more focused than Friday's second set, this one has "Saturday Night Dance Party" written all over it. It stands in stark contrast to the more unconventional first set and brings a sense of balance to the show. Naturally, the playing throughout is stellar.

With so many oddball picks in the setlist, we were racking our brains trying to figure out what they had in store for the encore. Much to everyone surprise, we get an exceedingly conventional choice: Antelope. It would be difficult to provide any real insight here given how many times we've all seen it and how great it typically is, but this one feels exceptionally peaky. The entire crowd is worked into a frenzy as Trey shreds his way to the climax. It feels like a bomb of cathartic energy has been dropped directly into the center of the Bowl. I don't think we could have asked for a better encore.

So, that's the story of this show. Energy. HIGH energy. The band made some bold, unconventional choices and it paid off in big way. We have just a few stand-out jams: Ghost, Melt, the formidable CDT. Beyond that, we have a bunch of high-energy, endlessly danceable songs, played with vigor and enthusiasm, to nearly everyone's delight. The unanimity of opinion on this one is all the more remarkable. Selections that have proven to be controversial fit naturally into setlist and provide just the right amount of contrast. It's nice to see everyone on the same page here. The band is refining their approach to the newer material and it's finding a home in regular rotation.

Overall, I don't think this show has a single defining characteristic. It features both conventional and unconventional elements, some excellent deep jamming, but also some straightforward Type I goodness that keeps the energy high and the mood joyous. It's still a bit of a mystery why this show in particular seems to be unanimously loved, but it's a damn good show — one with endless replay value. All the pieces fit together just so.

This truncated fall tour has tallied some truly outstanding moments in nearly every performance, but this one feels like the culmination of all the shows that preceded it. It's like a fine three-course meal, where each dish enhances your enjoyment of the last. It's an excellent show from front to back and needs to be heard in its entirety to appreciate the totality of the experience.

Most importantly, it's one we can ALL agree on.
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Ghost: Type I all the way, tons of energy out of the gate and intent is clear that they mean serious business tonight! >

David Bowie: Something is off about the introduction. I can’t hear Mike and his typical base line at all which leads me to believe this really screwed up the timing of the rest of the band? This has to be the shortest version in a very long time clocking in at just under 9 minutes.

Esther: Nailed this, absolutely crushed it. Lovely! >

Harry Hood: Whoa, seriously? Three heavy hitters with a rarity played in between them to open the show. Crazy stuff! Very standard version here though. >

Meat: Never been much of a fan, but this one seemed really short which is fine by me, cool transition into… >

Split Open and Melt: Broadway Trey’d. This one goes down that deep, dark hole awash in effects as typical these past many years. But, unlike many recent versions this one claws out of this hole and has some excellent jamming led by Trey and Fish. They truly crush this starting around 9 minutes through about 12 and a half minutes. Would recommend this version for sure!

Leaves: Nice, little jam. Little bit whaley though. >

The Squirming Coil: Broadway Trey’d to the max, horrible. What is he doing? What does the band think of these ‘vocals?’ Nice way to end a very good set.

SET 2: Chalk Dust Torture: Trey’s tone is spectacular to kick off the jam. Love the creepy effects in the early ten minute range, they don’t last too long but still, big fan. Exceptional hose peak in the late 20’s and early 21’s. Awesome, all timer Chalk Dust right here. Crazy good. Bit of a Trey rip cord as he yanks the band into Twist and hangs ‘em out to dry briefly ->

Twist: Standard and short. >

Also Sprach Zarathustra: Super effects heavy. Some crazy sounds in throughout the five minute range. This would have been a ton of fun in person! Still plenty of fun listening at home too, great version – would recommend! >

Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley: Page drives this into really cool, dark territory around 6:20 – well done sir! Wish Mike was louder in here. Page switches to the baby grand around 7:10 and we are off and running, great pace! Killer jam would recommend! >

Back on the Train: Hmmm, didn’t see this coming but it certainly keeps the energy very high. Super tight and fun jam. Trey burns it down in the 6:10 jam, rock and roll!

A Life Beyond The Dream: Check out Broadway Trey ripping it at 6:05!

First Tube: Appropriate, close out a high energy show with a high energy tune.

ENCORE: Run Like an Antelope: Absolutely smokes, red hot version, wow! Would recommend!

Replay Value: Split Open and Melt, Chalk Dust Torture (all timer), 2001, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley, Run Like an Antelope

Summary: Show is definitely sick, and I see myself revisiting it yearly. Tons of highlights with one that stands above the rest, that Chalk Dust is great! Those of you fortunate enough to have attended, you sure got hosed! I would rate this as a 4.3 out of 5.
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by Noodle

Noodle Man what a show. Soundboards don’t do this one justice. The sound in the venue was off the charts. Ghost went deep instantly. The energy didn’t slow down at all. Trey kept an emotionless face all show while killing some very heavy composed songs. He only showed an evil ass smile after first tube when he had his guitar in the air. The man is truly evil. This is 5 star phish people. Definitely one to remember
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by chillable

chillable This was my #100 and I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. A dream setlist, transcendent jams, a dialed-in Trey, great energy from the crowd and the band…shows like this are why we keep coming back, right? All of set 2 deserves a relisten but of course that CDT and 2001>Sally are highlights.
Antelope encore was the cherry on top. Will go down as one of my most memorable shows!
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by ReeYees

ReeYees The magnificence that is Chalk Dust can not be overstated. Around 17:00 or 18:00 minutes in Trey is playing what sounds to me like a classic Dickie Betts riff. This goes on for about 4 minutes I think with varying intensities. Total major key bliss to my ears. I can’t think of a CDT that has moved me like this since Dicks 2012. This show is definitely going near the top of my short list of go to shows for now. This band is so amazing and unpredictable. I can’t think of a single thing I don’t like about this show. I wasn’t there—that’s the only bad part for me.
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by HelpingFriend

HelpingFriend This immediately enters my top 20 of 68 shows since 12/5/92, including on the rail for 6/18/94, 10/31/95, 11/08/96, Gorge '98, 7/24/99, 9/11/99, Big Cypress, 7/12/00, Shoreline 2000, Dicks 2012, Alpine 7/14/19. This is what the greatest live band on the planet does at their best. Instant classic for the pantheon. Did the whole tour and Fri Seattle was good too, Berkeley was standard, and not at this level. Highlights were incredible the Melt, otherworldly Chalkdust, stellar 2001, and best Sally since Bill Graham 2016. Great flow and song selection throughout. Would attend many times over again!
, attached to 2023-04-22

Review by DownWithSteam

DownWithSteam I honestly thought this was a pretty strong show tonight watching from home. They really wasted no time getting to the good stuff and for the most part everything was played well in this first set. Ive never cared for "Esther" but man they nailed that version. Oh and they nailed the Meat. And once again, this band nailed a nasty Split Open and Melt. Definitley a strong first set.

On to the 2nd set, and this was indeed a fun one as trey himself mentioned. Chalk Dust had a great jam to start it off and the transition to twist was perfect. 2001 was a good version into a fun sally. I know people might not dig Life Beyond the Dream but they played a fantastic version, as has become usual for this song. It just fits trey perfectly. A pretty flawless first tube to end it all. Actually sent some shivers down my spine watching from home with that version. you can feel the energy through the computer. And how about a nice antelope to close it out. Who could complain? Strong night at the Bowl here.

Must listens: Ghost, Esther, Meat, SOAM, Chaldust > Twist, Life Beyond the Dream, First Tube

Set One: B+
Set Two B+
Rating: 4.2
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