I had been thinking about what differentiates Phish from most of the other bands out there these days, and I came to the conclusion that it's their sound on songs like Reba, Fluffhead, and Divided Sky - they have this element of an organized cacophony going for them. All of the riffs are written out and yet there are moments to them that feel so earthy and original because they don't sound like anything else on the market. Weird, right? Take the whole 'B' section of Reba - after the lyrics are finished, the group launches into this whole new focus of sound mid-sentence (about 2 minutes into the song). Upon hearing it live for the first time on Friday (and hearing 'Divided Sky' the night before, which shares the same element) I came to the conclusion that, among other things, this technique could quite possibly be the key to Phish's greatest music.
'Halley's Comet' opened the second set of the night, and, being an a cappella fanatic myself (and singing in a group for two years), was impressed with the sound. The song never really showed up on my radar for some reason or another in the past, but after hearing it live, I'll be sure to change that! I liked the incorporation of the a cappella element to the instrumental music. Not to mention - what an incredibly catchy song! If I could whip out some Tuvan singing skills to belt the harmonies on this one, I totally would.
Despite my speculations in previous blog entries, 'Light' seems to have established a serious post in the second-set rotation for Phish these past few tours. I can't say I love it as much as I love some of their older, more original stuff, but it's not a bad number to hear occasionally.
After a forgettable 'Light' (in fact I have trouble recalling it now) came a nice 'Tweezer' that rocked the stadium. Next came a pretty stretched out but really beautiful 'Harry Hood'. The jam on this one was what I would call beautiful (although from a previous entry you, reader, would know that my definition of beauty is somewhat unconventional). There was a lot of light, airy guitar with a bouncy bass backing. Listening to the jam in retrospect makes me smile.
A different kind of beautiful took over when the group turned into 'Velvet Sea' - one filled with delicate piano intros, touching lyrics, and ever-catchy chord progressions. Ah, me.
Oh. And then this happened:
And the people rejoiced and danced their way home.
Peace, love, & dinosaur chicken nuggets,