Thursday, July 1, 2010

Phish Saturday 19 June 2010 @ SPAC in Saratoga, NY

I needed some time to fully absorb and relisten to Saturday's show a few times before forming an opinion because of all the negative comments I have been hearing about it.  People have said that the song choice wasn't stellar that night and the jams didn't really go anywhere.  I can't say that this was one of the best Phish shows I have attended, but I will say that I did have a good time and enjoy the music.

The show started appropriately with 'Tweezer Reprise' as a continuation of the ongoing joke of the doubled Tweezer the night before (reference the video in my review of Friday night!).  The highlights of the first set happened right at the end - 'Bathtub Gin' and 'Suzy Greenberg' were easy favorites of the night.

There was an INCREDIBLE glow stick war during Suzy Greenberg - the best one I've ever seen!  See it for yourself!

Most of the complaints I heard about the show happened to be about the second set.  The combination of three new songs so close together in the second set - 'Backwards Down the Number Line' followed by 'Halfway to the Moon > Prince Caspian' and 'Joy' - was a buzzkill.  Remember my post on first-set and second set-songs?  These numbers are first-set material; there is no real substance to them.

Now, I like 'Backwards' and, in fact, hearing it on Saturday night helped them take on a new meaning for me (my best friends being newly scattered across the globe upon our graduation from school).  But I'm not saying it belonged where Phish put it that night (the middle of the second set).

But to be honest, most of the second set was great.  The group took the jam off of 'Rock & Roll' (the opener) to a really interesting place (which was later labeled as the 'Saratoga Jam' by  'Free' was spot-on: they practically burst into the melody line, Mike took a freakin' funky bass solo and the jam ended up being interesting.  All good stuff.

I would call 'David Bowie' the highlight of the second set.  It is one of my favorites and was well-jammed out.  There was one spot in the beginning of the jam that is a little dead, but the band quickly gets on it and creates a rousing tune with a solid, high-energy ending.

The gorgeous piano coda of 'The Squirming Coil' (the first encore of the night) gets me every time.  Enough said.

Don't listen to the haters on this one - I would give the show a solid B- (and I'm a tough grader!).

Now go do what you do best.

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