[We would like to thank guest recapper user gr8phul Jon Harris. -Ed.]
As we know the Tahoe shows had to be cancelled and moved to a new venue due to the Caldor Fire. First the shows were to be moved to the Greek Theater in Berkeley, but ultimately that did not happen and Shoreline it is. Now no one wants to go to Shoreline, we go because that's where Phish is playing. Not to say that Phish hasn't delivered hugely in the past at Shoreline, compared to being in Tahoe or in the magical Greek, Shoreline is sort of a letdown.
However, before we get to the music, I want to please ask all of you reading this to donate to Waterwheel as the money they raise will be going to help the people affected by the fires.
Now onto the music!
After many many issues with the line getting into the venue, I was able to get a spot relatively where I wanted. Section 102, Mike's side, aisle seat.
Phish starts the evening by playing Glide, a song we all thought would have been played by now. With the lyric "we're glad that you're alive," Glide seemed like an inevitable/obvious choice for this tour. But there Phish go again, surprising you with an opener you didn’t see coming. Was it played perfectly, no, but it was mostly executed properly and, when does Phish really “nail” Glide?
Well, if that wasn’t a good enough start to begin with, Phish follow Glide up with of all things Col Forbin’s Ascent. No one say that coming. The place erupts when Trey strikes the first chord of Forbin’s. Two songs in and the band has everyone’s full attention. As to be expected, Forbin’s transitions into Fly Famous Mockingbird. There was an exceptionally short narration about the Famous Mockingbird and the book. Much like Glide, this wasn’t perfectly executed, but for a song they NEVER play it was close enough. Regardless, I was grinning so hard already. Turns out I had gone exactly 555 days since I last saw Phish, 2/23/2020 in Mexico. Since this was my first show since then, I had several that moment of OMG I am seeing Phish again.
Next Trey takes a moment to thank the crowd for coming after all that has happened with moving the show to Shoreline. He then thanked the firefighters and first responders in the Tahoe area. Finally, he thanked Another Planet and Live Nation for making the show happen and told us all how much the band loves playing Shoreline.
Wolfman’s Brother ensues and was a solid in the box version but was very lively with some seriously hot Type 1.
Unfortunately, at this point the mix is still muddy. I am barely able to hear Page and Mike had zero definition. I trust in Garry Brown, so I knew the mix would improve. I should also mention that CK5 only had a very limited light rig, so I didn’t get to see the moving lights in person.
If I Could follows and a beautiful version. This is one of my all-time favorite Phish ballads and is better than anything Trey has written in 3.0.
At this point the crowd is beyond into it. I do want to add that the people there last night were there to see Phish, not to just to party. On top of that, I am loving the list.
Following If I Could was I Never Needed You Like This Before. I had only heard this song on the webcasts, but I’m now a fan. Song just rocked and had some killer Type 1. Welcome to the rotation.
Next up the band drops into Stash, which brings us the 1st Type 2 of the evening. The jam starts and Trey immediately kicks in to one of his new “synth” sounding tones. Page is still missing from the mix, but Mike is getting more defined. Fishman has been demolishing this set and Stash was no different. Next Trey is playing with a gritty wah-wah sound. Piano is finally coming up in the mix. At this point we are still in familiar territory with the new tones and sounds Trey and Page have been using. Page makes his way over to his Moog and now Trey has a space age tone. Mix keeps improving. Trey changes his tone again. Band starts driving harder and harder. Loving this version. However, Trey sort of runs out of ideas and brings the song back to its conclusion. Regardless it was mostly engaging and worth your time to listen to.
Trey walks over to Mike and Fish and calls for Weigh. What! This setlist just keeps getting better. Much like most of Phish’s composed writing it wasn’t perfect, but mostly clean and c’mon, it’s Weigh.
Bouncing Around the Room is next up. I will admit that I NEVER listen to Bouncing outside of a show, but I am always happy to hear it. It was a very upbeat version that brought a huge smile to my face.
Gotta Jibboo came next and while a short version was so much fun and just rocked. Page as he has done all tour spent a lot of time on his Wurly and Moog and would continue to do so all night.
Set closer time and while everyone around me thought it would be Antelope, Moonage Daydream was an unreal call. Place blew up again. This is a straight-ahead song and it stayed in the box but had that little extra something and ended with a classic Trey solo.
What a set. Fantastic list, super well played and the crowd energy was just the cherry on top.
Now, how does one write about what happened in the second set. As we all know by now, Phish dropped an all-time jam last night; a 47 minute Soul Planet. The jam starts with Page immediately going to the Wurly while Trey plays some delay chords. As Trey moves on from the delay chords and starts playing “regular guitar” Mike is offering some great counterpoint.
Page is now up front in the mix, and the overall mix is now perfect. Mike starts playing lead bass and drops some monstrous bombs. Trey starts to get thematic, and Fishman and Mike are driving the bus so hard, which forces Trey to start shredding. Classic Phish.
Page instigates the next part of the jam by playing on his Moog. Trey creates a feedback loop. Jam is getting darker. Trey starts singing Soul Planet lyrics over what sounds like the band going into Light. Well, that was not to be and if that meant more Type 2, so be it. Band is playing a soaring jam, really hot Type 1. Well developed peak and it really hits me how much I have missed this music.
Trey starts playing some power chords and is singing lyrics again. For what seems the 1st time all night Page plays his Hammond. Band now sounds like a spaceship about to take off. Music is getting evil (which I love dearly). The best way to describe it was “screaming thought space.” Jam keeps getting more and more evil. Page makes his way to the Rhodes and adds some phase to his tone. Fishman starts to pick up the pace and Trey joins right in. Trey once again starts a thematic section of the jam. The band is playing these great patterns together.
I should not that I was keeping track of the timings and every time I would look at my phone the time just kept getting longer. In summation, I could go on and on and on about every little last thing the band did in the jam, but as we know, one can get lost in the music. Do yourselves a favor and listen to what will now be known as the “Shoreline Soul Planet.”
Trey now makes a perfect segue into The Final Hurrah. I know I am in the minority, but most of the Kasvoxt Vaxt songs don’t do it for me. This being one of them, but it was well played and at this point who can complain after the 3rd longest jam in Phish history.
Phish drop into Theme From the Bottom. Like most of the night, a really well-played spunky version.
The beginning notes to what we all think is Axilla start. However, one of the all-time bust outs occur with Axilla (Part II). Turns out the last one was on NYE 1995. While the lyrics aren’t as good as Axilla, it still rocked super hard, and you get the little ending segment like on Hoist. During the ending Trey keeps singing to “stop shining that thing in my face.”
How do you follow a bust out? You of course play Tela. Are you kidding me, this set will not let up. Place again blows up for Tela. And was as good as a version you will hear these days.
I turn to my girlfriend and the guys next to me as Tela is ending and call Harry Hood. It just seemed like it was coming tonight. Immediately Fishman gives a shoutout to the very nearly departed Lee Scratch Perry. Harry covered all the usual ground. Fishman was especially doing some great snare work. A nice mellow Type 2 jam with the eventually Trey playing the note. Does Harry peak like I want it to, never anymore, but I can’t compare a 3.0/4.0 version to NYE 93 or Great Woods 94 (a very under the radar version. So, while Harry was nothing out of the ordinary, it’s still Harry and it always wins the crowd and me. What an ending to an unreal set of music.
Encore time and Trey starts up Fee. There were feedback issues with the megaphone, then trey had it turned off and turned it back on again and gave the crowd a thumbs up. Then the 3rd verse comes and Trey has no idea what the words are. Too funny.
Finally, the show ends with Wilson.
What a show, what a night. An all-time jam, with an amazing setlist almost perfectly executed. Best show of the summer tour? From these ears yes, but there may be some attendance bias. Just listen and decide for yourself. You will NOT be disappointed.
As a final reminder, please donate to Waterwheel to support those in need from the Caldor Fire.
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