This was the first show of the Magnaball festival. Bathtub Gin contained a Time Loves a Hero teases from Mike. TMWSIY and Avenu Malkenu were played for the first time since July 4, 2012 (124 shows). After Free, Trey asked the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to his daughter, Eliza, who briefly joined him onstage as he sang to her. Mock Song was played for the first time since July 12, 2003 (320 shows), and featured a lyric change to "Clifford, Super, Magnaball." CDT contained a What's the Use? tease and was unfinished. Hood contained a CTB tease from Mike. 
Cars Trucks Buses tease in Harry Hood, What's the Use? tease in Chalk Dust Torture, Time Loves a Hero tease in Bathtub Gin
Debut Years (Average: 1994)

This show was part of the "2015 Summer"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2015-08-21

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: It's rare for *any* set to be bookended with jams, let alone a Set 1, but that's what we got tonight - a Simple that wanders out of its usual jam into a droning, low-key space to start, and...well, let's hold that thought. The rest of Set 1 features some well-played songs, the magical TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu > TMWSIY sequence (not too bad, either, for 3 years unplayed), a roaring The Dogs, and yet another gorgeous 2015 Roggae. Not too shabby for the first frame, I say.

Oh, yes, the Gin. Not only is this one of the great first set jams of any era, but it's easily one of the 2-3 finest Gins of the modern era, and an easy contender for the jam of the year. Rather than the Classic Gin snapped-into groove of usual Gins, Fish opts to take things slow, which leads to Trey digging into his effects and a darker space being explored at first. The resulting jam could very well have been ported from a 2003 Gin, Trey's tone nastier than usual, Page sliding to electric piano, Mike absolutely on fire all throughout. They build out of this into a huge peak, then switch on a dime to something busier and funkier Dick's Simple-style, as the clavinet makes itself known and Mike flips on his envelope filter. They seem to be closing things out with a quiet puddling, but that turns out to be a red herring, as the band instead builds to a *second* glorious peak, before Trey decides to go into the usual Gin ending and they sorta collapse into that to finish (funny how many "regular" Gins end so cleanly and this Type II behemoth ends with a semi-whimper). I wouldn't compare it to the Went Gin, but that's because the Went Gin is essentially one thing (a great one thing, make no mistake, but one thing), while this Gin is the sort of multi-part masterpiece you've come to expect from 3.0. Either way, it's an immediate classic and makes the show worth listening to all on its own.

Set 2: Ignore the somewhat abrupt turn into Ghost out of CDT and the much more abrupt 2/20/93 Mike's Song style "I'm the boss here" muscling into Rock & Roll, and the opening 4 songs delivers damn near an hour of impressive music. Chalk Dust Torture continues its unprecedented run as one of Phish's Set 2 anchors, immediately making a turn out of the last verse into a hazier take on the CDT jam, then build to a low-key melodic space, Trey and Page melding as well as they always do, Fish pushing them forward with some thunderous drumming. Trey then moves into a Phrygian mode (that'd be that "Middle Eastern" space you occasionally hear about), and starts tearing off some nasty riffs, then Fish starts Manteca-ing it up as Trey switches to chords and you can start really hearing Mike asserting himself. Page had been pushing for major key for much of the jam, and they finally decide to follow him, absolutely locking in to a really beautiful jam segment, until Ghost pops in.

This Ghost is an updated version of the 7/16/13 Mighty Mouse CDT, packing in at least 3 different discrete jam segments into 11 and a half impressive minutes, digging in its heels with some real nastiness (Trey, in particular, is cranking out filth like he relistened to the 11/16/94 Simple they played on the first FTA show and got inspired), they rebuild into a slick dance-able groove thanks to Fish, and then head for pure rock-based hose, which probably gives Trey the idea to dig into Rock & Roll (he doesn't do it well, but much like Bluto's Pearl Harbor speech, forget it, he's rolling), which they absolutely *demolish* before (in a moment that lets you know they're on one) they come to a near-hush and then rebuild into a wicked funk space, Mike's loping bass meshing with Page flashing on the keys. Harry Hood (mid-set!) comes in, and for the second time this year they worm their way out of Hood into something new, this time a 10/28/14-style rockout, Page keeping us grounded on piano, Fish flipping through every page in his playbook to add spice to the proceedings, before they head back home as they always do and then gently slide into Waste. NMINML continues its push towards a full-on jam, adding a charging rock jam to its usual funkiness (with the occasional nod to Can't You Hear Me Knocking), then they gin up a neat little ambient jam and segue into Slave, which is a glorious close to another superb set. Farmhouse and First Tube are a great duo as the encore.

Final thoughts: I think a lot of people would be satisfied if this turned out to be the best show of the festival. As the opener to the three-night run, all it's gonna do is whet the already ravenous appetites of the fanbase. Yep, you guessed it - Phish wins again.
, attached to 2015-08-21

Review by nichobert

nichobert Farmhouse? Page's house!

Nobody's going to mention that Farmhouse other than to say they were mad that the band played it. But if you're ever looking for a nice Farmhouse to play for a friend, I'd put this one right next to the Alpine 2012 version as my favorite ever. Always love when a spot where Trey would typically solo is hijacked by the Chairman and the ivories!
, attached to 2015-08-21

Review by SkyTrainWand

SkyTrainWand Thursday that week was mostly spent puffing sweet herbs, drinking beer and hanging out with other phans that I knew. Busy day, laid-back night. On to Friday!

I woke up around 10am and the first thing I heard was "Sangrias! Ice cold Sangrias, 5 bucks each" so naturally I stumbled out of my tent and grabbed some for our crew. They were made with a ton of fresh fruit, strawberries, grapes, melon, kiwi, all sorts of deliciousness. It was the perfect way to get up on the first actual day of Magnaball. Sangria guy, if you're reading this, THANK YOU.

set 1:

Party favors consumed, mildly stoned, good to go. Everyone was so PUMPED to see Phish play! Simple was the perfect choice for an opener. The crowd probably would have accepted just about anything but Simple was really great, and had a good bit of jamming. I kind of had a "holy crap" moment when Trey started playing TMWSIY because I had never heard it before in a live setting, Thanks Trey! Such a beautiful song. Avenu Malkenu was another new one for me, and a tune that I love because it is based in a 5/4 time signature and has lyrics that almost no one knows how to sing Pretty solid start to the first set of Magnaball, I'd say...

The first really impressive part of 1st set in my opinion was Roggae. The band interplay was just insane during this tune, and I remember the peak being pretty great. Make no mistake, Cactus is the star of this version. Everyone sounded great but it was definitely Mike that stole the spotlight. Rift came after Roggae, another solid performance that had most of the fans dancing. Trey didn't nail his parts 100% but whatever.

The Bathtub Gin following is a BEAST. Between the awesome music happening on stage and Kuroda's incredible manipulation of the lights, I think most of us were already blown away by the 9 or 10 minute mark. Around 12 minutes in this Gin, Trey shifts straight into ROCK STAR mode!! Yessss! It peaks a few times and seamlessly transitions into a section I can hardly describe but is pretty funky and filled with spacey effects from Page/Mike/Trey. This lasts for about 2 minutes before once again we enter ROCK STAR mode! Trey rips this Gin a new a-hole and it just ends up being a glorious 1st set closer.

(I may have smoked an entire joint during this Gin because it was so good)

tl;dr highlights- Simple, TMWSIY, Roggae, Gin


SET 2:

Phish wastes no time in picking up right where they left off. The CDT that happens is absolutely wild -

Main theme > awesome Trey solo > back to chorus > Blast off

I won't do a play-by-play for this one, because it's not really necessary. What I can say is that the CDT is one of the most perfectly constructed jams of the year (while not being that long) and yet it doesn't really peak. Instead, it drops into a Ghost!

This version is pretty funky, and downright evil at times. Full of lurching, oozing guitar effects (Trey with his TruTron pedal)
and stereo delays. There's a moment where it seems they're going to bring it to a strange atonal peak but it kind of falls apart, and goes back to spacey weirdness. At one point Trey hits the reverse button on his delay pedal and makes the crowd feel silly for a minute, but they land on a chord right after that and make a pretty sweet transition to Rock and Roll.

Page kicking ass on the piano, and more rock star Trey here - this is where some SERIOUS playing happens and suddenly it made sense why they didn't just keep jamming on Ghost. For only a 10-minute R&R this is a fantastic version! Right after what seems to be a WTU? tease by Mike, they drop into a groove that had me almost 100% sure we were getting a Makisupa, but nope! Harry Hood was next. Another great segue in a night chock full of them.

Now if I do a review of every song here it will take too long... Hood is one of my favorite Phish songs though and there will never be a time when Phish plays it and I don't love every second. Like everything that was played at MB, this is it's own unique version. Not a Hollywood Hood, or a Mann Hood, but a Magna Hood.

The rest of the show? Well, you can imagine... I had no objections to any of it, and I danced my a** off. If you actually read this far, I commend you.

This whole 2nd set is worth listening to. Please do it if you have the time. Last thing to mention is do NOT miss out on this Slave. If you listen to this 2nd set and don't hit the Slave, it doesn't count. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO SLAVE!!!

thanks for reading, I love you

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Review by dutchbug

dutchbug Lots of thoughts about cleaning during these two sets. At home, I often listen while doing dishes and cleaning my apartment. At the show, I thought of cleaning my apartment. The world I imagined totally accepted and respected the real world from where I come.

I was thinking all about all of the trash in my house we've thrown away these past two weeks. My wife and I suddenly realized that we were hoarding and dumped like 10 trashcans worth of crap. I could feel myself going home and vacuuming, making the bed...just doing stuff real nice...hanging out with my wife who was totally supportive about me going to MB alone.

I'm 35 years old...this is what's important to me: having a kid, doing well at work, getting along with my wife, providing...maintaining our cars...The band's priorities are not _that_ far from my own. They're like...SUPERDADS. And if you've looked around, the world really needs fathers these days, so really Dad Rock is more of a vital, culturally relevant idea than it gets credit for being.

It was just real nice to watch those guys up on stage be so precise. Simple opener...yup...they'd done that a few nights ago, but they're not going to NOT play it just because of that. Then DAMN! The Dogs? TMWSIY? Avenu Malkenu??? Whaa??? They are Not Kidding. These papas don't take no mess.

I got super lost trying to get back to my campsite after this set. Slept only a few hours, but was absolutely filled with energy afterwards. Basically, I think that the band found my reset button and hit it a few times. Then they took the cartridge out of the machine, blew into it...some up up down down left right left right b a start...a million lives. You know what I mean?

Again, the band used their massive MRI machine to read inside everyone's mind...paused reality, edited it...the music did a lot of cleaning. People's bodies didn't sweat too much...the bathrooms didn't get gross...nobody fought. From what I've heard, everyone who went to this show has gone back to work to receive a raise, promotion, tenure, fame, etc. Real positive night.
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Review by fluffhead108

fluffhead108 A wonderful beginning to what will surely go down as a canonical Phish weekend.

The set-closing Gin will get a ton of attention, and for good reason, but don't skimp on the first quarter's bizarre and perfect combo of Simple>Dogs>TMWSIY suite. It's perplexing on paper and equally so to listen to. It makes me wonder if anyone at Magnaball was seeing their first Phish show, and what they possibly could have been thinking after getting The Dogs and Avenu Malkenu within the first 30 minutes.

The second set doesn't break down any barriers or offer anything wholly different from what the band has been doing lately, but when sets of this high quality are accused of seeming rote, that only speaks to the embarrassment of riches we are currently experiencing. The triple threat of Hood>Waste>NMINML is the highlight to my ears. The Hood is gorgeous and exciting, breaking free of its usual structure and instead creating its own on the spot, and Waste is a perfect call to follow up, and is played flawlessly. Then the dancey groove party of No Men gets everyone moving again. Three songs of wildly different styles, united here in that way that only Phish seems to be capable of.

Spirits were high after this opening show and it's not hard to see why. Point for point, this might be the weakest of the 3 Magnaball shows, but honestly, by the time the fireworks went off two nights later, the band was just running up the score anyway.
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Review by User_33009_

User_33009_ You get a Simple type II opener, I'll repeat that. You get a Simple type II opener. The Dogs welcomes you in, TMWSIY>AvMu>TMWSIY is played beautifully, and it's like the portal back in time when Phish laid down monster show after monster show, the rest of the set is very well played but all, especially Trey, but even more especially Mike, who just sounds so inspired all weekend long. The first set then leads up to the Gin (not before the second ever Mock Song!!!). The Gin is, dare I say, the best Gin? Better than Riverport '98, MSG '95, or Nassau '03? Maybe... But it's definitely up there with the best of them, and it happened in a first set of a 3.0 show. Of course, Festivals always bring out the best in the band (except that one time...)

Seriously, the MagnaGin can't be praised enough. It goes through at least 3 amazing sections, and peaks at least twice. A jam that is the biggest memory for me from the festival, sort of like I realized how great this whole weekend was going to be. There was no way Phish were going to suck this weekend.

The second set is just jam after jam after jam after jam. And some dark meat Phish at that, there's no rainbows or fairy dust in this set, and not in the 2.0 way either, it's all bad ass music with some ferociousness and inventiveness. This set is very underrated here, as the Gin or the next night get much of the attention. BIG Chalk Dust, goes through many great ideas, at some point gets very dark. Ghost is great, goes type II quickly, enters some grizzly territory. RnR is meaty and a great lead in to Harry Hood. Hood is another in a string of great Hoods since 8/5/13's "HollyHood". The MagnaHood, however, I think, is very overshadowed by a lot of the other highlights of Magnaball, and is almost lost in the shuffle. This Hood goes type II (again!) and the band plays some cool funky stuff. Waste gives everyone a chance to catch their breath. No Men's comes blasting in and is a nice long one, and my favorite version before the mammoth NYE '15 version. Keeps the funky party going. Slave ends the set on a high note, and Trey SOARS in this version, closing out an extraordinary set.

Farmhouse and First Tube close out the show I felt was the best day of Phish in 15 years, at least until the next night. But still, this show is tops. Tops. Only thing that could top it would have to be 3 set show plus a giant improv set, or of course, Phish playing on the moon for 12 hours playing nothing but improv in while floating around in a space station.
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Review by CSDaSmack

CSDaSmack This show was the perfect start to the weekend. Having not seen a show since Vegas the prior Fall I was amped up and ready to go. Simple was a nice pleasant surprise to start with (though perhaps slightly less of a surprise since it had the same slot at MPP the weekend before). Concise solid version, crisp and tight then a hearty cheer from the crowd as we went back to October and revisited The Dogs (complete with introductory sound bite). This version is probably my favorite since its debut, as some of the others have fallen a bit short.

We then had our first bust out of the weekend with TMWSIY > Avenu > TMWSIY, while a decent version Trey sounded a bit hesitant until they get to the faster paced Avenu. I suppose that's to be expected given that the song hadn't been played in over 3 years. Free was relatively standard, I had been kind of hoping for some Martian Monster elements but I wouldn't be rewarded with that until Vegas. After a touching Happy Birthday tribute to Trey's oldest daughter Eliza, the band went into Eliz....errr, actually they went into Wedge. Standard version more or less but no complaints.

Then came the bust out of the weekend with Mock Song. As with the only other time they did this tune, there was no real exploration or jam but the song doesn't really lend itself to that. The Clifford, Super, Magnaball line was a nice touch as well and I'm sure many were happy to check this song off. Roggae was a bit lacking from Trey on the intro, but it picked up once they got going and then a solid Rift followed.

Then came what I consider to be the highlight of this show (as I'm sure many others would agree). This Gin is a Set 1 monster, I'm not going to bother trying to describe it just do yourself a favor and listen to it. Even if you only listen to one tune from this show.

After our first set break of the weekend (and exploring the food offerings nearby a bit), we were back with the ever growing in frequency set 2 opener Chalk dust. A very solid version, doesn't quite hit the Randall's 2014 Night 3 level as it goes into Ghost, but very good nonetheless. Ghost was chopped a bit prematurely by Trey (it sounded like anyway), my friends I was with thought the segue into Rock & Roll was a bit sloppy but I didn't feel it was. I would argue that it seemed the other guys didn't really want to go there but Trey pushed ahead, maybe that's why it came off that way to them who knows.

Hood was fun as always, though Waste seemed a bit misplaced to me here, especially sandwiched between Hood and the 2015 Tour rockstar No Men in No Man's Land (I go back and forth between this or Blaze On being my favorites). A great Slave to end the set.

I think we were all expecting something a bit more upbeat but I was happy with Farmhouse. Nothing stand out about this version, I was hoping they'd play something a bit more energetic after and was granted my wish with First Tube. Awesome.

All in all a solid night 1 with some bust outs, great jams and overall tight playing. This was a good indicator of the fun to come, what more could one ask for?
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Review by Campster

Campster One of my longer breaks from seeing Phish left me dreaming of Magnaball for ages. As the summer of 2015 continued to leave standout show and standout jam after standout show and standout jam across the country I was absolutely giddy with anticipation to go back to the Glenn for a killer Phish festival blowout.

The creative wave of this tour was unparalleled and this festival, for me, was the high point of the highest point of 3.0.

We rolled in to the Glenn early, but had to hang around Walmart while our ill prepared crew did their shopping. Bummer. This delayed our entrance and we ended up in some serious log jam on the way into the grounds.

Well we made it and set up camp and just cruised through to sunrise enjoying the evening. After a couple hours sleep I was ready for Phish.

Watkins Glenn remains the perfect festival ground, great size, grounds, amenities. Everything close by, but plenty of room to explore. Perfect size as well - it's almost nice they cap it (even though a truly huge festival would be something else).

On to the show.

Set I kicked off with Simple. Great opener and a really great festival tune. Gets the crowd right into it, nice singalong moments and a pretty jam. Oh yea and this one strayed from the typical breakdown/pretty section with Trey and Page just playing off each other. They instead headed for a big old droning jam. It seemed to throb and ebb and flow. Mike was absolutely cranking through the sound system (and just playing unbelievable all night). It was rhythmic and hypnotic but had plenty of direction. What a start! The feeling I forgot indeed.

They wound down and the familiar dog barking and big ol' rock lick of The Dogs. Killer choice and I hadn't heard this one yet. It rocked. Enough said. Perfect choice after that first jam.

TMWSIY >Avenu Malvenu > TMWSIY was an absolute treat. It was also well-played! At this point it already felt like we were in for a legendary weekend. Such a pretty melody.

Free gave us a good shot of Phish rock out and a nice classic tune. As I said, Mike was absolutely cranking (I do feel like they turned him down a bit in subsequent days for some ungodly reason). A standard version, but a perfectly fun rock out. Fit nicely with the Sierra Nevada foams I was enjoying.

Happy Birthday was nice - good family moment - a little insight into how happy the band (and their families!) are to spend a weekend with us faithful. I love the human moments.

The Wedge has always been a favorite of mine, especially in summertime. At a festival? Man it's just such a breezy tune that it reminds you how much Phish time you're going to get. I'll never tire of that amazing drumbeat. Strong, but ordinary version.

Mock Song! Major bust out and took me some time to place it. Nice homage to past festivals in the lyrics from Mike. I had to use the urinals unfortunately here, but it was in and out and I did;t miss much. Stellar!

Roggae has been on a straight hockey stick curve right to the top since 3.0 began. This version was huge, with the band just egging trey on. Just a pristine and peaking climax. Great version - and I've heard some (maybe slightly better ones). This one still gets plenty of spins for me.

Rift was a nice choice, they were doing a good job mixing old and new. This set covered so much history. I really loved that aspect (as a history buff). It was a great insight. They also played Rift pretty well. Sure they usually struggle with it, but it was pretty nice here.

Well Bathtub Gin was up next. I was thinking this would stay within the lines of the big 3.0 peaking versions. Well I was wrong, so wrong, that's why they wrote this song. This is a mammoth version. Yes, I firmly place it among the elite versions. It certainly stands with Went & Riverport as a peer versus a little brother, regardless of your preference for any individual version. They started the jam in just a big open space with some slow and crunchy playing. Just go listen, cuz this one will hit your hard rock, funky dance space, classic blissful vamp up to the hose, and a second glorious peak. It was truly the highest of the highs. All-timer, first ballot Hall of Fame Bathtub Gin.

Overall Set I: Well, that was unreal. They already blew anything from SBIX out of the water (storage jam aside) - and I loved SBIX! Top to bottom you can;t really go wrong here. I guess you could hit next on the Free & Rift?
Highlights: Just get it all - but worship that Bathtub Gin and build a shrine to it.

Well, it was pretty clear this was going to be magic tonight, but you know, there's no guarantees in life. So what did set II hold?

They kicked in with Chalkdust Torture and they let this one breath right away. Well this was big and open and the approach was very unique. They took this sort of relaxed approach that started melodic and went into these middle eastern/halway to the moon esque notes from Trey. Mike was an absolute animal (he was still cranked way up!). This was a really cool jam all in all, without any cliche peak, just totally original and fully connected.

Well they dropped into Ghost - confirming this would be the best Phish show I'd ever seen (until tomorrow). Ghost was really action packed and covered more unique spaces. This wasn't your typical bliss jam, this one was, again, totally original. Lots of effects, lots of good playing by all members. It was a bit short, but man did this move around (in a good way). I heard Trey chording Rock and Roll (which I was certainly not going to complain about). Well they could have pulled off an absolute monster segue with a bit more patience. Instead they pulled off a slightly truncated, but still totally adequate one. I'm really reaching for blemishes, but that was one hell of a Ghost.

Rock and Roll charged in and this was pure high octane Phish. Trey just laid waste to any and all in his path. They slaughtered the peaks and Trey had some cool effects going where rising and falling tones colored the back of his leads. It was like a bomb dropping. After they peaked us into oblivion they dropped into a low key funky jam that was again totally original. It was short lived, but just an awesome, almost reggae vibe that had me thinking of a very slowed down NICU.

Well boom, Fishman sounded off the familiar intro to Harry Hood! Holy moly. Well thank you Mr Miner, this one was a gift from the gods (like the previous tunes). Solid intro, good composed section, and they kicked into the jam in seemingly familiar fashion. Then they just turned left and took us to a swanky, groovy space. Man this was killer. Definite notable Hood. They milked this groovy space for a while and gave us a dance song in an atypical spot. The return to the blissful ending wasn't long or particularly Trey "peaky", but it was just so satisfying and in a way delicate. Another classic.

Well they even tacked on a brief effects jam at the end of Hood (thank you Trey, master of the Boomerang Phrase Sampler). It landed or should I say melted like a pad of butter on a stack of your favorite NY/NJ diner pancakes right into Waste. Normally I'm not looking for that, but this was jut perfect. So perfect here. Trey really took the solo well too. Fine version.

Trey let a little feedback drone as Fishman kicked into the new tune No Man's In No Man's Land. Well maybe it's a disco Dancing' from '77, but this tune skipped the cheesy disco and went straight to the face-melting Phish we no and love. I honestly did;t no this tune could rock so hard. I was absolutely dancing like a fiend. They stretched it out quite a bit too, giving us more multi-peak jamming. They gave us another dose of space at the end. Just enough sort of sound and fog to let us cool off.

They washed over the fog with the delicate introduction to Slave. Well at this point it was high time to soak it all in and reflect. This version was blissful perfection after a very action packed set. They took a nice open and patient approach and let it build organically into a final scintillating peak. Perfection. Smiles all around.

Encore was Farmhouse, which I thought was an ok choice. Something nice and cool and slow to just cool us off.

Well First Tube had me forgetting Farmhouse! Back to camp to keep it going!

Overall set II: Like set I, this is top to bottom Phish. Classic songs new (NMINML, Ghost, R&R, Waste) and old (Hood, Slave, CDT). Don;t skip any of it. Get it all, and enjoy it.
Highlights: Full Set

There's nothing you want to miss from night 1. Until the next night, I considered it the best show I'd seen. Great jamming, perfect song selection, ultimate atmosphere.
4.6/5 This one won't be cycled out of rotation ever.
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Review by centeroo

centeroo This first day of magnaball was perfection. the way it all worked out and the weather being so nice made this festival as good as any other ive been to. ive been backstage at the first bonnaroo for tab and witness to the tower jam at IT and this was just as good!
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Review by toddmanout

toddmanout Magnaball was the second Phish festival held at Watkins Glen Speedway, a massive turn-both-ways NASCAR track that should be much more famous than it is for hosting the largest concert ever*, a legendary show that featured the Allman Brothers, The Band, and The Grateful Dead back in 1973.

I guess Woodstock had better PR people.

My crew and I had such a good time at the last Phish fiesta in the ‘Glen that we decided to drive down to New York a whole day early this time around so we could get ourselves set up in the campground and get nice and comfortable before the festival even began. We also kind of figured that this strategy might afford us the primest of camping spots. We were woefully wrong about that.

But when we woke up onsite in the morning of August 21st, 2015 we were all still blissfully ignorant to the situation we had parked ourselves in. It wasn’t until we decided to saunter down to the stage to see what sort of installations the band had installated that we discovered the Marco Polo-like distance we had to cover to get there. When we finally got to the site I plunked myself down in the merch line to buy a poster and some records and by the time I got through the line it was time to head back to the site to drop off my purchases and get ready for the show.

So back we went, and then forth again; gosh it was far. By the time Phish went on I felt like I was near the end of my own second set. Luckily the band and the crowd exuded more than enough energy to keep me on point for the night.

If there was a lull left over from setbreak it was immediately brushed away by set two’s Chalkdust Torture opener, and people still talk about the Ghost that they played after that. Then Rock & Roll by the Velvet Underground and one of my eyes-closed, hands-in-the-air favourites, Harry Hood.

Okay, I might have nodded off for a moment during Waste but I’ve been known to do that even on my peppiest nights. Then No Man’s Land and another raised-arms anthem of bliss to close the set, Slave To The Traffic Light.

At that point we were just a Farmhouse and a First Tube away from embarking on our epic trek back to the faraway, where my cooler and my guitar awaited my consistent attention. I don’t know when I went to sleep or when I woke up but I knew it didn’t matter. All I had to do the next day was the same thing again, and as taxing as it might be I was up for the challenge.

*With 600,000 people in attendance, many claim that the 1973 concert was the largest gathering of people in the history of America. On that single day one out of every 350 people in the United States were at Watkins Glen. Taking demographics into account it has been estimated that one out of three people aged 17-24 living between Boston and New York attended the event.

I recently read that there is a concert film doc about the show slated for imminent release. Can’t wait to see it.
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Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Oh, I forgot to mention in my previous review: I detect more Taste/WTU? teasing than in just Chalk Dust Torture. I think it was subtly carried throughout the second set, which is partly responsible IMO for the feeling I got of it being a bit dark or experimental. That said, I'm grateful that Phish feels comfortable enough to get dark or experimental--especially experimental, read: Type II--from time to time, but I prefer blissy Phish to Lucille-has-messed-my-mind-up type Phish. I think that in the 90s Phish was a lot more willing to trip people out in a quintessentially Phishy and weird way, and I'm kind of glad that they don't pull those kind of nans that much anymore, because I don't really see the point to it. Their compositions can freak out susceptible persons, anyway, and there's really no call for freaking people out any further than that, IMO. It's kind of like how Bob Weir could be such a wiseacre at Grateful Dead shows... I love what I know of Phish's individual and collective personaliti(es), but one thing I prefer about 3.0 is that there's more of an even keel to even the improvisation. I pray that the band stays healthy, happy, satisfied, and fulfilled through hosing us, however that may permute.
, attached to 2015-08-21

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I wasn't there! So my opinion may be irrelevant, but my hair is a bird, for what it's worth. I like the vibe of the first set more, upon a close relisten. Simple is grand, I could groove to the Dogs... Just, as I said, a good vibe. The Gin impressed me much more the first time I heard it, but that doesn't mean it's gotten worse (how could it?), it just means I'm in a different set and setting this go'round. The second set is a bit darker--or, more favorably, a bit more experimental--than the first's happy-go-lucky everybody have a logical time vibe, IMO. I love the setlist for the second set, though, and there's a really interesting groove segment in Ghost: the quasi-stop-start action, if you know what I'm talking about. Maybe fishing for woos that aren't audible on the soundboard recording? No Men in No Man's Land rejuvenates the set after a tentative Harry Hood with a portion that I'll contend is Type II. First Tube encore feels good 'cause it feels good. Great but somewhat wonky first day of Magnaball. Take my opinion with a grain of your preferred seasoning ;)
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