This was the second show of the Magnaball festival, and marked the first Mind Left Body Jam since November 13, 1998 (475 shows) Caspian included a Tweezer tease. The Fourth Set Drive-In Jam started with the band playing behind the "Drive In Movie" screen that had been created for the festival. Slowly, their silhouettes became visible and the ambient jam veered towards a full on band jam while the screen simultaneously showed fractal like images of close-ups of the band. Eventually, the band was visible. The Drive-In Jam included a Fireworks tease from Mike and a Little Drummer Boy tease from Page.
Tweezer tease in Prince Caspian, Fireworks and The Little Drummer Boy teases in Drive-In Jam
Debut Years (Average: 1998)

This show was part of the "2015 Summer"

Show Reviews

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Review by n00b100

n00b100 Try this declaration on for size: you could argue that, pound for pound, this is one of the greatest shows Phish has played in the modern era, even without having the same all-timer set that some of the other shows in this tour have had. Even if you don't want to put it in that heavy hitter class, you could make the simpler argument that this night trumps last night's (and maybe the next night's), even without an all-timer monster jam like the 8/21/15 Gin. Just take a look at all the highlights:

- A gruesome and knotty Antelope that brings to mind some of the best versions of days gone by;

- A 46 Days that immediately slides into a darker and nastier take on the usual 46 Days jam, finds itself in more upbeat waters at Page's insistence, and builds to a pretty sweet climax before giving way to Number Line;

- A heavy-duty Tweezer that naturally makes for a powerful heavy-duty jam and then, almost by pure kismet, enters the same absolutely blissful space as the first jam segment of the Randall's Chalk Dust, with Trey laying down some wonderful soloing as opposed to the chords he played at Randall's;

- One of the all-time great Prince Caspians (!), which seems to be immediately heading back towards Tweezer, but instead the band pushes forward, Fish starts really feeling his oats, and they instead head to a screaming, *powerful* jam segment that builds to a peak as massive as either of the peaks in last night's Gin;

- Blaze On taking its second trip into the unknown, moving into the Pool of Bliss very naturally (god, this band just goes from segment to segment with unreal ease) before giving way to a more fast-paced rock jam, making room for some weirdness with Trey's effects, and then segueing naturally into Possum;

- A short-but-interesting Cities that pushes into a darker space, suddenly works into Mind Left Body out of nowhere (and, it has to be said, is much more clearly Mind Left Body than the 7/13/14 Light's MLB-ish jam) and very gently makes its way into Light;

- A Light that traverses some not-traditionally-Light-jam ground before locking into a laser-focused dark groove, not totally unlike the Light they played at Alpharetta last year (with some whale noises at the end for good measure);

- And, finally, the Drive-In Jam, one of those pieces of Phish music that absolutely demands that you must hear it at all costs, and a worthy successor to the Tower Jam, Ball Square Jam, Ambient Jam, and every legendary soundcheck they've ever played.

The fact that a show this exceptionally strong *arguably isn't even the best show of the year* should be more than enough to tell you that 2015 is, at the very least, one of Phish's peak years. Very, VERY highly recommended - you skip this show, available on LivePhish in tasty SBD, at your own peril.
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Review by Teaser

Teaser It's been a week since Magnaball began, and I'm now finally starting to really process the whole thing and wanted to unload some thoughts. As Saturday was arguably their greatest overall performance of 3.0 I figured I'd post them here...

I've been seeing Phish for 17 years, since 2nd night of Nassau's Island Tour, 4/3/1998. As a future #realfan this show hit me like a ton of bricks and changed my life forever. I wound up seeing 6 shows that year, including Hampton and NYE at MSG. That would be about my average over the following 2 decades. As a mid-western kid who went to NYU in the late '90's, Phish was ubiquitous and it was always great to be able to hop on tour every few months for a few shows, then hop off and get back work/school.

That said, this was only my 2nd festival, the first being Festival 8 (in my backyard as an LA resident now). Back in the festival heyday I never really had a crew who loved them like I did, and traveling to somewhere like Limestone or even (my biggest Phish regret) Big Cypress was just out of the question unless I wanted to roll needless to say I was so thrilled to see this festival after the MONSTER 2015 Summer Tour and Fare Thee Well extravaganza that clearly led to inspirational playing from all four members of the band.

My buddy, Bergey, and I hit up our local shows (Shoreline and Forum) together in July and were ready to spend a blissful weekend in Watkins Glen. Despite a bit of a hiccup (perhaps karma for only having a 2 hour commute to Indio?) with my flights and rerouting to Syracuse, we arrived with plenty of time on Friday and enjoyed my favorite 1st set of 3.0 capped off by the best Gin I've personally ever witnessed. And they didn't stop...that was what was so inspirational about Friday's show. They just jammed and jammed and jammed. I definitely felt like the CDT > Ghost lacked the clarity of the Gin, but who cares, just jam jam jam! The Hood, NMINML and Slave were all standouts of a huge set. But for me Set 1 (Simple, Dogs, Gin, TMWSIY > Avenu, MOCK SONG) was the most special part of the evening...

On to Saturday. THE show. It did not disappoint. It exceeded. In all ways. Yes, they played a lot of songs in the 1st set. Expertly. Loved that Divided Sky. Best one I've seen since I got married (and played it as I walked down the aisle). Fun hearing Scabbard for the first time...Tasty little Tube and Halfway to the Moon a highlight. Mike takes over Page's tune and absolutely makes it his bitch. Floored. Also enjoyed HMPAY and the run into an above average Antelope. Yes. Trey, we are awake now!!!

Then came a wonderful few hours walking around seeing old friends and meeting new ones...riding the ferris wheel and taking in the scenery. August in NY and no did we all get so lucky!? When the 2nd Set started we were ready...and so were they. I lvoed that Wolfman's. It could have gone further but accomplished what it needed to. Fun Halley's set up one of my favorite jams of the weekend, 46 Days. With no 2nd chorus this jam lasts 12+ minutes and is fucking nasty!!! Bergey and I were sure they were heading into Mule, but nope, # Line. Totally fine with it. Tweezpian lurked. Say what you want...did they go back into Tweezer, is it the best Caspian ever? Who cares. Just listed to it. Again and again and again. Some of Phish's finest work ever. Any era.

As the late Harris Wittels said - "Phish is my religion." Our temple this weekend was the best that mother nature could muster, and our idols truly inspired. I was speechless.

Set III and the Drive In Jam (who missed this, seriously?? How?) were gravy and I won't go into too much more detail. We had a fantastic spot for the Drive In Jam but sadly my bladder had other plans and eventually I had to weave through the crowd, with no hope of getting back to where I matter.

As far as Set III - the Blaze On (please get out of my head,I enjoy you but please stop repeating) was a revelation, the Cities galvanized the crowd and the band, leading to a good Light. Velvet Sea served as a nice landing pad to Cave and like that the festival was 2/3rd's over.

It all goes by so fast. The older I get the more significant these weekends become. I wish I could go to Dick's again this year, but just as I had school and work to think about 15 years ago, I have a family to think about now...I will take my 5-7 shows per year and obsess on Twitter and over all the other shows and months and months of waiting...

Magnaball was better than I ever hoped. I'm sure they will play "my" Harpua at Dick's and the gag will be better than last year and I'll be irritated, but such is Phish, and such is life. I appreciate every moment of it, and hope that with the way they are playing right now they are motivated to pull a Winter and/or Spring tour out...

Thanks again, Phish.
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FACTSAREUSELESS I listened to sets 2 & 3 on the bunny and didn't hear the first set at all, so I'll keep my comments brief here and save the space for more complete reviews, but at first blush, having only had a night of sleep to separate me from the experience of this show, I wanted to offer a comment about Phish's playing in these last weeks which I think merits consideration.

The Tweezer>Caspian segment of set 2 is incredible. I offer no breakdowns of why it is so. It is, in short, the best of all worlds we call Phish, all thrown together into a skillet and boiled down to a steak sauce that you want to bottle and sell at the Farmer's Market with the caption reading "should've been there when we made this!". What an incredible stretch of music.

But something happened in that second set, which transferred to the third set and that's what I want to talk about. Over the last five or six years there has been much talk about the "quarters" of shows. We have the opening quarter and the second quarter, which for most of 3.0 (with only rare exceptions such as 8/31/12) has been a Dead-esque jamless and perfunctory run-down of old favorites, a cover or two and if we're lucky a curveball to keep it interesting (see MPP '13).

It's been the "third" quarter which we all get on the edge of our seats for. The opening 45 minutes of the second set is what we would term "business time" in Phishland. However, a trend began developing in the Fall '13 tour, which I think has fully matured now. And it's glorious. This is the trend of the "fourth" quarter of the second frame building steam and exceeding the "third" quarter. This is glorious because now the set construction is resembling the song construction of our favorite Phish music. The Tweezer>Caspian is the "peak" of the second set. Everything else in that set built up to that point. This is a far cry from peaking in the first 30-40 minutes and then "running out the string" with a series of crowd-pleasing footstompers and going home, as has been the case for most of 3.0.

The third set of this show is the same. The intricate and funky Blaze On jam was not an aberration or spike in the evenings' proceedings, but was a portent of what was coming, as the set kept building in intensity and punch, not letting up. The Walls of the Cave had not just it's own energy, but was being jettisoned forward on the wave which had built up for the previous 70 minutes. Just phenomenal. Two shows in, this represents two of the finest shows they have performed since the reunion. Some of the jamming last night surpassed that of 12/29/13, which I have contended is the finest "third quarter" the band has performed since the reunion. Last night was very, very, special.
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Review by Squints

Squints I'll first start off by saying this weekend was my first music festival and first Phish show.....

Absolutely amazing!
I couldn't ask for a better experience.
I've been to shows plenty of times before and the biggest difference is how engaged the Phish fans are. I can't help but become one. Especially when I make a new friend during Set 3 who helps me learn the Phish way. It was cute.
I was surprised to hear Japanese in a song! Not many bands that jam do that. Phish is unique.

I'm now a fan. Thank you!
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Review by Doopes

Doopes Afternoon set : Good
1st Set: Better
2nd Set: Even Better
Encore: Fun
Drive in: Super Fun :)
Highlights: Antelope, Tweezer, Caspian, Blaze On
Overall, this topped the first night by a good amount. They never cease to amaze with the level they can hit, taking new and old songs to places they haven't done before.
The Magnaball is finding its own identity within the 10 festivals and is leaving a great impression on phishtory.
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Review by BrandoMcfluffsocks

BrandoMcfluffsocks Like what noob said, if this isn't one of the best shows ever, I don't know what is. This show is on par with Big Cypress, Great Went N2, 12/31/93, and many more shows of that caliber. Unlike most shows, there wasn't a single time where I was disappointed by their song choice, and even when their vocals were rough (I mean they are 50 now) they were still enjoyable. Then again, not many of us see phish for the vocals because, we all know that's not what phish is really about.

The D-sky was the perfect opener and really set a good mood for the rest of the night. The setlist doesn't really convey how great the first set was, because divided sky was the only song that really had a significant jam, but do not be fueled, this set is A1 Fire (nice pun I know...). This is one of those sets where you can really tell they are playing for solely themselves and aren't forcing things. In my opinion I think this set is just as good, if not better than 8/17/97 set 1. Highlights: dsky and antelope

I'm not really going to explain set 2 because an explanation simply won't do it justice. Just listen to it please.

The third set is slightly weaker than the second set, but not by that much. Comparing these would be like comparing Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.And similar to the second set, just listen to the drive in jam, it's a must. I really like how they didn't change their formula and basically did the same thing as the tower jam, ambient jam, storage jam, they just did a really good job at it. If you are expecting a new "gimmick", it's not here. The drive in jam is just a really good piece of music.
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Review by Slewfoot

Slewfoot Tweezer Jam

Loved, loved, loved this show. But let me cut to the chase. I would like to take a minute to talk about the last 5 minutes of the Tweezer jam as I imagine it may get overlooked with all the other highlights. The closest thing that it resembles to my ears is The Went Gin which is the highest compliment I can give.

As the band gets totally out of standard Tweezer territory, Trey suddenly throws out a theme on top of Fishman's rhythm. Page immediately picks up on it and Mike comes in with a rolling bass line. Suddenly they are off and running on this theme that is pure bliss. As with The Went Gin they essentially grab meaning out of thin air and ride it on the crest of a wave. They are in that zone where they can do no wrong. It doesn't peak like The Went Gin, but it does have a similar feeling of something being right and noble. Truly pristine. Give it a listen and you won't be disappointed.
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Review by argonbunnies

argonbunnies I have not listened to a recording yet, so I'm not sure what translated best to digital, but I want to share what it was like to be there.

If this is post is too long for your taste, I recommend just reading about the songs in Set 2.


Set 1: Maybe 30 or so rows back, off to the side Mike-side. I was there with my best Phish buddy, a guy I introduced the band to in 1995. A few of the people around us were a little chatty, but most were paying attention, even if not moving much. Way too many cigarettes made for difficult breathing.

Divided Sky brought out the sun, was well played, had a jam that was more energetic than pretty, and Page beat the heck out of the keys at the very end. Great way to start.

Moma Dance was Fishman at his best. He actually nailed the vocals for once, and seemed to sense that we all know the song and could handle some pretty wild fills and breakdowns instead of all the usual transitions. As opposed to the slow, funky, patient, repetitive Momas I've seen before, this one was fast and furious. More great energy.

Mound! Nice treat. Not flawless, but fun.

Army of One. I always liked the way Trey's arpeggios come in for the chorus. Page mostly sang it quite well, really belting out some lines. Enjoyably unexpected for me.

Scabbard was fun, I like how the composed beginning recalls early Phish. My memory is fuzzy of where the jam went, but I do remember the flow into Sample being good.

Sample in a Jar rocked. The instrumental ending thumped and wailed a teeny bit harder than usual. Totally got me thrashing. I never go to a show thinking, "I hope they play Sample," but every time they do, it's been great.

Tube had a short jam that, like Moma, beat on the usual funk with a hard rock stick. Maybe it was the mix where I was standing or something, but it really felt like Mike was punching his notes and Fish was crushing the snare. I felt the same way about the Halfway to the Moon jam, which continued the trend from Divided Sky of Trey not really building lyrical journeys but rather blending in with the band as part of an overall charge.

The end of Moon had me jumping around like crazy, so Camel Walk was a nice chance to rest and crouch down below the smoke.

How Many People...? was fun, Circus Comes was nice, but I never really got back up to the energy level the set had through Halfway to the Moon. Not a bad thing in the first of 3 sets. When Undermind began, I thought we were going to launch into our first long, crazy, exploratory jam of the day, but nope, nothing crazy happened before Antelope.

I've seen Antelope a bunch. This one didn't stand out to me. It was predictably excellent. Great way to end a Set 1, as always.


Set 2: My friend pulled a calf muscle going after a frisbee and decided to chill in the back rather than make it worse dancing. I, being smaller and bolder, slid my way up to about 15 rows in front of Mike. The girl next to me was a super fun dancer, lots of twisting and undulating arm motions, which reminded me of what I did when I first started going to shows. I jumped on board and it felt great. Everyone in my area was dancing and the energy was fantastic. No chatter during songs! Thank you! And more weed than tobacco, which was nice for my allergies.

To the short woman behind me, I apologize if I hit you with my backpack before I took it off. I thought you were simply bumping into my pack as you danced, but if I was wrong, my bad. I know my own dancing definitely got pretty manic out there.

Wolfman's Brother had more of that energetic funk. The glory that followed later in the set has blurred my memory of this tune, but I remember it rocking a bit harder than usual, much like many of the funky tunes in Set 1.

Halley's Comet was a minor letdown. In a day of otherwise excellent flow and energy carrying from song to song, I found the extended repetitions in Halley's frustrating. Once they finished the composed part, though, we were back in business. A jam I vaguely remember enjoying transitioned sharply into...

46 Days. Again, I'm not sure if it was the mix, or the way Fish and Mike were playing, or just the whole band energized by 30,000 fans, but the guys just tore into this and only brought the energy up from there. All the transitions were explosions. Every section was a launching pad for for a headbanging attack. When the jam really got going, it carried with it all the energy that had been building since the Halley's jam. There was no wandering, no searching, no band members getting surprised by Trey and playing catch-up, no breakdown in the rhythm to halt the thrashing and twirling crowd. This jam raged until it couldn't rage anymore, and then...

(Well, my memory is fuzzy, so what I'm about to say MIGHT actually be from Tweezer, but I THINK it was 46, so onward...)

It quickly and gracefully got quiet and pretty and melodic, just like they'd scripted it that way. No screwing around with effects pedals and sound washes to buy time for the next melodic idea. Just, boom, pretty new song from nothing. The perfect coda to a roaring jam. And then, this new piece, it grew, smoothly, inexorably, without sidetracks, getting us back to that place we'd just been. The energy could rest for a bit, but it wouldn't die. Another epic climax, and then...

Backwards Down the Number Line. "That's fine," I thought. "If that jam was the pinnacle of the set, and Number Line closes it out, I'm perfectly content with that." That's how great the energy was all night, and that's how satisfying 46 Days was. But Number Line didn't end it; not even close.

Tweezer. I've seen a lot of Tweezers. My favorite was probably 2/28/03, which still takes the cake for seamlessness in a Type II jam with impressive breadth. But this one from Magnaball might crush it just for sheer intensity. The hard rocked-out funk from Moma and Wolfman's reached another level here, veering from anthem to anthem. This jam was perfectly paced -- just enough repetition to latch onto a groove and rock out to it, but never playing out a segment past exhaustion of its vital energy. Basically, the kind of music that could keep you dancing even if you went blind and your leg fell off and you started sweating acid. Fatigue was a mere theoretical concept.

The intensity died down a bit before Caspian, and I can't remember exactly what happened there, which is why I thought I might have misremembered the 2nd jam out of 46 Days. Regardless of exactly what preceded it, Caspian was the perfect choice to let us breathe a bit without ever entering subdued territory. This set never, ever let up for more than a necessary breather. "Can't handle any more 8-to-10 intensity? Fine, we'll bring it down to 6. But there is NO chance we're playing Lawn Boy here."

Caspian was nicely rockin', and the jam was good for a bit, but then started to peter out, and I couldn't help but feel that it was a bit of an anticlimactic way to end a set like that, and if they were going to do that, please don't draw it out... And then they started up from scratch. They built a brand new jam out of nothing, and this one matched the 46 Days and the Tweezer in its fierce, powerful drive, and gave us all the climax this set deserved.

Boom. Done. Time to go find my friend and stare at him with my jaw slack and know that, "Anything else that happens this weekend is just a bonus."


Set 3: I was a bit late getting back to the front and couldn't wriggle into as nice a spot, but I managed to find a good patch of grooving fans near the base of the camera crane Page-side that was filming the show.

Meatstick and Blaze On got everyone dancing happily. I know the Blaze jam went somewhere, but I don't recall where.

Possum didn't tease us with much intro, Mike sang it well, and I was looking forward to the good ol' Possum Trey soloing, when Trey reminded me that this wasn't that kind of show. He looked at Page... and Page just went on the attack! He bashed away at that jam for a good bit, then dialed it back enough to trade lines with Trey, Mule Duel-style. Then they layered on each other, we had another good full-band build without Trey show-stealing, and the whole thing roared to a great climax. Best early-in-the-set Possum I've ever heard, no question. Maybe best Possum period.

Cities and Light were not as ambitious as they sometimes are on the jam front. No awkwardness, no letdown, nothing boring, but for me this part was actually a bit of a rest.

555 was solid, but Page or Trey really needs to join Fish on the backing vocals because there's a key note that absolutely disappears when he sings it. Anyway, this song ended well, because there was definitely a feeling of intensity going into...

Wading in the Velvet Sea. I settled into the heartfelt prettiness for some head-bobbing and arm-twirling as the captivated-looking woman next to me did the same. Nice time to just bliss out. But then Trey reminded us that he was not playing slow, pretty solos today. It STARTED slow and pretty but then quickly got loud and dramatic. I never knew Velvet Sea could rock like that! Very cool to see Phish really hit us hard with a slow tune -- there was something vaguely Pink Floyd about that. The end of Velvet Sea was a fantastic climax -- would it lead into something quiet, or a rocking show closer?

Both! Walls of the Cave! The first half fit the sincere, emotional tone of Velvet Sea perfectly, and the second half was just an onslaught. It was still a full-band build, but this was some aggressive shredding by Trey. No screeching, just meaty blasting away. More perfect pacing, more sustained intensity without repetition or muddle. Epic climax, boom, crash, goodnight. Waugh!!!

Perfect way to end a show -- perfectly exhausted and satisfied. Phish had just shaped two sets the way they shaped their best songs -- with the energy building throughout and the climax at the end, rather than somewhere around the 3/4 mark -- and I could not have been happier.

Of course, I knew Tweeprise was coming, and I used the break and the Boogie On to regain my thrash batteries. I often find the predictability of a Tweezer Reprise encore to be a let down -- in that spot I'm often hoping for one last surprise or jam -- but in this case I'd already had all I could want, so it was more of an appropriately brief (and rockin'!) send-off.


I'm a guy who never gives a show a perfect score in my head, but after 21 years I can finally give this one an unabashed 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you Phish, and thank you to all the fans who were as moved by the music as I was.
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Review by Midcoaster

Midcoaster It is remarkable to me that the Phish from Vermont can deliver a day of music that, in many ways, exceeds the experiences I had between 1987 and 1991. That's saying a lot. Mrs. Pizza sh*t was hilarious and exhilarating, as were some other night club moments, but this was better overall.

Maybe the "intensity" of the nightclub experience has been relegated to the rail, but I prefer the enormity of the wiggy dance party amidst fantastic art installations. Like Randalls last year, I dig festival ground Phish most of all. The sound was open and loud in places, and one could take his or her pick of intensity and setting. That's far more freedom than is found in an MSG or DCU.

Hearing a song like Blaze On develop into something new before our very ears is the stuff of legends as much as any nightclub. Good thing I'm not jaded. Instead, I feel grateful to be able to have the experience at all, and it's a bonus when the music is as awesome as this. They played to the phans, the earth, the sky, the stars and the universe on this night.

Whoever it was who wrote about the Drive-In being like the final moments of an untethered astronaut tumbling deeper and deeper into space deserves to have that write up included in the Drive-In Jam descriptions. I was right there with that concept: molecules colliding, forming, reforming, expanding, contracting. The matter of the universe taking an elevated moment of consciousness to find self awareness. This is the golden age.
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Review by relax_

relax_ I wanted to talk about the late night set independent of the other sets, because it was like a dream (within a dream), and so compartmentalized in my mind as such. After the 3rd set ended, we made our way to the “drive-in”. We found a good spot to the right of the screen near the projection tower. Empty spaces began to fill in around us as our anticipation grew. Even so, I joked, “meanwhile, back at the LABORATORY”, all at once convinced that the set would take place on the big screen, and hesitant to dismiss plans of running back to the Lab just in case. At some point, I could see movement behind the screen. In spots where the light hit the screen just right, figures were appearing. I announced to my beau and others around me that I saw the glint of guitars and cymbals. We readied ourselves.

The marquee above the screen (MAGNABALL) flickered – the screen’s image changed to announce “And Now…It’s Showtime!” The fake cars in front of the screen billowed with smoke. Odd chimes, screams, and rumblings could be heard. Minutes later, the intro graphic melted into a roving image of space and our journey commenced with floating into the unknown.

The serene sounds of flowing water, chimes, and breezes (whooshing), mixed with a gentle rhythm from Fishman and ambient tones from Trey, Mike, and Page began the set. Visually, thousands of pixels of light (fractals) layered the space scene. As they shifted and danced about, I couldn’t help thinking “this is what the music looks like!” It can pulsate, ripple, coalesce and divide simultaneously. In their singularities, they moved as one, synchronized with the sound vibrations. The “morphing pixels” of light wrapped around band members, outlining each for a moment or so. Trey’s guitar wailed like a siren with long, wavering chords, matched by Page on his Yamaha. A mass of binaural beats blanketed our ears.

Around 15:40 (LP release), bass and drums shifted the jam from calm to slightly crazed. Darker tones rose to the forefront, mixed with manic, clashing sound effects and voices. The sound ebbed slightly back into a pensive ambiance before a more insistent rhythm emerged from Fishman just before 17:30. Layered over the previous images, fissures of light appeared on the screen, like neurological flashes in the brain, or elongated nebulae. A moody, acid rock jam with choppy rifts, deep bass, and crashing drums filled the air. The marquee lights swelled with the music and the spotlights above snaked through the sky. The graphics switched to droplets (or molecules) bouncing across the screen, soon accented by the pixels as Fishman and Trey reached for a parallel musical theme around 22:25. A voice howled as the tempo and straitjacket continued to tighten. Page glided effortlessly over his keys, building a sense of urgency and drama.

There were quite a few people dancing around me, their kinetic energy mimicking the screen, but I couldn’t. I felt compelled to stand still and witness, inexplicably cocooned in the moment. So, I cleared my mind and let the surreality of the music, visuals, and people wash over and through me. The groove settled down into a funky, medium-paced beat at 23:45 (with Page leading the charge on his wurlitzer), but held on to its wicked undertones with vocal screams, clanging church bells and other sound effects intertwined. A staccato, metal bassline punched through the jam (24:30) further adding to the trepid dynamics and atmosphere. The visuals yielded to disarray, warping and bleeding into a barely discernible view of the band, finally dissolving into pulsating lava and static.

A slow, thunderous heartbeat began at 27:10 accented by percussive, echoing guitar scratches and alien-esque pedal effects by Mike. A fiery ball of light appeared on the right side of the screen. It moved to the center as the camera “zoomed” inward. Here, we got our clearest view of the band (at the core) encompassed in light, shooting arcs of energy outward, (“inside your fuego”, ha). A “Phishy” tribal vocal jam, complete with “Martian microphone”, proceeded on top of deep, humming tones at 30:00. After which, thumping bass and buzzing electrical noises rang throughout the focused rhythm as the screen lead us back into space.

More textural sounds emerged and sheets of color dragged across the screen collapsing into hazy images of the band. The tremble of Page’s theremin could be heard around 34:00. Inside the distorted sounds, a playful bass line surfaced (36:30) and a more accessible (less tense) jam took flight. At 41:40 a celebratory vocal jam began with utilization of both the Martian voice and Page’s talk box. A change at 43:25 introduced a joyous, bouncy tempo while wisps of light painted the screen. The “heartbeat” returned at 46:05 as a large moon-like image traversed the screen. As it moved from view, four similar objects appeared forming a static image, drenched in quivering space winds. The music took a quick look back at our journey (like trying to recall a fever dream upon awakening) and dissolved into more vocal expressions and sound effects before fading into a curious melody at 50:00, ending the set in a bright flair of notes and colors.

When it was over, I had the feeling of witnessing the after effect of the universe’s big bang. That underlying force, like water, was hard, soft, and flowing with both light and dark energy. The chaos, atomic gnashing, and speed of expansion – the reach (spinning) into the unknown, intense and resolute…it was ALL…at once, a singular sound careening off of our atoms that continued to resonate as we walked quietly back to our resting places.
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Review by dutchbug

dutchbug Incredible day of music. I remember finding Army of One particularly impressive. Hell of a song. How Many People Are You? really came to life. Much better than prior versions.

I managed to take shower in between first and second set. Lots of telepathy from the band. ESP. They seemed real serious during Magna. Like dudes from Reservoir Dogs. Professionals.
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Review by fluffhead108

fluffhead108 A long, dense, and fascinating date in Phish's history. There has been an incredible amount of great music played since the 2009 reunion, and especially (I'd say) since Summer 2013 kicked off, but boy oh boy....things have never felt more right with the Phish world than they did on the Big Day of Magnaball.

What amazes me most is how many of the smaller moments stand out, even against the epic stature of the highlights -- micro-segments of what was essentially 4 hours of almost continuous improvisation: the way Number Line emerges patiently from a brilliant 46 Days jam; how Tweezer latches on to an infectious lick and then rides it all the way out; Caspian's effortless push beyond its often stifling boundaries; or how 555 bleeds out of Light as if the entire damn song was written specifically for that moment and that segue; the way Trey hammers out the opening chords of Cities like he has never been happier in his life to be playing it; the total unity of everyone in attendance during the final throw-down of the Reprise. The freakin' glowsticks.

There are probably arguments for why other shows or other sets from 2015 are superior to this show and these sets. But ever since Magnaball passed, I've been thinking a lot about when I was in my dorm room in college in 2009 and I got *that* email announcing the Phish reunion. The conception in my head, then, of what it truly meant for Phish to be a band again, for this to be a world in which Phish was making music and I was alive to experience it, looked exactly like this show. It was a vague image of exactly this experience that created all that giddy, joyful excitement. To be there for it and experience it in real time, then come home and sink into the SBDs until I've sucked them dry, feels very much like the cathartic realization of early 2009's hazy anticipation.

Seven years is a long time. It is incredible to me that so much time has passed, and even more incredible to think that things are essentially as right and good in the Phish world today as they've ever been before. Get this show.
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Review by DaveToad

DaveToad All music, great and small, begins with and returns to the same silence.

I believe there is a way to read Phish history through the lens of their experimental work. They have made several hours of music with minimal to zero stakes. The Ambient Set. The Tower Jam. The Flatbed Set. Ball Square. Headphone Jam. Soundchecks. Even The Siket Disc. I am fascinated by their occasional impulse to play music with a clandestine spirit. I often consider the souls of the millions of people that have come and gone on earth, leaving no trace and simply becoming a patch of dirt or ash or a tree. Think about the music Phish has played that no one will ever hear and was not motivated by anything but a pure spirit of creation.

It is not my intention to argue that these sets are somehow more true or more Phish than your friendly neighborhood "Strange Design". Rather, I just want to communicate my passion for these experiments, and suggest that Phish's performance at the Drive-In was uniquely moving, exhibiting more focus, diversity, and radical thought than most of the Phish I can recall.

Consider the silence out of which the Drive-In Set emerged. They had just played one so-so set and two undeniably strong sets, including the Twince Caspeezer, one of those defining performances that any show destined for the history books must contain. No matter how long these guys have played together, I can't imagine that they don't feel some degree of anxiety over their desire to reward the devotion of their fanbase. And I am positive that they are aware when they have succeeded, when they have delivered mildly yet underwhelmingly, and when they have choked. The two nighttime sets on Magna Saturday were home runs and they knew it. I was listening on the radio and I could feel it. And I have heard from all reports that everyone there was feeling it too.

So, we have a group with virtually nothing left to prove. Or at least not much. The silence that came before the Drive-In was a deep one, filled with assurance that the spirit and energy of this thing called Phish was flowing and no dam was holding it back. Isn't the truest kind of love more like a service? A consciousness supported by the faith that giving is surely more fulfilling than receiving? I can't say that Phish came to the Drive-In to play "for the love of the game," but it bears witness to a freedom and order of nonchalance that we are rarely allowed to catch. These guys had nowhere to be. The fans were not promised a secret set. If we were, it'd just be a set. Their motives are closer to purity here. The expectations were fulfilled earlier. Time for a new experience. Maybe, just maybe, there won't even be someone trying to snag a whiff of the good 'ole days, content to leave memories of Fall '97 and Summer '03 behind and be in July 2015 for an hour.

The music emerges from a fog of anticipation and comes up like it's just checking out the landscape and seeing what there is to work with. Theoretically, the fixation on the half-step interval (or minor second) is made immediately apparent while Mike and Page dip their toes in. It's a relevant motif -- the climax of the entire jam depends on it. I am attracted to the way this mist develops into a laser over the course of the first 30 minutes, reaching through several loosely organized grooves to find an apex of concentration at the midpoint.

Anyway, the beginning. On first listen, the activity is disarming, but that quality dissolves with revisitation. The first movement is not remotely "atonal". It is more accurately defined as fluid, cinematic, and certainly more attracted to major tonality. Fishman waits almost 10 minutes before entering gently on the cymbals. If you are interested in appreciating the improvisational acuity of St. John the Fisherman, do your best to isolate his playing over the course of this piece sometime. The very job of a drummer is to "Keep Time," yet he manages to be both the rock on which freedom balances and a rock floating gracefully through the air with three other rocks. It is impossible to hear this set and walk away agnostic about the immense power behind any of these musicians. Greater still, there are instances of musical bravery and creative risktaking present in this jam that suggest the kind of musical enlightenment that only great masters can claim.

A slow, narcotic groove develops and is fully mature by 15:00. The first instance of stylistic playfulness is instigated by Mike around 15:45, but it is short-lived. Witness the spontaneous directional shift that occurs from 16:40 to 18:00. Time signature and melodic character both undergo a sort-of uncertainty gauntlet, only to emerge by 18:00 with a confident hunt for some goddam rock and roll.

And rock and roll is what we get. I cannot accurately express my love for Trey in this segment. He manages to take his deserved and rightful leadership role with absolute grace. He plays with unselfishness and respect for the nature of collective experimentation. Rather than being the guy trying to pull the other three up the mountain, he's the guy behind them, pushing and not really looking for any applause. And Fish. I think the thrill of this section comes from his refusal to lay down much certainty in his pattern. Try and dance to any of this part.

Things take a turn around the 22:30 mark. Precisely at 22:59, Trey releases a lick that sounds like it belongs in the Book of Revelation. It is out of left field, melodically, and the only acceptable reaction is demonstrated by Fish, an ecstatic yawp released a few bars later. I can relate. And we all know we're headed for the abyss.

The 10 minutes that follow those screams are some of the greatest Phish I know. Pure groove. The mist has turned into a headlight and is focusing into a laser. The laser fully congeals at 27:12 in a beguiling moment of unity between Page and Trey where both of them careen toward a strange half-step modulation at the same time. Mike decides to play with the modulation and the band melts into a transcendent segment. 29:00 through 32:00 is Desert Island Phish for me. I cried the first time I heard Trey's whirling siren, Page's Rhodes, and Fishman's tom drums come together during the 29th minute. The culminating groove won't blow anyone's mind. It isn't the loudest thing they ever played. It's just a joyful moment. So joyful that they were compelled to bring their voices into it, singing that pesky half-step interval that's been haunting the entire jam so far. This is the greatest kind of Phish moment -- one so familiar that seems like it must have been played before, but in fact is impossibly unique and divinely attached to every note that preceded it.

After that, they begin to progress back to silence. The final 20 minutes are very diverse for how patient everyone sounds. They are beginning to rest in their terrific work. It's strange that the band probably reaches peak volume after 42:50, as they shriek and howl and shift, yet it all feels very calming. By 45:00, they are in the magical space that only can occur after they have found their fabled It for a while. The full wind-down is indescribably knotted and unpredictable and exciting.

I'll never forget the feeling I had the first time I heard the ending. I have the same sensation when I watch a movie with a good finish. No Country for Old Men comes to mind. "And then I woke up." Cut to black. You want more, but you know it's over, and rightfully so. The music stops and you relax in the same silence you came from, but you are changed. The silence has become alive and electric and somehow more peaceful than you remember.
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Review by beyondthebeyond

beyondthebeyond This show is Phish at a true pinnacle... undeniable apex... densely packed with ideas sonic brilliance. Everything is a home run. I have listened to this material for days and am seriously having trouble coming up with any show in the entire history of Phish which is as masterful. I cannot wait to see whether they top it at Dicks. This show is amazing.
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Review by PrimuSucks

PrimuSucks Ok, so I have not been at this for long. This show was only my 37th, and my first show only on 12/28/12. I also don't review shows often. So I write with basically no expertise. I am very aware of my n00b status... However that being said...

This was more than a show to me personally. It represents one of the best days of my life. Period. So much Joy and Fun packed into one very full day.

This Summer tour was a dream. All 9 nights I caught were a blessing. Of all the wonderful shows/sets I stood and witnessed this summer, this whole day takes the cake, and it is not even close. Keep in mind my birthday show was MPP 1 and I was there with 20 of my close friends from my College which was in DC. This whole day just encompassed why I keep coming back for more and more and more with this group.

Personal highlight from this show: Meatstick - 3rd set opener - Not because it was the most musically enlightening number of the day, but more because I was standing about 30 feet in front of Page's piano holding an inflatable pink penis all day as a marker for our friends to find, feeling a little self conscious about that, and low and behold, my favorite band does the one thing that could make me go from feeling foolish to being on cloud 9 again.
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Review by Campster

Campster This is a show belongs with the best of the best. It compares well with any show they've ever played, save Cypress (which is just incomparable). Whether you prefer different eras/styles/shows, that's fine personal opinion, but it's hard to argue this one wouldn't belong in the conversation.

So the day set, which they treated like a daytime set one.

I called Divided Sky to open and Moma to follow, which one of my neighbors was pretty impressed by (thanks for boosting my ego friend!)

Divided was gorgeous and fits the day set of a festival like a glove. They played it very well.

Moms Dance was a nice dose of dancing and funk, but not as strong as the SBIX version they had played a few years prior.

Mound was another fun tune, which again failed to hit that amazing SBIX version. Nonetheless off to a nice fun start.

Army of One gave age a chance to shine and was fine.

Scabbard was cool to hear. Like Suskind Hotel at SBIX, I didn't really see this coming. It was pretty well done for my money.

Sample in a Jar gave us a chance to belt out some lyrics and keep the party going.

Tube was perfunctory. So not the finest version. That said, good dancing for a few minutes.

Halfway to the Moon gave us some more Page. This was a nice version, but standard.

Camel Walk! Great call (and the set really turned good from here). This one is always so fun.

How Many People Are You... boy would I like them to keep this in rotation. Absolutely belting rock and roll. The jam was great, the song is tons of fun, and they just generally rocked hard.

When the Circus Comes to Town is a favorite for me. Perfect breather and I honestly never say no to this one. Emotional.

Undermind was another great song to get. Kept up the momentum, although this didn't break the mold.

Run Like an Antelope was bonkers. I have to say, no versions in 3.0 (apart from some tease laden ones) have really distinguished themselves to my ears. This version, however, harkened back to the days of yore, when Antelopes charged free in a tension filled craze that could deviate and twist and turn to avoid any pursuing carnivores. Well this was a winner. I'm comfortable placing this as a top version of 3.0, but probably not near the top overall (can't really beat the early 90's for these bad boys).

Overall Set I: It was a set I. If there's anything to refute my opening salvo about how great this Phish show was, some people would (rightly?) cite this first set. But really, overall, there's at least a top Antelope to point to.
Highlights: Run Run Run Run, How Many People Are You

Well the second set. This one's near perfect (dare I say perfect?).

Wolfman's was a nice and energetic start. Good call to open the set. I was hoping for a Went style version. Well this one stayed straight, but gave us some funk and a nice fiery climax. The 3.0 versions don't have that sparse funky jams of old, but man those peaks are great. Good, but fairly typically.

Halley's Comet was a tune I had picked to pop up in Set II. This was a quick jaunt through, but I like this tune, so I was happy.

Well 46 Days gave us the first big jam of the day. This one was very strong. They didn't even make it back into the final chorus from what I recall. It went dark and light. It had some of that patient emotional guitar playing that I hadn't heard since the end of the Hampton 2013 Tweezer. Very beautiful. They found a nice little peak as well at the end.

They transitioned nicely into Numberline, which might have some setlist haters calling me out for hyperbole at this point. This version was standard. Always has a nice jam, but this one wasn't one of the better ones I have heard.

Another crossroads for Phish and boy did they deliver. This middle set had been fun and had some good jamming, but we really needed a big boy here. Well Tweezer. That'll do. This one kicked in strong and came into the jam with some dirty and well times echoplex. After some good work there they just found this zone where all four members were contributing to a fast paced melodic, major key jam. This thing cruised in a perfect blissful excursion. So satisfying. Then they segued into Caspian.

Well people seemed a little bummed, but boy did Phish have the last laugh on this one. For me, Caspian was just a placeholder as they quickly dropped back into a Tweezer jam. However you want to call it, this jam was good, long, and peaked damn near as hard as last night's Gin. There's a Mike meatball effect with a four note descending line in the final climax of the jam somewhere around four or less minutes left. It's why I see Phish. Those moments, where everything is plugged in and they play all the right notes, without knowing them beforehand. Well they ended the set with some of the best playing I'd ever witnessed.

Overall Set II: It wound up being perfectly constructed for me. A nice rocking start. BIG JAMS in 46 Days and Tweezer>Caspian. And just nice "filler songs" Halley's and #Line (hey I am just happy Trey is happy!)

Classic Set.`

Well after that monster we all wanted more.

They started off with Meatstick, which felt like a nice fun choice to just get everyone moving ease us back in.

Blaze On was up next (the summer 2015 anthem?) and boy did this deliver. The lyrics are a little cheesy, but the Little Feat/Time Loves a Hero sort of feel make this such a fun tune. It's hard not to sway and smile. Once they kicked into the jam this puppy was rocking. After they had there fill of some great melodic work they just took a turn and we found ourselves in an effects laden space jam. It was fantastic and somehow gracefully landed into Possum! It was a surprising segue, but really was sublime.

Possum carried it's typical swagger and was a fun bopping version. Great fun after a big ol' jam.

Well Cities was up next and it was another doozy of a jam. Not the longest (I think I recall under 10 minutes or thereabouts), but it managed to hit a great jam space with some Mind Left Body work.

They kicked into Light and you knew after all this top shelf jamming this version would bring something to the table. Ever the reliable 3.0 vehicle this jam was creative and actually steered clear of a lot of the well trodden Manteca type jamming that Light can sometimes rely on. I just thought they crushed this one, with some particularly strong playing from Trey.

555 was a good spot for Mike to get a chance out front. Well played, good swagger.

Wading was Page's turn and fit the breather slot very nicely. Like Waste the previous night and Dirt the next, it was a song you don't love to hear, but when it's placed in the right spot it is perfect.

Well Walls of the Cave is often a set I closer these days, but it was nice for them to throw it in the final set closing spot. What an absolute clinic from Trey. Great fiery jamming. It was in the box, but a perfect cap on ANOTHER classic set.

Encore: Boogie On - super fun, nice choice. Tweezer Reprise brought the house down and gave us more to salivate over while we waited for the "not-so-secret set"

Overall Set III: Another absolute beast. More great song selection and the jams were so original. Blaze On was a major highlight, but Cities and Light were both more than notable. Throw in a really unique segue to Possum and a rocking Walls of the Cave and this set had some additional incendiary moments.

Overall show (since I won't review the drive in - jut grab that tasty morsel): Well this was about as good as it gets. Set II and III were full of big long jams and great rocking tunes. There were perfect breathers and cool downs. Every jam was so original as well. A peak show. Throw in a nice fun day set and this one will live in Phish lore.

4.5/5 Truly at the top - you can put this alongside any show and it's not going to be overshadowed.
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Review by FrontMan

FrontMan I've been seeing Phish since 88'. Magnaball 2 was most enjoyable and profound day of live music I've ever experienced. The crowd of old timers I rolled with that weekend in Watkins Glen all felt the same. From the opening notes on that sunny afternoon to the closing instrumental whispers in the wee hours, Phish crafted an epic musical masterpiece dripping with confidence, creativity, and at several points, breathtaking improvisation. I am in agreement with those who believe this show has earned its ratings and as such its place in phistory.
Some disagree and that’s fine. Maybe you had to be there to fully get it. There was admittedly an embarrassment of riches beyond the music for those in attendance: Sun, clouds, the moon and stars each day/night; Delicious, healthy food and world renowned craft beer (Hill Farmstead AND Lawson's Finest); vortex-invoking art installations; and 30,000 ecstatic friends, soaking it all in together; and an infrastructure that could have handled twice the crowd. The vibe at camp reminded me of being at an old Grateful Dead show where happiness and kindness overflowed.
Speaking of the Dead, Trey was still riding high on the GD50 celebration afterburn. You could hear it in his tone, in his command and in all those crystal notes! What a special tour.
I would be remiss to not call out the peak in the last few minutes of the Caspian/Tweezer jam. My God. It is the most powerful musical peak I've ever experienced. Where I was, the moments immediately after were filled with tears and hugs. It was a sacred experience for many of us, including the band.
Lastly, there was the Drive in Set as the coda to it all. The All. An improvisational masterpiece, that when put into the context of the day’s music before it creates the kind of thing you can’t understand, you can only feel.
Wrap that up inside of Friday and Sunday and you’ve had yourself a Ball.
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Review by ricardomc

ricardomc Hey everyone,

Jadedforbin is right! In the spirit of Phish, if a show doesn't follow a specific format, it can't be considered great. The fact that this show peaks earlier than that designated format, means it cannot be considered a "best of" show. If Phish is known for one thing, it's repetition.

Forget the incredible music displayed during 46 Days, Tweezer, Caspian (it's a Caspian with a Tweezer tease, for the record), Blaze On, Cities (underrated), Light (wonderful jam), Walls; forget that. The songs did not peak when they should have during a regularly accepted "best of" show.

Forget the impeccable 1st set, where every song was played with the attention to detail that you want and expect from Phish, forget it.

Forget the wonderful Drive In jam. It can't be considered part of the show itself because there are RULES, people. RULES that need to be followed or the order of Phish falls into chaos!!!
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Review by ilostmypebblesandmarbles

ilostmypebblesandmarbles While I'm not a fan who is keen on judging shows in a historical context 20 seconds after they're over, this show and the whole year of '15 have been great. I hope performances of llama continue to be slower like the one in Raleigh. It seems The Phish 3.0 have been picking up steam since summer '13. The 1.0 consistency is back. Just remember to shake your bones when they take the stage, don't take this for granted. I love reading reviews and on occasion (now) write one myself but I do have a small bit of advice for some of you....Love The Phish, Dance to Phish, Rock to Phish and just have a blast ! Rating songs and shows are fun but if you're on row 7 and giving the Bowie you just heard a 3.7 star grade, then you're doing it wrong :)
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Review by TreyBombs

TreyBombs To start, the day set was really fun. I have a quick story I MUST share.

My friend (,my friend) brought a cut-out-on-a-stick to the concert area with a LinkedIn photo of our other friend (present in our group). We were pretending it was his bachelor party (as a weird joke) and it served well as a locating tool for people to leave and join the group.

Before the band started Divided Sky, Trey wished someone named "Eric" a "Happy 40th Birthday". Looking out at the crowd, he saw the cut-out sign and asked, "Hey, is that Eric? On the cut out?". Fishman chimed in, "He looks like Brad Sands". The band cracked up and our group went completely nuts. Phish commented on our ridiculous sign. Gotta give credit to the kid who brought it for the hilarious idea that resulted in that moment.

Moving onto an actual review....not much to say about the first set except it being really fun / high energy dance party with my peoples. Everyone was a little confused during Scabbard because we didn't know what it was. Most of the songs were pretty standard but very well played. Divided Sky, Moma, Halfway To The Moon, How Many People Are You, Antelope were my personal highlights. Always love hearing When the Circus Comes....

Set 2 felt like a true second set (It was 6 songs in length).

46 Days went deep to a few different places. Tweezer > Caspian is must listen Phish. I went to the bathroom during Caspian and had forgotten what song it is not a normal Prince Caspian. People are talking it up huge and it deserves the praise.

Set 3 - Meatstick was an unexpected set opener but fun and bouncy. Blaze On was the jam of the weekend for me. Not saying it was the best but it was my favorite. Just had some serious flow. I didn't even have to think about dancing, my body just moved to it like butter. I suppose that happens a lot at Phish but it was next level for Blaze On.

Short but funky Cities > Light was extremely solid. Light used to be one of my favorite jams, back in Summer '12 and this one was on par with a lot of those versions. I've always wanted the 555 Jam to get as dark and dirty as possible and this one is the best I've heard. I had a moment of catharsis during the Velvet Sea because Trey absolutely crushed it with major scale bliss shreddage. Great combo of 555 Darkness into Velvet Sea bliss.

I had been nervously waiting for a Carini and a Sand ALL NIGHT and at this point in the show, knew it was probably now or never. When Walls of the Cave started, I finally accepted that Sand and Carini were not getting payed. Sad times. Then I raged the Walls and it was awesome.

I'll take a Boogie On > Tweeprise encore at every show. Such a great encore combo. Anything funky into Tweeprise is fucking gold.

Late night jam was the best Phish I have ever heard. During the set my mind was completely blown. One of my buddies suspected that Phish pre-recorded the whole thing which pissed me off and killed my vibe a bit. I didn't agree but admitted it was possible. "Sometimes I hate the band. Why didn't they come out and take a bow?" As I thought about it more and more...I started to believe that the band did indeed pre-record it.

They fucking played it live. Read the fucking book.

Anyway, what a day/night. Super Ball was my 3,4,5th shows. Sunday at Magnaball was #50. Very different experience for me but both were incredible. Super Ball was life changing (I saw 'the light') and at Magnaball I celebrated with a shit eating grin the whole time.

Thank You Phish.
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Review by Attitune

Attitune I dont really know a lot about Phish. What little I do know about them and their fans has always impressed me. After Magnaball Im way more impressed. I arrived to the festival site Saturday around 11am and went into the concert area about 1pm for a quick peek around. There was so much cool stuff going on I ended staying in the concert area till around 2:30am and I only saw half the stuff that was there. i didnt even leave during the intermissions. No time now to completely explain why but to me Saturday and Sundays shows were a perfect representation of how great Phish and their fans are.
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Review by weekapaug4398

weekapaug4398 Really awesome show....such a great time! So many highlights that have been so well covered above. As an added bonus, my Phish-loving wife really read the book at Magnaball....she's super obsessed again!

I'm not sure if there has been any discussion of this elsewhere, but during a recent re-listen to the Tweezer->Caspian awesomeness, it seems to me like it should be Tweezer->Caspian->Tweezer. At 6:21 of Caspian, Fish plays a Tweezer beat and Trey follows with a tease, but by 7:32 it seems like the entire band is back into the Tweezer jam. Maybe someone with more musical knowledge can chime in on this one!

Thanks everyone for an awesome time, it was my fourth festival and first since Cypress, everyone there was so chill and friendly.....still haven't lost that feeling since we got back! Have fun at Dicks!
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Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This is a very highly regarded show by many phans, myself among them. Among its strengths are fluidity, willingness to jam, and integration of new material. I enjoyed Scabbard in the first set, and feel that it kind of presages what Phish--rather than TAB--would go for with some of the "tropical"-sounding tunes we've heard debuted recently, such as Breath and Burning, and even Blaze On (Scabbard dates back to 2012, if I remember correctly.) The second set is amazing, as a festival second set should be! I'm not as in love with the Tweezer > Prince Caspian (Tweezerpants) as many are, but I'm still glad to see Caspian get some Type-II love. The third set, for me, is most notable for an extended Cities and the jams in Blaze On and Light. I'll go ahead and declare that I'm not into the percussiony type jams that much, for example, 2016's (over-)reliance on the Marimba Lumina, but if that's what Phish wants to do, I'm happy they're living the dream. The Drive-In Jam is probably my favorite of the "secret" late-night festival sets! Conceptually, it's not as high-flying (pun intended) as the Tower Jam, but musically, it's my favorite. Recency bias firmly in cheek. 4/5 stars.
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Review by myers33

myers33 Divided Sky was somewhat predictable, the sky did indeed divide that morning. After that I'd say the first set wasn't bad but wasn't special. It was more laid back with less jams, and in my opinion still a good midday set.

2nd set is where it got fun. Wolfman's Brother was welcome to kick us off. Halley's > 46 Days got pretty dull after a while so I welcomed BDTNL when it finally came. And now for the reason I gave it 5 stars: Tweezer > Prince Caspian was simply ridiculous. If you haven't listened to this on YouTube or anything yet, what the hell are you doing with your life.

Meatstick was a great 3rd set opener. Blaze On was well done, and Possum was a great time with the glow sticks (that's really all I can remember about that one). Cities was fun, Light was cool to hear, 555 was funky...I basically just did a lot of dancing at this point so it's all an incredibly-fun blur. Then came WITVS, which was a great fit, and Walls of the Cave was an awesome wrap-up tune. Boogie was a super cool dance number for the encore, and you had to know a Tweezer Reprise was coming.

The ambient nightclub-esque Drive-In Jam was killer, and I'm glad they didn't make as long as it could've been. Just like sex, some things are beautiful in part because they don't last forever.

All in all, what a great day for my first trip.
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Review by toddmanout

toddmanout August 22nd, 2015. It was the middle day of Magnaball, Phish’s tenth weekend-long music festival and their second of nearly* three held at the enormous NASCAR track in Watkins Glen, NY. M’lady and I were camped with our friend Jeff on the farthest fringe of the massive site, literally miles from the stage. Jeff was a cooking professional and he had brought along hundreds of home-made chocolate chip cookies which had been laced with hot chilli peppers**. They were curiously delicious and we placated ourselves with them again and again over the three+ nights as we woefully contemplated our prodigious walk(s) to and from the main festival pitch.

(“From” was the rub, of course. Walking for a couple of miles to the fest wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It was daylight out and sober in; there might have even been a bit of bounce in our step as we eagerly approached the weekend’s main attraction. But from was a whole different story. Walking from the stage back to our campsite would inevitably happen very late at night; in the dark, in the drunk, and with more of a traipse in our plodding march than a “bounce”.)

This was the Saturday and it was a big day indeed. Phish played an afternoon set in addition to the standard two-set evening and all of it was capped with the band’s well-known regular irregular standard non-standard secret festival set, which in this case came in the form of a drive-in movie theatre.

But I’ve gotten way, way ahead of myself here.

So we woke up and made coffees and I jammed with people while m’lady made everyone quesadillas and we all ate handfuls of chocolate chip chilli cookies and with mouths full and crumbs spilling we whined and complained about getting snookered into the farthest camping spot despite having arrived at the earliest allowable opening hour of the Magnaball campground, a full day (and then some) before the concerts even began. Then we set off on our trek with a subtle-yet-still-discernible bounce in our steps.

(As we plodded along on our hour-long trek to the stage we couldn’t help but to notice that every single car we passed had a better spot than we did, from our next-door neighbour all the way to the lucky souls who had been directed to park right next to the stage. They have a better spot than us, they have a better spot than us, they have a better spot than us…the whole way. In both directions.)

We left early enough to ensure we’d have time to explore the site once we got there, which was a fun treat. There was a central building of weirdness, actors dressed up in lab coats walking around and writing things on clipboards, the ubiquitous Phish fest ferris wheel, and of course a giant drive-in movie screen casting a long foreshadow over the far end of the concert pitch. Phish festivals are always at least a bit Dada-esque, and always tons of fun.

I recall the afternoon set with great clarity, made even moreso by the fact that I held my GoPro over my head and filmed several snippets of the crowd’s extended cheer during the pregnant pause in Divided Sky, the opening song of the day. It was sunny and beautiful, the crowd was pumped, and there was nothing left to do for the rest of the day besides Phishing.

I specifically recall the band playing When the Circus Comes during the afternoon set and I further specifically recall wondering why in the hell they cover that song. Aside from the title – which is just so tour – I can’t recall ever standing in the crowd during the Los Lobos cover thinking, “Wow, this is deadlywickedawesome.” And you know what? You never have either. Admit it; we both know it’s true. Trey must just really like the tune.

Anyway, in all it was a lovely afternoon and after the set-closing Run Like an Antelope (which I once again couldn’t place until the “…high gear of your soul…” part) we stuck to the concert pitch and caught up with every friend we could find, especially the ones with beer coolers. And after several hours of lulling in fun the evening sets were upon us.

The bulk of the first…err…second set was a fantastic Halley’s Comet>46 Days>Backwards Down the Number Line>Tweezer that ushered the daylight into a delicious darkness that CK5 was free to decorate with his Impressionistic masterpieces of light. I recall the Tweezer being pierced with cascades of glowsticks before the band jammed masterfully into what people are still calling the best Prince Caspian ever.

The set break begat set two (three) which begat an encore that wrapped up the evening (nudge, nudge) nice and tidy with a predictable and raging Tweezer Reprise before begatting even further with the aforementioned secret not-secret drive-in theatre jam, which was – if I might self-borrow a term here – deadlywickedawesome. To wit:

An hour or so after the Tweeprise encore the large, looming drive-in movie screen that skirted the edge of the concert field began to light up and make noise. Like, Phishy-type noise. Was there a smoke machine? Probably. Swaths of people soon congregated, laying down on the wide lawn gaping and ambient-grooving as silhouettes of our jamming heroes flickered on the screen interspersed with shots of understated weirdness and odd, obscure live closeups of the hidden musicians.

As per usual the secret jam was just that: a jam. There were no Phish songs that I recall, no teases or snippets. Just the sort of thoughtful, stream-of-consciousness improvising you would expect when well-rehearsed musicians that are very, very warmed up bounce soundscapes off of one another. It was a calmly glorious way to cap an extensive, wonderful day of fantastic music and overt fun with great friends.

The laborious drudge back to our site at ?am was a weary slog to be sure, but oh the joy! when our tents finally rose out of the horizon. We fell into a heap and gorged ourselves stupid on spicy cookies before staggering to our beds with well-earned exhaustion.

Phish festivals are fun.

*Sadly Phish’s third festival scheduled to take place at Watkins Glen had been cancelled at the nth hour. It was rather ironically called “Curveball”, especially for those (like me) who were already onsite with his tent pitched under sunny skies when the cancellation announcement came. And we were super-close that time too; camped in the very shadow of the stage, having shelled out for VIP camping passes.

Rats bananas! (pardon my language)

**This is not a euphemism; for realz Jeff made hundreds of super-spicy chocolate chip cookies to hand out to one and all over the course of the weekend.
, attached to 2015-08-22

Review by GERTHMAN929

GERTHMAN929 Easily one of the best shows and music experiences I have ever had.

How has no one mentioned how brilliant Wolfman's Brothers was??? The best version of this song I have ever heard. They absolutely ripped up Wolfman's brother and set the tone for one of the band's greatest sets of all time. Tweezer and Caspian were so obnoxiously smooth and enjoyable. But Wolfman's Brother was the best song of the night in my opinion. The jam and energy from that song was perfection. I just don't understand how that is not a highlighted song by all reviewing.

Listen to it again - it is pure Phish. Pure gold.

Of course Blaze On, Tweezer, Caspian, Possum, Boogie... were brilliant as well.

, attached to 2015-08-22

Review by RunawayJim4180

RunawayJim4180 As much as I tried, I wasn't able to attend this show due to myraid reasons (not least of which finding the time/money to fly out from LA). Excuses aside, I've finally found time to listen to this one after hearing only random clips here and there...

Set 1:
Divided Sky-This is one of the tunes that got me hooked on this band (the Junta version, that is). I used to play it for people late night at our fraternity parties, after Jay-Z and Ludacris had their run. This version is fine, nothing out of the ordinary really (though has anyone noticed Trey's guitar tone trending back toward the 2.0 "dirty" sound that growls a bit more than it barks?).
Moma Dance-Who doesn't love their Moma? Standard version for the most part.
Mound- A little bit of a sloppy intro that leads into a rather poorly played Mound. Seems like this one had a layer of rust.
Army of One- This was cool to hear! Page does a nice job on vocals and this version is quite nice with the baby grand doing most of the work.
Scabbard- Sort of a throwback to early Phish compositions that contained odd time signatures that eventually come together into a nice groove (see: Divided Sky). This one seems to fit better on a TAB setlist, but I have to say the last minute of this version is pretty sweet.
Sample- Standard juke box fare, more fun live than on "tape".
Tube- Sounds like Trey is nailing the Echoplex halfway through this one to some good effect. Solid, if short, Tube.
Halfway to the Moon- This one has a lot of potential to jam, and although that wasn't realized here, its gotten better and better every time out (I was at its debut in SPAC in 2010 and it was pretty boring then).
Camel Walk- Kind of like Moma Dance, its hard not to love this dance favorite. Decent version here, nothing to return to though.
How Many People Are You- Nicely played. You can hear the practice shine through on this version, which sounds like its inspired directly by "The Who"
When the Circus Comes-A bit of a downer here for an afternoon set. Ok playing.
Undermind-The lite and sweet warmup for Antelope, though a well played version in its own right. Trey has shaken off some early flubs and the band is much tighter as a unit because of it.
Antelope- Ok, now we're getting somewhere. Typical buildup to a brief period of exploration into a strong peak, an above-average version that should be revisited. Good example of the tension and release style that so typified early Phish.
Overall, a decent set, but will likely only relisten to the Antelope.

Set 2:
Wolfman-Sliding into a familiar set opening spot, its still a bit disarming to hear Trey mostly take a backseat on a Wolfman's, but it works to good effect here. Mike and Fish lay a nice bed of rhythm for Trey to pluck a few hazy notes rather than drive, and Page works the piano to round out the solid take.
Halley's Comet- My version features a lot of crowd talking during the intro, so it sounds sloppy. Decent version, but there's better stuff here...
46 Days- Starts off ok, hits a rough patch around 3 minutes in where Trey can't quite figure out the direction he wants to take. Fish really doing nice work to continue the upbeat direction, but still meandering a bit and sort of falls apart again around 4:45 and kind of floats aimlessly despite Page's best intentions to take it up to blissful mode. Trey finally settles in around 7:50 and the rest of the jam is a sort of feelgood distant cousin of the Bethel Waves soundcheck. So I guess its 50% of a strong jam?
BDTNL- This tune gets a lot of hate (and you can hear a lot of chatter on the AUD) but I enjoy the message and the music more and more as the years go by. I'd say the version from the LA Forum is the stronger of the two, but this one isn't half bad.
Tweezer- After the standard intro, this one gets dark around 5 minutes in. Mike drives the train for a few minutes while Trey blasts out bursts of notes with the Echoplex. Weirdness settles in at 8 mins, but you can hear Trey already teasing taking this one to major chord territory. The rest of the jam is an uplifting Mike and Page show with Trey strumming Bobby Weir-esque chords until fully taking over around 13:30 with some soaring licks that dance amongst the clouds for a bit and dissolve into the space that sounds as if it would be filled by 2001, but it turns out its...
Prince Caspian- I'd agree that this is a Tweezer jam in the middle of Caspian, which serves as a bit of a fake out to the audience perhaps? As in, here comes Caspian to ruin the set, and then Tweezer comes back and rips? This closing sequence is excellent and saves it from a good but not great designation. A strong 4 out of 5 star set overall.

Set 3

Meatstick- I think this tune has had its day, but its a good sing a long. Not a keeper version
Blaze On- I like the potential of this one! An initially funky version that again feels well practiced given its newer status. A period of bliss ensues, followed by some dark start/stop jamming that serves to detract a bit from the overall jam.
Possum-One of my favorite live tunes, pretty straight forward here on tape.
Cities- Dark and dirty version, though I'm still having some issues with Trey's tone here (not as clean as other version, more power chords, etc). I'll have to get over it, but the MLB tease was cool nonetheless.
Light- To me, its Light and Carini for MVP of the modern era. In this version, its a standard open and a bit of a meandering start to the jam portion. Lot of directionless notes from Trey from 5-6ish, starts to find some interesting grooves shortly thereafter but nothing really finds a home until about 8:30. The minor chords rule the rest of the way, with a pleasing and mellow interplay between Trey and Page (I have to say I wish Page would have kept the organ going throughout, but they are the experts).
555- Mike's new toy is taken for a good ride here and is straightforward yet rocking.
Wading- Kind of funny hearing the groans on tape, but in terms of ballads, I have a soft spot for this one as it closed out on my favorite shows ever (11/27/98). The vocals here were really nice, some of the best I've heard in a few years.
Walls of the Cave- Man, I love this tune. Great choice as a set closer, rocking as usual despite some early flubs from Trey. The dirty tone works to nice effect here and we finally get those thrilling peaks! To me, I'd rank this above Light and Cities, second to Blaze On in terms of musical interest in this set.

Boogie On- I love Page on this one. Is there a tune that gets people moving more than this one?
Tweeprise- Always the icing on the cake!

In terms of overall rating, I'm not sure how this could rank as the second best show of all time to Big Cypress (I could think of a good 30-40 shows to rank ahead of this one) so I'd chalk it up to attendance bias. As far as festivals, I'd say it falls somewhere behind Cypress, Went and Lemonwheel but probably just ahead of IT and Clifford Ball, and a good margin ahead of Superball, Fest 8, Oswego and Coventry. I'm sure it was a great time had by all, and thats all that really matters, isn't it?
, attached to 2015-08-22

Review by montaigne

montaigne The setlist is not labeled correctly. It should be Tweezer>Caspian>Tweezer.

The jam after Caspian is a Tweezer jam and has nothing to do with Prince Caspian. Essentially, this is a really great Tweezer (possibly the best of the modern era imo) with a Prince Caspian thrown in the middle.
, attached to 2015-08-22

Review by phan440

phan440 This was a great show but lets reel it back a bit people.

>>>>>>>"This show is on par with Big Cypress, Great Went N2, 12/31/93"

Complete nonsense.

It was a great show but might not of even been the best show of 2015. Epic Tweezer, Light, & Blaze On. The rest was just solid. Not groundbreaking. Sorry to downplay peoples assessment on here but some of these comments are crazy.
, attached to 2015-08-22

Review by jadedforbin

jadedforbin There's a lot of BS being thrown around about this show. "On the level with Big Cypress" being the most hilarious and incorrect assessment.

Tweezerpants and Blaze On are both top notch versions. Besides that, there's simply nothing super notable besides the Drive-In jam, which shouldn't count as part of the show proper.

We don't count the Tower jam as part of the IT shows proper, why is Magnaball different?

Phish 3 setters used to peak in the third set (as they should). This one peaks with the Tweezer through Blaze On, then peters out with short jams and ripchords.

Even if we count The Drive-In, in terms of all time shows and in terms of festivals this is middle of the pack. At best.
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