This show featured the Phish debut of I Never Needed You Like This Before. Trey teased Let It Grow in Down with Disease, which was unfinished. Weekapaug was incomplete. This was the rescheduled date from the show that had been postponed due to coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
Jam Chart Versions
Let It Grow tease in Down with Disease
Debut Years (Average: 1999)

This show was part of the "2021 Summer Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by dublindeuce

dublindeuce 17 months after their last live show, Phish is finally back on tour! The band nicely stretched its legs in Arkansas. Notably, this is the first time Phish has played Arkansas. The songs in the first set are well executed, if not a little rusty. Trey nails Limb by Limb in soaring fashion. Wolfman's Brother is the highlight of the set. It has a fantastic, percussive jam that sounds nothing like pre pandemic Phish. .

Down with Disease and Simple both clock in at about 15 minutes, and are the most exploratory jams of the night. I particularly like the Simple, which quickly gets weird and interesting. There's a great transition into a dark and gnarly Fuego which features trance inducing Fishman. Just as Plasma seems to take off, Trey opts for Runaway Jim, which contains an adventurous but brief segue into Weekapaug Groove. The set ends with Slave to the Traffic Light, which has a patient and beautiful build. Trey's guitar tone is killer.

A very enjoyable tour opener. Let's see what the rest of tour has to offer! Read the book.
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by GuyForgets

GuyForgets My first show review (I'm definitely a jam-oriented listener, but love the songs):


If you thought Phish sounded different on this night, you’re right. They do sound different. I’m sure there are many pandemic-related reasons—being cooped up for over a year and itching to play live again, Trey’s energy coming off the Beacon Jams and the Divided Sky Foundation fundraising effort, and several pandemic releases (Sigma Oasis, December, and Lonely Trip…not to mention Trey’s many Instagram “releases”). But there are also some tangible differences.

Trey debuted a new guitar, which he has described as the “4.0 guitar.” Maybe a reference to this being Phish 4.0 (although Trey reportedly doesn’t buy into the whole 1.0, 2.0 thing), but definitely a reference to this being his fourth Koa Languadoc (way more on this guitar here: . Trey had recently modified some of his guitars to have two outputs, first running to an amp with more clean tone, and the other running to an amp with all his effects. This guitar seems to have been built specifically for this new rig—the first Languedoc built with two outputs. The guitar also has a warm tone, and rich sustain. So Trey just sounds a little different.

Mike’s rig is also modified. He has been using different rigs when he plays solo and with Phish. He has recently been modifying his Phish setup so that he uses the same (or very similar) rig regardless of who he’s playing with. You can listen to him discuss his rig with Tom Marshall on Under The Scales here: (somewhere around the 25 minute mark).

But the first sign that Phish was going to sound different (other than Trey’s January announcement of his new guitar) was visible during the stage shot of Page’s rig during the live stream, before the show even started. Page made a MAJOR transformation to his setup, moving his Hammond Organ/Nord Stage stack from the left side of his piano to the right of his piano, and moving his Wurlitzer electric piano/Moog synth from right of his piano to left. This is huge. Think of all the classic songs that involve Page playing piano with his right hand and organ with his left—often at the end of big jams like Hood and Slave. I went back and rewatched the Slave from this show, and it looked like Page turned left to find his hand placement on his organ before remembering that the Hammond is now to the right. Then you see him playing the Hammond with both hands (no piano) at the end of the jam. So I’m expecting to see him opting for one or the other during these moments, rather than switching to piano with left hand and organ with right. Page playing organ with his left hand and piano with his right at the end of jams has helped create that “wall of sound” that makes those peaks sound so big. Is that element of their sound now gone? Why would he make such a transformational change? Well, for the past several tours it seems like Page’s go-to keys for jamming have been the Wurlitzer/synth stack (and it has been amazing!). And so I think Page is saying that when the band is jamming, he wants to play these keyboards, while also being able to see his bandmates. And this seems true for nearly the whole tour opener—Page is camped out at his Wurlitzer, and the synth is coming out with far more frequency. So I think we can expect a far more synth-heavy tour this summer. I’d also add that Page just sounds way more out front to me. He is playing very assertively, and taking a lead role during a lot of the jamming. Page-side is definitely raging!

Other differences I heard were hard to tell if it was actually different, or just a byproduct of the live stream mix (or my tv’s sound bar vs. usual headphones). But it sounded to me like Page and Mike’s vocals were louder in the mix. I’m not an expert on this stuff, but it also seemed like Mike is singing harmonies more frequently in his head voice than his chest voice. Both Mike and Page sounded a little more assertive with their singing, and I wondered if this is in response to how much Trey’s singing has developed in recent years. I think they may be hearing that change and stepping up their games as well.

Now let’s talk about the jamming. Yes, there was maybe some rust on some of the early songs, especially around endings (Bouncing Around the Room stood out). What I was actually hearing was some nerves, but also I think there was some very close listening by the band, and maybe they were trying too hard to pick up on cues from each other—triggering some mis-cues. But none of the rusty moments bothered me one bit because the energy was hot. Set one was pretty much all straight versions of songs, but with a nice intensity. Limb By Limb and 46 Days stood out to me as great “straight” versions of “type 1” jams. Wolfman’s was “type 1,” but the most stretched out performance of the first set. It was funky, and rocked hard. A great listen, but definitely not a big “type 2” exploration jam.

Set two was a different story. The first 4 songs (Disease, Simple, Fuego, and Plasma) all featured “type 2” jamming, and segued—so this was sort of one big block of music. I’ll return to this part of the show in a moment. The rest of the set was pretty straight. During the first jam section of Jim, Trey transitioned into Weekapaug, and they actually played a whole chorus before snapping back into Jim. Call it a segue, call it a tease. On the Live Phish app, they only list it as Jim, so I guess that makes it an extended tease. And there was some sort of vocal sample going on during Slave. During the jam, Trey was holding this one long, extended note, and there was some sort of vocal sample that kept playing. It sounded like Page at his Nord, but on re-watching, I can’t see him anywhere near the Nord. I’m still not quite sure what was going on there. Fish seemed to be smiling, and Trey seemed to be totally into the jam and not responding at all. It seemed a little distracting to me, but I’m curious to know more about it.

Returning to the first four songs of the set, there was a lot of jamming! Down with Disease and Plasma were both great. The Disease was much more exploratory than the Plasma, and would have been the standout jam in a lot of shows. Trey seemed to surprise his bandmates with the end of Plasma, but it was a great version nonetheless. Both jams were moody and the band sounded locked-in a la pre-pandemic late 3.0. Fantastic! But the highlight for me was definitely Simple. This was an EXTRAORDINARY jam. I hate to say “the first” about anything Phish, because who knows. But I heard something I hadn’t heard before, and I hope to hear again! During the “type 2” jamming, Trey improvised a theme—and in that sense, it’s similar to some of the huge major key “bliss” jamming of the late 3.0 era—but what was different was that he didn’t keep playing the theme while the band laid down an incredible groove. Instead, he played the theme twice, then re-joined the exploratory jamming with the rest of the band. Then as the jam went in a new direction, he revisited that theme over the new groove. He did this several times. It sort of reminded me of Chopin’s nocturnes…developing a theme, then exploring variation on that theme. If you listen along with the Live Phish version of the song, I’ll point out the times for the original theme, and its variations. The jam starts to go into “type 2” territory around the 5:25 (or around 6:00, depending on how much of a purist you are). Then the theme makes its first appearance at the seven-minute mark, playing it a few times between 7:00-7:40. That part of the jam still had a very “Simple” sound to it—and had that been the entire jam, it would have been noteworthy. Then we go through a slightly darker, synth-heavy passage before Trey’s theme emerges again at 8:43 and 9:06. Then, just as the jam starts to brighten up, Trey plays his theme at the 10:06 mark, this time through a gnarly, distorted tone (followed immediately by another run through a cleaner tone), and one more time at 10:34. From here, the jam goes into another movement—sort of reminiscent of a Light jam (?)—and Trey bounces around the theme several times, without playing it directly, at around 11:00. Then at 11:37 he plays it again through another effects-laden tone (followed by a variation of the theme by Mike). The theme emerges again, this time coming out of a fairly abstract jam, right at 12:45. And at 13:01 Trey plays it a final few times, through VERY heavy effects. Again, I’m not saying they’ve never jammed like this before, I just can’t think of another example. This was simply brilliant playing.

The jam gets pretty abstract towards the end. The time isn’t standard, and Trey and Mike are both using a lot of effects. And out of this abstract moment, Trey starts playing the opening chords to Fuego. But Trey’s still using tons of effects, Page is playing a synth, and the time doesn’t seem to be quite back to standard as Trey starts singing the first verse. It’s like they didn’t quite fully segue out of the crazy Simple jam into Fuego, and are now playing Fuego half-standard, half in a different (fully improvised) arrangement. Man, what an incredible band! Somewhere around the 2-minute mark, it sort of pops into a standard Fuego (albeit very effects-heavy). From there, it’s basically a “type 1” jam, but a really good one. I’ve listened to the Simple>Fuego several times, and it’s sort of hard to listen to the Simple without listening to the Fuego. For me, the Simple>Fuego is the clear highlight of the show…and it could turn out to be a highlight of the tour.

And all this on my birthday—happy birthday to me!
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by yEEt_1331

yEEt_1331 First show back was promising and quite enjoyable, and i was blessed to be in attendance. Good mix of classics and new stuff too. As expected with a tour opener, execution wasn’t perfect (mainly Fuego lol), but the Disease > Simple combo was incredible. All around very good and i’m excited to see what they’ll do next
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by Lambo_Lambo

Lambo_Lambo *On the couch until Atlantic City*
The band takes the stage and takes it all in. Those few extra seconds of them gazing at the crowd was a nice way to say "welcome back, we've missed you." This is a nice opening for "I Never Needed You Like This Before" which for me is one of the standout new Trey tracks. I'm a big fan of that hard opening riff. "Tube" nearly gets to "Did they jam out tube?" territory much like 12/1/19 with Trey quietly using the POG and Wah. A nice first set "Free" leads to a cute "Bouncing" and a heavy "46 Days." Fishman takes the lead on "Limb By Limb," ending with a "blahblahblahblah." "Wolfman's absolutely soars. You can tell the band has as much fun exploring that jam as we do hearing it. I'm always here for a "NICU." I think the audience and band are fully ready for "DWYS" to become a regular first set closer. After the past year and a half, those lyrics are hitting different.

Set two opens in the murky depths of Mike's flanger; an expected but wonderful "Down With Disease." Interpret the lyrics however you want nowadays. The vaccine has been created! This leads to a happy "Simple" until it doesn't. The band gets dark. "Disease -> Simple" becomes the most experimental 30 minutes of the show. Life hasn't been so simple. The best part of the night leads into the most rocky in my opinion. "Fuego" is a face-melter but this one was a little goofy. For me, "Plasma" was the lowest part of the night but was quickly supplanted by a "Weekapaug Jim." I do love when they sneak-a-paug and the band seems to have a "uh oh we're being silly" expressions on their face. We end the segues with "Rift." "If I Could" caught me by surprise showing up this late in the show but, to me, it worked. "Rise/Come Together" got some hate on twitter but by that time I was feeling the love, which led into a wonderful "Slave" to close it out. Trey says before "Santos" that this is the first time they've played Arkansas and they want to come back. Big shout out to the people of Arkansas. You deserve every show you get.
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by Outlive

Outlive Phish Is Back and Trey Would Like a Word with All of You

The day before my 6-year Phishiversary I was able to catch Phish’s first-ever show in Arkansas for my 26th show overall, a milestone I had hoped to reach last year, but, well, we all know what happened. And, yeah, about that. Trey’s got something to say to you. And me. And, apparently, to Sara Huckabee Sanders.

This show actually reminded me a lot of my very first show. With me in attendance was my wife (who was not with me for my first show; this was her 23rd show overall) and my buddy who got me into the band in 2015 (after multiple attempts to convert me in the preceding years) (who was there with me at my first show. And he brought his 19-year-old daughter for her first show (who dug it!)). He is a true ambassador for Phish Nation.

We arrived early (about 4:00 PM) to do Shakedown. My wife found a great pair of earrings and pendant from a purveyor of wares we have frequented on tours past @lilydrivestoofast on Insta—give her a follow and check out her tent on tour). My wife was so happy, at least until the sun started baking her to a crisp (she is actually allergic to heat, and it was brutal. Hottest of my 26 shows (though Austin 2018 is a close second). She suffered through, enjoyed the music, but is still hurting today. Such are the sacrifices of a true fan (though she tells me this is the last outdoor summer show she will do (other than Dick's)). You know what that means: hello NYE run!

The venue was OK. Not too much trouble getting in. No real hassles with security. Ushers (in our area, anyway) were friendly and reasonable. We had a bunch of aisle dancers next to us, and they were a blast to watch. The concession choices sucked, the lines got long after about 6:45, but the folks running the concession stands were among the friendliest I have encountered anywhere. We were hoping that having seats would keep us out of the sun, but the way the venue is configured, that didn't really work out (to my wife's dismay). I avoided alcohol, and was drinking water as fast as possible, with multiple trips to the water-fountain or concession line to refill and replenish. But it was hard to stay hydrated, especially as I was rolling on both Delta 8 and classic gummies, which kept the thirst-meter pegged at an unquenchable 11 all evening.

Crowd energy did not disappoint, though the oppressive heat had to dampen the reaction compared to what it might have been had we been enjoying cooler temps. The crowd went nuts when the band took the stage. I got chills and bumps and maybe a few tears welled in my eyes. It would not be the only time that would happen.

My first impression, given the setlist (in which we essentially were treated to “two first sets” with no “monster jams”) was that this would be one of those shows that would be much better in person than listening back. One of my favorite things about going to shows in person as opposed to listening on headphones or whatever is that certain songs I never listen to are really a lot of fun at the show (I'm looking at you NICU and Fuego). I'm a terrible dancer and actually enjoy standing fairly still as I lose myself in the music. But I love watching people who can really dance get down to the danceable tunes. One of my favorite things about a Phish show--seeing all that joy being expressed is such a beautiful buzz. This was a very live-audience-friendly show. And since I was so fortunate, blessed, privileged, and beyond grateful to be numbered among those in attendance, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I will never, ever take for granted the wonderful gift of live music generally and Phish concerts in particular. But as much as I enjoyed the surrounding atmosphere, I have since discovered in listening back the last two days that this show actually sounds even better in the recording than it did in the venue (for me).

There were no big, long jams. But there was plenty of jamming. Was it a “rager?” Not really. Any jams that will make it into the JOTY Final Four six months from now? Highly doubtful (though maybe Wolfman’s will get into the tourney). Were the vocals hit-or-miss? Yup (but, honestly, when is that not the case, really?). Was there rust? Sure, a little, but not nearly as much as some are suggesting, and to my ear they were more in sync than in many other tour openers of recent years past. Yeah, there were some flubs (Bouncing was sub-par; the first three minutes of Free were a little rough; Fuego had some issues; the laugh/cough samples from Fishman in Slave were jarring). But overall, the play was tight, the band was clearly having a blast and was happy to be there (one of them said at the end of Slave, “Oh my god, it’s good to play again.”); there were some interesting and novel new jamming sounds, and Trey’s new guitar tone is simply glorious. I cannot wait to hear what he does with that over the course of the year.

I really liked the new light rig with the angled running lights and rainbow of colors, and CK made good use of the canopy ceiling (is ceiling the right word?) covering the pavilion. I'm really looking forward to what he has in store for us as tour goes on. I’m sure he has many tricks up his sleeve. There were times when the light combinations seemed to create an almost three-dimensional sphere around the band members on stage. It was truly spectacular.

Trey’s guitar tone, Mike’s grooving, Kuroda’s lights, Fish’s excitement, Page’s moody keys, the band’s love for the fans and appreciation for the gift they have in being able to go out on the road again—all these things bode very well for not only the rest of summer tour, but the whole year. The show is an auspicious sign of things to come.

In the context of when and where this show was played (and even who was in attendance) and all we have been through the last 18 months, this was quite a remarkable show. I believe this show will long be remembered, and it will grow in esteem as time marches on (bucking the usual trend of an initial flurry of high marks followed by inevitable decline). I think it will age well. And part of the reason for that is this: lurking beneath what on the surface appears to be a prototypical “3.0 show” that looks like it might have been churned out by an algorithm that was fed all the setlists from the last 7 years, there is a clear and consistent (alternatingly subtle and, um, not-so-subtle) message from Trey. Yes, he wants us to know he loves. Yes, he is glad to be back and happy to see us. But, goddammit, he wants us all to stop fighting and start treating each other with equanimity. And he wants us to ne smart. He is gently telling the few of us who are still not with the program to quit being knuckleheads and follow the science, get vaccinated, and wear a fucking mask already. He also has some criticism for those who are continuing to divide us, continuing to harm the body politic, and continuing to resist the message of peace, love, and understanding. Trey’s looking at you, Sarah Sanders!

How do I know this? Well, he told us. In virtually every song the band played. Each song is like the piece of a mosaic which, when put together, forms an image, the message of which is clear. Let’s go song by song and we will see that this show was equal to far more than the sum of its parts.

1. I Never Need You Like This Before. This one is obvious. Trey is pleading with us to not continue to let the twin diseases of Covid and hyper-partisanship divide and conquer us: “There's something in this silent wood That won't, although I know it could, Ensnare us in a veil so black We'd never find the passage back.” Oh, and also, he loves us and missed us, and is glad to be back because if had to make one more dumb Youtube video from his house with his cat he’d go nuts. (For Trey’s wonderful tone, check out the 2:51-3:30 range).

2. Tube. “give myself to science, I felt that it could help.” Hear that, anti-maskers? Anti-vaxxers? Science. It can help if you’ll give yourself to it. Try it. Please. It’s “stupendous, living in this tube.” So let’s not fuck it up, OK? We’re almost to the goal line. Let’s not fumble this. Get vaxxed already. Yeesh. That’s what Trey is saying. (For Trey’s tone, check out 2:38 to 5:49—it’s like melted butter).

3. Free. A song to express what we all feel—the joy of feeling the feeling we forgot for the first time in ages. This was the first time after the band started playing that the goosebumps hit and the tears welled up. But it would not be the last. The crowd sang that particular line with a little extra mustard each time.

4. Bouncing. Always a good pairing with Free. Again referencing how good it is to be back together again: “that time then, and once again, I’m bouncing round the room.” The crowd picked up on this reference and sang this part with gusto.

5. 46 Days. “sit yourself down when you’re ready to stay” but also “taste the fear for the devil’s drawing near.” A perfect encapsulation of the current moment: the joy we feel at being together again because of the miracle of modern science giving us the vaccine, but also the warning that the present moment is tenuous. Let’s not fuck this up, mmkay? (Second nice little jam of the night. Check out the 4:00-7:00 segment for the highlights).

6. Limb by Limb. “I never want a hacking cough.” Yeah, me neither. Any initially skeptical readers still have doubts that Trey is using the setlist to send a message? Oh, and we get our first dig at Sarah Huckabee Sanders and those of like mind: “Left is where I always turn.” Heh. (Trey’s tone is just so gorgeous in this song, which may become my favorite LxL ever. I had an out-of-body experience as my gummies really kicked in. Check out 3:17-7:00, especially 6:17-6:55. Just glorious).

7. Wolfman’s Brother. If things are gonna get better, there’s gotta be some big changes. From all of us (but some more than others). Not little changes. A complete metamorphosis is required. And what better symbol of metamorphosis than the Wolfman (yeah, yeah, I know. Butterflies. But Phish does not have a song called Butterfly’s Brother, so this was the next best thing). Song of the night. Early JOTY tournament contender. Check out 3:50 to, well, the end, with one ridiculous note in the 8:40-9:00 range).

8. NICU. How many stories have we been subjected to over the last 18 months about hospital ICUs? And now with Delta variant, NICUs are starting to overflow in certain areas: “nice evening at home I dread even more” (could Trey be telling us he really, really didn’t like being holed up in his NYC apartment all that time? I think so, yes). “Would you please make clear to me I’m peering through your opacity Though you rehearse tomorrow’s verse Forgive me if I don’t sing in your key.” Another dig at the folks who are “opaque” to facts or reason. Another dig at Huckabee? Perhaps.

9. Drift While You’re Sleeping. As we all know, this is a song about losing loved ones, and how we deal with the aftermath of that trauma. 4.2 million people have died of Covid worldwide since the pandemic began 18 months ago (probably more: does anyone think China has only lost 4,000 to the virus?). Here Trey implores us to “turn the page” from the wars we wage while giving us a nod to the terrible heat we are suffering through with “the sun feels warm and that heat there is truth. And he strikes a hopeful chord at the end: “love will carry us through.” (Check out Trey’s tone at 3:10-4:50; 8:42-9:10, and 9:29-11:25 (chillbump alert!))

10. Down with Disease. Boo disease! Boo! “Nothing I can say to make it stop.” It has certainly felt that way at times, hasn’t it? So what’s the answer?

11. Simple. D’uh. This ain’t that hard, folks. When confronted with a plague, perhaps you should try avoiding it like, I don’t know, the plague? Another message for the thickheaded numbskulls who haven’t quite figured it out yet. Get vaxxed, etc. Quit being a dumbass. This is pretty simple stuff, actually. (Trey’s tone from 4:00-9:45 is just wonderful. The DwD>Simple part of the show is certainly a highlight)

12. Fuego. Definitely a nod to the heat of the evening. But also there is this: “I see guilty people, angels blowing horns.” Perhaps he spotted Sanders in the crowd? Or perhaps he is simply lamenting the massive loss of life and the accompanying “angels blowing horns” to welcome them to their eternal rest.

13. Plasma. Another Covid-laden title, as plasma has been used to treat Covid patients. I think Trey really hated being cooped up for so long, as did so many of us (I didn’t leave my house but maybe ten times in over a year. “No matter how you slice your day or dream of places far away or try to set your world apart You always end up where you start.” If that doesn’t describe the frustration of every day being like the movie Groundhog Day while I was working from home in my PJs in that lost year, I don’t know what does. From the history of this song on this site: “Plasma is apparently a conversation of sorts (perhaps between Tom Marshall and Scott Hermann) with one voice taking the view that people don’t change despite their best efforts, and the other expressing a belief in personal evolution.” Sense a theme here yet?

14. Runaway Jim. Another song about loss (obliquely)—this time the loss of a beloved dog. Trey’s “singing for Jim who’s swimming in the fountain” which can be heard as another metaphorical elegy for the many souls we have lost in the last 18 months.
15. Weekapaug Groove. OK, I admit I’ve got nothing on this one. Other than it was really cool to get a ‘paug on its own, unattached to Mike’s Song. Do we call this Runaway Groove or Weekapaug Jim? I’m gonna go with the former.

16. Rift. Ok, here we go. Rift in a prime second-set slot. That ain’t no accident or coincidence. “Through which I could spy several glimpses beneath Of the darkness the light from above could not reach I spied wings of reason, herself taking flight And upon yonder precipice saw her alight And glared back at me one last look of dismay As if she were the last one she thought I'd betray” A clear-eyed observation of the lunatic fringe that emerged over the last 18 months—the Covidiotic death cultists who abandoned reason and covered the land in darkness, seemingly completely impervious to the light of reason. ”And silence contagious in moments like these.” Did someone say contagious? “And shocked and persuaded my soul to ignite.” All reasonable people have been shocked by what we’ve witnessed during the last few years and the last six months in particular from the mouth=-breathing dipshits who have exalted stupidity above science and reactionary recalcitrance above reason. The inclusion of this song can also be viewed as the band’s lamentation on the “rifts” that we’ve all seen and felt in our communities, our families, and yes, even in our “phamily.” In retrospect, Rift might be the most powerful song of the night—and its placement in the center of the second set seems designed to emphasize the centrality of the message.

17. If I Could. A song Trey wrote for a close friend who was struggling and who Trey wanted to cheer up. It’s especially poignant in the context of this show, as it perfectly captures the yearning and longing for normality we felt during the pandemic. How often did we want someone to just take us to another place, to get out into the whispering breezes. And how often did we have to say to ourselves and our loved ones during this time “if I could I would, but I don’t know how.” I think, in particular, of the health-care workers to whom we owe such a debt of gratitude. How often have they felt the plaintive longing to be somewhere other than the hellscape that was their day-to-day existence during this pandemic? (Check out Trey’s tone from 4:45-end)

18. Rise/Come Together. Another dig at Sanders. Or at least the people who are tearing us apart with lies, disinformation, and sowing seeds of discord and division. In case the more subtle approach had gone over some heads, Trey decides to apply a more direct approach, bopping us over the head with the message. This one actually sounds a lot better to me on re-listen than the night of the show. (Beautiful Trey tones from 3:45-5:00).

19. Slave to the Traffic Light. A final nod to what we have all been going through collectively. The traffic light is perfect metaphor for the two steps forward, one step back we’ve had to endure. The desire to just move forward with total freedom and abandon, but not being able to because, well, reality has a way of halting our progress, forcing us to stop and start, then stop again. It’s frustrating. But you know what makes it less frustrating? Blissy jams! And Fishman’s nonsense! Both of which can be found in this beautiful set-ender.

20. Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S. Another nod to the rifts that have developed with “we are divided.” But also: “You’ll always remember where you were.” This is true of the first time I saw this song live on 10/31/18. And it’s true of this one as well. No lies to be found here. I will always, always remember this night. I have seen hundreds of live shows over the last forty years all across America. Live music has been a ginormous part of my life. Having no live in-person concerts the last 18 months has taken a toll on my mental health (though, of course, I realize that I am privileged and fortunate in so many ways to have not suffered much more in so many other ways, as so many others have). Finally, one last nod to those we have lost: "Like everyone else, you will always be remembered, even life itself.”

What a beautiful, artful, cohesive, brilliantly designed and executed show.

Bottom line: Every live show is a gift to be cherished. And this one is certainly no exception to that rule.
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by bakersdozen

bakersdozen I came down from Vermont for the first four shows of the run. Southern phans are always very accommodating folks and are great to see shows with.

The show itself was awesome for a tour opener. The first set got the crowd going, vibes were particularly high when the band broke out Bouncing Around the room after solid renditions of Tube and Free. However, the highlight of the first set was a particularly groovy Wolfman's.

Second set got off to a hot start with the highly anticipated Disease, followed by a solid Simple, then an dark jammed out Fuego (Make Phish Evil Again). Plasma was a pleasant surprise and the Runaway Groove had the crowd excited and ready for more.

After the Runaway Groove, I felt like the band lost the crowd (or at least me) a little bit. I'm all for changing it up in the second set and having a song that reset's the energy. However, I do get disappointed when the band plays two or three lower energy songs in a row - especially when they were on fire at the beginning of the set. Rift > If I could > Rise just doesn't do it for me.

This second set digression reminded me a lot of the Bangor show on 6/26/2019 where the band was off to a similarly hot start then broke into Caspian->Farmhouse->Number line. FWIW, Caspian is a favorite of mine, but not when it's followed by two other lower energy songs, but I digress, much like the band did.

Finally, the Slave to the Traffic Light set closer followed by the Santos Encore brought the crowd back into it. Based on the scoring, it was somewhat too little too late to make this one of the great shows. All that said, the band sounds great for having taken more than a year off. I think the shows where the setlists are stronger have the potential to be some solid shows. Looking forward to seeing them through Alpharetta!
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Review by emkeyone

emkeyone I think there is a tendency to under appreciate tour opening shows. The current ratings on this show support that theory.

Was it one for the ages? Only in context, but it was still very good.

The first set was solid with a good mixture of older and newer material.

The second set is where things got interesting. Lots of segues and a really weird/cool rendition of Fuego were highlights.

The opening songs in both sets sent some fairly clear messages as well, as did some of the other song selections.

I think this show will grow on people with a second listen.
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Review by Drewthedevilstickinglawnboy

Drewthedevilstickinglawnboy For a tour opener pretty strong show. Alittle rust here and there , but it was a great mix of new and old songs . I'm a pretty big fan of the simple and down with disease in this show for sure, the rift and if I could placement was a bit strange , but all together this show had alot of energy and alot of promise for this tour.
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Review by johnnyd

johnnyd Rift, If I Could, Rise Up Come Together

Did anyone here observe (or see/hear in the show thread/laht or elsewhere) ... to me this was clarion-clear their "political" (societal?) statement for the evening.

Rift was such a weird call in that slot. If I Could even weirder to follow. Then Rise Up totally pulled the room together as a 3 song suite.

They know the country and even the fanbase is in a massive rift. They wish they could do something to fix it, but really don't know how. But Rise Up Come Together is the best plea they've got.

Basically Gamehendge Part 2.
That's my story, I'm sticking to it.
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Review by Drewthedevilstickinglawnboy

Drewthedevilstickinglawnboy For a tour opener pretty strong show. Alittle rust here and there , but it was a great mix of new and old songs . I'm a pretty big fan of the simple and down with disease in this show for sure, the rift and if I could placement was a bit strange , but all together this show had alot of energy and alot of promise for this tour.
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Review by Pinhead_Larry

Pinhead_Larry As far as tour openers are concerned, this one isn't too bad. Really not bad when you consider the last show Phish played would have been a year and a half ago. There's definitely rust but they roll with it, and that's something I can appreciate. First set is pretty standard fare, with the perfectly debuted INNYLTB, which gives way to the seemingly Pandemic-related triptych of songs, Tube>Free, and Bouncin (as in, we've all been living in our respective tubes, and now we're free and bouncing around with joy; alright, maybe that's pushing a bit, but that's my interpretation).

Simple and Fuego get a lot of press from this second set, but I would like to point our direction to the Disease. While it never gets too far removed (or at least not enough for a type II odyssey), it does work as the perfect jam vehicle to truly showcase the new gear the band has been working with. I'm not very savvy when it comes to music-related technologies, so I call Trey's new rig/effects lasery sci-fi sounds, and this jam has quite a bit of that. Whatever it is, I'm a huge fan and believe these are the best effects Trey's been toying with since the forlorn days of the delay pedals and loops of '98-00. Runaway Jim with a full blown Weekapaug Groove jam/tease was a real treat and harkens back to the anything-goes days of '92-93, and Slave was as majestic as ever, perhaps even a bit more patient than usual, clocking in an extra few minutes longer than the median Slave.

Overall, I'm feeling a solid 3.5 for this, but gave it a 3/5 on the ratings as I believe it's more of a 3 than a 4. Really, the whole Disease>...>Runaway Jim suite is well worth your time. Don't get me wrong, this show is pretty uneven, but again I factor in the fact that this is the first show back since Mexico '20 plus the fact they're in unfamiliar territory (first time playing anywhere in Arkansas). Though I'm writing this review a few months since 2021's end, this show does, in retrospect, bode well for Phish in such a storied year.
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Review by DanthePhan42

DanthePhan42 A solid show at a great venue. My friend and I both hung out in the convention center parking lot prior to the show to explore the small shakedown and what it had to offer. It was his first Phish show and both of our first times hitting shakedown. After meeting some great folks and a few .netters we decided to get in sooner rather than later to get a solid spot on the lawn. Very comfortable lawn at a good angle with plenty of space to boogie. The first set started off a bit underwhelming. I liked the opener but felt something with more energy would've really kicked things off right. Could've done without Bouncing, my buddy on the other hand loves that song and was thrilled it was played. All in all a good first set. Second set was great. DWD to start off was awesome and to follow it with Simple? Fantastic. Fuego was jammed out well and the Runaway Jim->Weekapaug->Runaway Jim was insane, and no Mike's?! Cool little setlist rarity. The Rift was played much better than expected, and fast too. The Slave to finish the set was great, was really hoping to catch that song. Encore seemed underwhelming, like it could've gone longer. A solid show with some great classics and good jams, but definitely not five stars. The energy of the crowd and anticipation to see the band play really made this show something special. Really glad and thankful I was able to make it.
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Review by warewolf95

warewolf95 Onwards we go!!! Been wanting to do this for months, but didn't feel the time was right. Now that I've done a lot of 1.0 and need a break, as well as having finished 2012 recently, I feel the time is now to launch into 2021.

Crap, I don't think I've been this excited for some listening since maybe getting to fall 2018 or something.

Anywho, here we go....
Show #1 of 2021, I have played ONCE before. When it happenned, it was a pretty big deal and I thought it was worth giving it a listen for the hell of it at the time. I remember set 1 not doing much and set 2 being sloppy but having SICK jamming. Lets see how it goes.

7/28/21 Rogers, AR

Set 1

I Never Needed You Like This Before - The opening song nobody wanted but, the one we all needed. I think it's pretty cool and ballsy of them to open with a live debut. Also, I mean it's all right there in the title....This is a band that where's their stuff on their sleeves and I'm sure there was some sort of collective exhale once they got on stage and started rocking it all out. As for the song itself, yea it's a "simple rock song", but they CRUSH it!!! The guys come out guns a-blazing!! No slop in this version - sounds like they've been playing it forever!!! And it even reaches a pretty hot peak! Sure everyone was disappointed they didn't open with a massive 30 minute Tweezer or something, but jesus christ people, give this another listen. It friggin' SLAYS. Terrific opening, holy crap.

Tube - And as if to say, "it's ok, the oldies are still here" they launch into Tube next. Tube is slower than usual tonight. Hell, this one sounds downright sleepy. Wonder why their was such energy in the debut track only to have Tube sound barely awake....The mood of the track definitely helps with the vibe of the jam though. Trey and Page are both in sync with their sounds, wah pedals and wonky tones galore. Great part around 2:45 where Trey returns to a clean tone and just lays down this perfectly assembled melodic solo. One of those "eyes closed, let your fingers do the talking" kind of solos. All feeling, yo! By now, Tube doesn't feel sleepy and stilted anymore, it feels alive and confidently relaxed in the best way. There are several "windows" for them to go to the bluesy B section of the song, but they just steamroll right past them, slowly building the intensity of the jam bit by bit. By 5 minutes Page is ripping it up on piano and Page is still doing his melodic soloing, but the energy as absolutely getting hotter and hotter. This is friggin' terrific!!!! Then finally at almost 6 minutes they drop into the B section heavily and perfectly. Then into the last verse and out....Oh man, that Tube was a million times better than I expected. Wow, that was GREAT!!! Not an all-timer, but very much worth a listen or two for sure!!!

>Free - And without a hint of a break, Trey immediately fires up the Free chug and the boys rip into the song quickly like the studio version. Thank christ he and Page nail the main "lick" as well. :p Confidently relaxed, that is the vibe. Love the crowd going nuts during this. That must've been a terrific crowd to be a part of! Trey's first solo around 3 minutes is TASTY!!! A "clean" kind of overdrive sound totally smothered in glorious wah. Tasty as country friend chicken, my friends. And then into the "breakdown" section around 4 minutes. Gordo takes charge and is funking it the hell up. "Whoo!" from random crowd member... :) Page is pounding his piano during this before moving over to what, his electric piano? Then Trey takes the lead around 4:45 and returns to the "clean gritty wah" from earlier, just milking his play time for all it's worth. No rushing to Machine Gun land tonight. The whole band is just steamrolling this sucker tonight like a tank on the battlefield crushing everything in sight. Around 6:30 when the "breakdown" section does that downward modulation (or whatever you want to call it), things get nicely dark. Gordo comes more to the fore (though he's been up front in the mix, thankfully, so that's not hard to hear elsewhere), kicking in some thicker sounds. Page returns to pounding the piano and the crowd cheers during the harmonized vocals (I'm floating.....") And then the triumphant return to the main lick just tickles all the right spots and makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck!!! Fantastic!!
So far, this is going WAY better than I remembered!!! The stuff played so far isn't "all timer" music or anything, but the sense of release and relief pervading the music and show so far is palpable. If this was any other show I don't think you could "feel" it this much. But with the context of everything surrounding the show/tour/lead up to it, it's terrific.
And following a thank you from Trey....
Bouncing Around the Room - So glad to have this in a good first set placement instead of 2/3 through the show like one of those ninja mood-killer Horse/Silent combos....Very nice version and the crowd is lapping it up. For the sake of not highlighting everything, I'll leave this one out, but it's very nice and I MUCH prefer this set placement....

46 Days - For some reason this feels like a weird slot for the song tonight (but that's probably just me). Right off the bat, like Tube, the boys waste no time getting down to business. Page jumps right on his, what is it a Fender Rhodes? Trey is doing minimalist plonking. The guys are taking their sweet-azz time again. This is like Tube 2.0 or something. Around 4 minutes Trey starts a melodic motif and by 5 minutes the guys have "adapted" to it. We are still firmly in Type I but they are just riding the hell out of this wave, soaking in it. Around 5:20, out of nowhere, a slow-build begins and the intensity makes a noticeable upwards shift. This feels prompted by Page. Trey is basically noodling around still, but it's very nice noodling! :) No fast runs or Machine Gun histrionics in this version. Page is driving this car for sure - just direct all attention to Page. And this is basically how the song rides itself out for the next while. All in all a nice version, but in the wake of other monster renditions, I hesitate to call it must-hear. It's a little too relaxed for a 46 Days - let's put it like that. Still very, very nice though!!!! It's a very enjoyable version, but at the same time you won't be seeking this one out, I'm sure.
Limb By Limb - Very nice energy on this one. The vibe of the set so far definitely accents Limb tonight! Confidently relaxed....When the song finally "busts open" around 3:30, Trey is unfortunately still doing not enough...Oh boy, please don't let that be a theme of his this year ;) Page is doing beautiful playing and Fishman is going crazy in a "let me play every single fill I can" kind of way. :p Trey is picking very delicately, making this sound akin to a mystical Yes track at points, lol. Very friggin' nice, though, I tell you what!!! Around 5 minutes Trey gets some mojo and starts to increase the intensity of his playing. Page is still being Mr. MVP in the background, but the jam is slowly building in heat, that's for sure. By 6:30 we have reached some sort of peak. Trey is giving generous helpings of his patented "melodic lead" casserole and everyone else is doing what they do best. By about 7:20 the vocals return and the song winds itself down. Very nice version on the whole but suffered from the same "unrealized potential" thing as 46 Days. It was good, but felt very much like a "warm up" rendition for a beast to come down the line, ya know? Totally forgivable given the context of the show and it was still a great listen on the whole!!!
Wolfman's Brother - Very nice version of the song! I've never heard Gordo singing "You shouldn't have took more than you gave" before!!!!! Right at 3:50 the song shifts perfectly into the jam like they flipped a switch. Page and Trey sync up at first before Trey breaks loose and starts doing some proper soloing of his own. Good golly this is friggin' FUNKY!!!!! But pretty quickly Trey returns to "vamping", taking his time again. Page is doing his wah pedal stuff on the keys and it's gloriously funky!!! At 5:30 Page lays off the wah and starts hamming it up on straight piano. Fishman picks up and they slowly increase the tempo a little bit. Then Trey starts playing around with HIS autowah/octave sound effects!!!! By 6:20 we are into a stomping boogie as I'll call it tonight!!!! The guys are just amping it up more and more - hell this is the hottest thing in the show so far since probably the opening I Never Needed!!! Check out Page's choice soloing around 7 minutes. Terrific. Trey is still in "not sure what to play"-land, but slowly he is making himself heard with little inserts and fills. Around 8 minutes the boys all sync up on another repeating motif yet again and ride it out for a bit. Ultra friggin' funky!!! But by 8:30 Trey abandons this and starts doing some trilling before holding a Divided Sky note for 30 seconds!!! The crowd goes nuts and the boys are legitimately rocking out FINALLY!!!!! By 9:15 the headbanging commences!!! Trey is ripping it up finally! Hell, this sounds more like 46 Days than 46 Days did!!!!! Fantastic Wolfman!!!!! Definitely THE highlight of the set so far!!!!!! Wow!!! KILLER!!!
NICU - Awkward sounding tonight, Trey starts the lick and takes a bit to sync up with everyone. The whole thing is just awkward. Trey has trouble with the lick, ala Sugar Shack and even Page has some slip ups. The crowd is absolutely eating it up though so that counts for something. But then "Play it Leo, play it!!!!" and Page tears into the hottest, sickest solo he's torn all night. Terrific solo spot! :D :D :D On the whole a weak version, but I'm gonna say it's worth it just to hear Page rip it up for 30 glorious seconds. :)
Drift While You're Sleeping - I'm the only fan that loves this song so I guess I gotta be the one to go to bat for it again. After a brief false start, the guys launch into it rather powerfully. Right from the get-go it sounds full of intent, not "weak" like NICU did. Hard to explain but you can hear it. It's powerful tonight! The composed section is just majestically powerful in the best way tonight. The guys are just nailing this version!!!! Seriously. "And we move, through stormy weather!!" Holy hell, the guys just POUNDING THE CRAP out of this section, it raises the hair on my arms. The guys are giving us the message we need, whether we like it or not. F the song, it's about the meaning tonight. "We dream and we struggle together, and love and will carry us through". AMEN BROTHERS!!! Best version ever????!!! Possibly!!! An A+ Drift if ever there was one!!!!!!

All in all, that set was highly enjoyable! Terrific opening and closing cuts (whether you like the songs or not, the renditions were terrific!!) and a glorious Wolfman with a side of Tube and Free on top. Some not-so-amazing-but-still-very-nice versions in between and you have a pretty darn good first set for a band that hadn't played in a year and a half.
WAY better set than I expected!!!!!! Really, NICU was the only true "let down" of the whole thing!!! Great stuff.

Set 2

Down With Disease - I have a bad memory of this being one of the worst Diseases I'd ever heard. The song portion is definitely up there - there is like at all. A sleepy Disease...WTF. C'mon, Trey....Seriously, he's playing it SO half-assed that it's ridiculous. Why even bother....Trey is sloppy and half asleep, I swear. This is slower than the studio version, but at least that's chunky as a mother.... This is Rockabye-bed-time Disease for babies. I am absolutely being too harsh on this, but c'mon, don't give me this and then expect a raving review. I accept Phish these days, but lets not be dumb about things. Ok, all that being said, by about the 4 minute mark, things finally sync up and get quite cookin'. Thank god. Fishman is tearing it up on this version. Fills galore! The initial jamming is some nicely melodic Type I as seen in set I. They ride this out for several nothing-special minutes before dropping into Type II deep space right at the 9 minute mark. Outer space keyboards and ambient funk droning etc. Things got DARK like someone just turned off the light switch. OUTERSPACE KEYBOARD STAR TREK LAND. Trey is still doing absolutely freaking nothing (COME ON MAN, WAKE THE HELL UP!) and Page is surely getting tired of carrying the weight of the song on his back at this point....Around 12 minutes Trey returns to the party and the jam gets kinda nasty in a good way. Page returns to piano and we enter the "building to a peak" portion of the jam. Just rocking the F out. But instead they "bypass" this and enter a spastic kind of "fast funk" zone, ala a good Birds of a Feather or something. Very cool! This goes for a while before they turn the corner into Simple.
If that was 2012, that would be one of the jams of the year. But because it is 2021 it has massive shoes to fill that it doesn't quite do, but it makes a damn good effort of trying!!! Once the abysmal reading of Disease in the rearview mirror, the jam slowly takes shape and evolves and by the end you don't want it to stop!! It took time to get going, but they really got to a point where it had potential to go balls-out!!! And instead Trey ripcords us into Simple (which thankfully they QUICKLY jump into without a trainwreck!!!!). I'd say this is very much worth a listen for the jam. It's a very up and down version but the improv gets going for sure by the end!!!
>Simple - And the crowd ROARS their approval!!!! Blissfully amazing as expected, until we turn the first major corner around 5:30. The guys hit upon a chord and instead of going to the next chord in the sequence, they just ride the note out for infinity. Things start drifting slowly into ambient bliss. Soon, things start getting weird. Page is doing double duty on Piano and keyboards/synth. Trey is picking out weird notes and Fishman is hitting weird percussion. We are still in some weird bliss zone, but things have gone....askew. By 10:30, Page is over on the Clav and the whole band is just riding this really odd wave of....I don't even know what the hell you would call this jam. Great moment at 11:20 where they all synch up on a repeating chord and start growing things into a darker area, ala Carini. But Trey quickly axes the growing darkness, opting instead to continue playing around with his octave pedal or whatever. Page says F that and starts inserting his blaring synths, forcing the guys to go dark!!! By 12:20 we are in a very uncomfortable soundscape. This is starting to sound like something coming out of a Melt or something. I'm having a very hard time keeping beat anymore!!! And by this point Trey has started messing with his Robot sounds anyways!!! Things just begin melting down in a gloriously weird miasma of "what the F is going on" insanity. I definitely enjoyed the Disease jam more, but this is pretty darn unique!!! Totally unsettling and STRANGE!!!!! It's worthy of it's jam chart placement, let's put it like that :p
>Fuego - Trey sees his opening and starts the Fuego riffing without the Simple jam stopping. Not totally smooth but A+ for effort. More of that, please! :) And I tell you what, the friggin Robot noises are like the icing on this evil cake. Son of Carini or something!!! And then the guys just BLAST into the song!!! It's not totally smooth - at all - but the intent is there and everyone is riding this wild carnival ride!!!! The song absolutely LIFTS off, I swear. This version is so much FUN!!!! It's a BLAST!!!! And by the end, it's just Trey ripping it up, the band going nuts and everyone having a blast. Awesome Fuego!!!
>Plasma - BOO! BAD SETLIST CALL, TREY!!!! Crap, Fuego was literally in deep space about to go ballistic and he just YANKS the rug out sending us to happy town instead.....Thankfully they waste no time getting down to business, creating a slightly dark and quiet vibe in which Trey is just laying down all kinds of nice melodic lead lines while Page is killing it on his own wah pedal. The jam builds a really, REALLY nice head of steam and the boys sound the most cohesive that they have for the entire set so far!!! It's like the "rust" has finally been shaken off!! Around 5:40 things take a cool turn for a bit with Page really hammering it away and Trey doing this "swishy" rhythm for a bit. The jam become like a Twist on steroids or something. This is terrific. Around 7:45 as the jam is about the lift off in a big way, Trey ripcords us again, roughly, back into the Plasma them and ends the jam cold. C'MON MAN. STOP THAT! CUT IT OUT! ;)
>Runaway Jim/Weekapaug Groove - Jim is Jim. Crowd loves it. But then at 2:30 Trey launches into a genuine Weekapaug jam and the crowd friggin ERUPTS!!! Then they start singing Weekapaug!! :D :D :D YES! LETS GET IT!!! HELL YEA!!! THIS IS NO TEASE. THIS IS PAUG! But at about 3:30 they return back to the Jim jam so perfectly. Oh man, this is a BLAST! At 5:30, the jam dissolves into a blissful whisper. Type II ambience, baby! And they ride it out for a minute like one of those patented 2012 Ambient Outro jams....Hell, this woulda been the perfect moment to launch into Theme, and I swear Page is signalling it there for a bit. :)
>Rift - Ripcord into Rift. NO. BAD TREY! ;) Thankfully this is a fine version for 3.0. Not flawless, but neither is it butchered to hell or played at a whisper. And ya know what? That ripcord sucked but I actually quite like the setlist placement of it! Check out Page's GLORIOUS solo around 3:20!!!!!! When all is said and done this actually end up being a very nice version! I'm not gonna call it highlight-worthy, but it's a fine Rift!!!
If I Could - Holy moly, how perfect, eh? Gorgeous version and welcome as always. Great placement too.
>Rise/Come Together - Another one where I don't understand the haters. Perfect set placement out of If I Could, seriously. Also, how the hell did you expect them to NOT play it in their "comeback" show? Seriously, folks. :p Freaking awesome version. Trey is going insane with his trills and the whole band is just exploding with energy. Terrific!!!
Slave to the Traffic Light - Ah yes, my favorite late-show set killer (besides Harry Hood)......Dang it.... Ok, the main composition is excellently performed. Great version there. What are those inappropriate sound effects happenning during the quiet part? Are those the infamous Fishman samples? Yea, those suck. That being said, this Slave is absolutely terrific. Around 6 minutes there is a glorious part where - Fishman samples aside - everything clicks and Trey holds the longest note I've ever heard (no joke, it's gotta last a minute or more!!!). Things start building and we are off to the races. There isn't much else to say. Speaking as a non-fan of Slave, this was an outstanding version. Absolutely must-hear!!!! Seriously, good enough for me to almost say it's the peak of the whole show!!!! OUTSTANDING! A+!!!!
Say It To Me SANTOS - Santos is Santos. Great version but nothing special (for the sake of not highlighting everything). Ends the show on a total party note. Great stuff! :D

All in! That was a great listen, for real!!! The show was pretty hit or miss on the execution but you can hear the potential there. Some terrific parts and versions, some not-so-amazing ones. This show had a special feeling to it and it was a better listen than my review might make it out to be. I think the 3.2 rating on .NET is rather low, but I'd feel pretty good about giving it like a 3.8. In other words, lots of potential and room to grow :D
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Review by rebafiend99

rebafiend99 .net wouldn't let me format this the way I wanted to, but I'm throwing together reviews of every show this tour, structured from my ADHD mind. let me know if there's anything I can change for next time.

set 1

INNYLTB: good chill meaningful opener, some tight playing, and great transition into

Tube: some harmonies that you rarely hear on this one between trey and page, and right to the funk. a first taste of the quack trey that is very prevalent the rest of the tour. crazy trey page interplay going into some repeating lines, almost a call and response between the two. rhythmic interplay between trey mike and fish leading into a perfect transition into the tube blues section.

Free: great song choice for this one, page is doing something a little different here that feels really nice, just bouncing around the chords. mike tone is flimsy, on point, wish trey would give him some more space here. trey creates a little space and let’s mike develop a little idea, and then begins this ascending idea that mike catches onto. trey begins highlighting the the chord change here and they all drop right into it pretty smoothly without too much rush that’s typical with the 3.0 frees. If this jam was a little more cohesive the vocals would’ve hit a little harder, but a solid version nonetheless. Trey then thanks the crowd :)

Bouncing around the Room: standard version, a little bit rusty

46 days: solid and tight funky jam comes out. hearing the delay from trey for the first time this tour. some great mike and page interplay, then fish and trey get locked in on a groove and mike and page converge with them to create a nice and tight funk groove. trey and page start formulating a peak and fish and mike build with them. they build a progression that works and stays cohesive, then seamlessly drop back into 46 days proper. kind of a sloppy slow down but they finish.

limb by limb: a little rusty, but the song is tricky. jam moves like a river though, flowing right to the peak with little exploration but creates a really beautiful feeling as the whole band is moving very tightly together

wolfmans brother: funky as always ???????? picks up with a cool slappy chop groove with all the band mates filling in where they can. now a tensiony groove forms with a repeating line from trey mike and page. fishman is holding it the fuck down. Page starts giving it a bathtub gin feel, and trey catches on. They are now settled into a groove with trey playing rhythm. mike and fish are hopelessly tight as trey let’s it all hang out and page is doing whatever the fuck he wants to bouncing and building to a pretty epic peak, although a little mistimed. after the peak fizzles, trey and page hunt another one down, where fish and mike immediately catch on, fish hits the gas fill and this one really connects back into the wolfmans theme.

NICU: pretty tight 3.0 version, chorus doesn’t hit quite as hard as usual, sounds a bit uncomfortable

Drift while you’re sleeping: i’ve always felt like the band hasn’t cohesively played this song yet, but this version is tight and full of feeling, seems like everyone finally knows their parts, it sounds much more thoroughly practiced. the main line “we move through stormy weather...” when they all sing it together it feels so meaningful to them ???? so beautiful. The jam at the end ebbs and flows and is very cohesive, rides off of the emotions from the verses, and culminates into the chorus once more.

set 2

dWd: a little sloppy at first but mikes tone soundin like a damn swamp in all the best ways. trey starts makin it slower (don’t blame him) page and mike interplay goin really dumb crazy. fishman is leading everyone around, he’s got them all on some dog leashes and he’s showing them the way to salvation. trey and page then connect the cerebral link and hop right back on that gin wave that’s not quite gin. the band is adapting very quickly to each other’s interactions. they work their way up to a small peak like this, and then mike and trey start implying a minor feel, to which page responds. trey turns on the quacker and then shit starts getting a little spacey despite fish holding it down, as page also hops on spooky synth. all of the sudden, mike trey and page all catch the major root out of thin air and run with it, while trey starts using his digitech to small effect. trey and fish get locked in on a rhythmic groove that page catches on to, then mike rapidly rejoins the fold in this rhythm which is growing and expanding by the second. page starts laying down some spooky chords which trey and mike perfectly paint over. fishman rapidly shifting grooves and leading the band in different rhythmic directions, and that’s when the envelope filter gets pushed on and everything ebbs down again. trey calls back to the earlier rhythm and everyone catches on to the ascending line he’s playing, and then fish and mike start slowing everything down a little, giving a laggy feel to trey and pages line. and then out of fucking thin air, so fucking tight

SIMPLE: god damnit. so tight. the band sounds so comfortable on this song. the jam starts typically, and beautifully with some great exchanges from trey and page. they hang on to the second chord after a little bouncing around, and fully emphasize it, instantly type 2, with some really spacey mike effects giving the groove a beautiful soundscape. trey and page in perfect sync with page adding a new chord to the equation to instantly take it away. trey pulls a melody right out of his ass that is so beautiful. page and mike find the perfect chords to accompany it as trey slows it down. trey dissolves into a reverse delay effect that moves the jam into a minor feel, where page brings in the ambient synth. trey calls back the melody with a minor feel as fishman starts getting crazy with the groove he’s been holding down. page brings a bluesy idea into the fold while mike and trey start bouncing with fishman as he changes the feel. then out of nowhere another chord enters and the band takes off with it, with trey calling the same melody back again. trey gives it the harmonic minor feel (don’t quote me if my ear is wrong here), and everyone starts falling into that feel with a new groove implemented by fishman, where he mocks treys melody and just carries everyone. page bring the spooky low end to accompany mike as trey continues to get more atonal and spooky. now they are all playing the same rhythm with fishman still absolutely carrying this jam as everyone else plays whatever the fuck they want to as long as it’s within the rhythm. sounds like alarms are going off and something is wrong ????. this is where summer 21 starts, this is a window into how the rest of the year will go, super innovative and back to spooky and spontaneous playing that phish is known for.

Fuego: a little sloppy transition at first, but once it gets going it is a really spooky sounding version, all band members keeping their simple jam tones going at the start :$). the mike tone in this middle section is iconicly soupy and spooky. jam starts out pretty typically, maybe with a little more finesse and less intensity. page and trey seem a little too linked up this show, as do mike and fish. it’s like they are both separately tightly linked and then they have a dongle to connect each group together. trey introduces a spookier line and begins ripping like there’s no tomorrow, which fishman takes as his opportunity to drive everyone else forward rapidly, which everyone feels, especially page who is just drilling away at chord after chord. peak!!! second peak? with spooky trey omg yes peak yes ahhhhhhhhhhh spooky peak. page doing whatever he wants towards ANOTHER PEAK!!!! mike still isn’t wanting this peak to happen as it delves into the abyss where mike has been painting around for a while. it’s nothing but abyss playing now, with screeching sounds coming in from all band member to lead to

Plasma: pretty groovy version. with the jam getting pretty atonal right from the start, but peaking pretty quick, the band is still right on grabbing onto little key center ideas, and quickly shifting back to the original.

Runaway Jim: partial to this tune, first long jam i ever witnessed. this version is a little bit sloppy, but at this point after all of that fire i accept. all of the sudden,

weekapaug groove: emerges ;) ), not even in the setlist on livephish ;) . very silly and so smooth, adds something new into this set for sure

Runaway jim: instantly called back into jim by mike and trey. this jim, besides the weekapaug segway, stays pretty standard and just spaces out with some gentle page and mike playing at the end, accompanied by masterful fish cymbal swells. trey provides the ambiance and as you think it’s about to take off into space town, trey comes in with the

Rift: kind of an odd placement for this one and a bit rusty but pretty solid version.

If I could: one of my favorite slow phish songs. this one is definitely rusty but besides some missed chords it sounds beautiful. i don’t know what’s up with mikes vocals, he’s pretty flat or sharp or something. melody jam starts rusty but shifts into beauty. finally comes together at the end, mike and trey just can’t hang during this song i guess.

rise/come together: never liked this song that much. not much cohesion, just don’t have a good outlook on this one so i can’t really say much good lol. some nice sounds from page during the build. rise up!!! lol here we go

Slave: here we go baby. cohesive and gorgeous. everyone finally listening to fish during this one. trey has his tone dialed in now, sitting back a little more so you can hear the whole band contribution here. we finally get the first taste of fishmans midi here ????????. interesting placement at the quiet part of slave. it feels like mike is really holding this one down, finally somewhat locked in since the first run of the set. nice slow build here, not missing many beats, definitely not the tightest slave. trey starts holding out a note while page and mike build the tension. fishman continuing to use the midi very liberally. trey comes in with a melody line that page follows really well, while mike and fish build tension. trey is now highlighting the changes and playing quicker lines, building the peak with page. mike starts filling more space with fishman and every member takes up more and more space, with more fish midi. some unreal fishman moments happening while page is really carrying the fuck out of this jam. trey let’s the note out, and page changes ideas completely with mike hitting the right spots right on with fish. page finally hitting some organ here as the peak continues and dies down a little bit. fishman signals the end, and it’s over. not the tightest slave, but a great ender to a pretty solid set.

E: Say it to me S.A.N.T.O.S.: some great banter before this one about arkansas and calling mike ????. still don’t get the hype of this song, it’s fun though, and best for the encore slot if it goes anywhere. solid finish.

final rating: 3.5/5
great tour opener, some awesome jams that have great movement. some of the setlist choices were kind of questionable, and there was some sloppy playing, but overall a really fun show with plenty of moments. definitely worth a full listen to feel what started one of the best years in recent memory.

jam highlights: wolfmans; dwd -> simple
runners up: 46 days, fuego, runaway groove :) , slave
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by heathen

heathen Set 1: Sloppy and boring. The new song they debut, I Never Needed You Like This Before, is lame. They play NICU slow, with more of a reggae feel. I hope this isn't going to be a permanent change to the arrangement for that song. I suppose it's expected that they'll need to shake off the cobwebs so it shouldn't be surprising that this set is so mundane.

Set 2/e: DWD starts to get into some interesting territory about halfway in, but Fish isn't really keeping up. He seems to be phoning it in while the other guys are being more adventurous. I hope this turns around, but given his playing in recent years this seems to be the norm for him. Sure enough, Fish plays basically the same pattern for all of this DWD. Sad. Simple is more of the same, but with less energy. This version of the song itself feels slow and understated, and as they go into the jam Fish is once again just laying back on one drum pattern. At least this time he starts to change it up a bit about halfway into the jam, but he doesn't change it much. Again, we've got the other guys charting a course for outer space while Fish is just strolling in the park. He does start to wake up in the last few minutes of the jam though. The transition into Fuego is great, and I'm not even a fan of Fuego. At least it brings the energy up though. Not much to say about the rest of the second set. Sloppy and low energy for the most part. The Slave isn't anything special, but that "oooh ooh ooh" sample that gets dropped several times is absolutely awful. That's something I'd expect to hear coming from Future Man's "drumitar" circa 1996. Say it to me SANTOS is yet another lame song. I'm trying to think of the last time they wrote a song I really enjoy, and I think it hasn't been since Farmhouse (the album, not that song in particular) unfortunately.

It's the first show back in a while so one can't expect too much, so I'm trying to not dwell on this one. There were some good moments (second half of the Simple jam and the transition into Fuego), but overall a sloppy and low energy affair.
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by Museummouth

Museummouth A sold enough tour opener. A little bit of rust here and there but a fun enough show. Wolfmans is a nice first set microjam with some good peaks. The LxL is also worth checking out. 2nd set doesn’t quite go that deep. There’s a nice exploratory Simple that has a cool segue to Fuego but that’s all that you really need to listen to if just skimming for highlights.

Accurately rated at 3.3/5.0.
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by timber02

timber02 Just to touch on the Simple -> Fuego in this show, which IMO was the highlight (DWD included). Simple trudges deep into the sludge and confusion, harkening back to when phish was evil. The jam kind of took me by surprise, and I think they kind of let their curiosity take the wheel in either an aggressive act of shaking off the cobwebs or purely from excitement to just be playing again. "Hey guys, we're back. No rules on this one, let's get weird."

Flowed a little chunky into Fuego, and the emphasis is really on chunky here. This thing kicks off pretty unusually without much adherence to how Fuego "should sound." Expect some wonky tones and spooky sounds coming from mike and page, complete with a good ol' wailin' fishman. The breakdown leading into trey's solo has an overall dark undertone, and the solo that followed matched the mood. Again, leaning back into the chunk (maybe some slop) on entering the jam-field after the girl began levitating. I really enjoyed where this one went with trey coming in with big psychedelic vibes - I don't know what that switch he flips is or pedal maybe, but it goes totally "I'm only sleeping" or "strawberry fields forever" and blew me away in the moment. Some nice little pockets of bliss/world-spiraling confusion here to be enjoyed/feared. Moves right on into plasma here, which I personally like a cool-off song.

I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention the Jimapaug which was just fun all around and should not be missed if you haven't given it a spin yet. I hope we get a real monster Jim this summer. That would be sweet. Anyway, a decent start off to the tour - I must agree with a previous poster, 3.7 would be my vote given the option. It's going to be great to have some new jams again to listen to with a critical ear. Gotta keep those muscles strong.

Can't really comment on the vibe of the show in-person as I was planted on the couch, but I just wish we could've had the joyous reunion we deserved without all the loss and sickness looming overhead. Stay safe out there everybody.
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by 90MinuteJam

90MinuteJam Do bubbles carry covid? Maybe. Did phish rock out at this show? Absolutely. The boys did exactly what they were supposed to do… deliver a solid performance after a 17 month band interruption. Great song selection, trey has a nice newer sound and peddle(?), and rust was minimal, all things considered. Amazing crowd & energy the always boosts a show rating imho. Impressed on how many people I met that flew in for this one show; Ain’t no easy flights into Rogers. They tried to go deep in the second set and couldn’t get there, still sounded good tho. Body language suggests covid announcement and precautions might be on their minds. For sure let’s not throw things on stage, boys need to stay healthy and seems that made them a bit uncomfortable. A lot of shows ahead of us!
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by DownWithSteam

DownWithSteam Couch toured for the opener with very little expectations (any tour opener I am not expecting a perfect show, especially one with a 16 month gap in between)

That being said, I did think this show was solid. Didn't hear many flubs and the energy was there. Highlights of the first set include the Wolfman's and Limb by Limb.

On to the second set, which everyone and their mother called the opener correctly - Down With Disease. I can honestly say I enjoyed this version and the jam... a great start to the 2nd half of this one. During the middle of the jam, I found myself laughing off any notions I had of rust. The band seems ready for this tour. Was cool to hear "If I Could" but I certainly didn't understand the late 2nd set "Rift" This show is worth a 3.7 and if you're putting context into play it's a 4 star affair.
, attached to 2021-07-28

Review by schwitze

schwitze First set was average to good, nothing particularly spectacular. The welcome from the crowd when the band stepped onto stage was phenomenal. Second set was a rager. The one-two punch of Disease->Simple took us in some dark and interesting places. Speaking of dark, that Fuego was intense, almost creepy. Would have loved for them to explore the spaces it was going a little more, but I can never complain with a segue into Plasma. The segues for the first half of the set were smooth and buttery. They came out to play for set 2.

Of course the Weekapaug Jim was the standout of the set for me. It seemed to come out of nowhere when they went into Weekapaug and just as seamlessley, they segued back into Jim. At this point, I am absolutely in love with this set. The rift was strong, but don't sleep on the If I Could. Great vocal and instrumental interplay between Trey and Page throughout.

Solid show, 3.5-4. Would be a clear 4 with a stronger first set.
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