Hayden Square, Tempe, AZ
Well, today just plain got away from me. I’ve already had dinner before starting this show… and since my lovely wife (who’s birthday is tomorrow) hates the Phish, I’m stuck back in the office listening on headphones while she watches her shows. This is literally the first time this project has felt like a chore. Make the most of it, I say!
RunJim opener? Sure, why not… but alas, it’s not followed by Foam on this night. Instead we get a 10 minute Ice? It’s Ice has been blowing me away every time I get to it on this run. Each seems to outdo the last. This one is certainly the biggest yet. Again, it’s heavily piano driven, but that downplays what all is going on there. Must be heard!!
Then another rockin’ Julius. Dare I say the energy is back. I think last night was an off night for the band. Maybe it’s because Tempe’s got that great college crowd that has always been good for Phish. Maybe it’s because the show was outside. I don’t know… but it’s good to hear.
Stash is a keeper, too. And another absolutely beautiful If I Could. Then there’s the sub-10-minute Slave which is somehow still really amazing. Tight as hell. Wastes no time at all. Wow. I can see the Timer’s disapproval over the length, but I would argue this Slave is better than most 3.0 Slaves that are much longer.
Also, did you ever notice how some of Page’s piano breakdowns in Suzy are more inspired than others… This seems to depend on the night, too. Like, even within a tour there will be Suzy’s where he just takes it somewhere and others where he seemingly phones it in. Anyway, this is one of the good ones, for sure!
Second set starts off with a stutter step from Trey. Then when he starts the first verse the reverb on his voice is set way too high at first. Woah! Then the jam just rips. When I say the energy is back, I mean it.
The Melt is out there, too. Melts have been great, too. I guess it’s almost like playing a hot track off the new album when they played Melt on this tour. I mean, it’s on there. This one kind of reminds of the Hoist Melt jam, actually. It builds and builds like it’s gonna eventually crash, but it never does. That last one eventually broke down into something much quieter and slower. This one is just relentless.
Then McGrupp… aaaahhhh. Not gonna type during this. Just gonna sit back and enjoy it! Yes. And as it fades… drums drop me right into Peaches!! Nice.
Then, honestly, I could write a whole blog post about this YEM. For starters, there’s the whistling in the chill section that sounds just like the whistling in the “Lassie, come home” section of the big Bowie at the end of the year. It’s like foreshadowing!! Then something funny must have happened with the tramps – I think Brad must have set them up and Trey was just like “Yeah, I can’t do that.” Something.
But the jam here is really where it’s at. Classic YEM build from quiet to raging followed by a sort of unique slap-happy Mike segment. Greatness.
How do you bring a show like that home? With a trio of covers everyone loves! Purple Rain is always a classic. GTBT speaks for itself (Also, I kinda wish Phish had played GTBT at Jazzfest while Robert Plant was doing his thing over on Gentilly). And Freebird to close out. Tough to beat, really.
This was a scorching show. It’s almost midnight as I finish it up. Honestly, I sort of thought I’d cheat a bit tonight and skip through some of this one. I’m exhausted. I literally had NO time to listen to Phish today until really late. I was dreading it. But then I started listening to this great AUD recording through my sweet Grados and everything melted away… much like it does at a show. I found that I couldn’t bring myself to skip anything… not even Bouncin’… it just sounded too good.
… and so to bed. Thanks for reading!
Hayden Square, Tempe, AZ
Set 1: Runaway Jim, It’s Ice > Julius, Mound > Stash, If I Could > My Friend, My Friend > Slave to the Traffic Light > Suzy Greenberg
Set 2: Chalk Dust Torture, Bouncing Around the Room, Split Open and Melt, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Peaches en Regalia > Scent of a Mule, You Enjoy Myself, Purple Rain > Hold Your Head Up, Good Times Bad Times
Encore: Free Bird
Notes: Suzy included a Layla tease from Page. YEM included a Mission: Impossible theme tease from Page a Spider-Man theme tease from Mike, and a Mind Left Body jam.
Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.