The Home Stretch
Anagnorisis is the point in a literary work or play, when the character makes a discovery turning ignorance to knowledge. For those of us heading to these next four shows, that point is now. In March, none of us knew what to expect or what to think. In June, things felt like they were returning to normal. In August, the band pushed aside all expectations that had been created in June, granting us the the feeling so many of us had forgot. All is right in the world of Phish, finally. The post hiatus tours of ’03-’04 constantly felt as though their legs were falling out from under them. When they called it quits, I don’t think many of us were overly shocked.
However, now things are different. Heading into these last four shows, our optimism is at an all time high. Coming off a less than stellar show in Chicago, the community seems to be right back in its old swing. Fans are accepting of the fact that the band made a few leaps that didn’t necessarily work out for the best. The important part is that the leaps were made. Phish is trying new things, bringing back old classics, and taking new songs places they have never been. The sense of unpredictability is returning (and will fully return as soon as they start being more creative with their encore choices).
The next four nights will be very significant for a number of reasons. First, the band has just completed their first tour in five years which is a major breakthrough considering where we were last year at this time. Second, the band members are healthy, and clearly having fun. And third, the test has clearly worked. The band has been testing a model that would allow them to tour for the next 20 years or more, remain healthy, and spend time with their families. This past tour is a clear indication that the new model is working.
Today, we will be heading to Darien to catch the next four shows. We will be providing reviews and updates, as well as the usual setlists and downloads. Check back the morning after each show for in-depth reviews. For those of you heading to the shows, travel safe, have fun, and enjoy the music! See you there!
Here’s some of our favorite moments from these upcoming venues:
Darien – From the show on September 14th, 2000, the “Darien Jam pt 3″ emerged in between “Crosseyed” and “Dog Faced Boy”. This jam is absolutely phenomenal. It begins as a heavy rocker that leads into an incredible ambient section with some of my favorite playing by Trey.
“The Darien Jam pt 3″ -9/14/00
Hartford – From the fall ’97 tour, the band performed a killer show on 11/26/97. The second set began as follows: “Character Zero>2001> Cities> Ya Mar> “Punch You in the Eye> Prince Caspian”. Listen to the funk-filled “Cities”.
“Cities” – 11/26/97
Columbia – The “Dog Log” from 9/17/00 is perhaps one of the finest versions of the song. Being the only time played in the entire year, this is most certainly a major bustout. The playing in this version is particularly tight. A great song, yet highly underplayed.
“Dog Log” – 9/17/00
Saratoga – “Scents and Subtle Sounds” was performed on 6/19/04 at Saratoga. In a tour marked with blemishes, the two night run at SPAC is considered to be the highlight. This version of the song is missing the intro section from the album version. I am really hoping “Scents” makes a return. Soon.
“Scents and Subtle Sounds” 6/19/04
If anyone has any moments from these venues to add, post them in the comments section.
Here’s a video of “Glide” from Columbia, MO 3/31/92.