I, for one, can say that I looked forward to this show more than anything – but not as a crazy phish fan but as a pessimistic critic. Yes, I admit, Phish has been in the doghouse with me since I saw Trey perform solo a few years ago at Bonnaroo which turned out to the be the biggest disappointment of all time…
But, low and behold, after seeing them play through their classics on Friday and jam out with Springsteen on Sunday, I am hooked. Opening with the aggressive Chalk Dust Torture, I threw off my shoes and stampeded towards the front knowing that this concert would definitely be in my top 5 concerts of all time. Friday they seemed to play through their greatest hits without getting too jammy and I was about to explode I was so happy – noodling and smiling went on straight through the whole set. Down with Disease and Wading in the Velvet Sea were my faves.
Sunday was a great surprise. Springsteen and Trey closing first set with Glory Days brought a tear to my eye because I knew that I would remember that song and feeling forever. Then second set Phish got jammy jam as my friends would say - they wandered off towards the end of every song, but in true jam-band fashion would return with 5 times the force to officially close it out. Page slammed the piano and frequently stole the show a few times in my book. Fishman drove the rhythm and kept the group together when I was sure the jam sessions would get too chaotic and confusing. Gordon, of course, was mesmerizing. And Trey completely won me back – and was smiling as much as I was.
Everyone says that their last show in Conventry was a bit of a disaster with the band’s downfall shining through, but now that they are back I feel they are happier and better than ever. I’m already planning on my next show and cannot stop talking about them. I have always made fun of Phisheads for being so obsessed, but after you see them live, you will understand that Phish is not a regular concert because they kidnap you and take you for a sensational, talent-filled ride. I wish every day was “Phish day.” Best band of all time, for sure.