After setting the table for a huge Sunday night closer at SPAC, Phish went the other way, playing a song-based show that contained barely any creativity. After an exciting opening frame with several summer bust-outs, one wasn’t wrong to think the band might come back with one of their most engaging frames of tour. But Phish pulled out of upstate New York after a choppy second set that contained their least engaging playing of tour. While maintaining their energy and tightness, Phish took no risks in a energetic show that was heavy on the setlist, but, at times in the second set, straight up boring.
While I wasn’t there and everyone’s definitely entitled to their own opinion, this particular review was worth calling out for me. At a show that had many saying “this was the best we’ve seen of the band in 2010,” the most popular Phish blogger on the planet decides to completely lambast the show as uncreative and boring. Listen for yourself and decide on your own context, because reading reviews like this have nothing close to a connection to what actually happened on tape. Stop reading these reviews anyway. Get the shows and re-discover that joy and excitement of not always knowing where they’re supposed to go next based on what the prior night’s setlist was.
From my end watching the stream and listening at home, I’m loving every part of this show and the return of songs I’ve always enjoyed like “Roggae” and “Swept Away.” And come on, strong playing or not, the band would have to fart their way through “Makisupa Policeman > Piper > 2001 > YEM” for that to sound shitty.