In stark contrast to this tour’s leg 1 closer on the Fourth of July, last night’s show on the coast had one predictable feature after another. The first set looked like the most common 2010 set possible (no, Destiny Unbound isn’t very special anymore) and the second set featured Trey in full ADD mode, playing one jam vehicle after another with little direction or inspiration. A few songs were even played two shows earlier at alpine. Yes, the energy was there but that’s about it.
The first set opened with the third ten minute Down with Disease of the tour and went right into the first set favorite Sample in a Jar. Guelah Papyrus followed, sparking the four song chain of first set all stars–Poor Heart, Ocelot, a randomly placed Chalk Dust Torture (it’s the last show, they have to squeeze everything in, right?) and another energetic (but painfully cookie cutter, at this point) Bathtub Gin. Throw in another 3.5 minute Tube and HORRIBLY played Destiny Unbound (due to Trey, Mike used his effects towards the end to redeem the song) to make the setlist look special. Joy to slow things down–then, and I said “obviously Antelope is next”, Antelope to close the first set, with changed lyrics to “Mike-O Esquandolis”. However, changing Antelope’s lyrics at this point is so common, there should be a notation when they don’t change them.
During setbreak, a fan apparently either jumped or fell (I assume the latter) from a balcony onto the seats below. Blood was spotted in a lot of places and the chairs he landed on seem to be busted up. I sure hope he/she is all right.
The second set opened up pretty well–a rocking Axilla > Timber (Jerry), both energetic and unpredictable. Then Trey started up Light–I feel like I should probably just give up on Light at this point. For as often as they play the song, how many stand out versions are there, in 2010 at least? Oh, then it goes into 46 days–it was more rocking than Deer Creek’s rendition, but seemed to be cut earlier than most in 2010 to go into the second second set My Friend in 4 shows.
The Harry Hood intro was one of the better ones of 3.0, it was thoughtful and fun–the jam, while nothing special, was far more inspired than Deer Creek’s version. What happened after Harry Hood is what really busts my chops. Tweezer starts up.
Am I upset it’s Tweezer? No, of course not. Am I upset because there was only a 1 show gap between this version and the last time it was played? Nope. Was I excited because often times when Tweezer comes after a song that can close sets it blows up (just see 6/7/2009)? Yes. Was I hoping that this Tweezer would close the show, opposite of how it opened the show last time it was played? YES. Unfortunately songs like Tweezer can’t close sets anymore, Trey apparently needs his usual set closers to feel comfortable. This Tweezer is another 10 minute version, only played, well, I have no clue why they would waste time with another pointless version like this–the only possible thing I can think of is because Trey likes jumping around and shaking his red hair around during the Tweezer Reprise that he can now close the show/tour with. The past three Tweezers, put together, have equaled about 26 minutes.
When this Tweezer started I was hoping this would be the unpredictable and awesome jam to close out their long summer tour. I told a friend “hope Trey doesn’t kill it with the Horse or Free right away”–literally 30 seconds later Trey started playing the Horse. Even the songs Trey kills jams with have become predictable. The Horse, to me, has become a symbol of Trey not having any patience anymore–Hartford Sand -> Horse, Bonnaroo Tweezer > Horse and last night’s Tweezer > Horse.
Ok, so they can’t close on Silent in the Morning–YEM would close it, another short version squeezed in to make curfew, closing the second set. This is coming after a 1 show gap of it being played at Alpine (the year’s only non-second set closing version).
Suzy > Tweeprise encore–Trey got his wish of smiling and doing his little ska dance with head bobs. On second thought, maybe that guy that fell from the balcony actually just jumped because he couldn’t take the predictability of Phish’s shows anymore.
I know this is a pretty harsh review, but I cannot see my self traveling very far to see Phish if these are they shows they play, this isn’t how Phish gets my rocks off. I don’t need monster jams, I just need unpredictability and character in their shows again. Get rid of the fucking teleprompter, Trey.
Set 1: Down with Disease > Sample in a Jar, Guelah Papyrus, Poor Heart, Ocelot, Chalk Dust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Tube, Destiny Unbound, Joy, Run Like an Antelope
Set 2: Axilla, Timber (Jerry) > Light -> 46 Days -> My Friend, My Friend, Harry Hood > Tweezer -> The Horse > Silent in the Morning, You Enjoy Myself