Monday 08/06/2018 by bertoletdown

ALPHARETTA3 RECAP: LIKE A RAZATO TO THE THROAT

We’re 13 shows into an 18-show summer tour, and by this point in the arc of a campaign we would expect to see a band in firm command of its powers. It’s also Sunday, so we’d also expect to see Phish do what they so often do on Sundays: stretch out, bust out, and show out. Let’s plunge right in.

© 2018 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2018 Phish (Rene Huemer)

Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing” certainly qualifies as a bustout, being the only cover crafted for a donut-themed Baker’s Dozen show to have been performed by Phish outside of Baker’s Dozen to date. I’m just not sure I ever needed to hear this one dusted off again, necessarily, as it fits this band like a glove on a foot. No harm done, though, as Trey plows purposefully into the “Tweezer Reprise” the Friday and Saturday crowds were denied, and triggers a dance party on the floor.

What’s The Use” isn’t unheard of in the first set (in fact there was a time when it was more likely to appear there than in the second) but it still feels like a surprise here. On one hand, it works at cross purposes with the “Tweeprise” when it comes to developing energy. On the other hand, it’s a brilliant juxtaposition. Phish can play this instrumental in their sleep, and it’s almost always flawless as it is tonight.

Now Fish moves to the Marimba Lumina for “Petrichor.” This song was certainly a lock at some point this summer, and a Sunday first set is as organic a place to drop a prog opus as any. There is a lot of earnest effort behind this one; no one in the band is smiling, but focused on getting it right. I decide the right play is to close my eyes and let my mind wander, and before I know it I’m trying to place an unfamiliar section I’m hearing in “Petrichor.” It takes a moment or two to realize it’s not “Petrichor” anymore, but “Most Events Aren’t Planned.” Yes.

© 2016 Scott Marks (taken 12-31-2016 at MSG)
© 2016 Scott Marks (taken 12-31-2016 at MSG)

I loved this tune’s debut performance and this one was every bit as thrilling. For my money this tune is not only the best “new” song by a country fucking mile (and I’m talking about songs here, not jams… more on this later) but a great example of the kind of material this band should be developing, because it plays to their estimable strengths and sidesteps their flaws. It doesn’t require any feats of youthful dexterity. The vocal melodies are well within Page’s range. It’s familiar enough and new enough. It’s up-tempo. The propulsive outro jam, built around a riff lifted from Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines,” whips ass. And the word “soul” does not appear anywhere in the lyric. I’d love to see this one in a steadier rotation.

Vultures,” another tune I’d love to see in steadier rotation, falls victim to the whole “band doesn’t know it” thing. And that brings me to my first lengthy tangent.

I am of the mind that if the band doesn’t intend to perform a song as beautiful and complex and enervating as “Vultures” properly, they shouldn’t perform it. In fact, I’ll stick my neck out even further and say that the band shouldn’t perform any song on stage for fans when they aren’t prepared. You may have heard an interview with Trey this past weekend that touched on train wrecks like this “Vultures,” and noticed that he’s pretty glib about playing slop. He’s always been a little glib about playing slop (see: Bittersweet Motel) but when you’re very rarely sloppy that’s a cooler thing to be.

A new Phish modus operandi has developed in recent years, and taken deeper root with Baker’s Dozen, that emphasizes sheer quantity of songs played over all else. The band itself seems intent on breaking its own record for unique songs played in each successive year. And I understand why. Many fans appreciate variety and surprises, and the band gets an endorphin hit when it a crowd responds to the unexpected. But there is an opportunity cost, and it looks exactly like this “Vultures.”

I know fans who historically can’t summon up a single fuck about compositions and how they’re executed. In fact, a friend of mine commented just yesterday that “I’ve heard the songs.” But a lot of the “here for the jams” crowd is kvetching these days, increasingly and not without good reason, about the ragged nature of Phish’s song delivery.

For my part, I could not possibly care less how many songs Phish plays. I am perfectly uninterested in this achievement, in the end. But I do care a lot about whether “YEM” sounds like “YEM,” and whether entire sections are dropped from a song as familiar as “Slave,” and if the price of getting core Phish material right is that we don’t get to hear “Fuck Your Face” once a tour, I’m perfectly fine with that. Alternately, the band could keep its current format and triple or quadruple its pre-tour commitment to actual rehearsal... but let’s be realistic.

© 2018 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2018 Phish (Rene Huemer)

Anyway, “Vultures” is god-awful, and we’re blinded with ambition like a “razato” (a potato you can shave with, I’m guessing) to the throat. Blessedly, shockingly, the “Reba” that comes next is pretty damn tight. I want to crawl inside this jam and live there for a week, and so apparently does Trey, who is trilling his way into the upper reaches of the atmosphere... when Fish unceremoniously ends the song. Trey seemed so taken aback, and maybe even cheesed off, that he skipped both the whistling and his opening cue in “Sand.” Much like it did at the Forum last weekend, this “Sand” concludes the first set on the good foot.

The second frame shoves off with the first “Taste” in over a year. Predictably, the jam hangs together nicely until it catches fire like a pile of oily tires at the end. Not unlike the bridge in “Theme,” this landing will remain un-stick-able until such time as the band workshops it together, in a room. “Golden Age” is a far more forgiving song, for which we can be grateful.

It’s not hard to predict that a 3rd quarter “Golden Age” will modulate to the minor, and it does for a bit before Trey favors a brighter, jazzier theme, lightly strummed. The most curious and lovely aspect of this jam is what the rest of the band does. Normally when Trey gets noticeably quieter, the band races each other to be even quieter still. This time, all three bandmates stand their ground instead, and for a fleeting moment, this changes everything. It’s a moment of novelty and wonder and surprise, and they didn’t have to bust anything out to make it. The band shepherds this “Golden Age” jam to a gentle, panoramic crest befitting a Sunday evening, and then ambles into “Twist.”

Trey suggests a dark theme early in this “Twist” jam and then Mike steals it for himself. This leads to a few moments of brash, sassy musical conversation, a head-fake ending, and then finally a real one as Trey cues the always-welcome “Waves.”

Despite some struggles with the changes, Phish makes the most of the modest seven minutes they budgeted here. By the end of the buoyant jam, Trey looks to be deep in a zone and blissfully keen to remain, but Page unceremoniously Brexits right into “Fuego”--which suffers from unsteady tempos throughout the composed section and exhibits less ambition than some recent versions when the improv section rolls around.

Mango Song” is one of my favorite songs by any band. Let’s just say this version (again, first and surely the only this tour) is not an all-time favorite, and move on. “Bathtub Gin” is an unexpected call for the set closer, but also proves safe and satisfying. “Gin” is simply one of the most reliable and versatile workhorses in the catalog. If it wore an embroidered ball cap, it would read “Put Me In, Coach.” This version is a nice balm, even if the “YST” coda and ending have a lot of hair on it.

© 2018 Brandy Davis
© 2018 Brandy Davis

Not so much the “Fee” encore, which fares even worse than “Vultures” or “Mango” in the clam department, with Trey completely forgetting not just the verses, but the chorus, and turning the mic toward an audience (who, in fact, does seem to remember them better than he does). Using self-deprecation as a get-out-of-jail-free card, Trey introduces “2001” as a song the band knows all the words to, and for many, all is instantly forgiven. The “2001” quotes “Tweeprise” and “You Sexy Thing,” and the story of this playful, energetic, but wildly uneven performance is in the books.

If you enjoyed tonight’s show more than I did, I hope you’ll leave some counterpoint in the comments below. But for my money, Alpharetta peaked Friday and spent the rest of the weekend drifting back to earth.

On to Camden!

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Comments

, comment by conormac
conormac I appreciate you being critical of how a song is performed technically. I am in that camp. I often judge a show's quality by the level of the bands' technical prowess, especially Trey's. In truth, it's the reason I got into this band to begin with, before I saw them enough times to search for a jam or new take on song/set list rather than a particular song. I like to believe that they are the most talented band in rock n roll, and when they flounder on performance of their material (typically their older catalogue), it hurts that reputation in my mind.

That being said, in 2018, Phish has had no problem jumping off the deep end, which makes up the other 50% why I (and many others) see this great band! The GA run was the best of the tour, and looking forward to what else is in store.

Thanks for the review.
, comment by Wombat_en_Fuego
Wombat_en_Fuego My initial interpretation of this review is that the author has a tough time enjoying him/herself these days? Hopefully not.

Maybe it is just easier for me to have fun nowadays as I age. Maybe I just appreciate Phish playing together and am willing to "look the other way" on technical issues because of it. No matter the reason, I thought the show was pretty awesome from the couch and wish I had been there. If anyone who struggles to enjoy a show like last night's, would like to give me his/her ticket, I'd be happy to take it!

Thank you Phish for taking chances still. It keeps me interested and attending with zero expectations. I haven't had a bad time in this 3.0 era, so please continue to rock on...
, comment by the_vultures
the_vultures I’m going on a limb and state that these songs were no where near as bad as claimed here, with the possible exception of Fee.
, comment by GOODTIMESBADTIMES
GOODTIMESBADTIMES Most events aren't planned isn't new song, it's an old page song. It's time to be over critical of the negative reviewers. Just enjoy the shows. The guys are playing great and won't be around forever. Jesus man get over yourself. They owe us nothing.
, comment by Jebbfcfm
Jebbfcfm I feel you Chris, if they aren’t getting gonna practice a technical song, don’t play it. I’m fine with the lyric flubbing like in Fee, but like you said the other night regarding Rift at the forum, shelve it till you give it the time it needs. I thought last nights show was really fun overall, they weren’t gonna top Friday, but they closed out a memorable weekend in style. Btw your “And the word “soul” does not appear anywhere in the lyric” line had me rolling.
Lastly I was hoping they would give a nod to the bakers dozen last night being that it was the 13th show of summer tour, and was very pleased with their song choice. Just be happy it wasn’t Everything in its right place. ;)
Can’t wait to see and hear the rest of the buildup to The Great Curveball!
, comment by kitnkaboodle
kitnkaboodle “Vultures” wasn’t near as bad as you made it sound here. You should listen to it again. “You Sexy Thing” was perfect as opener.
, comment by fisherjh
fisherjh I respectfully disagree with your assessment, beginning with your (no fun zone) belief that Sexy Thing should have been shelved forever. I'm apparently less attuned to the flubs, but I thought last night was a very fun, and very Phishy, capper to an awesome weekend of music.
, comment by ProfessorSlim
ProfessorSlim Certainly listening back it’s not *that* bad...it’s never super exciting for them to miss parts but it shouldn’t ruin a show. And from everything I could tell from the tape, this seemed like a fun one to be there for...What I’m more concerned about is the fact that you don’t seem to know that Most Events Aren’t Planned is a Vida Blue song that was recorded 15+ years ago...
, comment by jasong_iheardtheoceansing
jasong_iheardtheoceansing "Alternately" is misused instead of the correct use of "alternatively." Sheesh, if you're going to write official reviews that people that go out of their way to read, you should take the time to practice your grammar skills, or at least have someone proofread.
, comment by phunguy2001
phunguy2001 I do appreciate your viewpoint and insight, but this review screams COUCHTOUR and if read in that light is much more palatable
, comment by jasong_iheardtheoceansing
jasong_iheardtheoceansing @jasong_iheardtheoceansing said:
"Alternately" is misused instead of the correct use of "alternatively." Sheesh, if you're going to write official reviews that people that go out of their way to read, you should take the time to practice your grammar skills, or at least have someone proofread. ;)
, comment by FoundMyselfACity
FoundMyselfACity This is a hypercritical review. Like said above, I hope the author still enjoys the shows and is in a better place.

The flubs come. It is life. Their catalog is extensive, maybe even burdensome I try not to hold those to a degree I cannot, too, achieve. The Phish is an incredible talent. I make mistakes; they do too. Blaze on.

I was at Merriweather for "Jennifer Dances". They were goofing, clearly having a good time and knew very little of the words. It is when they are having a good time that the shows take off. And if you look at the Merriweather Tweezer Set II, I think one would agree.

See you all at Merriweather. Floor on Sunday !!!!!

Policy is to be changing about tailgating, etc. Be careful with Maryland State Police who is to be patrolling the surrounding areas, parking garages.
, comment by conormac
conormac https://soundcloud.com/user-970720966/sets/ask-trey

Question 5 provides some insight to the tour prep, with all those songs. If you have not listened to this question/answer with Trey, it's very enjoyable and enlightening, as always with Trey interviews.
, comment by Palace97
Palace97 Thanks for articulating so well what I've been feeling about the band's playing. I find it hard to listen to much of anything from this tour, even songs that turn into great jams -- Friday's Tweezer, a few others -- without cringing. Forgotten lyrics, missed changes, sour notes... all too frequent, and most of it is Trey's inability to play the compositions or effectively harness his rig. The podcast you linked is informative, even if the tech talk is over my head, because it provides language for what I've been hearing; tonal shifts have sounded off time or, as reviews of other shows this tour have noted, Trey will hit notes and nothing comes out. He acknowledges that he's been working out how to control his revamped amp setup, so he's effectively been rehearsing live on stage.

I don't expect to hear vintage Phish when they play now, and that's fine, but it's not unreasonable to expect that they'd commit to playing consistently well, is it? On one hand, it's clear in hearing Trey talk about the approach to Baker's Dozen that they still care about the fan experience, but the willingness to step on stage without full command of their repertoire, or just a part of it as suggested by the author, indicates that the fan concern has limits.
, comment by lumpblockclod
lumpblockclod Why people bother reading an actual review of a musical performance when it seems all they really want is someone to tell them it was the best thing ever is something I'll never understand. Vultures and Mango were not good renditions of those songs in that they were played (or at times, in the case of Mango, not played) poorly. Some of you act as if that's the reviewer's fault. Mystifying.

Look, maybe you just don't think pointing out those things is important or that the flubs have zero impact on your enjoyment of a Phish show. That's perfectly valid! And part of me even agrees with you (to a point, anyway). But then why do you want to read a review at all?
, comment by enlown
enlown I definitely agree that the first set sounded off and sloppy (I haven't listened to the second set yet).
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck This is an awful review. "I’m just not sure I ever needed to hear this one dusted off again, necessarily, as it fits this band like a glove on a foot." Quit wasting my time with this nonsense.
, comment by sushigradepanda
sushigradepanda @the_vultures said:
I’m going on a limb and state that these songs were no where near as bad as claimed here, with the possible exception of Fee.
Nope. Sorry to say, but Vultures was pretty botched, but was saved by a better-than-usual-for-3.0 Reba.

The jams this tour have been pretty, pretty, pretty good but the composed parts are showing a clear lack of practice.

That said, I thought the GA run was the best of tour so far.
, comment by chillwig
chillwig phish.net recaps should be a fluff-free zone.

if you can't check your attendance bias at the door, then maybe these recaps aren't for you.
, comment by Jayrizzledizzle
Jayrizzledizzle I must inquire, Wilson, can you still have fun?

I mean, I know folks want to hear what they want to hear, but when you can get up there and play it equally as good or better to equally-sized crowds, then you have grounds for jumping up on your soapbox and being critical. Until then, spend your time and money on something you can actually appreciate!

Seriously, once again had to switch channels after the first paragraph.

Oh well, on to the next!
, comment by chillwig
chillwig i have read the fucking book and can assure you that at no point does it say, "You get what you get and don't get upset."
, comment by colors_in_the_void
colors_in_the_void Stopped reading at “Anyways, Vultures is god awful”...
, comment by Wombat_en_Fuego
Wombat_en_Fuego @lumpblockclod said:
Why people bother reading an actual review of a musical performance when it seems all they really want is someone to tell them it was the best thing ever is something I'll never understand. Vultures and Mango were not good renditions of those songs in that they were played (or at times, in the case of Mango, not played) poorly. Some of you act as if that's the reviewer's fault. Mystifying.

Look, maybe you just don't think pointing out those things is important or that the flubs have zero impact on your enjoyment of a Phish show. That's perfectly valid! And part of me even agrees with you (to a point, anyway). But then why do you want to read a review at all?
Pointing out technical issues is not the problem of the review. The overall impression when reading the review is that the show is not worth listening to, nor enjoyable. If you are in that boat, jump off the Big Boat and paddle away in your raft towards a different island. You'll have more fun out there, learn to lessen your expectations, and even have time to read The Book.
, comment by chillwig
chillwig is there a phish version of "stockholm syndrome"?
, comment by Wombat_en_Fuego
Wombat_en_Fuego @chillwig said:
is there a phish version of "stockholm syndrome"?
Yes, it's when people enjoy TAB.
, comment by EarlHeff
EarlHeff I'm in the same camp as the reviewer. I didn't think it was well played and the flubs killed the phlow. And I would also be fine never hearing YST again. It was still a great, high energy Sunday show. But not a lot here to come back to.
, comment by gunrwilson
gunrwilson I'm thankful that the reviewer does not write the setlists.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @jasong_iheardtheoceansing said:
"Alternately" is misused instead of the correct use of "alternatively." Sheesh, if you're going to write official reviews that people that go out of their way to read, you should take the time to practice your grammar skills, or at least have someone proofread.
al·ter·nate·ly
ˈôltərnətlē/
adverb
adverb: alternately

1.
with two things continually following and succeeded by each other; one after the other.
"she sounds alternately confused and confident"
2.
North American
as another option or possibility; alternatively.
"alternately, slice the cake in two when completely cooled and spread raspberry jam between the two halves"
, comment by the_vultures
the_vultures @gunrwilson said:
I'm thankful that the reviewer does not write the setlists.
Lisewise... it’s hard to envision a Phish that doesn’t play wildly diverse setlists.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown Set 1:

Timber
HTTM
Alumni Blues
Time Turns Elastic
Runaway Jim
Llama
Ya Mar

Set 2:

Harry Hood
Undermind
Real Me
Taste
Sand
Mound
All of These Dreams

Enc:

NMINML
, comment by chillwig
chillwig punctuation you in the eye
, comment by ThomasFunkyEdison
ThomasFunkyEdison "We're 13 shows into an 18 show tour"....Do the 3 Curveball and 3 Dick's shows not count towards summer tour? Methinks they do.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @ThomasFunkyEdison said:
"We're 13 shows into an 18 show tour"....Do the 3 Curveball and 3 Dick's shows not count towards summer tour? Methinks they do.
I'm sure I'm wrong about this like everything else in the recap, but I always tend to think of festivals (and Dick's) as apart from tours. It's just the way my brain works. :)
, comment by Jebbfcfm
Jebbfcfm Your reviews always get the best comments
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @Wombat_en_Fuego said:
@lumpblockclod said:
Why people bother reading an actual review of a musical performance when it seems all they really want is someone to tell them it was the best thing ever is something I'll never understand. Vultures and Mango were not good renditions of those songs in that they were played (or at times, in the case of Mango, not played) poorly. Some of you act as if that's the reviewer's fault. Mystifying.

Look, maybe you just don't think pointing out those things is important or that the flubs have zero impact on your enjoyment of a Phish show. That's perfectly valid! And part of me even agrees with you (to a point, anyway). But then why do you want to read a review at all?
Pointing out technical issues is not the problem of the review. The overall impression when reading the review is that the show is not worth listening to, nor enjoyable. If you are in that boat, jump off the Big Boat and paddle away in your raft towards a different island. You'll have more fun out there, learn to lessen your expectations, and even have time to read The Book.
Any Phish show is worth listening to once. I enjoyed last night's Phish show, watched attentively, and heaped praise on parts of it. Here are some actual adjectives I used:

Brilliant
Flawless
Propulsive
Thrilling
Panoramic
Sassy
Buoyant
Satisfying
Playful
Energetic
Moist

Okay, I didn't use "moist." But the review I wrote--which maybe you read and maybe you really didn't--isn't what you say it is. I suspect you're like most people seething about this recap. Even when interspersed with deserved praise, you don't want to hear anything critical at all, true or not. Having that world view is certainly your prerogative, but so is your media diet.

And hey, thanks for inviting me to quit Phish. That was pretty enlightened.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @Jebbfcfm said:
Your reviews always get the best comments
So far, yours is one of my favorites.
, comment by Moonruin
Moonruin I believe in miracles, actually I really don’t, but this band playing as they are today in 2018 (especially during this ATL run) is very close to a miracle considering where they were in 2004. That idea and that song hit me square in the chest Sunday. The energy in Alpharetta to open the show was incredible and it was a great opening call, despite however you feel about wearing the glove on a foot.
I truly loved that opening set, despite an imperfect Vultures. The energy of that Sand was off the charts. Reba was absolutely beautiful. I completely agree with your sentiment concerning All Events.
Maybe they should rehearse more before the tour, maybe they should repeat more, but I personally love what they are attempting these days, which is harnessing the largest repertoire of any band in history to create a unique, moving experience each night. When they are on stage they are giving everything they have each night and in my opinion they absolutely crushed this 3 night run.
, comment by OrangeSox
OrangeSox @lumpblockclod said:
Look, maybe you just don't think pointing out those things is important or that the flubs have zero impact on your enjoyment of a Phish show. That's perfectly valid! And part of me even agrees with you (to a point, anyway). But then why do you want to read a review at all?
To review the review, natch...

Solid clickbait material right here! Reviews that focus numerous passages on the band's errors are especially fun when they overlook important components of a great performance. I always know i can't wait to read the comments and then the defensive responses to the comments. You all did not disappoint.

The idea of the band shelving huge chunks of their catalog because they don't play the songs perfectly is not getting my approval by a long shot, but what do i know, perhaps i am suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" if that's when technical perfection is secondary to the celebration of the moment.
, comment by Spirit
Spirit I think becusd how hard phish is killing it right now ( to me at least , energy , fun , band crowd synergy ) we forget that these are mid 50 year olds. And I enjoy healthy criticism of Phishs performance I really do. Maybe it’s just a writing style thing for me but still feel like you’re being a little loose with your words. Was vultures rough, ? Yeah def a little . I’m not getting my panties in a bunch because we have slightly differing opinion on what flubs mean in the grand scheme of a phish show these days. My favorite era isn92-95 so that laser percision is what i really dig.

But one thing that is really inspiring and you can hear it in the Tweezer from this weekend is when trey was out in the open space in a jam and went to hit his statement note and sour’d It. But then he just empties his mind, let’s the negativity of missing wash over him jumps on the next go around and slays that statement note leading to a nee jam movement. Truly inspiring , I wish I could push doubt and fear away like that put muni head down and keep pushing on , with confidence and belief in myself.
, comment by Attenborough
Attenborough I picture the author as a “straight missionary guy” who complains about being uncomfortable any time his partner tries to bust out a new position
, comment by Col_Radicones_Ascent
Col_Radicones_Ascent Couch touring until Curve Ball but here are some things that I have noticed. Yes, this has been a very sloppy tour. This being due to, like the author said, because of a HUGE repertoire and technical issues with the rig. Does it bother me? Heck yea with one of the more egregious failings in How Many People Are You which is a song I rather enjoy cuz it's just a straight up balls to the walls rocker, and sadly it seemed like Mike forgot his own lyrics (theme of the summer tour, mixed up lyrics).

I like the idea of Phish letting the crowd sing and the Sleeping Monkey from the forum was just goosebump inducing. If they want to let us sing than I'm cool with it ( like the acoustic tour). But seeing the boys unable to grapple their material is a bummer. At least it's not due to drug addiction like 2004 or Summer 2016 where they just didnt want to step out of their comfort zone/ internal tensions while recording Big Boats. Notice the newer songs have easier lyrics and structure to them but can still blast off.

I am very much in both camps here...I agree it's frustrating to hear the flubs but I still try to have a good time and still love the culture behind this band and all you good pholks. Be critical but also remember Phish is like pizza...(if you dont like it Phuck off and eat Subway)... but seriously Phish is still better than a majority of mainstream music out there and have inspired equally riproaring bands to keep an eye out for.

Keep having fun everyone!
, comment by Col_Radicones_Ascent
Col_Radicones_Ascent @Spirit said:
I think becusd how hard phish is killing it right now ( to me at least , energy , fun , band crowd synergy ) we forget that these are mid 50 year olds. And I enjoy healthy criticism of Phishs performance I really do. Maybe it’s just a writing style thing for me but still feel like you’re being a little loose with your words. Was vultures rough, ? Yeah def a little . I’m not getting my panties in a bunch because we have slightly differing opinion on what flubs mean in the grand scheme of a phish show these days. My favorite era isn92-95 so that laser percision is what i really dig.

But one thing that is really inspiring and you can hear it in the Tweezer from this weekend is when trey was out in the open space in a jam and went to hit his statement note and sour’d It. But then he just empties his mind, let’s the negativity of missing wash over him jumps on the next go around and slays that statement note leading to a nee jam movement. Truly inspiring , I wish I could push doubt and fear away like that put muni head down and keep pushing on , with confidence and belief in myself.
That happens in the BD Chalkdust where he starts the familiar 2015 DWD Dicks Theme and he hits a sour note and it propels the jam into the stratosphere.
, comment by jsauce
jsauce For the record, I'm with the reviewer here.
I mean, to everyone who shat on this review, what the fuck is your problem? The guy volunteers to write a review of the show and writes about what he hears. He's not there to stick his tongue up Trey's asshole the way most of these commenters seem to wish he would. Why? What on Earth is wrong with pointing out that they screwed up changes in Vultures? Or that on literally every show this tour, Trey has had trouble controlling his rig. On our dime. I was there on Saturday and Trey fucked up changes in Slave, which is much older and much simpler than Vultures by a long shot.
Here's the truth, part 1: They fucked up changes in a lot of songs. The truth, part 2: I still had a great time. It can be both and to suggest otherwise means you value different parts of the music. So fucking what? You don't have to read these reviews any more than the reviewer has to listen to last night's show again.
, comment by hdorne
hdorne @chillwig said:
phish.net recaps should be a fluff-free zone.

if you can't check your attendance bias at the door, then maybe these recaps aren't for you.
This. The band, most notably Trey, has been really sloppy this tour. The SF “Waking Up Dead” was embarrassing, rivaling the Coventry “Glide” in trainwreckery. If you can’t hear that, and you lambast and downvote those of us who expect a reasonably well-rehearsed band for our $100 ticket, I’m not sure what to tell you. It doesn’t mean we’re “haters” or “jaded vets” or whatever, it means we know how great this band can be and expect them to practice. Flubs are one thing, trainwrecks are another.
, comment by ColForbin
ColForbin Phish makes a lot of money playing music - they aren't your buddy at an open mic night who you should feel guilty about criticizing. They are professionals who can and should play their songs well, and I think that @bertoletdown has some interesting commentary on why Phish doesn't, and how they could improve things if they wanted. It's unfortunate that some of you see this type of criticism as an attack on the fun you had at the show or your enjoyment listening, but the flubs are objective facts, and they do negatively impact the experience of many listeners, both at the show and on the couch. A well-played Vultures is a beautiful thing, the type of music that got me into Phish in the first place. A poorly played Vultures is, well, not.

I had a blast listening on the couch last night, even with the rough patches. It was a great weekend of shows and I think it bodes well for the rest of tour. But it would have been even better if the band nailed all the tricky composed sections, right? That's all we're saying.
, comment by J_D_G
J_D_G @Wombat_en_Fuego said:
My initial interpretation of this review is that the author has a tough time enjoying him/herself these days? Hopefully not.

You are making a logical error here whose frequent use doesn't make it any less of a fallacy.

Mr. Bertolet said exactly zero in his review about having a good time at the show. He commented, fairly and even generously (he declined to mention how atrociously "Mango" was played, undoubtably to spare the feelings of commenters like you), about the music played at the show.

A critical evaluation of music has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with how good a time anyone at the show or on the couch had. He is not saying you were wrong to enjoy yourself. He may very well have had the time of his life watching the webcast. We have no idea, because he didn't address it, because it's completely irrelevant.

HTH
, comment by J_D_G
J_D_G You know what, people?

Somehow the first generations of Phish fans were able to build an online infrastructure for shared fandom and discussion---from the first Phish email list to the Usenet newsgroup rec.music.phish to Phish.net itself, still going strong--and they were able to talk about shows, and discuss/critique the music honestly with the shared understanding that we're all committed enough to this weird band to spend our time following (and opining upon, lol) their every mood.

They--we--didn't have our every conversation about a Phish show hit with a torrent of whining because every single review did not mechanically spit out the equivalent of "It's all Hood, man!" We were able to compare and contrast different jams, complain about a show's problems and celebrate what went right about it.

If you are the sort of fan who simply CANNOT STAND to see anyone say ANYTHING about a Phish show that honestly and realistically describes the music, then I hate to say things like this but listen: Phish.net recaps are not for you.

Do you hear that? Phish.net recaps are not for you.

Phish.net recaps are for fans both old and new who love Phish and enjoy talking about the band's music. These recaps are for people who enjoy debate, want to have their ears opened to things they missed, and yes, take some satisfaction in accurately pointing out problems and indeed complaining about them.

If you want some sort of "1984"-style safe space where every single show is lauded as perfect, where no historical perspective whatsoever is allowed into the conversation, where it's somehow a problem to point out with unquestionable accuracy that, for instance, the composed section of a song was horribly butchered on a particular evening, let me suggest:

Go look for that safe space somewhere else.

That has never been what Phish.net is about.

Phish.net is for fans with varying degrees of knowledge about the band--though yes, it's predominately people, like Sunday recapper @bertoletdown, who are experts who know the history of this band inside and out and who bring historical perspective that simply can't be faked.

If you need to live in an echo chamber of Phombies who mutter "last night was epic" under their breath as a mantra, and can't handle an honest and fair recap....

Go somewhere else.

HTH,

Jeremy
, comment by DeepBlueSky
DeepBlueSky Could not disagree more with your assessment of 'You Sexy Thing'. Of all the covers that debuted at the Baker's Dozen, 'You Sexy Thing' is the one I've most hoped to see them play again. It's one hell of a rocking fun cover.

I didn't get a chance to see this show live, but when I saw what the opener was, I couldn't have been happier. Hope to catch them play it later this year when I pick the tour up again.

And overall, after listening to it, it's safe to say that this show rocked! Wish I had been there!
, comment by Scott
Scott I've reviewed the reviewer from time to time but this time I'm with @Bertoletdown. I'm not going to care and probably won't remember one or two flubs/quick recoveries as they are part of performing, but at this point the band needs to rehearse more or shorten up the playlist. Maybe don't schedule side project gigs immediately before Phish tour?

In the past, I pushed back on the 3.0 v. 1.0 comparisons IRT flubbing. 1.0 had its fair share. 12/31/95 has a majorly botched Reba; at the pre-Thanksgiving DC area show in 1995 they botched Rift and aborted it entirely in favor of a boring 30 minute Free. That being said, from 1991 through most of 3.0 I would basically never catch Fishman out like I did a few times recently, and overt mistakes by Mike were super-rare (he's AWOL from his highlight line --twice! -- in the Forum Fuego.) On Saturday night even the outro to Maze was dodgy. ATL3 and Tahoe1 are about the worst in all of phish history and getting to be borderline unprofessional.

Remembering lyrics is harder when you get to be 55 -- so get a teleprompter operation going! This isn't American Idol. Would anyone care? Jazzers have 'the book' -- it wouldn't be hard for Phish to establish a one page file for every song in the catalog to have available on stage while they play or for a 30 second overview between songs.

There have been many choice improvisations this tour, and I'm warming to Trey's new sonic toolkit. Petrichor certainly must have taken some rehearsal time since they've been on the road. Obv. we don't want soulless studio musicians but methinks a little more prep time would go a long way and improve the experience of the phans. I'm sure Trey is sincere when he speaks to trying to make their show something worth traveling to get to. Being tighter is part of that.

The 1993 NYE run had repeats. We lived. Last night had tons of potential but it just didn't come together despite the promise at the outset.
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 @Bertoletdown has been around a while, but the town’s throwing down on him. I tend to agree with most of the opinions in his reviews, with this review being no exception. I watched all of the shows from this weekend via webcast and felt that they were the best three nights of the tour. I also agree that Friday was probably the best night, followed by Saturday, and then Sunday.

You are allowed to be critical of something and still love it, as I am with Phish, and obviously, as he is too. Make no mistake, these guys are professionals going into their 35th year of existence. They make a LOT of money while they do what they enjoy for work. I expect Phish to nail the composed sections of their own songs, and when they do not, you have to call a spade a spade. All fluff and rainbows do not make an honest review. Phish set their own bar long ago, so when Trey can’t play a whole section of Vultures or forgets half the words to Fee, turning a blind eye in a review would be irresponsible.

With that stated, I’m beyond excited to attend the two Camden shows and Curveball. I felt that they made some giant leaps with their overall playing in Georgia, and I hope they carry this momentum forward for the rest of the tour.
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck @J_D_G you’re throwing a bigger more blustery tantrum and spewing more negativity than anyone here who was put off by the review, so check yourself there, bud.

I came for a recap of the show, not to hear some couchtour three paragraph armchair opinion of how Phish should cut half their repertoire because the botched Vultures and Fee, yet the fact that they nailed Reba gets but a passing mention a moment later.

My problem is with the negative tone of the review not the fact that the reviewer pointed out the moments where the band admittedly fell flat. It was over 20 years ago where Trey said “people don’t come to the show to hear us hit all the changes” so someone has a problem with that maybe they’re not the best person to be recapping these shows on Phish.net. Sure there were flubs but for most of us they were just one aspect of a solid show capping of a legitimately GREAT run of shows.. NOT the headline or cause for a lengthy aside about how the time has come for changes.
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck And for the record I have no problem being critical of the band. I turned off the BGCA stream after my ears got tired of the over-whammy’d Gin and Jibboo, and since they had lost me after Runaway Jim anyway.

PS: @J_D_G fuck your coded alt-right dog whistle about “safe spaces,” that’s some problematic white dude bullshit that really doesn’t have any place in this conversation.
, comment by jfeeney
jfeeney I appreciate the fact that all you "hardcore fans" know how every note is played "correctly." (sarcasm)

The author has some valid points about not remembering lyrics and the value of rehearsal..but the point of the band and the concert is FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE FUN! People had fun when they played 'Fee'...even if they messed up the chorus. Alpharetta was exploding with energy! I enjoyed the hell out of that 'Vultures' even if I noticed some flubs. Now my question for you is...can you still have any fun??

If you want a flawless Trey Anastasio experience go see one of his Orchestra Performances! Don't whine about it on a podcast or on the web!

On a final note, lets get back to having fun and enjoying the show for what it is! We don't need to break down Phish shows to ESPN like analysis.

Rant Over!
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @experiencechuck said:
It was over 20 years ago where Trey said “people don’t come to the show to hear us hit all the changes”
He was talking about Brad.

SMDH
, comment by AssemblyHall95
AssemblyHall95 The biggest difference I see now between now and the good old days in the 90s is that they played a shit load more shows back then. If your only going to play a handful of shows each year maybe up your level of basic knowledge of the songs you want to play. I know everybody wants to have the best night ever at each show, but I don't think it's wrong to expect a professional approach to a paid performance.
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck @ericwyman said:
@experiencechuck said:
It was over 20 years ago where Trey said “people don’t come to the show to hear us hit all the changes”
He was talking about Brad.

SMDH

He was talking about how he and Brad judge shows using different criteria. I’m well aware of this. The conversation here mirrors that very same conversation to the extent that the recap referenced that scene.

So go ahead and shake your damn head, and while you’re at it shake your whole damn body to a selection of your choosing from the Phish from Vermont.
, comment by Col_Radicones_Ascent
Col_Radicones_Ascent All of these flubs are pretext for the larger "Curveball" Gag...5 sets of improvisation and no singing...that would be clever and fucked up all at the same time.
, comment by vslice
vslice It’s one thing when the overriding theme is shared communally, but this was a fun show with technique, covers, funk, and reprises. One of the better shows this tour, no doubt.

If you concentrate on the mistakes you will find them. Of course one has that right to critique, but it seems that the bar is set so high they truly have to execute a flawless set time and time again. This one qualifier seems to then justify a good show?, seems odd and self defeating.

The fact that these guys can play with precision and accuracy without extended practice or rehearsal is truly a testament to just how good they are. Of course my interpretation of precision and accuracy are much different than others.
, comment by 339mike
339mike @jasong_iheardtheoceansing said:
@jasong_iheardtheoceansing said:
"Alternately" is misused instead of the correct use of "alternatively." Sheesh, if you're going to write official reviews that people that go out of their way to read, you should take the time to practice your grammar skills, or at least have someone proofread. ;)
please proofread your reviews of unproofread official reviews: "that people that go out of their way to read" myself review myself...grammar/skills is redundant, pick one please... or perhaps an oxymoron pertaining to official reviewer :) ....

more, simple:
In fact, I’ll stick my neck out even further and say that bertoletdown shouldn’t review any show on phish.net for fans when they aren’t proofread or fact checked.

then we can all relax
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @experiencechuck said:

He was talking about how he and Brad judge shows using different criteria. I’m well aware of this.
Brad was right.
, comment by Tiddlywinks
Tiddlywinks Wow. As Jerry once said...this comments section is 'crackling with energy'. If you don't like criticism of a show I completely agree with the earlier comment that perhaps Phish.net just ain't for you. Might I suggest you bookmark the following:

https://www.jambase.com/article/phish-concludes-2018-alpharetta-run-recap-setlist-skinny

Innocuous and sure to not offend delicate sensibilities. I love reading someone's criticism and then going and listening for myself. If you think Trey sounds bad...try listening to some '94 Jerry to hear what sloppy really sounds like. I saw both BGCA shows and loved it. Not all great but the band sounds funky and the jams have been chunky with lots of improvisation and exploration going on every night. I consider myself lucky to be seeing this band at this time playing at what I believe is an incredibly high level most nights.

Enjoy the good, the bad, and the ugly my friends...it won't be here forever.
, comment by SteelyGorDan
SteelyGorDan Would I like to hear the composed sections of Vultures, Rift, and The Mango Song played perfectly?

Sure.

Do I expect every single song to be played flawlessly?

No, because as the songbook expands and time passes, execution suffers. I'm fine with it.

It seems fans will not get the "best of both worlds" that Phish delivered in their heyday and to ask for that type of performance qualifies as asking for too much. I'd much rather hear artfully crafted jams and extended experimentation where the band does what they do best versus numerous impeccable versions of classics from rigorous practice. Could the execution be better? Of course it could, but I am not going to harp on the poor performances as the good outweighs the bad.

I would rather hear sloppy renditions of beloved songs mixed in with the ambient and dark jams than no effort at all given to classics like Rift and Fee.

Throw in a bit of fun and unforeseen song choices from a goofy band = good time.

Pointing out the irregularites of the band's performance overshadows the great moments. Phish is sometimes rigid and sometimes loose, often quirky and unpredictable. That's why we all love them so much, right?
, comment by waxbanks
waxbanks I guess I'm late for the fun again.

'Vultures' is one of my favourite Phish songs bar none; has been since first listen, as part of that insane batch of new tunes in Summer 97. 'Beautiful and complex and enervating' is just right. At times I've wondered how much of that collection of songs was written specifically to challenge the band. Over and over throughout their career you see them taking up a strange self-imposed challenge or constraint -- Remain in Light, the Blob, the Baker's Dozen -- and being forced to work like dogs for a while, really put in the hours to hear themselves, with their communication and connection deepening as a result. Their time in the practice room is the most important time they spend together, right? Or it used to be. (Anyone who hasn't heard Trey's Charlie Rose interview where he talks about peak moments in the band, go find it on Youtube. Sidebar: Fuck Charlie Rose though.)

Anyway, so I might shift the *emphasis* of @bertoletdown's thoughtful review a few degrees toward the second-set ('third quarter') improv -- the long 'tangent' is this review's real focus, so people feel it most strongly, no biggie -- but I'm as disappointed as Chris is in the 'mundane' execution, more bummed than worried but disappointed all the same.

How would we know Phish had become a nostalgia act? No more challenging themselves. Right now, Phish isn't much of a challenge. Certainly not the intellectual/creative challenge they've long embraced. They're *not* a nostalgia act, but it's important to be clear that that's the danger.

The Baker's Dozen is the most ambitious thing they've done in ages, and it brought the best out of them in terms of improvisation. The work focused and drove their curiosity. Remember Trey's early-2015 woodshedding, the *immediate* effect it had on the band for Summer 2015 tour? Their work ethic and exploratory creativity are tightly bound up, Trey's most of all I think, and Phish-as-summer-vacation doesn't place enough demands on them to pull them into new places.

All of which is to say that if you want Phish to play compelling improvisations, then you should be howling (or cheering, or petitioning, or just hoping) for them to double down on the 'mundane' aspects of their musical craft, to hold on to at least some (more) of the precision and focused experimentation that've long been central to their shared identity.

Having said that, I do worry that a trimmed-down songlist would lead to less interesting second sets, so if they're gonna trim the list, I'd want them also to refocus it, precisely to keep fewer of their early-second-set staples. I'd happily never hear an extended DWD again if it meant they took Mango Song or Maze or 2001 or Character Zero or (insert favourite song here) out to the 'Type II' place sometimes, but that almost certainly means a Summer 97-style culling. I'm all for it.

I liked the show, though -- I skipped the first set (ugh I'm old) and so my first listen to the Gin > Sexy and that groovy 2001 plastered huge smiles on my face. Vultures was a mess, You Sexy Thing isn't a good fit for them. They're improvising superbly at times but need variety to keep themselves fully engaged. I'm glad they're playing music; it brings me joy not least because it brings them joy. Probably they'd benefit from more rigor. I think it'd (paradoxically) loosen them up. But: whatever keeps them together and at peace, I want that too.
, comment by art_vandelay
art_vandelay I'm usually OK with criticism, and I've occasionally lobbed a few shots myself in the past, but this particular review/recap misses the mark IMO. If I hadn't attended this show myself, after reading this I would've thought the band was bumbling through their performance and drawing ire from the crowd as a result. There were far more hits than misses, and whenever they DID miss, they quickly dusted themselves off and went back to taking care of business. Everyone I talked to after that show was beaming, myself included, and deservedly so. This recap certainly didn't capture the vibe of what was happening that night in Alpharetta, and kinda comes across as a hit piece, whether intentional or not. I know what I saw Sunday night, and it didn't resemble anything I'd read here...
, comment by Wombat_en_Fuego
Wombat_en_Fuego @art_vandelay said:
I'm usually OK with criticism, and I've occasionally lobbed a few shots myself in the past, but this particular review/recap misses the mark IMO. If I hadn't attended this show myself, after reading this I would've thought the band was bumbling through their performance and drawing ire from the crowd as a result. There were far more hits than misses, and whenever they DID miss, they quickly dusted themselves off and went back to taking care of business. Everyone I talked to after that show was beaming, myself included, and deservedly so. This recap certainly didn't capture the vibe of what was happening that night in Alpharetta, and kinda comes across as a hit piece, whether intentional or not. I know what I saw Sunday night, and it didn't resemble anything I'd read here...
Perfect summary of how I felt after hearing the show and then reading the review!

I also do not mind criticism when it is due. And no, I don't mind the flubs being pointed out. But to let the overall show review be a message that the show was not listenable, enjoyable, etc., is where it failed, at least to me. I am not a listener who expects every review be 100% praise and fluffery. And while the author was quick to offer me the adjectives used to praise parts of the show, it is clear what the overall message was just from a simple read (and yes author, I did in fact read the entire review). Thus my message, if you can't have fun with that show, maybe you just can't have fun anymore?

My biggest worry is that the super-high expectations and not-deserved, overly critical show reviews push this band into re-thinking their audience and continued love for new music (while not neglecting the old music)...
, comment by johnnyd
johnnyd This is an entity that is literally at the top of their profession, incredibly wealthy due to us paying for the product they put out, and yet they should be treated with kid gloves, immune from criticism? Wow.

I get it that phish is in large part well-deserved escapism for many fans. And of course its a rock concert. And to some, it is a higher, creative performing art. Subject to good nights and bad nights, arcs, highs and lows. Its a bunch of other things too. All we're asking is that folks that reside in one category try and respect the folks that reside in others.

Incredibly ironically, the phish online world has turned into a place that seems like quasi-cultists that can only tolerate one viewpoint lest their feelings or experience be damaged shout and insult down people that may take an analytical view and derive enjoyment in that way on top of the emotional release.

Virtually every phish show is high energy and super fun. Should that just be the standard recap from here to eternity? Just autopost it at noon every day after a show?

To respond to the ridiculous alt-right mention above, I think a much more apt comparison is that for everyone that wants and needs to use hyperbole and superlatives to describe every single show without really any context or history, to me that sounds a hell of a lot more like trump and the right than people attempting to have an open and neutral discussion about the music. (Again - use all the superlatives you want to describe how much fun you had and your experience of the show. That is not what the above recap, and some others in a similar vein are talking about.)

My brief review of the actual show is that looked incredibly fun. The screaming peaks in FYF, Sand, and Gin were $$$. Reba was fantastic. Most events ... amazing. Golden Age, of course, was a lighthearted romp through typeII danceland. But, the meat of set 2 (Twist through (bruised) Mango) was absent any substantial creativity or improv. (That is a neutral observation, not criticizing it, sayin its bad or un-fun.) But the flubbery was real, and that was a downward trend from nights 1 and 2. Is Cavern/Fee going to be the new Drums/Space - complete zonking on the lyrics at nearly every show? How long til that stops seeming endearing?

I enjoyed reading many of the comments both that supported the review and provided thoughtful counterpoint. But holy cow are some of the emotional based personal attacks cringeworthy to read. Good luck to all; and happy Camdening.

“And now on to Camden - wonderful people there, who, by the way, voted for me overwhelmingly - which, I am confident will go down as one of, if not, the greatest run in Phish history.”

#MPGA
, comment by Wombat_en_Fuego
Wombat_en_Fuego Interesting that such a terrible show gets:

Overall: 4.543/5 (247 ratings) as of a minute ago...

But apparently I'm alt-right, so what do I know? Lol.

Don't worry, I won't question a review that questions the bands work habits and song catalog anymore. I'll just shake my head and move on.
, comment by PhunkyBallOfTits
PhunkyBallOfTits I see both sides here and I think the offense to some, is that this was a good show, and yet the reviewer chose to dwell on the negative. Yes he mentioned a lot of the good, and if the previous two nights hadn't been above average then I'd say the tone would be appropriate. I don't want a fluff review, but the weekend was a win, and this review comes off otherwise. There have been decent shows so far but we achieved liftoff this weekend, a solid 3 day run. I don't see too many comments that came across as being personally attacked by this. I think some agree there could've been a more fair approach to it- sure there were flubs but hot damn there were some ups as well, and more importantly, they are heating up for what should be a smokin tour closer and incredible festival. Why is it the reviewer can spend too much time critiquing the band, but when a lot of people critique the review some people say fuck off in the form of "phish.net isn't for you"?
, comment by chillwig
chillwig @PhunkyBallOfTits said:
Why is it the reviewer can spend too much time critiquing the band, but when a lot of people critique the review some people say fuck off in the form of "phish.net isn't for you"?
If you have a quality point to make and you can support it with reasons, then great. But that's not what goes on here in large part. In my experience, the comments to a negative .net recap typically fall into one of the following gripes:

1. Can you still have fun? Maybe you should stop going (ad hominem)
2. Couch tour recaps don't count (attendance bias)
3. "I stopped reading after the negative thing ..." (epistemic closure)
4. Unless you can do better, you should shut up (appeal to authority/courtiers reply)
5. These guys are 50-something cut them some slack (appeal to pity)
6. We should be grateful that they play at all! Blessed! (straw man)
7. Slop doesn't matter because it's all about the yams (false dilemma)

I could go on, but suffice it to say that each of above happened in the thread above, some more than onces. If one of those takes is your knee-jerk response to a salty recap, then yes - maybe phish.net recaps aren't for you.
, comment by Stanp1
Stanp1 Most Events is one of their best songs they’ve debuted in the past year, but it is a Vida Blue song.. just thought it needed some credit
, comment by PhunkyBallOfTits
PhunkyBallOfTits @chillwig said:
@PhunkyBallOfTits said:
Why is it the reviewer can spend too much time critiquing the band, but when a lot of people critique the review some people say fuck off in the form of "phish.net isn't for you"?
If you have a quality point to make and you can support it with reasons, then great. But that's not what goes on here in large part. In my experience, the comments to a negative .net recap typically fall into one of the following gripes:

1. Can you still have fun? Maybe you should stop going (ad hominem)
2. Couch tour recaps don't count (attendance bias)
3. "I stopped reading after the negative thing ..." (epistemic closure)
4. Unless you can do better, you should shut up (appeal to authority/courtiers reply)
5. These guys are 50-something cut them some slack (appeal to pity)
6. We should be grateful that they play at all! Blessed! (straw man)
7. Slop doesn't matter because it's all about the yams (false dilemma)

I could go on, but suffice it to say that each of above happened in the thread above, some more than onces. If one of those takes is your knee-jerk response to a salty recap, then yes - maybe phish.net recaps aren't for you.
To me, "phish.net isn't for you" is also a knee jerk response. Kind of a double standard. I can critique the band, bc this is my place to do so, but if you don't like it then leave? I get that some (jaded? maybe so, maybe not) vets can't get past flubs or quality of composed sections. I get that some people are bigger picture- jams, overall fun, set flow etc. Why can't both be here?
, comment by johnnyd
johnnyd a.) Noting the accuracy of the music actually performed in composed pieces is entirely different from “not being able to get over the flubs.
b.) of course we want to have both types of fans. From years and years and years of these comment sections, however, it seems the latter group, the fun and energy (fenergy?) group (which we are actually all a part of, believe it or not) can’t and/or don’t want to tolerate the subset of fans who want to be even the least bit analytical about the whole enterprise. I’ve never seen a critical recapper ask someone who had a great time at an average show to quit Phish. To the contrary, over and over, the message is “your experience and enjoyment of every show is your own, nobody’s saying it wasn’t fun, regardless of the description that follows.” But the retort is, “maybe you should quit Phish/can you still have fun?”

It’s like a thought police that is scared of critical thinking or analysis, because that might somehow detract from your personal experience. The thing is, as I mentioned above, it’s totally valid to enjoy Phish as an escape and celebration and choose to see all the positive. Nobody on the site team, none of our writers, is forcing anybody to engage in rankings or act like an art critic, or engage with the music in any way beyond how you want.

So it’s frustrating and confounding to be told over and over, often in insulting, emotional, and aggressive ways, that we can’t and shouldn’t engage with the music how we choose, on a website that we built for the specific purpose of engaging with the music analytically and critically.
, comment by Doctor_Smarty
Doctor_Smarty I'm just upset that the scathing review of my recap of Gorge 3 petered out after only 41 comments and this thing will likely juggernaut into triple digits. You win again @bertoletdown!
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @chillwig said:
I could go on, but suffice it to say that each of above happened in the thread above, some more than onces. If one of those takes is your knee-jerk response to a salty recap, then yes - maybe phish.net recaps aren't for you.
Could you go on though? I’m curious how deep this list could go.

And then we could rank them by stupidity.
, comment by vanuber
vanuber I mostly agree with the review. They aren't playing Guyute for a reason. Regarding the scored songs, I thought Petrichor was pretty tight (I really love that song) and Vultures wasn't nearly as bad as the reviewer makes it out to be.

Overall, I love any Phish show I get to see these days - live or from the couch. I think we have to be grateful and forgiving phans.

A side note - the recording of this show sounds much tighter than it seemed on the webcast.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @chillwig said:
@PhunkyBallOfTits said:
Why is it the reviewer can spend too much time critiquing the band, but when a lot of people critique the review some people say fuck off in the form of "phish.net isn't for you"?
If you have a quality point to make and you can support it with reasons, then great. But that's not what goes on here in large part. In my experience, the comments to a negative .net recap typically fall into one of the following gripes:

1. Can you still have fun? Maybe you should stop going (ad hominem)
2. Couch tour recaps don't count (attendance bias)
3. "I stopped reading after the negative thing ..." (epistemic closure)
4. Unless you can do better, you should shut up (appeal to authority/courtiers reply)
5. These guys are 50-something cut them some slack (appeal to pity)
6. We should be grateful that they play at all! Blessed! (straw man)
7. Slop doesn't matter because it's all about the yams (false dilemma)

I could go on, but suffice it to say that each of above happened in the thread above, some more than onces. If one of those takes is your knee-jerk response to a salty recap, then yes - maybe phish.net recaps aren't for you.
Remind me to never use a fallacy when debating you. Also, to never debate you.
, comment by jsauce
jsauce @ericwyman said:
@chillwig said:
I could go on, but suffice it to say that each of above happened in the thread above, some more than onces. If one of those takes is your knee-jerk response to a salty recap, then yes - maybe phish.net recaps aren't for you.
Could you go on though? I’m curious how deep this list could go.

And then we could rank them by stupidity.

This is a perfect example of utter bullshit.

I'm coming to believe that the ever-widening and harshening (is that a word? it is now!) of opinions and the response to those opinions is a direct influence of the internet on phish as well as our culture (cf every time politics is brought up on this site and, well, politics in general). Each take has to be hotter than the last and the ability to intelligently disagree has seemingly vanished. there's no way any of us would talk this rudely to each other at a show in person, or to our friends and acquaintances, coworkers, etc. We'd be ostracized. But it's the internet, so we don't have to do anything but flame away, sit back, and eat some more cheetos.

All of that having been said, it really does count for something attending the shows and I wish the site leaders would try to find reviewers who were actually AT the show. I was there Saturday. It wasn't the best show ever, but I had a ton of fun regardless.

More on this from Raleigh, where I'll be in attendance and writing the review. Have fun tonight in Camden everyone.
, comment by Wombat_en_Fuego
Wombat_en_Fuego @jsauce said:
@ericwyman said:
@chillwig said:
I could go on, but suffice it to say that each of above happened in the thread above, some more than onces. If one of those takes is your knee-jerk response to a salty recap, then yes - maybe phish.net recaps aren't for you.
Could you go on though? I’m curious how deep this list could go.

And then we could rank them by stupidity.

This is a perfect example of utter bullshit.

I'm coming to believe that the ever-widening and harshening (is that a word? it is now!) of opinions and the response to those opinions is a direct influence of the internet on phish as well as our culture (cf every time politics is brought up on this site and, well, politics in general). Each take has to be hotter than the last and the ability to intelligently disagree has seemingly vanished. there's no way any of us would talk this rudely to each other at a show in person, or to our friends and acquaintances, coworkers, etc. We'd be ostracized. But it's the internet, so we don't have to do anything but flame away, sit back, and eat some more cheetos.

All of that having been said, it really does count for something attending the shows and I wish the site leaders would try to find reviewers who were actually AT the show. I was there Saturday. It wasn't the best show ever, but I had a ton of fun regardless.

More on this from Raleigh, where I'll be in attendance and writing the review. Have fun tonight in Camden everyone.
Have fun! Definitely looking forward to your review.

It all started with my comment to the author's recap (see below for convenience) and snowballed from there. I didn't think I was being too harsh, just hoping the author still enjoys Phish. Because, man, the Sunday show was fun and I wasn't even there. For the recap to be that harsh (overall) just didn't make sense to me, and apparently others.

I think I'm just sick of people complaining about everything when there are so much more important things to complain about. Prior to BD, I heard "They never play 20 minute jams anymore". During/after BD, I heard "That 30 minute jam just meandered too much for me."

I'm just here to have fun and enjoy it while it lasts, and I truly think others will wish they were too when Phish ultimately calls it quits. Hopefully it's not the never-ending complaints that push them there though...

2018-08-06 2:14 pm, comment by Wombat_en_Fuego
Wombat_en_Fuego My initial interpretation of this review is that the author has a tough time enjoying him/herself these days? Hopefully not.

Maybe it is just easier for me to have fun nowadays as I age. Maybe I just appreciate Phish playing together and am willing to "look the other way" on technical issues because of it. No matter the reason, I thought the show was pretty awesome from the couch and wish I had been there. If anyone who struggles to enjoy a show like last night's, would like to give me his/her ticket, I'd be happy to take it!

Thank you Phish for taking chances still. It keeps me interested and attending with zero expectations. I haven't had a bad time in this 3.0 era, so please continue to rock on...
, comment by Arafel
Arafel The more things change ...

I've been seeing Phish since 91-92. Right now, I think their jamming may be the best it's ever been, as it's not Trey going into a frenetic wankfest for 20 minutes. I think the dark and ambient jams are Phish at their finest.

Having said that, I like hearing the composed sections executed well. the first band I ever saw live was Rush, and I saw them several times over the years, including their retirement tour in 2014. I'd put Rush's music at higher complexity level than Phish's and those guys were still executing it despite being a decade older.

This does remind me of the late 90s and early aughts though, as I used to review concerts for the Denver Post and Relix, as well as a few others. Any time I wrote anything negative about a Phish show (9/27/00, 2/18/03) I'd get some variation of "You know nothing about music, go listen to Britney Spears." I remember talking to people on Phunky Bitches and a few other listserves at the time about how what was happening so reminded me of the Grateful Dead from 92-95, where the quality of the music suffered but nobody cared and in fact egged on Jerry/Trey. The last Grateful Dead show I was at in 94 at McNichols was an absolute trainwreck that had me in tears; I could see that Jerry was on the outs. I felt that way about Trey from 00-03, that his drug addiction had taken hold and his playing suffered and no one cared.

Now, I don't think Trey is on drugs again. What I've noticed is that it seems in 3.0, peak years are often followed by struggles. 2013 was fairly average after some of the highlights of 2012. 2016 seemed to suffer in comparison to 2015 when Trey had been practicing so much for Fare Thee Well, and I think after the BD last year, Phish is semi mailing it in right now in 18. the shows have had moments for sure, but they have also been sloppy. Pointing that out is NOT an attack on the band, and I think the "You should be grateful they are playing, can you have phun?" statements in fact do a disservice to the amazing musicians Phish can be. I wish they'd woodshed more; they are always better for it.
, comment by shaphty
shaphty sounds like you chomped your own dick off
, comment by phunguy2001
phunguy2001 @Attenborough said:
I picture the author as a “straight missionary guy” who complains about being uncomfortable any time his partner tries to bust out a new position
I'm 99% sure he is weirder then you
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @jsauce said:
@ericwyman said: [quote]
This is a perfect example of utter bullshit.

I'm coming to believe that the ever-widening and harshening (is that a word? it is now!) of opinions and the response to those opinions is a direct influence of the internet on phish as well as our culture (cf every time politics is brought up on this site and, well, politics in general). Each take has to be hotter than the last and the ability to intelligently disagree has seemingly vanished. there's no way any of us would talk this rudely to each other at a show in person, or to our friends and acquaintances, coworkers, etc. We'd be ostracized. But it's the internet, so we don't have to do anything but flame away, sit back, and eat some more cheetos.

All of that having been said, it really does count for something attending the shows and I wish the site leaders would try to find reviewers who were actually AT the show. I was there Saturday. It wasn't the best show ever, but I had a ton of fun regardless.

More on this from Raleigh, where I'll be in attendance and writing the review. Have fun tonight in Camden everyone.
Let's play this game. Would you mind expanding on what exactly is "a perfect example of utter bullshit"?

Was it where @chillwig provided a crystal clear list of the ways in which the majority discussion have personally attacked the author and attempted to demean his ability to formulate valid personal opinions without 99 comments of agreement? Or was it when I made the joke about ranking them by stupidity. The joke is the ranking, the stupidity is the truth.

This is the perfect fan of Phish as I can tell. They use terms like "The boys" and "The Phish from Vermont," it shows their close personal connection to the performers and also that they've been around. They can heap praise upon each and every performance, regardless of whether it's warranted or not. But they never ever ever provide a critical thought that would create an illusion that they don't truly love this band. Sure you can throw a little shade to a predetermined set of songs (definitely not anything from 1.0 though) but you follow it up with a complement... "The Line is not a song I personally enjoy that much, but the boys really knocked it out of the park." That would seem to be the acceptable form of criticism.

Now we can unpack what happened prior to that. Comment #2

@WOMBAT_EN_FUEGO
My initial interpretation of this review is that the author has a tough time enjoying him/herself these days?
The only explanation for YOU is that the author "must not --clap,clap-- be able --clap,clap-- to enjoy --clap,clap-- himself --clap,clap-- anymore. That's the discourse. "Sorry you don't know how to have a good time man." That was your choice. Not to engage and maybe ask a "thoughtful" question. One that might invite the author to expand upon his original idea. Surely not all communication is limited to a single opportunity to make a point. Surely I can disagree with you and try to understand your perspective? Have we reached the zero sum game? Just right and wrong, pick a side.

And then, moving forward, people were emboldened and they insulted him personally, sbout his love for the band. about his ability to enjoy quite literally ANYTHING, and my favorite that said he was bad at sex.

The bottom line here is that this thread only hardens the point that the community present, doesn't appreciate the kind of honest criticism (funny that I've never once found someone who worries about the feelings of the producers of the walking dead when another said an episode sucked) that @bertoletdown was comfortable contributing. He still loves the band, I asked him privately. Vultures is still a relative piece of shit performance wise.

@jsauce you do you on you're recap. But your take here is built upon an argument reliant on the stereotypes of internet trolls, they're fat and rude, disrespectful even, and that those individuals are here to start shit. @chillwig created a bulleted list with the behavior and the motivation of some behaviors exhibited in this thread. That's not being a troll. That's being learned.

And then you plead with "Site Leaders" to "try to find reviewers who were actually AT the show" (see @chillwig #2), well this happens every single tour. I can say with confidence that these site leaders make considerable effort to find people who can create quality review content AND be in attendance at the show. That's not possible every time out, some people choose to volunteer their time in spite of being remote. Maybe one of them can address that with you personally.

But your basic criticism will always be my favorite, ears don't work if the sound comes through the internet.
, comment by Spoonie_B
Spoonie_B
On a final note, lets get back to having fun and enjoying the show for what it is! We don't need to break down Phish shows to ESPN like analysis.

Rant Over!
Then why do you come read reviews of shows? Why not just go to them, have fun, and move on with your life, instead of berating people for exchanging opinions on a website created in part for that purpose? You know, you don't have to read the analysis if you think it's a pointless thing to do. People who enjoy this talk don't need you to teach us all how to enjoy Phish or music. "Get back to having fun at shows"? I sure do. I know @bertoletdown does. Some of us also have fun talking about Phish shows. Great for us. That's why we're here. Not great for you? No problem. But why are you here, then? How many people are you?
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @phunguy2001 said:
@Attenborough said:
I picture the author as a “straight missionary guy” who complains about being uncomfortable any time his partner tries to bust out a new position
I'm 99% sure he is weirder then you
(looking)
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown Speaking of Vultures, my first was 8/3/97. It's really good (turns out most '97 stuff holds up). But I think my favorite was Pima County '99. Strap in and take THAT one for a ride...
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 Interesting to read these comments. I’m in agreement w the reviewer’s disdain for many of the mistakes. I also agree that it doesn’t mean you didn’t have fun. I don’t see how you can write an honest review without mentioning these moments, esp if they happen multiple times on a tour. And obviously people are welcome to disagree w the review. I dislike the personal attacks and the the love it or leave it stuff from the ‘safe spaces’ crowd.
For me, opinions from users like @bertoletdown, @waxbanks, @colforbin, @j_d_g, and @johnnyd just flat out hold more weight. They have more credibility bc they are bedrock users on this site. They have deepened my understanding of phish analytically. They’ve helped me gain perspective bc of their’s. Go to any random ‘97 show on this site and you’re likely to see a review from some of these guys...because they’ve likely listened to them all. That gives them heft. Flat out phish wouldn’t be what they are without fans like them.
This band is best when they’re the total package. When they are sloppy, they arent their best product. That’s okay, they’re still great and it’s still a lot of fun. The official review was negative in tone; so what? Go submit your positive review on the show page. When a kid that’s 6 now digs into the 2018 tour in 20 years, that’s what they’ll be reading anyway. Just like I did. And that noob will get some context...which this review provides and which lots of us need. I just hope she doesn’t get misled about this show being as good as a 4.5 rated show from 2015...bc it wasn’t and it’s not (all in my humble opinion). See you all at dicks.
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 Addendum: sorry for saying flat out twice.
, comment by bignoch
bignoch The only part of this review I agree with is that Friday was the best night, but that shouldn't take away from how on point the boys were on Sunday. Sure they messed up a bit, but I actually enjoy when this happens - it shows that they are human and that the risks they take each and every night to put on a great show for us are real. I was at the show and when Trey messed up the Fee lyrics I laughed like most of the crowd and then kept on dancing. This reviewer clearly had way more of an off night than Phish.
, comment by TaxPhan
TaxPhan Lots of back and forth on the comments to this review. Sounds like there are two separate sides to the debate. I don't know anyone in this chain personally, as I am new to actually being logged in (but definitely not new to Phish). But it sounds like maybe the author had a bad night and needed to unleash on someone/something. I listened from home and I could only think about how much I wish I was at Sunday's show. Call me crazy, but I'll take Sunday's flubs any day if it means they are keeping their catalog open and trying to bust out old tunes. If I wanted a scripted setlist or entire show, I think I'd go to another show, or any bar band near home. Bring on the flubs!
, comment by TaxPhan
TaxPhan It also sounds like someone had a bad case of the Mondays, lol!
, comment by jsauce
jsauce I'm struggling to understand your point here.
I honestly agree with everything you said here. I thought chillwig's comment was dead on. When you say that we should rank them by stupidity, it doesn't come off as a joke at all.
I think maybe you misunderstood my comment?

@ericwyman said:
@jsauce said:
@ericwyman said: [quote]
This is a perfect example of utter bullshit.

I'm coming to believe that the ever-widening and harshening (is that a word? it is now!) of opinions and the response to those opinions is a direct influence of the internet on phish as well as our culture (cf every time politics is brought up on this site and, well, politics in general). Each take has to be hotter than the last and the ability to intelligently disagree has seemingly vanished. there's no way any of us would talk this rudely to each other at a show in person, or to our friends and acquaintances, coworkers, etc. We'd be ostracized. But it's the internet, so we don't have to do anything but flame away, sit back, and eat some more cheetos.

All of that having been said, it really does count for something attending the shows and I wish the site leaders would try to find reviewers who were actually AT the show. I was there Saturday. It wasn't the best show ever, but I had a ton of fun regardless.

More on this from Raleigh, where I'll be in attendance and writing the review. Have fun tonight in Camden everyone.
Let's play this game. Would you mind expanding on what exactly is "a perfect example of utter bullshit"?

Was it where @chillwig provided a crystal clear list of the ways in which the majority discussion have personally attacked the author and attempted to demean his ability to formulate valid personal opinions without 99 comments of agreement? Or was it when I made the joke about ranking them by stupidity. The joke is the ranking, the stupidity is the truth.

This is the perfect fan of Phish as I can tell. They use terms like "The boys" and "The Phish from Vermont," it shows their close personal connection to the performers and also that they've been around. They can heap praise upon each and every performance, regardless of whether it's warranted or not. But they never ever ever provide a critical thought that would create an illusion that they don't truly love this band. Sure you can throw a little shade to a predetermined set of songs (definitely not anything from 1.0 though) but you follow it up with a complement... "The Line is not a song I personally enjoy that much, but the boys really knocked it out of the park." That would seem to be the acceptable form of criticism.

Now we can unpack what happened prior to that. Comment #2

@WOMBAT_EN_FUEGO
My initial interpretation of this review is that the author has a tough time enjoying him/herself these days?
The only explanation for YOU is that the author "must not --clap,clap-- be able --clap,clap-- to enjoy --clap,clap-- himself --clap,clap-- anymore. That's the discourse. "Sorry you don't know how to have a good time man." That was your choice. Not to engage and maybe ask a "thoughtful" question. One that might invite the author to expand upon his original idea. Surely not all communication is limited to a single opportunity to make a point. Surely I can disagree with you and try to understand your perspective? Have we reached the zero sum game? Just right and wrong, pick a side.

And then, moving forward, people were emboldened and they insulted him personally, sbout his love for the band. about his ability to enjoy quite literally ANYTHING, and my favorite that said he was bad at sex.

The bottom line here is that this thread only hardens the point that the community present, doesn't appreciate the kind of honest criticism (funny that I've never once found someone who worries about the feelings of the producers of the walking dead when another said an episode sucked) that @bertoletdown was comfortable contributing. He still loves the band, I asked him privately. Vultures is still a relative piece of shit performance wise.

@jsauce you do you on you're recap. But your take here is built upon an argument reliant on the stereotypes of internet trolls, they're fat and rude, disrespectful even, and that those individuals are here to start shit. @chillwig created a bulleted list with the behavior and the motivation of some behaviors exhibited in this thread. That's not being a troll. That's being learned.

And then you plead with "Site Leaders" to "try to find reviewers who were actually AT the show" (see @chillwig #2), well this happens every single tour. I can say with confidence that these site leaders make considerable effort to find people who can create quality review content AND be in attendance at the show. That's not possible every time out, some people choose to volunteer their time in spite of being remote. Maybe one of them can address that with you personally.

But your basic criticism will always be my favorite, ears don't work if the sound comes through the internet.
, comment by Heywaterdog
Heywaterdog Thank you .net for making me realize I'd rather spend my Sunday night at home with friends than dealing with MSP at Merriweather. Jeez, I thought we could call a spade a spade. If it don't sound good, it don't sound good. Sometimes it's objective, most times not. Iverson said it best...PRACTICE!!!
I don't know about the rest of you "phans", but my boss is not expecting me to practice when I show up to work. Neither are we. Love the jams, kind of. Take me to a far off place, that's why I bought the ticket. But please, don't try to figure out your latest rig at my, and 30k others expense (and it is expensive).
, comment by Jebbfcfm
Jebbfcfm Does the review rebuttal and it’s comments count toward the overall comment total on @bertoletdown’s review? If so we are triple digits people. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m pretty sure that rebuttal was a bad thing. Also looks like we haven’t seen the end of You Sexy Thing. With teases tonight in Mikes Groove I wouldn’t be surprised if they have some more phun with it at Curveball.
, comment by HotPale
HotPale @GOODTIMESBADTIMES said:
Most events aren't planned isn't new song, it's an old page song. It's time to be over critical of the negative reviewers. Just enjoy the shows. The guys are playing great and won't be around forever. Jesus man get over yourself. They owe us nothing.
"New" was in quotations, but the show was amazing. So far IT was the Best run of the tour.
, comment by petestick
petestick Haha holy crap almost 100 comments on this? Really people? I missed the first set but couch-toured the second. Reviewer is spot on. I'm sure it was a fun show to be at but pretty sloppy overall. Seemed like a Saturday night special on a Sunday. Golden Age jam had that moment of transcendence that the reviewer mentioned but nothing much else (and the GA vocals were terrible, per usual). The set looked like it might be salvaged by some interesting space at the end of Waves, but that was abruptly aborted, as the review astutely mentions. Gin was great and felt longer than the LP timing, but I don't see all that much value in Trey laughing his way through a YST coda and forgetting most of Fee, imho one of the best songs in their repertoire. 2001 was great and must have been incredible for those in attendance.

Sometimes you get a sloppy, fun, high energy show. It happens. Recognizing it doesn't "disrespect" the band or take away from your particular enjoyment of the show. They can't all be zingers. Have fun out there!

@bertoletdown - Great work!
, comment by Mikingbird
Mikingbird For the record, the bridge for "Theme From the Bottom" was perfect in Tahoe and Camden. Haven't heard Austin.

Phish has always gone for broke and with such a massive repertoire, there will be flubs. Vladimir Horowitz flubbed a lot, but as Trey says in "Bittersweet Motel": "I thought the place was ROCKIN'!"

FREE WALNUT CREEK!!!!!!
, comment by JamaalJazzbo
JamaalJazzbo @GOODTIMESBADTIMES said:
Most events aren't planned isn't new song, it's an old page song. It's time to be over critical of the negative reviewers. Just enjoy the shows. The guys are playing great and won't be around forever. Jesus man get over yourself. They owe us nothing.
"They owe us nothing"? That might be as stupid and as pretentious of a comment as ever written.
, comment by babble2thenag
babble2thenag ...so i can't believe i'm gonna qualify myself for a comments section but here goes...i got into phish in middle school in 98 and have been seeing them since 99...tape/cd trading and phish was a huge love and part of my life through middle and high (the trading dwindled after collecting around 250 shows and when phish started making all shows available to buy) and through college...and i used to review shows up until 2000 when as a 15yrold i was absolutely villified for my excitement about a mule duel (which at that point i did not realize was a thing - unfortunately i had only collected about 50 shows up till then and seen prob 7 or 8 and was not well versed in soam - so not knowing a vida blue song history does not mean you and your review should burn in the hottest part of hell...and it was a positive review of that song!)...among other hate-filled diatribes, i was also invited to quit phish - so i think it's priceless this reviewer pointed that out...when i was younger i absolutely adored phish, and am still fond of them today...but this never do wrong bs was never a part of my experience...to me an honest sharing of the good and bad was how i connected with phish and the community and learned and grew...while the music has changed significantly, the amount of fans spewing HATRED at someone for not "loving phish enough" has not...i read your review and heard the voice of someone who very much enjoys phish and knows how to have a good time...i was at tahoe this summer and watched 3rd night of gorge and the san fran webcast...and if any of those shows were like this one then i'm sure your review is spot on...but more importantly it's honest...and to those haters who hope you are doing ok in life and find your way again, i invite them to take a step outside their own assholes, and venture a look at the world from more than one perspective...or just go mutter to a farmer in a truck
, comment by Jebbfcfm
Jebbfcfm 99 comments and a wook ain’t one!
... or is it 99 wooks?
, comment by therealburnham
therealburnham I'm just happy to say that people have passion in this arena. No matter which side of the fence you're on an any of the .net review dichotomies, these debates at least indicate that there are a lot of people caring.
, comment by Paullen
Paullen @Attenborough said:
I picture the author as a “straight missionary guy” who complains about being uncomfortable any time his partner tries to bust out a new position
He probably makes them keep the lights on and when they ask why he simply replies "Because that's what Kuroda would do"
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS no one will read this, but...

I'm not a guy that likes to criticize the reviewer, because when the pen is in your hand and you write how you feel, who can say you're wrong? For you, you're right. As for all who heard it as you did.

My disappointment with the review, however, was how one-sided negative it was. I think that's the real issue people are having with the write-up. It just wasn't balanced. This three night run was excellent. They are playing how they're playing nowadays. It's a flub-fest. Baker's Dozen was as well, lest we forget. But they are crafting very interesting sets, and I think have tried to address some of their shortcomings of recent years, whether it is predictability, lack of improv, etc.

I found this first set (as I have several on this tour) to be deeply engrossing, and a joy. It was unpredictable, moody, dreamy, creative and fun all at the same time. Petrichor has grown on me. It's a good song.

The second set was very good. Not all-time great, but it had good flow and energy and I found the entire show quite enjoyable.

I don't mind criticism at all. In fact, I typically appreciate it, as often the writer is calling attention to things I missed. But this review had a hateful, almost resentful tone to it that many of us did not appreciate at all.

This reaction of mine is as legitimate as anyone's, and certainly as legit as any of you crotchety old heads that are predictably siding up to the bar to take a swing at your beleaguered clubmember's detractors. Get over yourselves.

I agree, we don't want pom-poms and whipped cream on phish.net. But we are fans. No one likes a steady stream of urine in their Cheerios.
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