Sunday 07/07/2019 by phishnet

FENWAY2 RECAP: "SKY BALLS AND SOX-SCRAPERS"

© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)
© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)

[Thank you @aisincl (Andrew Sinclair) for recapping last night's show in Boston, MA. Please note that the opinions expressed by a recapper for a show on this blog are not necessarily those of any volunteer who works on Phish.net. We are all fans with varying opinions, just like you. -Ed]

Seems that Most Events Aren’t Planned. Tonight once again reminded us to Surrender to the Flow, as the Phish from Vermont played an absolute heater of a show, in a unique environment (39,000 capacity shrine to Baseball) and with some unique meteorological ingredients.

Woke up on the morning of July 6th, 2019 with an excitement in the air. Summer Tour 2019 had built momentum these last few shows, given us so many delights, and here I was on the way up Route 91/84 from Weston, Connecticut to Fenway Park, home of the arch-rival Boston Red Sox. Quick stop at Treehouse Brewery to load up on the finest refreshments in the land, and the daytime chatter focused on the weather and Night 2 conditions. Fenway1 had given us a festive show that highlighted a “Day Set,” 1 with the sun still shining, and a raucous Set 2 that was headlined by yet another sprawling “Mercury” and a great “Sand” opener. We wondered how hot the field conditions would remain for this second leg of the double-header, and if the 7:00pm start time and Boston-mandated 10:30pm curfew would hold true. Typical strategizing.

We headed out from our hosts (thanks Becky/Evan & Robyn/Jeremy) house in Medfield, MA and headed toward that Citgo sign in the sky. Unfortunately, the sky turned ominously dark and heavy. The gloom and darkness that blanketed Fenway proper gave us a nervous feeling. What’s the Weather App showing? How many lightning emojis are displayed? Does this affect the curfew? How much are ponchos?

Okay, let’s find a spot to grab a beer and hopefully this storm will keep passing through like it shows on our phone. Cats & Dogs rained down upon Jersey and Lansdowne, but we were sheltered in a watering hole with the best fan-base one could hope for. My brother Jared had flown over from London to catch the Fenway and Mohegan runs, so his optimism was contagious and reminded me that these conditions are what elevate typical shows into special status. Let’s get over into Fenway’s bowels, as at least we can hide out there, maybe find a can of Julius, and at least have the best intel on show status.

With apologies to our Commander-in-Chief, the Tweet-of-the-Day/Century arrived in my buddy’s phone at 6:43pm, as we saw that the show would go on. But wait, they are skipping the Set Break and turning this into one Bonnaroo-esque beast-mode Set?!?!? Sweet! Who knows how this is going to play out (feel free to share historical single-Set shows for this relative Noob). Let’s get to our seats, and if we are lucky, we may witness something special.

The Phish from Vermont pitched a Jam!

© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)
© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)


The crowd was fired up, and all pent-up excitement crystallized at 8:31pm in those first few notes of “Carini.” Looks like we’re not messing around this evening. Brings me back to the first time I heard it at MSG, and it rivals “Buried Alive” for best possible opener. I have a little theory that Song #2 will set the tone for the evening’s setlist, and even though it’s probably as arbitrary and pointless as any other Phish-centric prediction mechanism, tonight it seemed to work with “Possum” swinging us from Dark & Sinister opening to Dance Party U.S.A. One of the benefits of sitting in the first few rows of a floor/field section is watching the main aisle roamers, and they sure knew how to boogie as we started picking up speed and fun. Time to rip off this Poncho, and celebrate the weather-gods dealing us a winning hand.

Set Your Soul Free” may not be the most loved 3.0 output, but if you check the Jam Charts, you will enjoy a number of monsters, including legitimate candidates for 2018 JOTY and the Mexico entry into the 2019 JOTY. Tonight we got some blissful mid-section jamming and ambient sounds emanating from Page’s rig. The boys switched into spaceship-mode, and we lifted off the grounds of Fenway towards the now-subdued skies. “Thread” picked up where "Carini" left off, appealing to the head-banging metalheads in the crowd and giving us some more Iron in our diet. Very cool rocker, and led us right into Trey’s licks as he worked us into “Wolfman’s Brother.” Looks like we getting some red and darkness tonight. This "Wolfman’s" is certainly worth a few re-listens, as it soars and picks up steam real quickly. Mike and Page were featured, and it was clear from this 5-slot that the band was locked and in total alignment. No time to waste tonight.

Reba” is special, and took us back to the early days with incredibly complicated note-work. Trey was moving fast to honor this selection and display his precision, and aside from a few missteps, the band moved with patience and pace to give us a really enjoyable 11-minutes in this hallowed building. Elegant breathers would simply jump back onto the rails, as we all got “Back on the Train.” The entire stadium was bouncing, and for a 40,000 capacity venue, it looked very intimate and lacking in any bad seats. “Mound” was a classic for the Rift devotees, and it made its 2019 debut in style. “About to Run” allowed Trey to feature additional darker themes in yet another solid, gravely rocker that has been cut from the same cloth as the Kasvot / GotF features from these last 12 months. One of the themes of 2019 Summer Tour has been the smooth insertion of these 30+ newly-released songs. While "SANTOS," "Turtle," "Cool Amber," "Drift," "Ruby" and a few others have instantly found favor in choice setlist positions, others like “About to Run” are still finding their footing. But it’s enjoyable to watch people’s mixed reception to the newer material. I’m sure some of the classics were rejected in their first year or two of debuts.

Draw imaginary set break line here, for a show that will be remembered for its unique structure.

I only say this because “Down with Disease” is a Set 2 opening anchor. Mike took a minute to correctly rock out his opening feature notes, and then the beast choice took off. God, I love "Disease" and would put it up in the pantheon of cornerstone Jam Vehicles. Before we transitioned to the legendary opening riff of “Simple,” Trey assured us that we would be “dancing on a field” throughout the late innings. “Backwards down the Number Line” gets a bad rap, and sure it’s lighthearted and may break up the roaring rock and hypnotic jamming sessions. But it’s festive, and puts a lot of fans into a spirited and delightful mood. We have had a solid, contrasting show through the first 6 innings.

© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)
© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)

Speaking of gritty rock ballads, “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long” and “46 Days” brought us back down to some deep Bass notes and heavier, thick guitar riffs. Nice to hear the audience cheer for Lee Fordham, R.I.P. While we descended back into the lower end of the audio spectrum, “What’s the Use?” slowed things down along the floor. Bunch of us thought we would enjoy a nice “Divided Sky” mid-song pause to express our joy and support for the 4 musicians onstage, but the brief break in the action during “WTU?” allowed a heartfelt applause. Phish responded with careful, delicate playing back up the scales before turning things over to the sing-along “Mexican Cousin.” The third 2019 debut of the evening, this number reminded everyone to keep figuring out a way to get down to Riviera Maya next Winter.

Seventh-inning stretch out of the way, time to turn to the bullpen and close out this game in style. And what better than a funked-out “2001” to get every last ballpark attendee moving & grooving. This song never gets old, and allowed the glow-wars contingent to represent in spades. Seemed like a good time to call for “Hood” or “Slave,” but we descended yet again into “Split Open and Melt.” Seems like an optimal time to point out how incredible Chris Kuroda’s light rig behaved on this night. During “Split,” he turned the lights into a giant snake of movement and bending that mesmerized the audience. Some of these effects are one-of-a-kind, and “Melt” took its time during the ambient middle-portion before those 3 up-the-scale notes brought us back to the finale. We had been shifting between darkness and light all evening, so why not close out this Mega-Set with one last rager. “Suzy” got everyone fired up for a frenetic and jovial finale, and many fans had just a little bit remaining for extra innings. Trey also reminded everyone how grateful they were to play in “the home of the reigning world champion” Red Sox.

The last yin-yang of the evening gave us the uplifting and hopeful “Rise / Come Together” and featured some extra spice via Page and Trey, before we finished with the sinister “Wilson.” A really enjoyable and balanced show, that was made memorable through the marathon Set of endurance and solid playing by all 4 of the boys.

Some final thoughts: This tour has built momentum, and featured enough songs on every setlist to allow each of them to shine. Trey has developed an incredible echoing effect on his guitar, so every note in his solos sounds richer than ever. Page is having a blast with the spillover effects from Chilling/Thrilling, and now a full library of new tunes to play with. As Trey remarked on a Sirius/XM interview recently, “Once Page joined the band, Phish became Phish.” With Mike, there is such a gigantic leap between hearing him on the radio and Live in-person. His contrast with Trey allowed some Jams to reach the clouds over Boston, and others to head deep into the abyss. And Fish, steadying the clubhouse the entire evening, gave us some bookended joys with “Carini” whails and “Suzy” buildup.

TL:DR, a solid show that was as unique for the surrounding weather squeeze plays as the music or setlist. And for those of you who enjoy a continuous contrast of dark, foreboding music with uplifting and chanting numbers, this show should resonate.

Off to Mohegan Sun now, with far less weather risk, an arena capacity one quarter the size of Fenway, and a Band that is starting to warm up the Closer...

If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Phish.net. Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.


Comments

, comment by shaunfunk
shaunfunk Fun phact: with last nights performance of “back on the train”, the Trey Anastasio-penned classic became the most played of all the train-themed Phïsh songs. This breaking the tie with “take the a train” by Duke Ellington - bringing the total performance numbers to a whopping 119 performances. Spicy, no?!!!
, comment by slowmango
slowmango Thanks to the author for the review. The band and phans were faced with some challenging circumstances and everything turned out quite alright. As I commented for Fenway 1, I also thought this show was pretty average. There were a few standouts (Wolfmans, DWD) but nothing crazy overall. Some bizarre calls- thread and Mexican cousin specifically. I think there were some expectations that given the extenuating circumstances phish would deliver a “historic” show which turned out not to be the case. That being said, my crew and I had a great time overall and am grateful to have had the experience. Now on to Mohegan...
, comment by Smith91
Smith91 Thanks for the review, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Love the positivity, especially after seeing so much negativity from people during this tour. Nice work and enjoy the rest of the tour!
, comment by vtspeedy
vtspeedy And let us not forget, this was a Saturday arena show - a psychedelic masterpiece probably wasn't in the cards, Dicks aside. Waiting packed cheek-by-jowl in the concourse wasn't much fun, but it made the show all the funner for the waiting. Everyone was ready to cut loose, and we did. I did dig the Disease, for sure, although not on a par with the SPAC version three shows earlier.
, comment by JMart
JMart @slowmango said:
Thanks to the author for the review. The band and phans were faced with some challenging circumstances and everything turned out quite alright. As I commented for Fenway 1, I also thought this show was pretty average. There were a few standouts (Wolfmans, DWD) but nothing crazy overall. Some bizarre calls- thread and Mexican cousin specifically. I think there were some expectations that given the extenuating circumstances phish would deliver a “historic” show which turned out not to be the case. That being said, my crew and I had a great time overall and am grateful to have had the experience. Now on to Mohegan...
Thread definitely. I mean, it's your call, Trey, but it still seemed like an odd choice. So much for expecting.
, comment by makisupamikey
makisupamikey @slowmango said:
Thanks to the author for the review. The band and phans were faced with some challenging circumstances and everything turned out quite alright. As I commented for Fenway 1, I also thought this show was pretty average. There were a few standouts (Wolfmans, DWD) but nothing crazy overall. Some bizarre calls- thread and Mexican cousin specifically. I think there were some expectations that given the extenuating circumstances phish would deliver a “historic” show which turned out not to be the case. That being said, my crew and I had a great time overall and am grateful to have had the experience. Now on to Mohegan...
Mexican Cousin was in response to all the drunk massholes not knowing how to shut up for the quiet part of what's the use - "I'm awful sorry you got piss, just have to cross you off the list of my true friends."
, comment by montrealcanadiensuck
montrealcanadiensuck @shaunfunk said:
Fun phact: with last nights performance of “back on the train”, the Trey Anastasio-penned classic became the most played of all the train-themed Phïsh songs. This breaking the tie with “take the a train” by Duke Ellington - bringing the total performance numbers to a whopping 119 performances. Spicy, no?!!!
BRING BACK A TRAIN!!
, comment by montrealcanadiensuck
montrealcanadiensuck @JMart said:
@slowmango said:
Thanks to the author for the review. The band and phans were faced with some challenging circumstances and everything turned out quite alright. As I commented for Fenway 1, I also thought this show was pretty average. There were a few standouts (Wolfmans, DWD) but nothing crazy overall. Some bizarre calls- thread and Mexican cousin specifically. I think there were some expectations that given the extenuating circumstances phish would deliver a “historic” show which turned out not to be the case. That being said, my crew and I had a great time overall and am grateful to have had the experience. Now on to Mohegan...
Thread definitely. I mean, it's your call, Trey, but it still seemed like an odd choice. So much for expecting.
Not hearing thread before, it immediately became a favorite. . . learn to count! :) its only 15!
, comment by Wilsonwasframed
Wilsonwasframed This show was a lot of fun with very little breaks in the dance party. My whole section was rocking the entire time. We are so lucky to be fans of a band that can deliver like this over and over again.
, comment by Stormin
Stormin The Wolfman's was huge. Out of nowhere. An easy-going singalong...then the jam went to 12. It was nuts. I heartily concur with the re-capper. Worth some re-listens.

I also think the About to Run was killer, just about perfect all the way around. BURNING. I'd really like to see Phish put this version on youtube. They nailed it. Hit it a mile.

Friday Fenway featured a bunch of Page and Mike star turns, but Saturday was the Trey show (featuring Jon Fishman) and whoa he played the hell out of that guitar. As for Fishman, I have no idea how he does what he does. He's unreal.

Everything crackled and popped and it kept going and going...two-and-a-half sweet, uninterrupted hours...just delightful. And props for some really, really good singing Saturday night.

The show closer-- a tip o' the old ball cap to the setting (as in Wilson baseball glove)?

I see Trey slipped his "raining" world champs pun past the phishnet re-capper. I missed it, too, lol...too busy trying to drown out the many ny booers with my Sox cheers. My son hipped me to it after this unforgettable, uniset show.

Phish 2.5 (hrs) was a blast.
, comment by CForbin
CForbin @Stormin said:
The Wolfman's was huge. Out of nowhere. An easy-going singalong...then the jam went to 12. It was nuts. I heartily concur with the re-capper. Worth some re-listens.

I also think the About to Run was killer, just about perfect all the way around. BURNING. I'd really like to see Phish put this version on youtube. They nailed it. Hit it a mile.

Friday Fenway featured a bunch of Page and Mike star turns, but Saturday was the Trey show (featuring Jon Fishman) and whoa he played the hell out of that guitar. As for Fishman, I have no idea how he does what he does. He's unreal.

Everything crackled and popped and it kept going and going...two-and-a-half sweet, uninterrupted hours...just delightful. And props for some really, really good singing Saturday night.

The show closer-- a tip o' the old ball cap to the setting (as in Wilson baseball glove)?

I see Trey slipped his "raining" world champs pun past the phishnet re-capper. I missed it, too, lol...too busy trying to drown out the many ny booers with my Sox cheers. My son hipped me to it after this unforgettable, uniset show.

Phish 2.5 (hrs) was a blast.

I’m mostly a couch tourer, so I can’t speak to the energy of the show but I totally agree re About to Run - imho it’s the song of the year, maybe not a jam vehicle but man what a hot hard rocker! LIAR!!! I’m about to Run!!
, comment by AaronDJH
AaronDJH Saturday night was definitely high on expectations. Attendance bias for both nights for me for sure. We had obstructed view out behind 1st Saturday, on the field Friday, and the sound had a little echo off to our left...but only on super deep base or standalone punctuation notes from page/fish. There was some snap crackle and pop on the sound, and a couple times it sounded, at least where we were, like a mic or 2 might have gone out. But huge props to the band and tech team....they were only momentary lapses. Its easy to forget how hard it is to put on a show in the rain. The vibe was very chill and I feel like this show reflected that. Not so much a grab a seat in the moment, but it almost begged to just sit and listen and chill. I feel like this will be a show you can spin up for a bbq not to rage out but just to chill. That vibe was everywhere...at the bar preshow, in the pouring rain on the way into the show, inside the gates waiting....Carini was a great shot at sparking, but the vibe was not there. I feel ilke the setlist reflects that.....either they were locked in on that or they were completely disconnected. I felt locked in on that vibe, and they were too. Looking at the last 1/3 of the setlist in any other setting, the roof would have been blown off. The conversation would be so much different. With the unknown length of show there was more than enough reason to just rage all night...it just wasn't a rager. $0.02
, comment by phishmom
phishmom I was very moved by the way Trey gazed into the audience at the end of WTU, still swaying to music only he could hear and looking out at us phans with what can only be described as love.
, comment by karmapolice
karmapolice Phish was pitched a hanging slider with a chance to knock a home run over the Monstah for a walk off win. Instead they hit a solid double to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Great show, fun show, but not historic.
, comment by Stormin
Stormin @CForbin right on. ATR song of the year. A rock and roll classic. You gotta love it!
, comment by InsectEffect
InsectEffect THREAD seems to have been polished since the last time it was played. Still seems to be in development a bit, but it's shaping up to be a solid heavy rocker with real deep dive potential. I'll take that over Soul Planet any day. And it's especially exciting to hear again given Tom Marshall's explanation on his podcast that THREAD is the sequel to STEAM, and part of a song trilogy.
, comment by pabalive
pabalive @JMart said:
@slowmango said:
Thanks to the author for the review. The band and phans were faced with some challenging circumstances and everything turned out quite alright. As I commented for Fenway 1, I also thought this show was pretty average. There were a few standouts (Wolfmans, DWD) but nothing crazy overall. Some bizarre calls- thread and Mexican cousin specifically. I think there were some expectations that given the extenuating circumstances phish would deliver a “historic” show which turned out not to be the case. That being said, my crew and I had a great time overall and am grateful to have had the experience. Now on to Mohegan...
Thread definitely. I mean, it's your call, Trey, but it still seemed like an odd choice. So much for expecting.
Wow, I've been praying for them to work on Thread and bring it back since its debut. It was a highlight for me as this tune represents another strong Anastasio/Marshall composition.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Support Phish.net & MBIRD
Phish News
Subscribe to Phish-News for exclusive info while on tour!


Phish.net

Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal | DMCA

© 1990-2019  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation