Thursday 07/11/2019 by phishnet

MOHEGAN2 RECAP: LOVE WILL CARRY US THROUGH

[Thank you Brad Krompf (@bradkrompf) for recapping last night's show at the Mohegan Sun. 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]

It was about 7:30pm and we found ourselves in a ridiculously long line of relaxed people, coming in from a long day at the pool, gambling, or a number of other similarly incredible ways to spend a random Wednesday. I’m not certain if Mohegan N1 had an overwhelming amount of flow, but the entire “weekend” (which is what it felt like) had enough overflow to make up for it. Perhaps that overflow would spill into the arena tonight. Proudly donning my Hartford Whalers t-shirt, I was more patient waddling through the security line than I would’ve guessed. We had good friends around us, and despite growing up in Connecticut for my entire childhood, last night was the first time in at least 15 years I had slept there.

We got past security around 8:10 and ran when we heard the opening notes of “Buried Alive.” Without question the Phish from Vermont came to party and so did the crowd.

© 2019 Scott Harris
© 2019 Scott Harris

Next up was a standard “Cavern” followed by a “Dogs Stole,” which hadn't appeared since 8/6/17, the final night of the Baker’s Dozen. It was evident Phish were intentional in setting a tone. They were patient, sitting right in the pocket, and the crowd was comfortable and enjoying the close-up view that a small venue provides. The always pleasant “Sugar Shack” followed, and while I know Trey has been hit and miss on this in the past, this version was within the range of error. That guitar lick had me floating.

And then the show opened up…

Most critics can generally agree that “Stash” is a great jam vehicle and we have seen some fun things already happen in 2019 (e.g., 6/11/19, first night of summer tour, and 6/18/19, Toronto), but this "Stash"... this "Stash!" … and it was so well placed! This thing started to take off at about the 7-minute mark, going sideways into an Eastern musical feel----like you’re at a snake-taming rave. The band took this song down with such a peaceful landing to the lyrics; hope you’ve already enjoyed this 12:30-minute jam. It’s a must listen. Trey brought it back with an eerily delightful tone. Spooky but with a hug.

A well-timed slow down into “Wingsuit” was next. This song doesn't typically get too big, but you need to keep in mind the size of the room (tiny; not Bill Graham Civic Auditorium tiny, but small enough that “Wingsuit” got larger than expected). Trey started crushing “Wingsuit” at about the 4:30 mark, leading up to soaring guitar riffs that played very well with this venue and this crowd. My notes from last night at this point were “Trey just blew the roof off this place. The party is on tonight.”

Disclosure: “Limb By Limb” is probably my favorite Phish song, and it had been a long while since I had seen it live. So with that, yes, I found the "Limb" last night to be a delightful experience. I’m not sure if it’s my bias or the version but I will listen to this 100 more times.

Next up was “Gumbo,” although at the time of writing my notes last night, someone came up to my wife to congratulate her on her phishchicks picture that showed up on Instragram from Mogehan N1. After that quick distraction----which made her night-----we were back to the "Gumbo," and a funky "Gumbo" it became. Page started getting crazy on the Clav, the crowd was loving it. Page’s solo on the grand at the 4:00 minute mark brought out some funky Joplin vibes. We all enjoyed hearing a little more Page tonight for sure.

After an above-average “Gumbo," they quickly moved into “Stray Dog." Not sure how it played in front of the band, but from our behind-the-stage seats this song caught fire.

“Steam” got dirty about halfway through and darkness took hold of the room. Again, spooky with a hug. Trey was in the pocket and he knew he had us! The transition back to the lyrics was seamless without losing an ounce of the funk. After a brief interlude of effects, we dove head first into “David Bowie." "Bowie" was a universal highlight of the night (according to the informal poll I took at breakfast). The groove they had in this song was pure fire. All four bandmates were getting after it hard. Make that five, as Kuroda did full magic on the crowd. That Bowie.

© 2019 Scott Harris
© 2019 Scott Harris

Between a lovely floor show the night before and a day spent at the pool with our best friends from all around the world, once we opened with “Party Time” for the second set, we knew we were playing with house money. Page really showed up in this version, and everyone was glad to see him! It was a raucous opener, signifying to us all that the band would not leave the reservation until they tried to burn the roof off.

“Chalkdust Torture” plays well in a small room (you see the pattern), and it played great last night. Don’t let the length of this version confuse you, a lot happened in a short amount of time. At the 6:00 mark, Trey moved the whole thing to the upside down. He instantly transitioned the crowd from happy-cheerful-singing to some sort of mystery-series in which we were the detectives (think Scooby-Doo, not Matlock). I found myself pretending to walk down into an eerie, abandoned, amusement park. A nice transition through what I can only describe as ‘spaceship funk’ moved us into “Ruby Waves."

“Ruby Waves”: THIS I was excited for, I had never seen it live. It brought us through quite an experience. Once again, the Vermonters showed patience, and then “Seven Below” popped up---an interesting call. First debuted at New Years 2002 MSG, the first show post the two-plus year hiatus, and last played on 12/31/18, and commonly considered a highlight of the night whenever it's played. Trey flubbed the opening somewhat last night, but they powered through. I think the song choice was an attempt to let Trey keep showing off that mid tone he uses between dark-and-creepy and pure bliss. This is my note from last night: “My favorite part of the song is that my friend Matt is next to me.”

“Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan” was next, and... Weird call. Phish got bluesy on the room quick-like. From there we fell into “Piper." A concise version (not short on groove) that got people dancing. We then took a seamless dip back into "Ruby Waves" before Page took us on a spaceship ride through “I Always Wanted it This Way.” I last saw this song on 12/29/17 and it stole the show for me. I admit I didn’t get it for the first few minutes when I first heard it, but then it quickly won me over.

The next transition brought a collective, “What is this?" from the crowd. Uh oh. “Drift While You’re Sleeping”? Some were uncertain about another Ghosts of the Forest song. Worry not, friends; this band we love knows what it's doing! The chorus took us to church…. If your church was filled with a large percentage of Jewish people on acid. Trey made it clear: “It is and it always will be love.” And the room enjoyed this sentiment.

A lot of recaps seem to---rightfully---gloss over the encore. But both nights at Mohegan had encores that felt like you were doubling down on a ten when the dealer’s got a four. House money. With that caveat aside, we'll skip over “Bouncing Around The Room." I don’t actually hate the song like many vets, but you’ve seen it before, and you get it. “Saw it Again” however is ALWAYS a weird pleasure. This one was particularly well placed, and if you can get your hands on a video, it’s worth a watch. The band was surely having as much fun as we were on this one. They slipped in a “Kung” overlay, and Trey delighted the crowd with a joke about the most random rule on the reservation: “Don’t sit down during set break… STAND UP!!” True story. Security wouldn’t let people on the floor sit down on the floor during set break, either night. (!) The casino stopped serving alcohol at 1 am, and yet this "no sitting rule" still won as the most unpopular venue rule. A brilliant “Slave to the Traffic Light” closed the show. This one is your standard excellent "Slave," but still worth a (re)listen.

As the house lights went on, 10,000 wooks stumbled once again out into the casino. It was time to keep playing with house money.

© 2019 Scott Harris
© 2019 Scott Harris

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Comments

, comment by unoclay
unoclay I have been lucky enough to catch 11 of the shows this summer, and this second set was one of the best. Both Ghosts of the Forrest songs are terrible and need to be dropped STAT (genuinely, Drift Sleeping contains the lamest, cheesiest, and most sophomoric lyrics ever sung by this band--------paging Dr. T. Marshall, please come to the ER for a lyrical resuscitation ) but even in spite of this (now regular) strike against the set, the playing and jamming of virtually every other piece of the show felt above average.

I'm biased due to hometown crowd at Camden 3, and I really liked the second sets of both Bangors, but both second sets of Connecticut contained some super musical behavior and shouldnt be overlooked---I havent relistened, but this night 2 show was just flexibly sick throughout the set. Definitely one of the best I caught. And that encore. I pumped my fist. You were there, the night of the Saw It aKung.
, comment by Wisy_Megabeth
Wisy_Megabeth @unoclay said:
Both Ghosts of the Forrest songs are terrible and need to be dropped STAT (genuinely, Drift Sleeping contains the lamest, cheesiest, and most sophomoric lyrics ever sung by this band--------paging Dr. T. Marshall, please come to the ER for a lyrical resuscitation ) but even in spite of this (now regular) strike against the set, the playing and jamming of virtually every other piece of the show felt above average.
I’m not sure how you can totally rip the GotF material. These are two of the standout songs from the album, and Drift is a strong piece of musical composition. Unless you want more in the vien of Soul Planet or Set your soul Free...I’m pretty pleased with this stuff and thought it was executed better than most songs last night.
, comment by Stormin
Stormin @unoclay said:
...I havent relistened, but this night 2 show was just flexibly sick throughout the set. Definitely one of the best I caught. And that encore...
Oh yeah, I've been re-listening, and it's freaking great all over again.

I waded into the Gumbo last night after my long fake web ticket nightmare ended (I got Miracled by Mohegan Sun-- thanks so much MS!) and man, just like night 1, it was on. Everything so well played...didn't matter what they dialed up...they could have played the phone book, if the phone book was still a thing, and they would have rocked it and funked it and space jammed it and otherwise torn it up and blown us away. What a band. What a blast. A pair of aces at Mohegan.
, comment by Phunkyjay
Phunkyjay Excellent show, good recap with the best line I’ve read in a long while...

“The chorus took us to church.... if your church was filled with a large percentage of Jewish people on acid.”
, comment by dipped
dipped I love love LOVE the GOTF material.
, comment by unoclay
unoclay @Wisy_Megabeth said:
@unoclay said:
Both Ghosts of the Forrest songs are terrible and need to be dropped STAT (genuinely, Drift Sleeping contains the lamest, cheesiest, and most sophomoric lyrics ever sung by this band--------paging Dr. T. Marshall, please come to the ER for a lyrical resuscitation ) but even in spite of this (now regular) strike against the set, the playing and jamming of virtually every other piece of the show felt above average.
I’m not sure how you can totally rip the GotF material. These are two of the standout songs from the album, and Drift is a strong piece of musical composition. Unless you want more in the vien of Soul Planet or Set your soul Free...I’m pretty pleased with this stuff and thought it was executed better than most songs last night.
There are a small selection of decent GotF songs--sea of stars is acceptable (though I suspect the lyrics, which I can never hear, arent good) and the new one, Wader, was good in concert. But if you think the lyrics to Soul Planet, Soul Family, Drift Sleeping, or for that matter, More, Rise Up, etc....we probably come from different eras of phish appreciation. I generally could take any of these new songs if the lyrics werent so embarrassingly bad.

I'm not a juggalo and dont need Trey acting like Shaggy 2 Dope, spilling his every thought onto the page, first pass, and calling it a day. I wince the whole time during these new songs and the Love Love Love stuff......its so embarrassing. Phish's lyrics are becoming a parody, like, exactly the nonsense non-heads always assumed phish was (rainbows and puppies and hippies loving earth....barf)

That said, the shredding guitar and general band skill level is as good as ever, if not better. 2019 will just have a weird asterisk on it--the year nobody let trey know his fisrt-draft freshman poetry needs a hard edit.

You can drift while you're sleeping
It will all feel new
You can drift while you're dreaming
And love will carry us through

We are wind, we are wind
And we can't hold on
Hold on to anything we see that's gone
We're gone in a heartbeat, fleeting, it's gone
We are wind, we are wind
We crumble into nothing, we are wind

seriously, try reciting that stuff out loud and defend it as good writing. Like a bad movie--its fine to enjoy it (i guess)... but its weird to pretend its anything other than what it is.
, comment by Wilsonwasframed
Wilsonwasframed @Wisy_Megabeth said:
@unoclay said:
Both Ghosts of the Forrest songs are terrible and need to be dropped STAT (genuinely, Drift Sleeping contains the lamest, cheesiest, and most sophomoric lyrics ever sung by this band--------paging Dr. T. Marshall, please come to the ER for a lyrical resuscitation ) but even in spite of this (now regular) strike against the set, the playing and jamming of virtually every other piece of the show felt above average.
I’m not sure how you can totally rip the GotF material. These are two of the standout songs from the album, and Drift is a strong piece of musical composition. Unless you want more in the vien of Soul Planet or Set your soul Free...I’m pretty pleased with this stuff and thought it was executed better than most songs last night.
Please no more Soul Planet or Set Your Soul Free!!! Anything but those.
, comment by Guttermitts
Guttermitts Someone Writing about someone they love Who just died I guess would sound corny to the outsider never went through that type of pain. I love the ghost of the forest songs and if you Have ever lost somebody close to you to put how you feel and to be vulnerable like that in words on a album is extremely remarkable And brave. Being an emotionally unavailable or unequipped to understand lyrics about love and the eternal is not anybody’s fault but your own. i’m just putting this post here because I see a lot of people shitting on the ghost of the forest and I think you’re just 15 years old and probably just don’t understand the full scope of the human emotion. Feelings would sound corny to somebody with the mentality of a five-year-old . The frontal cortex of the brain really doesn’t start to hook up till after like 32 for dudes so some people you just got to give a pass. There computer is in fully set up yet .
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 I liked the term “Spooky but with a hug.” Nice review!

I had friends at these shows and they said that they would never go back to Mohegan Sun. They said the shows were a lot of fun, but they had the worst experience with the casino and hotel. From what I hear, the security was overplaying their part the whole time, the hotel staff wasn’t much better, no bar after 1:00, and people had to steal Uber rides from other people to make it anywhere. And the no sitting rule, lol... They generally are not negative people, but according to them, Mohegan Sun was the worst. It’s too bad, it sounded like a cool place.
, comment by ricardomc
ricardomc @unoclay said:
I have been lucky enough to catch 11 of the shows this summer, and this second set was one of the best. Both Ghosts of the Forrest songs are terrible and need to be dropped STAT (genuinely, Drift Sleeping contains the lamest, cheesiest, and most sophomoric lyrics ever sung by this band--------paging Dr. T. Marshall, please come to the ER for a lyrical resuscitation ) but even in spite of this (now regular) strike against the set, the playing and jamming of virtually every other piece of the show felt above average.

I'm biased due to hometown crowd at Camden 3, and I really liked the second sets of both Bangors, but both second sets of Connecticut contained some super musical behavior and shouldnt be overlooked---I havent relistened, but this night 2 show was just flexibly sick throughout the set. Definitely one of the best I caught. And that encore. I pumped my fist. You were there, the night of the Saw It aKung.
LIAR!
, comment by bushwood_a_dump
bushwood_a_dump @unoclay said:
@Wisy_Megabeth said:
@unoclay said:
Both Ghosts of the Forrest songs are terrible and need to be dropped STAT (genuinely, Drift Sleeping contains the lamest, cheesiest, and most sophomoric lyrics ever sung by this band--------paging Dr. T. Marshall, please come to the ER for a lyrical resuscitation ) but even in spite of this (now regular) strike against the set, the playing and jamming of virtually every other piece of the show felt above average.
I’m not sure how you can totally rip the GotF material. These are two of the standout songs from the album, and Drift is a strong piece of musical composition. Unless you want more in the vien of Soul Planet or Set your soul Free...I’m pretty pleased with this stuff and thought it was executed better than most songs last night.
There are a small selection of decent GotF songs--sea of stars is acceptable (though I suspect the lyrics, which I can never hear, arent good) and the new one, Wader, was good in concert. But if you think the lyrics to Soul Planet, Soul Family, Drift Sleeping, or for that matter, More, Rise Up, etc....we probably come from different eras of phish appreciation. I generally could take any of these new songs if the lyrics werent so embarrassingly bad.

I'm not a juggalo and dont need Trey acting like Shaggy 2 Dope, spilling his every thought onto the page, first pass, and calling it a day. I wince the whole time during these new songs and the Love Love Love stuff......its so embarrassing. Phish's lyrics are becoming a parody, like, exactly the nonsense non-heads always assumed phish was (rainbows and puppies and hippies loving earth....barf)

That said, the shredding guitar and general band skill level is as good as ever, if not better. 2019 will just have a weird asterisk on it--the year nobody let trey know his fisrt-draft freshman poetry needs a hard edit.

You can drift while you're sleeping
It will all feel new
You can drift while you're dreaming
And love will carry us through

We are wind, we are wind
And we can't hold on
Hold on to anything we see that's gone
We're gone in a heartbeat, fleeting, it's gone
We are wind, we are wind
We crumble into nothing, we are wind

seriously, try reciting that stuff out loud and defend it as good writing. Like a bad movie--its fine to enjoy it (i guess)... but its weird to pretend its anything other than what it is.
Unoclay - Agreed on all points. Phish playing as an ensemble in 2019 (and really, really listening to each other) is a whole new beautiful world. Honestly, one I didn't see coming. These guys can launch and travel as a unit like never before. At any point, from any song.
BUT, yes, where is Marshall? Or somebody with editing power. Someone with override and veto ability. Someone to say, "Hey Trey, love where you are going here, but this one should stay on the cutting room floor." Kind of like McCartney in Wings...who is going to say no? This is why song writing teams, not individuals, mostly decorate the annals of Song craft.
I'm sure we will take heat for ripping lyrics that have a positive message, but come on, it really amounts to laziness. You can create positive, simple lyrics without it being such a molasses sledgehammer.
And man, I know Gordon is cringing when he has to step up to the mike and back up "And love will carry us through".
, comment by Wisy_Megabeth
Wisy_Megabeth At the end of the day, we’re debating about a band that has a catalog full of kooky lyrics. I mean...Fluffhead, Reba, Gotta Jibbo???

“Mama sing sing whatchu gotta jibbo, mama sing gotta jibbo.” Ain’t nothing more lazy sounding than that on repeat.
, comment by GOODTIMESBADTIMES
GOODTIMESBADTIMES I really like the new material and appreciate what the band is doing. They played two awesome shows at Mohegan. I suggest those that don't like it stay in their parents basement and listen to the same 1997 shows on repeat while being served chicken soup by their mothers.
, comment by Stormin
Stormin "I wince the whole time during these new songs and the Love Love Love stuff..."

If there aren't any new songs, then Phish is just an oldies band playin' the hits. And my guess is that Phish would say phuck it at that point. Your wincing is a personal problem...You missed a HUGE Final Hurrah Tues and a sweet Ruby Waves>yada yada yada>Ruby Waves excursion on Wed. Bummer!

And as the Doobies sang, without love, where would you be now? Not bitching here, for one thing. Read Guttermitts reply to you...it's dead-on. Live, learn, love. We old folks get it. We're feeling it with the band. It's a love thing. Hug your kids. Hug your parents. Hug the world. Tell 'em you love 'em. Show it with how you live and with what you do...while you can. Because (Dust in the) wind. Peace and Phish!
, comment by Stormin
Stormin Re-hearing and re-living the Mohegan Fun on livephish....and finally got past the thrilling DAVID BO-WAYYY after several listens and made it to Set 2 of this awesome show.

Shout-out to Page for the 96 Tears licks in Party Time! Just past four minutes in.

And how about that great Chalkdust that spaced out and cruised right into the sweet Ruby Waves package? All so good!
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