Monday 10/16/2023 by phishnet


[We would like to thank user DrAyers (Michael Ayers) for recapping last night's show. -Ed.]

Greetings from inside the United Center! This is my second night seeing the boys in Chicago, as Jimmy Carr has announced a show in Chicago months before Phish did, and thus I was already on the hook. I was seated in the 200s for both nights (Saturday night behind the stage, Sunday night Mike side), making friends with the gentleman to my left (a fellow vinyl collector) and the WSP fanatic (Narrator: Poor soul) to my right.

© 2023 Hal Hansen (Chicago Bulls Logo by Chris Kuroda)
© 2023 Hal Hansen (Chicago Bulls Logo by Chris Kuroda)

The band came out promptly at 8:04pm with Fishman rocking a green and gold muumuu, which the guy next to me claimed was because he was trolling Bears fans (Narrator: Packer colors). I said Packer fans don’t have to troll Bear fans, the Bears do that by themselves. They’re trash, have fun sucking. Once everyone settled into their respective spots, Trey started strumming and then jumped into…"Everything Is Hollow"? Not a bad song per se, but the song doesn’t really do anything. It just kind of meandered until it fizzled out, prompting the band to jump into "Timber"! "Timber" usually brings the goods, so I figured the band were taking a mulligan on this holy of evenings and righting the ship. (Narrator: Get it? Because Phish is Church and we’re never supposed to miss a Sunday show.Yeah yeah yeah, fuck you too.).

Nope! "Ocelot" is next. The law of averages states that, stasticially, "Ocelot" is someone’s favorite song, which is almost as mindblowing to me as BDNTL being someone’s favorite. I was beginning to feel like this show was a dud. Looking down at the floor, even those tarper fucks looked bored (Unpopular opinion: I have little to no problem with tarpers (Narrator: Not me, fuck those guys.). I’m too old to be riding the rail. Give me a seat and cup holders for my beer. My only complaint about tarpers is…look, if you all were good dancers, I could see you needing that much space. But y’all are a bunch of Elaine’s down there. Handful of times I couldn’t tell if the person was dancing or having a stroke.)

© 2023 Charlie Miller
© 2023 Charlie Miller

After that travesty was "Vultures," also known as The Phish Song Ruined By Subpar Ric Flair Impersonations. The song was played surprisingly well for them (which is not something we can normally say for "Vultures"), but man…those woo’s fucking ruin it (Narrator: Seriously, shut the fuck up.).

After that is some song called "Monsters." They’d only played it once before, and I can see why. Don’t waste your time.

Which is honestly how the rest of the first set felt. The band played "Plasma" next, but it felt uninspired. Even the usually reliable "Mercury" was meh. I’m not saying that length matters (Narrator: Please don’t), but this was essentially the studio version. The highlight of "Mercury" for me was watching this girl try to get from one aisle to the other by going through our row. She started at seat 1 with a full cup of beer, and by the time she had gotten to my seat (4), she had downed the entire thing. As she passed, she mumbled some apology about being “too dirty” (Narrator: No idea.). I didn’t see her the rest of the night, but having been in her shoes before multiple times…she either made it to her seat or ended up passed out on the lawn clutching their vinyl copy of A Picture Of Nectar they got from the merch booth (Narrator: r/suspiciouslyspecific). We may never know.

"Stash" is next, which I’m sure every Boomer in the crowd enjoyed, once they turned up their hearing aids. "Leaves" is after that and again, the highlight for me had nothing to do with the actual song. A couple in the aisle were aggressively gesturing and shouting the lyrics, which seemed like overkill. It reminded me of a friend in college who was in a band that played mostly ballads, but they would headbang through every song. Just absurd. Trey must have sensed the same thing I did, because after the shortest hi-hat intro ever for "David Bowie," the band hammered through the composed and jam sections as quickly as possible to get us to set break.

© 2023 Scott Marks
© 2023 Scott Marks

The lights came up and I got to chatting with the folks in my aisle. WSP Fanatic wanted to see "Roses Are Free," which the two gentlemen next to me and the couple in the row in front of us all agreed would kick ass. Nobody mentioned that they thought the first set was bad (though my friend [REDACTED] agreed with me and thought it was boring).

10:02pm, the lights went down, the band walked out, WSP Fanatic crossed her fingers and Trey started up…"Drowned." Definitely not "Roses Are Free," but "Drowned" in a fantastic set two opener. Short but sweet, Trey jumped into "A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing," which is something I need to talk about. Both .net and LivePhish list "Tweezer" next, with .net saying that “Tweezer” was a continuation of the Friday "Tweezer" and it contained no singing. That’s fucking bullshit, that’s a tease. It sounded to me like Trey started up "Tweezer," remembered Oh shit, we played this on Friday and then quietly shifted into jam mode before anybody noticed. Regardless of if you agree with me (and if you don’t, you’re wrong but whatever), that 17 minute span rocked. Trey teased "Simple" before properly playing it and then followed it up with "Pebbles and Marbles," which I somehow always confuse with "Walls of the Cave" (Narrator: I know why. He smokes a ton of weed. That brain ain’t operating at 100%.).

After that was, for me, the highlight of the show. I am a huge fan of Little Feat. I think the Halloween set Waiting For Columbus is criminally underrated, as far as Halloween shows go. So seeing any "Spanish Moon," my favorite song on the album, well…I was over the moon (Narrator: Oh for fucks sake). Another song off of my Phish bucket list (just got "Freebird," "Cracklin’ Rosie," "Sexual Healing", "Oh Sweet Nuthin," "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" and "Gin and Juice" left).

© 2023 Charlie Miller
© 2023 Charlie Miller

Trey, being the omniscient and gracious man that he is, offered up "A Wave of Hope" next, which has been been a particular obsession of mine as of late (Narrator: Because it fucking rocks.). Trey tossed us a freebie with a bonus not-shitty-fourth-quarter tune ("Evolve"). "Loving Cup" to close out the set and bam motherfuckers, how’s your mind? Blown?

Everyone immediately started calling for Tweeprize, because of course they fucking did. We may be blasted out of our minds on various substances, but we know a Tweeprize is happening. Trey had other thoughts, as he started up "Run Like An Antelope" instead. Outside of some fun samples from Page, Antelope was its usual awesome "Antelope" self. Everyone started calling out Tweeprize again. Nope, "Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S." Once we find out what space smells like, Trey slams into Tweeprize, walks out to the front of the stage and fucking gets down. Tweeprize never gets old.

I did a terrible job of describing it, but that was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen. Not shows, that first set is hot garbage and likely the only people impressed with it are Goose fans. That second set was proof that a great set doesn’t need a 30+ minute jam. Not a single song over 20 (still not acknowledging "Tweezer"), and yet it smokes. Sets like that are why I continue to come back. I may never listen to that first set ever again, but you can bet your ass I’ll be rocking that second set, and you should too.

See you fucks at YEMSG.

© 2023 Scott Marks
© 2023 Scott Marks

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, comment by mccordo
mccordo I remain convinced until I can fully listen to the tapes to tell me otherwise that Cissy Strut was more than just a tease by Trey before the wordless Tweezer. It felt like the whole band was jamming on it, which made this Meters fan very pleased!
, comment by Uakari
Uakari Jambase has much better reviews.
, comment by BillZauggsCabin
BillZauggsCabin Fascinating that .net counts this as a Tweezer, but then something like “In A Hole” (which is listed on LivePhish as both a track and notation as not having been played since 12/16/89) from Dicks 2014 was merely a “tease”.
, comment by rebascheetah
rebascheetah This review reminds me of the discovery on the floor of the Dayton N1 show. Weird flex. We can do better .Net. Lazy and unnecessarily sophomoric.
, comment by pureguava
pureguava That was a good read. Really put me in the room. Unvarnished opinion and/or picante trolling? Who cares. @drayers showed up and it wasn’t dull.
, comment by misterminor123
misterminor123 This review is pretty lame, I truly hope I never sit next to someone this judgmental at a show. Reviewer needs to get better at phish.
, comment by PhuglyPig
PhuglyPig This review may be the best evidence yet that a large portion of the Phish fan base is actually the Simpsons comic book guy
, comment by sftsc
sftsc I liked the first set. I thought it was dark and weird and edgy. It wasn't standard fare, and thats always something I appreciate.
, comment by booles
booles Who keeps letting this guy review shows? Worst one I've read since your last one, dicks N2.
, comment by phishnetaccount2
phishnetaccount2 f that. this is a great review.

+46 phish points for entertainment
- 555 phish points for confusing boomers with Gen X (Narrator: please don't do that)
, comment by Spudster
Spudster The author thinks they’re being provocative and entertaining, but the veneer is thin and not so clever.

This one was worse than no review at all.
, comment by KimchiMcGee
KimchiMcGee Undoubtedly the most entertaining show review posted in years. Thanks for giving us the good, the bad and the ugly. See you fucks at YEMSG!
, comment by Ocelot_dan
Ocelot_dan lol
for the record, ocelot is not my favorite phish song, but ocelot is my spirit animal
and i did like the somewhat extended treatment it got. solo and jam were excellent!

oh and dude, it's picture OF nectar not with nectar
, comment by Jickler98
Jickler98 Critiquing (and in many parts trashing) art while using the F word in every other sentence is, at its best, low brow, and at its worst completely lacking in any degree of awareness.
, comment by DrJerryPunchYITE
DrJerryPunchYITE Not my favorite show - average/great compared to most other bands.

To me Trey struggled with his guitar (see Bowie and most complex compositions) and seemed to be really searching in jams instead of locking in and soloing.
The switch to different effects is fine while he's figuring it out but i cant stand the whammy (whale noise) as that is the ultimate crutch and doesnt do much for me.

Page had some noticeable flubs too which is rare to me but the band goes as Trey goes.

The proclivity to go darker is much preferred as they touched on these themes more in these 8 Fall shows it seems.
I did like parts of the ASIHTOS and they cant all be 5 star shows so i get it.

I've seen a string of pedestrian Sunday shows too knocking it out of can't miss status for me!
, comment by Wookatmee
Wookatmee "I did a terrible job of describing it, but that was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen."

Fact check: true.

One of the best sets you've ever seen, the floor is yours for a review, and you can't even describe the fucking music to us.

Shallow stuff, all the way around.
, comment by HenryXHarper
HenryXHarper I liked this review and agreed with most of it. Keep it simple, honest and leave the big words for the English majors. Was it somewhat sophomoric and vulgar? Sure, but it was also funny and spot on IMO. First set had some good moments (Ocelot jam) but overall it was meh, too introspective and slow for my tastes. Even Timber was average which is a bummer because I love that song. But Set 2 was amazing, and not just because of the "Spanish Moon" bust out. My highlight was the ASIHTOS jam, top notch dance grooves in that one (btw, I call it an 18 minute ASIHTOS with a "Tweezer" tease for about a minute. But who am I to argue with LivePhish?).

Anyway, doing a review on .net seems to be a totally thankless I'll throw my hat in the ring for the next one :)
, comment by ccryder
ccryder Wow I’m so glad I wasn’t sitting near this reviewer, I definitely would have ruined his night with my unabashed love and appreciation for the band. I got one show this year and I’m SO grateful it was this one. It hit the spot. And Kuroda’s work is really the star of the show these days - simply mind-blowing. Thank you Phish!
, comment by PopsicleMan
PopsicleMan At this point I know what this guy is going to say before he says it,....I would rather read a Chat GPT review generated out of thin air.
, comment by MauiDave
MauiDave After 30 years of following this band I had to finally register at The reason why is to kindly ask you never to review this band on here again. Seriously your negative vibrations come through the web I can't imagine how it feels to be around you in person.
, comment by trippytom
trippytom This review was awesome and spot on, though I for one wrote down Tweezer (not a tease).

I only wish the reviewer could have sat with us in the concourse on the 200 level during set break and hear our posse of 6 hurling similar accusations of lameness at what had just transpired. A healthy mix of poor song selection, garbled setlist, flubs, and overall uninspired playing.

If you are going for greatness you are going to hit a few duds along the way. One bad set of six for the weekend, after last year's Alpine run this is a remarkable improvement.

Second set was great, even if I'd rather Evolve turned into something else tomorrow and Loving Cup was reserved for encores I'd decided to hear whilst walking to the car.

Fluff > Santos > Tweepise encore ... sign me up.
, comment by fnkymtrs
fnkymtrs @mccordo said:
I remain convinced until I can fully listen to the tapes to tell me otherwise that Cissy Strut was more than just a tease by Trey before the wordless Tweezer. It felt like the whole band was jamming on it, which made this Meters fan very pleased!
I support this comment 100%. It was certainly cissy strut influenced - fishman didn’t do the classic drumbeat but i believe it was cissy. They tease this last year at Mann as well. Love the meters.
, comment by FuckYerFace
FuckYerFace MEMO: Referring to Phish as "the boys" is, and always has been, cringe as fuck.

Indeed - as cringe as this entire review.
, comment by FuckYerFace
FuckYerFace @mccordo said:
I remain convinced until I can fully listen to the tapes to tell me otherwise that Cissy Strut was more than just a tease by Trey before the wordless Tweezer. It felt like the whole band was jamming on it, which made this Meters fan very pleased!
Fellow Meters fan; totally dug them going there (at least a little bit/almost).

It is/was what could reasonably be labeled "the root of, and/or basis for, a jam" for about 3 minutes. Fish never fully committed, nor did/does it sound - to my own ears - as though the others did - in unison - apart from him. Hence, it leans mostly toward "tease".
, comment by arborit
arborit After the show there is some trash called "this review." One would think they’ve only wrote once before, and I can see why. Don’t waste your time.
, comment by mgolia6
mgolia6 Man oh man oh friend of mine…I thought this was a great review of the experience and when you have the soap box and the mega phone, you get to say what you want. I had a a bunch of lolz happening as I read it and while it might have missed a bit of the musical examination, it clearly hit home for many (or hit a nerve). Enjoyment of a Phish show and being critical of a Phish show are, imho, mutually exclusive. So, those bashing anyone for being critical need to check themselves when they logically conclude that the critic didn’t enjoy themselves because they themselves enjoyed themselves and loved the show. That is IT.

And to prove that you’ll never satisfy everyone, had this review gone deep into the music, you would get comments that this reviewer was a “wordy jabroni” and other very colorful insults. ????Check out last Sundays review from yours truly.

But, unfortunately for y’all no one reviewing these show is doing so for the glory or for your approval.
, comment by PlottHound
PlottHound Well done. I laughed out loud several times.

#3: Goose fans
#2: Elaine dancing/stroke
#1: Monsters

I am, however, confused by the suggestion that the seven minute return to Tweezer from night one could be characterized as a tease.
, comment by greghappe
greghappe @PhuglyPig said:
This review may be the best evidence yet that a large portion of the Phish fan base is actually the Simpsons comic book guy
I may be taking credit for something I didn’t earn (equating reviewers to Comic Book Guy), but at least this Comic Book Guyute had plenty to say about ‘why’ he didn’t like it, and it wasn’t a simply-put ‘worst episode ever’ review…. Thanks for the recap and sharing of the opinion…sorry to hear the show flopped for you …would have traded my Radioactive Man #1 for a seat at the proverbial table…
, comment by bkrieg73
bkrieg73 I was entertained. The part that made me LOL:
"...that first set is hot garbage and likely the only people impressed with it are Goose fans."
, comment by btallon89
btallon89 Pretty accurate, although the second set also didn't wow me. Whole thing felt kinda rushed. The groove was never quite found. Still had phun,
, comment by kaufmak
kaufmak I woo during songs just to annoy people like the author.
, comment by hhtuck
hhtuck You’re right about the second set. It crushed. And Tweezer was a tease.
, comment by TnJedHead
TnJedHead Facts:

1. Not all Phish shows are great. But like Lake Wobegon, most are above average. (And I’m quite self aware of my attendance bias.)

2. Not all .net reviews are great. A wide variety of authors yields a wide variety of styles. This was more snarky pulp than a review. (All you complainers could’ve stop reading, me included.)

3. Gen X is a different generation than the Baby Boomers. Please stop. Boomers are my parents. That’s what generations are.

4. (Too) Many Phish fans seek the negative under the guise of a necessary critique (reviews excluded because they are supposed to be critiques). Many of my fellow sports fans do this with their teams (Bears fans excluded because their team does in fact suck) when they are actually above average. Yes, my glass is perpetually half full, at least.

5. Making fun of everyone at every turn is not nice. I get it’s part of the snark, but come on.

6. All of us love to hear the songs that made us fall in love with this band. See fact 5.

7. The Sunday shows of this “tour” were the two weakest. Rethinking my future strategy too DRJERRYPUNCHYITE (props on screen name).

8. We are all lucky to be seeing our favorite band playing at the top of their game (maybe not every night but way more often than not).

9. The boys (sorry, I couldn’t help it) seem to be very happy and genuinely enjoying this as much as we are (most of us at least).

10. See you fucks at YEMSG.
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