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The Daily Ghost

25 in 25 #12 08/07/2015 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH (Brandon Yarsike, @iamspund)

Blossom. My favorite venue in all of Phish and my first show of Summer 2015. I can’t explain why Blossom feels like home to me, but it does. I had been twice before. 2010 my car started overheating pulling into the lot, didn’t make it back to the hotel postshow, and I ended up stranded in Cuyahoga Falls for 2 days. Apparently mechanics don’t work on Sundays? Undeterred, I came back for more in 2011 and that remains one of my favorite nights seeing this band. My excitement level for this one was through the roof after hearing the jams laid down out west and down south. Now it’s the midwest run — my time.

Drove down from Detroit on showday. Had a crew of out-of-towners rolling with me who bought into all my Blossom hype. No pressure, Phish. @Dianna_2Ns and @Noahitall had flown to Detroit the night before and after a quick detour to scoop our buddy Brinks at the Akron airport, we we made our way to the lot. It didn’t take long before our pockets were full of all the essentials for the weekend. Nobody wants to be shopping at Alpine Valley. We also managed to get in some preshow chills with the helmeted one himself.

First set was solid. Cool song selection and a strong finish with quality versions of “It’s Ice” and “Bathtub Gin.” The “Gin” closer in particular brought the house down. Great peak and a much needed burst of energy before setbreak.

Set two opens with “Chalk Dust Torture”  and the band continues the trend of finishing a type 1 “CDT” and then relaunching into type 2 territory. A big space opens immediately and Trey fires up the Mutron and takes a nice solo. At 8:40, he breaks down into one of those beautiful melodies that he provided so many times last summer and the table is set for the next several minutes of improv. This style has become known in some circles (or maybe just my circle) as “glass half full jamming.” It is impossible to think a negative thought when TraeBae is locked into one of these majestic licks.

Trey sticks to the melody for a bit, allowing the rest of the band to build the sound behind him. At 11:20, they lock into a theme straight out of the Northerly “Wedge” and it’s Paradise City all over again. Relaxed soloing by Trey with Page putting all the right notes in the holes. What a peak!

Trey lets a chord ring out to end it and the move to “Tweezer” is on immediately. Page goes to the clav and we get real spacey, real fast. Fish injects some energy at 14:40 and Trey and Page get metal. Mike is the first to fully move to “Tweezer” at around 15:30 and he times it just right for the rest to follow him effortlessly. Great job everybody!

Nothing fancy through the song portion of “Tweezer” and the jam opens up in a quiet, jazzy space. Trey plays some staccato licks and Fish takes over. Killer fills, block hits, straight up beat wizardry leading us on a space funk dance party. As the jam progresses it stays dark. Trey really leans into this one around 25:30 and you better hide your marbles because Big Red is coming to steal them.

When Trey’s solo is finished, we end up in a quiet space with a lot of scratchy sounds looped in. Trey starts hitting a Ballroom Blitzy lick and Mike and Page get straight up evil. This glass is anything but half full. This grows into a very Zeppelin-sounding jam before dissolving into pre-Lizards space.

Yeah, they followed that with “Lizards.” And then “Makisupa>Ghost>Hood>Tweeprise”. Perfection in my book. What a great way to jump into tour, and there were so many highlights that followed. Can’t wait to read the rest of the posts as we count down to Minneapolis.

From Brandon:

I live in Detroit and listen to way too much Phish at thephish.fm/listen. My first show of 2016 is Wrigley2 but I am most excited to make my first trip to the Gorge this summer. I can’t narrow it down past my top 3 versions of 2001 but they are Assembly Hall ‘97, Lemonwheel and MSG ‘98.

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