I almost didn’t go to Sunday’s show at MPP. We were down in Maryland, I had gone to the show the night before & I had a ticket (a pav, even!) but I was also in the middle of one of the worst flus I’ve ever come down with. It hit me the Friday before the shows & had me on a rollercoaster of body temperature, ranging from 96 to 103, changing constantly & without warning entire weekend. I was a mess.
I had felt ok in the early afternoon on Sunday but as the show got closer & closer, I began feeling worse & worse. I started to wonder what I should do — go into the show & head directly to the medical tent? Sit in the car until the show was over? Go back to the hotel (which we had already checked out of) & ask them to let my sick, wook-ass hang there until my ride came to get me & take me home?
We decided that going into the show was probably the best idea so I did & we made it to our seats, next to this adorable older couple in their 70s. The show began & while I was excited at the “Fee” opener & the subsequent “Curtain With”, I quickly remembered that I was still weak & unwell and should probably take it easy.
The rest of the first set had a great mix of older, classic Phish & newer “Fuego” tunes, including a notable “Sand” & surprise “YEM” to close the set after “Fuego” seemed like the obvious set closer. While it was arguably one of the better 1st sets of last summer’s tour in my opinion, the night was still young & I had no idea what was about to come next. At setbreak, I was feeling significantly better then when we had gone into the show but again, I wasn’t counting on that feeling sticking since I’d been so up & down all weekend.
The band came back on stage & promptly broke into “Wilson” which had the entire place chanting in unison, followed by the infamous 16-minute long BOTTweezer extravaganza. You could tell the band was having a blast & hear the merriment as Trey laughed out the lyrics. As “Tweezer” ended in a dark, spacey realm of the unknown & they dropped into “Waiting All Night”, you could hear the crowd deflate with disappointment. (Editor’s Note..LawnMemo loves Waiting All Night, and prays for the day it goes into a deep soothing jam)
Ok, maybe that was just me because I personally think that song is super lame & was the ONE thing I could complain about out of this entire show, however it gave me a second to run to the bathroom before the real fun began again.
As WAN ended & “Free” started, the crowd cheered, realizing that the boys were on this evening & certain that we would be getting something special out of this version.
However, I don’t think anyone was anticipating what was actually about to go down. Around 3:30 into “Free”, Mike is dropping ploppy bass notes around, doing his “Free” thing & then, at 4:13, Trey being Trey starts to tease “Tweezer” again. The crowd is loving it, enjoying Trey being silly & bringing the “Tweezer” tease back into another song until this “tease” lasts over a minute. And then… they segue into “Simple”.
The crowd absolutely loses their shit. This band is so on tonight. Few times have I felt the lyrics “We’ve got it simple cuz we’ve got a band” applied more appropriately than at that moment. I was happy, laughing, smiling & feeling like a million bucks. What flu? I was having the best night ever!
The “Simple” was high energy & tight, with Trey guitar-heroing a bit around the “We’ve got bebop in the band” lyric. At 4:10, the bliss begins & the song gets soft & sweet, while Page tinkles aways on the keys & Fishman keeps a steady tempo until 5:04 when, all together, the band drops back into “Tweezer”.
At this point, the crowd is just loving every second of this. Fishman starts to bring a funky beat around 0:25 seconds in and then… back into Free! We should’ve seen this coming but we didn’t. This is ridiculous. People are laughing & cheering and losing their minds. Everything is awesome. They finish strong & slowly segue into “Catapult” followed by “Slave” for a much needed break. (Far better choice for a breather than WAN, but that’s neither here nor there….)
There are too many highlights in the rest of the set to even talk about so I’ll just say this: Go listen to this whole show today & get pumped for summer tour because this band is awesome, knows how to make delicious, ridiculous song sandwiches, & can still have tons of fun. I can’t wait for tour.
P.S. Hey Phish,
I know it didn’t happen last year because you were too busy playing this monster of a show, but if you could throw us a lil’ Walfredo again at this year’s MPP shows, that’d be greaaaaat. I appreciate you taking this into consideration.
About Me: I’m Dianna, a noob-ass phan from Brooklyn who prefers seeing The Lawn Boys over Phish & only goes to shows to pad her stats. (Just kidding, I’m a total fangirl who has been counting down the days until tour since March 18th.) I’m excited for my 1st midwest Phish experience this summer at Blossom & Alpine and hope that the band retires “Waiting All Night” permanently soon. I’ve been told that I “come up with some good Phish related points sometimes.” You can read those & see pictures of my cat Magnolia over on Twitter at @Dianna_2Ns.