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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Night IV: December 31, 2012


***Before Reading: There will be many more in depth posts about each of the individual sets in the near future. This is the last of my 4 part series evaluating the 2012 run show by show. There will also be post(s) in the future taking a step back and judging the run as one whole, not as four pieces.***

And just when it seemed like things were starting to heat up, it was already New Year's Eve.

Three days had passed, 57 songs were played and several big hitters still remained on the board. Big jams like Tweezer, Down With Disease and Carini were now just moments from the past. All that was left was one more show. One more night in 2012, a year that will forever be remembered as The Return of IT in Phishtory. 

This Phish show was not like other New Year's Eve shows, especially 2011, in that multiple themes dominated the band's performance. For a few hours, everything was put into perspective about Phish since their return in 2009, and what exactly "3.0" Phish is. And this story doesn't begin with an Oom Pah Pah, but instead, with a Garden Party.

Walking into MSG for the fourth straight night becomes routine and ordinary. You try to avoid as many crowds as possible, ditch the security guards and head straight into the arena. You get inside, find your seat or your friends, and wait. The stage is often the same. Page, Trey, Mike and Fish, all in a row, with the blue lights turned on. Only this time, things were different.

Trees surrounded the stage. Plants, bushes, hedges, whatever you want to call them, filled the stage. Grass turf covered the stage and floor. This was going to be a real Garden Party.

The band took the stage and began to play Ricky Nelson's Garden Party for the first time. To make a widely known story short and sweet, the song was about Nelson's experience playing the Garden to a crowd of booing and displeased fans who were unhappy with song selection. While Phish fans never boo, there are plenty who are often discouraged with song selection. 

The boys played the song to perfection, with Mike leading the way on vocals. The boys sang together the chorus, the most important lines uttered since 2009, "You can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourselves."

Phish has so many different styles, different inspirations and different songs. It's nearly impossible to find two people who agree on every issue regarding Phish. That's the best thing about Phish and the fan base. The passion, the energy, the debate and discussion. While I may go to every show hoping for Izabella or Split Open and Melt, someone else may be going to hear Gumbo or Ya Mar. One can be hoping for a 20 minute Tweezer, the other can be hoping for a 3 minute Old Home Place. 

But we often forget about what the band wants. That's what this was about. 

There are so many times after a show where we ask and look back, wondering things like "Why was Alaska played in the second set?" or "What was the point of Show of Life?" without not always asking "Why did the band want to play that song at that specific time?"

Garden Party answered that all for us. It was this song that helped remind everyone, whether on the couch or in person, that we aren't always going to get what we want. They have so many fans wanting so many different things, if they can't please everyone they might as well please themselves.

And that's why they went straight into Possum next.

No song was hated on more, maybe Show of Life, than Possum this year. The song is played all the time and never deviates from the standard A-B-A structure. It's fun, it's a rocker, but it's repetitive. But what Garden Party reaffirmed for us was, who cares? This is what Phish wants to play.

If they are having fun, we are having fun. If they are jamming, we are jamming. If they are grooving, we are grooving too. While we will always debate and discuss Phish, we will always appreciate the fact that they are actually playing live music again. The fact is, they are going to play what they want to play.

And so Possum came. And in my opinion, this was the best Possum I've ever heard. Maybe it was because of what it followed, maybe it really was that much better, but this song had energy and clarity to it. It felt right.

Possum did seem to have an extra thrill to it. The band had been waiting for this moment all run and that added anticipation definitely help make this song rock extra hard. It sounded like there was a little MLBJ towards the beginning with Mike's bass progression, but ultimately the song went straight into Possum and it totally delivered. 

The next song played was Roses are Free, another song that ultimately gets a handful of complaints for not being jammed hard enough. Of course, this version did not have an extended jam but this song did kick total fucking ass. The boys were going hard on this one and someone in the front throwing roses in  the air during the chorus made it an absolutely beautiful sight to see.

Next was Rift, which got me thinking that perhaps this would be a Garden/Nature themed set. Garden Party, Possum (a creature that could be found in a garden), Roses and Rift all got me thinking to a themed Garden/Nature set. Rift was nicely played from start to finish.

Sample in a Jar continued with the theme before the boys played Alaska. Now anyone who knows me knows I joke about this song, calling it the Pretzel song (Pretzel, a Pretzel, I think I'll grab a Pretzel!), but the guys to my right were beyond psyched to hear Page play the opening notes. I remembered Garden Party and embraced the song nonetheless. Whether that was the reason or not, this version seemed to be one of the better versions in 2012. This version was similar to the Ocelot from the night before, providing a comfy cushion for Trey to sit back and rip a beautiful solo. 

Following Alaska came the Mike's that we all had been waiting for all run. Some fans who were hoping for a mega bust out Mike's with a second jam and an epic, multi-set Mike's Groove, were let down. Still, Mike's was a great portion of the first set and, while it didn't stray from what has become a standard and normal Mike's Groove, it was fun for everyone.

Trey dove head first into the solo. The song had some really nice moments when it slowed down and it seemed like there was potential for a left turn. The jam started to pick up around 6 minutes in but before anything transpired, Trey ended the song in favor of I Am - No! In favor of Walk Away!

Walk Away had a cool intro and was a much better fit to keep the energy high. While it was a little sloppy to start, the jam kept building more and more, with Trey sounding a little like Derek Trucks. 

Mike was fantastic of course to begin Weekapaug and the jam had real potential to start. They landed on a really unique pattern and Mike started to play with some funky space effects. One last Character Zero ended the set on a high note. The set was a fun filled high rocker with some fun moments. A much better start than last year's disappointing New Year's Eve show.

Now, with seven sets down and only two sets remaining, how would the boys finish off the year?

The second set on the 28th and 30th featuring intense jamming and exploration while the 29th was more straight forward rock. The 31st would be remembered as a combo of both.

The set started with Birds of a Feather, a song that can either be explored and expanded upon for 30 minutes, or a song that can start, peak and end in a span of 7 minutes. In this case, this show would feature the latter.

The next song, which has become something of a tradition on New Year's Eve, was every one's favorite for the gag and arguably the most sought after jam of the run. Slowly, the boys crept into Ghost.

Ghost was an absolute beauty, but in my opinion, was cut too short.

At 4 minutes into the jam Mike started playing this really funky groove. This was the start of the meaty jam. The jam stayed pretty steady until Page took a turn for a real nice solo at about 6:45 into the song. The groundwork was laid for a big jam. Lots of Page dominated the song. Trey at one point lands on a particular note at around 7:50 where we lift off and begin on our galactic journey. This was the turning point for the jam.

Ghost continued to build momentum and by the 11th minute had fantastic potential for a real out of this world original jam. But after a long wail from Trey the jam slowly mellowed out and began a space transition that could have exploded in any direction. There was really nice play again from Mike. The jam ultimately could have breathed and kept exploring but instead transitioned into...Piper!

Piper had a quick buildup with lots of energy. Trey wasted no time starting the song but he was tight. The highlight of this jam came at around 8:10. Trey started with a building rock groove higher and higher until a huge explosion and peak. There were great peaks and buildups in the Ghost > Piper. Like Ghost though, Piper could have went much longer. This time though Piper went into the MVP of 2012...Light!

Light had giant shoes to fill. The most talked about jam since Dick's, Light had huge expectations for a prime jam in the run. How would the band respond to the first time playing it since the masterpiece? It was going to be a "let down" of sources no matter what. There was just no way the first Light played A.D. (After Dick's) would be better than the September jam.

The major highlight was a fun ALS tease, but aside from that nothing special happened. Light was a great jam and now together, Ghost > Piper > Light was shaping up to being a real beautiful segment of music.

When the jam ended in favor of space, the garden exploded, anticipating 2001. When Fishman kicked into that drum beat there was an insane amount of energy in the crowd. Trey and Page were absolutely destroying it to start. However, as with most 2001's of this era, there wasn't a very long jam. The song was absolutely funky as hell with unbelievable grooves and fantastic peaks. The segment of Ghost > Piper > Light > 2001 was a fantastic second set, and could have been the entire set on its own. However, with plenty of time left, the band played on.

The jumped into a huge buzz kill, Horse > Silent in the Morning. Had they cut this out for 10 more minutes of jamming earlier, this set would have been the best all run. A classic YEM ended the set, really cementing the YEMSG name. YEM never gets old, no matter how short Trey's solos are and how short the jam is. I still get excited hearing the intro and watching them on the trampolines. YEM was fun as hell and a great end to an awesome set.

In between Sets golf players came out on golf carts and hit balls into the crowd, hinting at the future stunt at midnight. The boys came out around 11:30 and started off with Party Time. Played to fill time, Party Time was a perfect song for the occasion.

The lights were then turned off and Trey grabbed a golf club and started waving it around his head as the band did Kung! The gag was Kung and the boys actually staged a runaway golf cart marathon.

I'll save the discussion about the gag and the meaning behind it for another post, but I will say it was hilarious watching a bunch of professional dancers who've never listened to Phish before dance around to Chalkdust Torture.

So the boys did Chalkdust, rang in New Years and finally played the Tweezer Reprise we'd all been waiting for since night one. As they played Tweezer Reprise, golfers hit balls and balls dropped on the crowd with strobe lights. Singers came out to sing along with the band.

The next song was Sand! Another standout from Dick's, this song was similar to Light in that it had huge expectations in the A.D. era. Everyone was primed and ready for a 20 minute epic. Sand had no real jam to it but Trey played fantastically well on guitar. It sounded like the jam was ready to expand when the band dropped out for The Wedge.

Immediately I had thoughts of 2011 with the Wedge following Disease and hoped that this set wouldn't be like last year's. The Wedge took a turn left at around 6:45. It was amazing to hear this song played this way. The song slowly faded into...Fly Like an Eagle!

An unbelievable unexpected song. At this point I had realized Sand, Wedge, Eagle....it must be the Golf set! Only Phish would do something like this!

Fishman was awesome and Page nailed the ending to the song. Hearing the boys sing time keeps on slippin into the future was beyond epic. Next the lights turned off and the monitor in the center of MSG turned on. We saw grass and a golf ball with only one word.

Wilson.

The boys played Wilson with ferocious energy and passion. They ended the set with an a Capella Lawn Boy that was really put well together. I could have sworn Freebird was coming, but I actually enjoyed Lawn Boy a lot. That ended the Golf Set. Par-Tee Time, the Kung gag, Sand, Wedge, Eagle, Wilson and Lawn Boy.

Or so we thought.

The boys came out for one final time. They started with Driver, before stopping to start over. A mulligan. How amazing.

After Driver, Page came out and talked with the crowd about the band hitting 30 years and that they were really excited for a big year. As are we Page.

But Page asked the crowd who he was, and told us exactly who he was. An Iron Man! The boys ended the year with Iron Man, ending the Golf Set and ending the 2012 Run on an exciting, hilarious and fun note.

It's often hard to judge a show of this capacity but 2012 New Year's Eve was all in all a really great Phish show. No it didn't have any of the amazing jams like Tweezer or DWD. But it was special.

The first set had some real meaning as well as fantastic play with fun song choices and hard rock. The second set had unbelievable flow, and if not for the 28th, it would have been the best flowing set of the whole run. The themed gag set was a ton of fun and a fantastic ending to a great run.

All in all, the run was one of fantastic jams, fun times and unforgettable memories.

Was it better than Dick's?

No, but it was still fantastic. Phish is always fantastic.

I do think this was a major turning point going forward. 2012 was a huge year for Phish. With the 30th anniversary up next, I can only hope and expect bigger and better things to come.

Highlights: Ghost > Piper > Light, 2011

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Night III: December 30, 2012

Night three would be the most important night of the run for several reasons. Following the black and white cookie that was the first two nights, Phish needed to make some sort of statement as to what type of run this would be remembered as. Fierce exploratory jams with the style of night one or short hard rockers played in the style of night two. On the anniversary of some of Phish's best shows ever, and a personal favorite in 12.30.97, the show will be remembered as more 28th than 29th due to some killer second set jamming and some great sequences in the first set. Overall, the 30th took care of business the 3.0 way. The first set was the most complete out of all the first sets and the second set features this style of "Dick's" jamming that many crave.

The boys opened up the 30th with an all-time favorite, Runaway Jim. The last Jim performance was the epic second set opener in the FUCK YOUR FACE show from Dick's. With more recent openers the other two nights, Stealing Time and Crowd Control, it was refreshing and promising that the band opened with Jim. The song was very quick and very tight. Had Mike's section been extended the boys could have really played this song for a while and let it breathe. That being said, it was the strongest opener yet and a good indication of tight execution.

Cities was next. Cities was exceptionally excellent in 2011 so hopes were high for this year's performance. It had the chance to really take off but as soon as anything could have transpired the song was ended abruptly and awkwardly. The cut definitely made many anxious as to whether we'd be treated to long jams or quick hits. It led to Divided Sky which was sloppy at times.

The first real highlight of the night came with Back On The Train. This song is a great opportunity to take a few seconds and just really listen to each guy on their own. You can truly appreciate the talent and skill of everyone in their own unique way. This version long and meaty.

Ride Captain Ride was a nice change of pace and fun song before a killer Ocelot. Ocelot was a real treat and has really become the perfect jam vehicle for Trey to sit back and slowly build while leading the jam. While some of the Joy songs played this run were always downers, Ocelot is one of the few that continues to bring inspiring jamming on a consistent basis.

The fun and mellow Ya Mar was next which featured Trey screaming to the crowd, "Who's gonna play it for you!" to which everyone replied, "Leo!" Great work by Page indeed during Ya Mar and Mike had a great solo before Trey quickly shied away from any chance at a jam.

Horn was perfectly played but after My Friend My Friend was played incredibly sloppy it was turning out to be a half and half set. Some fantastic songs, some sloppy versions, some interesting song choices. A short Run Like An Antelope ended the first set with similar energy and grooves to the Gin of night two rather than Wolfman's of night one. A really fun Shakedown Street tease was a brief highlight before the song peaked. Trey wanted no part at a funk jam as he quickly got to the vocals before the set ended.

The first set was a really good, potentially the best first set of the run. It had real smack and some fantastic songs. The question would be though would the second set live up to it's ancestors from second set pasts on the 30th?

The second set roared to an amazing start with one of the best versions of Down With Disease in recent history. Like Tweezer from the other night, Disease stretched out real long, close to 20 minutes and reaching all different walls of exploration. When the jam got started there was real beauty with Page and Trey playing in response to one another. The key to the jam was patience. No one was rushing anything and everyone was letting notes develop. Trey started to take everyone on a journey with whale calls and passionate grooves around halfway in. At about 12 minutes in the band lands on a really funky groove that had potential to become a whole original piece. This part of the song is just absolute golden. This is some original improvised and connected Phish. This is the truth.

At 14 minutes the jam takes a turn for the quiet. Fishman starts lightly playing only his cymbals as Trey wails and Page treats everyone to piano. Mike's playing sounds like there could be a potential for a really dark jam to emerge out of this sequence. The energy started to slowly build back up again higher and higher. At one point the band drops out and all that's left is Trey on a rocking solo with Mike then playing space funk behind him. Page comes in on piano and what's formed is a sickly funky space jam with real energy. Trey starts shredding now that Page has found a melody to stick with. The jam then ended and slowly faded into Twenty Years Later. Could the band have kept playing Disease for another 15 minutes? Of course, but it was a nice transition.

Next was an absolute fire Carini. Another absolute highlight and will remain along with Tweezer and Disease as the biggest highlights of the run. There was some really dark jamming and segments that sounded like Crossroads. However, while fantastic and a must listen, the jam felt short and went from the darkest of times into the happiest in Backwards Down the Number Line. Now unlike Ocelot, this Joy song seemed out of place and unnecessary. We were just in the middle of an incredible jam segment and now heading into the "fourth quarter" we were getting Joy standards.

Number Line was actually played really nicely though. The Julius that followed was with another time for Trey to shred and star. Julius is like Back On The Train as you can listen to each band member at times really all doing great things with their instruments.

The set ended with a beautiful Slave to the Traffic Light. When the set ended many guessed the encore would be Harry Hood. Hood it was. The combo capped off an unbelievable second set. Six songs with high energy and stellar jamming. Disease/20 Years Later/Carini was the stuff of golden gods. The show could have ended there but instead the boys wanted to play one more, and so they played Show of Life. Did they need to play it? No, but Phish is just playing what they want at this point, and it was very evident in this show especially with the Twenty Years Later in between the epic jams of Disease and Carini.

The 30th is right up there with the 28th in terms of flow and jamming. Phish needed to show what type of run this was and they decided in favor of jamming and improvisation. The patience and flow from the 28th was evident on the 30th. Oh, and never sleep on a Sunday show.

Now, with only one night left and 6 sets down, how would Phish close it out? Many expected somewhat of a let down. What would soon occur was one of the most interesting and unusual New Years Eve show in a long time.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Night II: December 29, 2012

The energy and passion put forth from night one left many anxiously awaiting night two. With the tenacity and exploration of the second set, most notably Tweezer and Bowie with some rocking guitar in Twist, possibilities were endless for what could happen on night two.

All in all, night two was most similar to any of 2011's MSG shows. In the grand scheme of things, night two reminds me of night two at San Francisco this year. Little jamming, little risks but a lot of fun.  While no song was given the "Dicks" treatment, this show featured an unusual and unique song selection from the first song to the last note.

Crowd Control, while skipped in 2011, was played three times in 2012 all as the opener. Following Control was a fun Mound that featured Mike playing exceptionally well. What came next was AC/DC Bag. At the time, many people were speculating about the New Year's gag and wondering what the "G" would be for "M-S-G." Some extravagant theories were based around the idea of a Broadway-style Man Who Stepped into Yesterday taking everyone to Gamehendge considering the moves Trey has made with Broadway this year. Earlier in the day a photo was leaked about a truckload of trees being dropped off at the Garden so hopes were high. As soon as Bag was played, and a very cookie-cutter version to say the least, people standing all around me openly chatted about finally putting the Gamehendge discussion to bed.

One of my big wishes was for a jammed out AC/DC Bag. Unfortunately, following a theme for the night, this song started and ended before anything remotely unique would happen. After Bag came Rock n Roll, a song that was jammed to perfection in Long Beach and has been a staple of 3.0 jamming. Just like Bag though, Rock n Roll was short and sweet and featured little to no jamming. A first set standard that could be replaced with any other version of it's kind.

A horrible Sugar Shack came next where Trey just butchered the song to death. It almost appeared as if he was laughing at the end and apologizing to Mike.

Five songs in and it was starting to feel like the night would be a little less adventurous.

Reba was played next to the delight of everyone in the Garden. After an absence in 2011, it was incredibly rewarding to hear Reba this time around. The song was played much slower and was characterized by mellow patience. During the song there was an insanely loud crowd eruption that reminded the band of the passion in the arena.

Halley's was played next and never stood a chance. The coolest part was Kuroda's lights during the "I'm Going Down" part of the song but aside from that little highlight, Halley's was a standard version - quick and forgettable.

After St. Louis, Limb by Limb changed it's reputation and when the first notes were heard following Trey's ripcord on Halley's, the crowd all started to get really excited about the potential for an exploratory jam. While played exceptionally well, the song never took off to the levels of that in St. Louis.

A breather in Wading bridged the gap between Limb and a rocking set closer in Bathtub Gin. While super short and not as exploratory as the Wolfman's the night before, Gin had some of the most energy I've seen in a song in a long time. The band was having a fantastic time, especially Fishman who was singing Suzie Q along the song. The jam could have kept going for another 10 minutes, but when it ended abruptly, it became clearer as to what type of show night two would be remembered as.

The second set kicked off with a 2012 favorite, Golden Age. Another "G" song, Golden Age was a star this summer, so when Trey started in with the funky riff at the beginning everyone prepared for what should have been a legendary 20 minute Golden Age just like the Tweezer the night before.

Instead of kicking Golden Age up to 11, the boys transitioned into Waves! Since the beautiful version in Chicago in 2011, Waves was only played once. With the 10 year anniversary of it's debut at MSG in 02, Waves was bound for some epic bliss jamming. Like the Golden Age before it though, while certainly having it's moments, the song will be remembered by ending abruptly in favor of Prince Caspian. At this point it was quite clear that this show was going to be one of the classic "Juke Box" shows where hardly anything is original and ground breaking but instead is standard and nothing special.

This is not to take away from the show. Some nights of Phish they boys want to jam their brains out (Dicks 1) but others they want to just play songs (BG 2). It all speaks to the "Garden Party" theme that I will get to in another post. Were the jams easily found on night two? No. Was it an absolutely brilliantly fun time? Yes. Is there any place in the world I'd rather be than with Phish? No fucking way.

The Caspian happened to be played beautifully and was one of the best versions in recent memory. The last two times played Caspian has been really elegant and I hope for this to be a continuing trend moving forward.

But after Caspian was cut short like the songs before it, we were treated to the sound of Mike's bass to kick off Boogie On Reggae Woman. The transition shows how ADD this show was. Between Boogie On and the following Suzy Greenberg, the band was just having a really fun time on stage. Joking about needing more cowbell and doing start stop jamming with Mike and Page, this segment of the second set symbolized the night as a whole. High power energy, loads of fun but little risks.

A well played Bug changed the mood once again before a rocking set closing Cavern. But after Cavern we were treated to one last 46 Days which had some of the most power and energy I've seen from the band. It was a very fitting ending to a show that will be remembered as the TreyDD rock show. 46 Days was a fantastic closer.

The show ended much earlier than the night before, around 11:15, so with plenty of time left, there were many questions as to what the encore could be. They started with Squirming Coil which was really beautiful. Watching Page shine alone is some of my favorite Phish.



The boys then headed to the microphone for Grind, before finishing off the night with First Tube, another rocker that fit in perfectly with the theme of the night.

By the end of the night, the momentum had changed drastically. Night one raised expectations and carried the "Dicks" momentum from Denver and the layoff to the Garden. But after a night two that saw no exploration and no risk taking, one could only hope the band returned with a night one style on the 30th, the holiest of Phish holidays.

Much like a playoff NFL team, Phish runs ride on momentum. Night one was a blowout in the wildcard round. Night two was a tough fought divisional round game. It was up to Phish to come out strong night three and really wow everyone in attendance.

Would the run slowly become like 2011, a four night stand featuring a strong 28th but lackluster performances on the 29th, 30th and 31st. The band needed to come out strong night three and make a statement as to what type of run this would be. Rock n roll or jams? I was hoping for the latter.

5 Highlights: Bathtub Gin, Golden Age/Waves/Prince Caspian, 46 Days

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Night I: December 28th, 2012

Following the fantastic three shows held in Denver over Labor Day Weekend, a run with such beautiful music that my friends and I now use the phrase "Dick's Light" to describe anything amazing, phans everywhere were found salivating over the prospect of the 4 night stand at MSG for New Year's. As we all anxiously counted down the days till the 28th, predictions were thrown around and wish lists were made. We waited, and still waited (Crosseyed!), until finally the 28th came. What will follow are a series of posts reviewing the 4-night stand as well as some outcomes from the run.

A little past 8 pm on Friday, December 28th, the lights at MSG went down and Kuroda's beautiful blue lights shined bright on the stage. The crowd roared louder than any show in recent memory. The combination of a three month layoff with the level of play at Dick's brought an absurd amount of energy to the Garden. I was hoping for a Llama or Buried Alive opener, something with teeth that could really open up the run with energy and set the tone for the nights ahead.

What followed was Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, a song from Phish's recent, if 2009 is even recent anymore, album, Joy. I, among many others in attendance, was both pumped and disappointed upon hearing the opening line from Trey as he scorched through the rocking intro. Disappointment not because it's a bad song, but because of what it represented for the run. When Phish kicked off Dick's with First Tube, it meant they were going to unpredictable and passionate. When I heard Stealing Time, I instantly thought about MSG 2011 and the lack of inspiring jams and abundance of Joy standards.

I was wrong.

The song was played well, but the real great opener was a funky Moma. Moma was really tight and Fishman was great on vocals. The next two songs were Funky Bitch and Army of One, which gave each Trey, Fish, Mike and Page each a chance to sing lead. 

Next came Tube, a song which I was really hoping to be jammed out long and funky. Sadly, this was not the case, but nonetheless, it was a fun Tube. Stash, played last year on the 28th, was played with a lot of energy. The rest of the set was pretty average in my opinion, until the closing Wolfman's Brother.

Wolfman's Brother was one of the best songs of the night and was an absolute jam masterpiece. The song was topped off with Little Drummer Boy. The jam was a fantastic ending to the first set and pointed toward a second set that would be filled with many exploratory jams. Wolfman's was one of the best versions of 3.0 and will be remembered as a highlight of the run.

The second set started off with an unbelievable, majestic Tweezer. Over 20 minutes long, this Tweezer was similarly played with the same ferocity the band had in Denver. Page and Mike both shined bright here with Trey wailing away on his guitar. The jam was pure beauty and slowly picked up pace until the end when Trey starting soloing and the song climbed to a final peak. Tweezer in my opinion was the best song of the four nights and was a true place of musical exploration ending with a rocking full band peak. The song had true imagination from all parts of the band and they all united together perfectly at the end. 

Tweezer slowly faded out into a great Maze. The song choice was a great move. Page was really fantastic during his solo as was Trey. When the song ended the band next played Twist, continuing the line of fantastic song choice leading to great flow. The song started with the Little Drummer Boy again, really reminding everyone this was a Holiday run. Twist started with really funky Mike and Trey doing the Little Drummer Boy over and over again. The ending finished with more Little Drummer Boy. Theme, Fluffhead and an amazing David Bowie ended the set. Fluffhead is always fun in the garden when Fluff came to New York. Bowie was really fun and featured start stop jamming. The jam was incredibly tight and was a fantastic ending. This six song set was the best set of the run in terms of jamming and flow. The flow and song choice was beautiful. This was not the case for several other sets during the run which raised a few questions.

When the encore didn't feature Tweezer Reprise we all left wondering when it would be played next. End the run? Opener night 2? After midnight? The encore of Bouncin and Good Times Bad Times was great. Bouncin was short and sweet and Good Times carried over the passion from the second set. Following the end of the show there was only excitement about what to come. Three more shows and following that second set spirits were high.