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Wednesday, July 20

Phish Crushes Their Third Night in San Francisco with Bust outs and Beautiful Jams.

Phish Crushes Their Third Night in San Francisco with Bust outs and Beautiful Jams.

 Fans argue about the quality of The Gorge shows but everyone is in unison that The Phish are killing it at Bill Graham Auditorium. Tonight ended a three night stand at the intimate San Francisco Auditorium. The first set was a fucking masterpiece! It had everything a Phish fan wants from a show. The first set was full of bust outs galore. From the opening "Demand" which has not seen the light of day since 2009. One of the most patient and stunningly beautiful "The Curtain With" followed. Next was the that triptych we all chase in the form of "Alumni Blues>Letter To Jimmy Page>Alumni Blues" for the first time in 114 shows. By that time, the crowd knew they were on a special ride. "Fuck your Face" jumped back into Gordo's wheelhouse. Then shit got nuts with the first "Cry Baby Cry" in almost 500 shows was played and the stat geeks were creaming. For the remainder of the first set "McGrupp" and "Sanity" and other "caught you" songs electrified the sold out arena. The "Walk Away" and "David Bowie" were extraordinary. What a fucking first set! The second stanza got off the ground as Phish took "No Mans in No Man's Land" for a dark jam that had a few peaks before it dissipated into a quality "Mike's Song" that did not go as deep as Nashville last year but covered some ground before it steered into that little weasel named "Fee" as the crowd applauded this Phishery. 

The "Fee" was gorgeous, like every one that has been played, or that's my opinion. Then, in a nice change up the band launched into "Seven Below". I love this song and while it was a solid version and kept the fans dancing, I wish it would have gone deeper and further before "Waiting all Night". Then they tried to get the crowd back with a funky "Gotta JIbboo" but afterwards chose to go into the new song,"Miss You". It's a beautiful song to hear on the upcoming album, I'm sure. However, it felt like a set that had started so promising just keeled over.  After that, Mike put his slap down for the opening notes of "Weekapuag Groove and continued the trend of "Mike's Groove's" this year that had some great playing to start out but then, and while absolutely well-played, the song choices in the middle of the "sandwich" just slowed the momentum to a crawl. The crowd started to get back into the "Groove" and after Trey's trip to the marimba the notes of "Oh Kee Paa Ceremony" rung out through the tight confines of the BGCA and that was the call for only one lady, Ms. Suzy Greenberg and of course, Fish needed a neurologist too. Trey nailed every note of the ceremony and it was a smoking hot, "Suzy" in which Page just left a smoking pile of organ on the stage. This first set will go down as one of the best first sets of the tour and then the second set let down on the promise the first set made. A hot "Julius" closed the show and ended the three nights with the second night reigning supreme out of the three. The second set, like so many others started with great promise but once "Mike's Song" started getting deep, they dropped into the territory that has marked so many shows this summer. This just goes to show how important song placement is and what Phish are capable of and what they choose to do. They finished up with a "Wading in the Velvet Sea" and "Character Zero" encore to close out the second run of the West Coast. Now on to L.A and The Forum.

Written by: Kevin Long & Greg Heffelfinger

Phish: Wed, Jul 20, 2016
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
[1] Dedicated to producer Bob Ezrin.
[2] Vocal jam.
Notes: Demand was played for the first time since December 31, 2009 (258 shows). Alumni Blues and Letter to Jimmy Page were played for the first time since August 3, 2013 (114 shows). Cry Baby Cry was played for the first time since November 21, 1998 (496 shows). Sing Monica was dedicated to producer Bob Ezrin. Walk Away was played for the first time since October 29, 2013 (100 shows). Sanity contained a brief vocal jam.

Grateful Music,LLC. 2016