Photo © Phish

Debut Years (Average: 1995)

This show was part of the "2016 Summer Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by ThomasFunkyEdison

ThomasFunkyEdison Note: there's a TL;DR at the end of this that sums it up. But for those that aren't into the whole brevity thing, here's my take...

Just getting back from Lockn', sitting at my desk with a nice cup-o'-joe, reminiscing at the absolute wonder and beauty that was this weekend. If you are on the fence about going, trust me when I tell you there isn't a better festival out there. I was especially impressed with the crowd. This is a crowd full of tour and festival vets. The chatter was minimal, even (especially) during quiet sections of songs. And did 90+ degree heat stop anyone from boogying? Heck naw. OK on to Phish night 2...

It's day 4 at a festival. All is said and done but for the main act. The reason why a lot of people made the journey. Two nights of Phish. Crowd is sweaty, tired, brow-beaten, but ready for action.

- They start the night with Sample. The crowd answers with cheers and a huuuuge glowstick war. It was clear at this point that the crowd had the energy, and I was curious to see if the band would feed off of it.

- Martian Monster continues the set. I freakin' love this song. As I had mentioned in a review of another Summer '16 show, I'm confused as to why this song has shrunk to a mere 3 minutes. This song has gargantuan potential (as seen in 2014 and early summer 15).

- Axilla>Moma>Halley's>Bag was a fun and energetic run of tunes that kept the crowd boogying, but pretty standard fare as far as the tunes themselves go.

- FYF>46 was another 1-2 punch that kept the crowd going.

- The Line. This song has become kind of a running joke with me. It seems I get this song at every freaking show and it's one of those songs that no matter how hard they try to ram it down my throat I just can't get into. But for those of you that love the song, I'm glad you got it last night.

- LxL was LxL

- Possum was absolutely the highlight of the first set. A rendition that harks back to the early 90s, this version stands out with long, patient tension builds and glorious releases. Another massive glowstick war ensues (likely the reason why they kept building the tension so nicely). Stuff like this is why I love Phish.

- First Tube is First Tube and sends us into setbreak optimistic of things to come.

SET 2:
- Carini. Ooohhh boy! So *this* is the kind of set we're gonna get tonight ya? Nothing like a huge rocker with serious jam potential to kick things off. A crowd of 35,000 head-bangin hippies reacted by throwin horns and throwin glowsticks. Here's the thing about Carini: at baseline, even without an extended jam, the song fucking rocks. But after those monster versions from Essex until Mid 2014, I always hope it will get back to that place. This version does not, but they keep the energy going with a >

- Chalk Dust. Another great tune. High energy, great shredding, kept within the box. At this point I had to reset my thermostat. I'm a jam chaser and it seemed that this would be like most other Summer 2016 shows (jam-free). But if they ain't gon' jam, I'm glad they kept the energy high.

- Twist is good and within the box. Here's the 3rd jam vehicle in a row that is played without any improv. That's no worry, they're gonna do what they're gonna do, and I'm gonna dance and enjoy it. I do wonder though, if they're not interested in jamming, why play these songs over and over and over again? I'm sure it gets boring for them to play the same songs hundreds of times over, and I always figured it was the excitement of exploration that got them off, and why playing these songs didn't get stale for them.

- Light is next, and is the highlight of the evening. They took this one out for a little ride, descending into a fluffy major-key jam and finishing with a wonderful, 4-member peak. Definitely check this jam out, it's one of the better ones of this summer tour.

- Tweezer...fuck ya! Great glowstick war, lots of energy. I figure in a year with an absence of huge tweezers, this would be it. Clearly they were saving something crazy for this crowd of vets. It certainly has energy, but..well..they cut it off for NQ juuuust as it was going somewhere.

- No Quarter. I love this song. Huge huge zep fan (as I'm sure y'all are). This, to me, is the finest rendition they've done to date. Page was doing something different with the baby grand and it paid off. No Quarter is most definitely a special cover. Fans will go crazy whenever this song is played no matter what position it holds in the setlist. That said, I think it would have worked better as an exclamation point to a monster Tweezer rather than playing it instead of a Tweezer jam. Again, I'm a jam chaser (or set chaser) rather than a song chaser, so if improv isn't high on your list of importance than this is fucking awesome. But you know what? I still think it was fucking AWESOME.

- 2001 keeps the party going. They jammed out Tube a bit this summer after a long hiatus...perhaps one day they'll bring back the long, funky 2001 as well? We shall see!

- Harry hood descends into a serene jam that reminds me of a lot of 94-96 versions. It's short and sweet, doesn't really peak, but rather goes right to the ending. Beautiful stuff right there though. I'll take a hood any day.

- Reprise finishes the set with fantastic energy. It also leaves the encore for something special. Maybe a couple songs? Maybe a sit in? Maybe a long-awaited bust out?

- Loving Cup encore, very well played. This is my most-heard encore songs, with this one being my 8th (just in the encore slot). Good thing I'm a huge tRS fan!!

So lets chat about this weekend. I've been to many music festivals and this one was by far the most outstanding I've ever been to. Not only did they get some big name acts, they *all* brought the heat. I don't think I saw one mediocre act the entire weekend, I was absolutely flabbergasted. There were tons of really cool collaborations (Tedeschi and Trucks came out with Phil and Friends on Saturday), homages (MMJ with Prince and Bowie), etc. It was pretty clear that the bands could tell this wasn't a crowd to just play the straightforward shit. It was going to take a lot more than that to impress this crowd. And shit did they deliver and then some.

Phish is my favorite band (obviously). It doesn't take much for them to blow my socks off. They played 4 fun, high-energy sets without many of the standard breathers. I know that people are going to come on the boards to tell me "you hate phish," or "phish doesn't owe you anything," or "read the book," but when I think about the *actual music,* rather than just the good time I had, I was exceedingly underwhelmed. These two shows felt like an afterthought for them. Every other band did something special. Every other band had 1.5h or less to perform. Phish was given 4 sets on 2 nights. There was every opportunity for a sit-in, a rare bust out (think Shafty in Roo 12), or a MONSTER jam. That's what keeps drawing long-time (and new fans) back. They share the throne with tGD as far as jam bands go, and its a little frustrating that they didn't show off this talent.

No doubt these shows were fun. I had a blasssssssst. Musically speaking they took zero risks.

TL;DR - listen to Possum, Light, and No Quarter. x/10 ratings by category:

Fun - 4.5/5
Crowd - 5/5
Setlist choice - 3/5 (not bad at all, just nothing terribly interesting)
Improv - 2.5/5 (for that Ghost>Gin and Light)
Cohesiveness - 2.5/5
Overall 3/5

Smashing good times! See you next year.
, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by JMart

JMart I want to give props to whoever wrote the official .net review of the first night. There was some commentary about how Phish has approached festival sets that I found to be spot on. It has to be difficult for a band as huge as Phish to play a festival. There's not as much room for subtlety. You wanna keep the energy going for the nonPhan, but don't wan to alienate the heads, of whom there were clearly many.

I contemplated this a lot when I saw LCD soundsystem at a festival recently. They clearly have a shitload of hardcore fans who wouldn't mind hearing the deep cuts, but I was like, "fuck that man. This is a festival. I wanna hear the hits!"

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then all of this can be neatly summed up by a picture of Trey holding up his guitar over his head (a la 2003) while a large chunk of the kids in the front row look totally bored. I guess they can either take it as a bummer to play in front of a crowd that isn't their own or they can take it as a challenge to not have the absolute adoration and forgiveness that comes with playing in front of a bunch of phish heads every night.

So...they kinda did both. Part of me wants to say there were some pretty obvious concessions to the festival mindset. Sample, Axilla, Halley's, AC/DC, and Possum are all well known songs and have rousing choruses that can be sung loudly by the crowd. An oddly placed FYF is the sole bone thrown to the hardcores out there, and that's just as well.

The theme continued in the second set, which reads like a full on wet dream Phish hit parade. The problem with this is that, while they played a lot of well known songs, Phish forgot to do the thing that MADE those songs well known and beloved, which is, you know, play them well. What's the point of playing monster jammers like Carini and Tweezer, both of which started with a really angry, grotty Trey tone that I absolutely love, if you're going to just rip cord the shit out of them? Add to this that there were an awful lot of times when Trey (and sometimes Fish) sounded totally lost (e.g. Halley's) and disinterested (Moma, AC/DC, Hood) and I would say that you've got all the makings of a pretty crappy Phish show.

HOWEVER, that's not really what happened. There were actually a couple of really good moments in this show. Trey sounded like he actually gave a fuck for a change on 46 Days and the ending of Possum was unique and cool. Light is definitely the highlight of the show and worth listening to at your desk today. It stays rollicking and bouncy and maintained a sense of focus and energy the whole way through. Your ears will definitely take notice.

All of this hub bub about the pros and cons of Phish playing festival sets could be rendered mute if they just managed to play well. I think everyone can agree that summer 2015 (and Magnaball) was a banner year for inspired, creative playing on all fronts. Since then, the highlights have become harder and harder to find. Here's hoping they come out raging at Dicks.
, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by Xpanding_Man

Xpanding_Man Never miss a Sunday show! Unless it's a festival, in which case they're going to rock out like it's a Saturday!

Seriously, I understand having to play to the audience, and while not entirely a phish audience to be sure, it was definitely a more open-minded audience than, say, Bonnaroo. Plus, you're the freakin' headliner! On the last day/slot of the festival!

I love this band, but this performance baffles me to some extent. Why did they play it so safe?
, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by yodadoe

yodadoe TL;DR -- Excellent show, flawlessly executed, full of energy. But only one truly transcendental Type II jam in Light's "second jam"


It's hard to talk about this show without referring to the show two nights before (at the same Lockn' festival). It took the band until midway through set 2 of the first night to shake off the cobwebs. Trey, in particular, was lackluster and had some major miscues on multiple songs. This show was like a completely different band altogether. Trey was on point the entire show and was full of energy. The entire show (yes, even The Line!) was great... and this is coming from a jaded 1.0 vet. It was the quintessential festival show -- which unfortunately means that there wasn't a whole lot of exploration. That's really the only bad thing you can say about this show.

I'm not going to go into a blow-by-blow, as it's not really necessary. Every song was played well. Every song was fun. Every potential rager, such as Possum, Axilla, Tweezer Reprise, and Chalkdust, raged. Every jam vehicle had a decent and satisfying jam, but none really ventured outside the confines of the song's structure, with just one notable exception.....

LIGHT -- Like every other potential jam vehicle of the night (Tweezer, Twist, etc), this one had a great, but predictable, jam after the composed section. But Light featured a full-on "second jam" that sprouted out of the wind-down from the regular Light jam. It was a beautiful and wholly unique improvisational composition.

So to sum up, great all-around show. Listen to the whole thing. Don't miss Light!
, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by whitecollarw00k

whitecollarw00k TL;DR - This was the first Phish show I've been to where when a friend asked what I thought, my answer was "pretty bored, to be honest."

I'll preface this by saying that I am 125% not a hater. I love this band and after 51 shows, I continue to come back for more and am surprised and amazed by them regularly. I fully expect to get rocked by fall tour next month. So, that being said, here's my review of Phish's second night of Lockn.

After 3 incredible days of music at Lockn and a Friday night rager, the stage was set for Phish to blow the metaphorical roof off of the festival on Sunday night and send off the festival-goers with an amazing show to cap off the weekend, but the boys fell flat on this night. Instead of leaving Arrington with Phish playing in my head, it was My Morning Jacket whose tunes I couldn't seem to shake.

The band kicked off with Sample, a predictable way to open a festival show... an accessible, karaoke-friendly pop-rock tune that won't scare off any fans who came to see the other bands and are dipping their feet in the Phish pool just for the night. But this wasn't a typical festival crowd. We were ready for some improv and heady jams! So when Martian Monster got the 2 spot, after DWD got it on Friday, I was pretty excited to see where the band was planning to take us. The answer: rip-cord city. Martian Monster clocks in at less than 3:30. No risks taken. No jamming to be seen. This was arguably the least interesting Martian the band has played since its debut in 2014 and was a foreboding sign for the rest of the night.

After a quick Axilla that ramped up the energy again, the band played underwhelming versions of Moma, Halley's, and AC/DC Bag. Fuck Your Face made for a fun breather before a similarly underwhelming 46 Days. That's when my friend turned to me and said "What do you think so far?" And I said "A resounding meh".

At this point, Phish sucked the energy out of the room with The Line. They tried to re-inject some adrenaline throughout the rest of the set with LxL > Possum > First Tube, but they were all pretty standard versions and couldn't really juice the crowd up if you ask me.

So, the first set was ok... relatively fun albeit it uninteresting. Clearly, the boys have something up their sleeves in set 2, right? A monster Tweezer perhaps? A crazy Mike's Groove?

Nope, just a bunch of TreyDHD and aborted jams. Carini > Chalkdust should have set up some huge improv! But both songs got cut off pretty quickly. Maybe Twist will pack a punch? Nope, another rip-cord.

Light becomes the lone exception, but takes its time getting there. In this roughly 15 minute version, it took about 10 minutes of searching before the band could really latch onto some creative themes for the jam. Trey noodles over the band for a while, but eventually Page takes the reins and moves the jam forward and it takes flight in earnest.

Now the band is lubed up and ready to go. Perfect time for a sweet Tweezer jam, one might say. But Trey disagrees and segues out of the Tweezer jam after about 5 bland minutes into No Quarter. A great cover, no doubt. And one I'd be psyched to hear at any other show. But on this night, the jams that could have been are occupying my mind.

In the final stretch, the boys go through fairly standard versions of 2001, Hood, and Tweeprise, before wrapping it up with a predictable Loving Cup Encore.

Hood, being particularly uninspired, takes one last chance to drop a deuce on what could have been an amazing evening of music and improv from the greatest band on earth.

All in all, this show had decent energy and a stand-out jam in Light, but this show is not worth a re-listen and if you weren't in attendance, probably not even a first listen. Check out Friday night for the stellar second set, with Ghost > Gin being the improv highlight of Lockn.

, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by BonoBeats

BonoBeats Thought this was better than Friday night.

First set was energetic and had a few surprises for a "festival set" (Martian Monster in the two slot, Axilla, FYF). L x L was a nice happy pick me up after The Line. Nothing groundbreaking, but well executed.

Second set started off with some typical jam vehicles that never made their way there, which may be to blame for the low ratings (though Carini really did struggle to go anywhere with even the brief solo it had). Started to turn the corner during a pretty Twist, getting over the hump with a marvelous Light. Tweezer wasn't twenty minutes, but was well executed, and a good 1-2 combo. The Hood solo didn't come to an enormous peak, but again, well played regardless.

All and all, I really enjoyed this one. It's not deep in the Type II (which isn't much different from many shows during Summer Tour), BUT everything played well and with purpose.
, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by nickavv

nickavv This was a fun show. Watched it on the webcast, for the record. There was just a lot of inspired playing from all members throughout the show. Trey was in full machine-gun guitar god mode, Fish was throwing lots of interesting fills, etc.
The Light jam was beautiful, but Carini, Chalkdust, Twist, and Tweezer all had very fun–if short–jam sections. Top to bottom it was just a solid fun show that was worth watching
, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by Errand_Wolfe

Errand_Wolfe Let’s be honest, nobody was expecting anything too crazy from this show. It was part of a festival, and would probably follow Friday’s model of a “greatest hits” set – and so it did. But this was my 100th show, and I was excited!

Sample kicked things off and set a very high energy level. I must say, Trey seemed really into it. The smile, the rock star body movements – really set a fun tone!

As others have stated, Martian Monster has gotten too short. It’s one of their best new jams, and hopefully it revives its former glory.

Axilla through AC/DC Bag kept the energy level up (although, I would love to see an Axilla Part 2, m.i.a. since 1995), before the only real surprise of the evening – my first Fuck Your Face! Perhaps inspired by Ween’s irreverent sets?

46 Days rocked and The Line actually worked better than usual. Limb By Limb, a high energy Possum (from band and crowd alike) and First Tube finished off a very satisfying first set.

The second set stumbled a bit out of the gate with a stunted Carini, standard Chalkdust and a Twist that felt tired. The whole “whoo” joke was lost on the festival crowd, and the Phish fans didn’t really care as it’s a bit played out.

Then Light hit. While many of the Light jams have a “sameness” to them, this one stands out (along with the Mansfield jam earlier in the summer). Best jam of the night (although the main part of the song was a bit messy).

It then reverted to the festival “best of” routine with one of the best Tweezers of the summer (felt a little “dangerous” as if it almost got away from them), a crowd pleasing cover of No Quarter, Harry Hood for the 1.0 devoted (young and old alike), and Tweezer Reprise to end the party.

But not before a Loving Cup encore which left Trey (and many in the crowd) with no voice left!
, attached to 2016-08-28

Review by BornXEyed

BornXEyed I'll have to relisten for sure, but my first impression is that the band was out of sync for small portions of this show, particularly the start of set two through Twist, before settling into finer form. The Light jam and what Trey was attempting with his guitar (Deener influence perhaps) is the big takeaway from this show. Otherwise a fun mix of tunes to dance to with nice overall flow, but no real meat 'n' potatoes save for Light; and Loving Cup very predictable (fun of course, but predictable).
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