Album Notes - Phish 2021 Summer Tour (So Far)

Album Notes - Phish 2021 Summer Tour (So Far)

August 5, 2021

Serious question: Anyone want to roll down to Deer Creek on Saturday? Hit me up.

We're not looking at an album this week but rather an acknowledgment of the quality emanating from Phish tour right now. Since their return in 2009 after nearly five years apart, Trey Anastasio and co. have played over 400 shows that have seen their share of ups and downs, the latter tipping the scales far more heavily when judged by the band's incredible 90s performances. 

My attention has waned since the initial elation and exuberance of the reunion a dozen years ago quickly wore off and gave way to the realization that something just wasn't quite the same. For a band that practiced and toured relentlessly during their heyday, followed by the brief runs of shows in 2003 and 2004, known then as "post-hiatus," at the time slightly off compared to their output from 2000 and prior but still very much Phish, things have been far more uneven for a number of reasons since those three Hampton shows in March 2009 announced their return. 

Phish in 2021 is still a far cry from their golden age, yet since the tour began last Wednesday, Trey has sounded more confident and fluid in his guitar playing than he has in years, and the highlights, when culled together, represent arguably their best collection of jams in the 3.0 era. Yes, there are still flubs in the compositions, but as the Bad Lieutenant himself once said, it's all about energy, and that ethos has always been the case for the Vermonters. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself and after another week of the tour my thoughts on the quartet will return to where they've long resided. 

This is not August 93, December 95, or November 97. But it is something. And for now, I'm enjoying it with the recognition that, for the first time in years, the consistency of their jamming just might outweigh the lack of compositional execution.

See you in Indiana this weekend...?