Monday 07/01/2019 by phishnet

CAMDEN3 RECAP: "ISN'T NEARLY FAST ENOUGH FOR YOU..."

© 2019 Phish (Patrick Jordan)
© 2019 Phish (Patrick Jordan)

[Thank you Dianna Hank user @Dianna_2Ns for recapping last night's show in Camden, NJ. -Ed.]

Several times over the course of my Phish-seeing career, the band has played a show that the vast majority of the fanbase has lost their collective (pebbles and) marbles over that I thought was just ok/good. Last night was one of those shows.

Now, before you tar and feather me and revoke my #RealFans card, hear me out. I liked the show! I had a great time, and I thought that “Mr. Completely,” “Twenty Years Later,” and “Tweezer” had some of the best jams of the run, if not tour. That being said, I felt that the rest of the show was up and down in terms of energy, song selection, setlist construction, and technical playing. Would I see it again if given the opportunity? Absolutely! Do I think it’s in the running for best show of tour? Not for me, no.

The show started off in a classically beautiful fashion with the first “The Curtain” of summer tour, building up momentum before dropping into the gorgeous “With” section, destroying any geeks’ excitement that they may finally be able to cross “The Curtain” off their “Most Common Not Seen” list. Mike dropped some core-shaking brown notes as Trey made it through the more difficult segments relatively unscathed. Things continued in a slower manner as the band dusted off the fan-favorite Rift ballad, “Fast Enough For You,” for the first time since Mexico ‘17, closing the longest gap in the song’s history (82 shows). As if they could sense that perhaps the start to the show was, in fact, not quite fast enough for some, the band lit into the ripping “Buried Alive.” Unfortunately, Trey may have gotten a little ahead of himself with this one, as the intro was fumbled quite significantly, which seemed hard to recover from.

The fast-paced energy that was built up by that heater was quickly extinguished in exchange for some slower, dirtier funk with the first “Camel Walk” of 2019. The boys “got funk” for sure, causing hips to swing and booties to shake all over Camden with this very solid take on this tune.

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

This summer’s second attempt at “Reba” followed which, similar to the first try, included both some flubbed composition as well as a very beautiful jam. Give and take here. The whistling ending led us into the interesting choice of “Sample In a Jar,” which got the crowd singing along and cheering, despite how so many complain about it. "Sample" does, in fact, often rip. However, once again, the energy built up from these peaks seemed to dissipate as Trey switched guitars ahead of the highly sought after Round Room tune, “Pebbles and Marbles.” While the beginning was a bit messy, the jam was quite nice and a perfect tune for dusk. Another rarity, the lovely “Tela,” made an appearance next, as the final bits of sunlight burned through the sky and brought us into the darkness. This year’s first “The Mango Song” got folks dancing again before this year’s first “Driver” had us docilely swaying back and forth yet again during this first set. Finally, those classic high-hat taps started off, and a raging “David Bowie” closed-out the set, breathing some serious fire onto the crowd, albeit a little too late.

After a regulation length setbreak, the boys returned to the stage with a seemingly renewed sense of energy, and treated the crowd to almost an hour’s worth of some serious, high-intensity jamming. Opening the set with the much-sought-after “Mr. Completely,” the band immediately had the audience captivated and hanging onto every note. Clocking in at over 17 minutes, Mr. Completely seemed as if it may be the obvious star of the show; then “Twenty Years Later” showed up. Despite its slower start, "20YL" began to get dark and dirty a mere five minutes in and continued this delightful weirdness for another 16 minutes after that. The jam was multidimensional with a lot of themes broken up into interesting, unique segments, which kept the audience engaged and the jam moving along nicely. It oscillated between beautiful, airy bliss, and dancey, booty-shakin’ grooves. Trey found a little riff that he latched on to, and also revisited often throughout the rest of the show, and the audience lapped-up every bit of it. Even before it was over, I was certain that this was a jam I would be revisiting for many years to come.

After an incredibly satisfying 20+ minutes, the band settled into a quiet, softer space before segueing nicely into… “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.” Obviously. This jarring transition in addition to Fish’s “Ass Handed” quotes and Page’s “Your Pet Cat” samples had me laughing quite a bit before that drop into darkness that everyone was waiting for: “Tweezer.”

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

Here was the energy I’d been longing for all first set! "Tweezer" packed a serious punch in its 13 minutes on this earth with us, featuring some heavy Trey and Mike interplay, as well as a driving beat from Fishman. Trey revisited that catchy riff from "20YL" he was having so much fun playing before Page and Fish settled into a groove which eventually fizzled into a mid-second set “Shade.” White a bit of a divisive tune, this well-deserved breather after those 54 minutes of intensity sat fine with your author. The Page-led “Most Events Aren’t Planned” that followed, however, was less appreciated. Something about the seemingly strained vocals during the 4 minutes of intro put me off my appetite. The jam, on the other hand, fit right in to the rocking, funk-heavy nature of the set. “Makisupa Policeman,” which came next, though, felt like an odd choice, while the subsequent “Chalk Dust Torture” felt reminiscent of the Bangor 2 Set 2 closer, showing up with a bunch of energy a little too late. “Suzy Greenberg” took her regular spot as set closer, as the crowd sang along and glowsticks sailed through the air.

After a short break, the band returned to the stage to treat the crowd to the first “Punch You In The Eye” opener-of-the-encore since 7/31/98, followed by a spectacularly beautiful rendition of “What’s The Use?” appearing in the encore for its first time ever. And then, instead of the “Tweezer Reprise” everyone was expecting and waiting for, the band broke into a standard version of “Julius” to end the show. The quartet left the stage as many sat there in disbelief, certain that if they cheered harder, the band would return to give us the "Tweeprise" we all thought we’d deserved. But, alas… That was unfortunately not the case. Oh well. You can’t always get what you want. Enjoy our Tweeprise, SPAC!

All in all, Camden3 felt like an above-average show that featured several rarities and a few very solid jams that will stand the test of time. Perhaps it comes down to song selection that leads me to favor Charlotte over it as the “show of tour” so far, but that’s what’s so great about Phish. Every show has something for everybody. Glad you all enjoyed it. I’ll see you at Fenway!

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Comments

, comment by Lemuria
Lemuria Fabulous take! I get much more from "eh, yeah, well... PARTS were great" reviews than, um, the other kind. Connoisseurship trumps hagiography any day - thank you!!
, comment by shaunfunk
shaunfunk Just adding that there were a lot more people there on Sunday than Friday and the vibe was noticeably headier. Never miss a Sunday show
, comment by JMart
JMart Isn’t the curtain with much rarer than a stand-alone curtain?
I’m with you. This show was pretty great, but not on Charlotte’s level.
, comment by ChairmanLeo
ChairmanLeo Thanks for the thoughtful review and making me feel better about being there N1 and N2, but missing the Sunday show!
, comment by CForbin
, comment by fluffy_psycho_wolfman
fluffy_psycho_wolfman That show was a spectacular display of what makes phish great. That show had the bust outs, the amazing jams, everything. Easily show of the tour so far.
, comment by PhishyFlocker
PhishyFlocker This is the kind of even handed approach I hope for in reviews, many of which rarely find their footing past the inevitability of recency bias.

That being said, I'm going to ironically assert that I think last night set II was the best of the tour so far. And while you bring up the vocal strain in Most Events Aren't Planned, the dance party element of the song deserves recognition.
, comment by Scissortail
Scissortail I give this review 5/5 bananas.
, comment by davludes
davludes Great review but proves once again phish fans are never satisfied.
, comment by AbePhroman
AbePhroman After a show like last night we get a contrarian reviewer.
, comment by Wolfenhaus
Wolfenhaus Dianna 2Ns as usual writes a thoughtful critique. We don't come here for fluffery. I had one of the best times ever at this show, loved so much of it. That doesn't mean I'm going to get butthurt because someone intelligently disagrees or points out some valid issues. Kudos.
, comment by ThinMan
ThinMan @JMart said:
Isn’t the curtain with much rarer than a stand-alone curtain?
I’m with you. This show was pretty great, but not on Charlotte’s level.
Not since Creek '00. Since 7/12/2000 there has only been 3 stand alone Curtains
, comment by Dreamer
Dreamer Aside from the mention of the couple of Trey flubs, Page’s vocals and an oddly-chosen slot for Makisupa (which I honestly never even knew was possible), it sounds like Dianna pretty much felt the same way as most of us after that show. Of the little left of Camden to destroy, Phish surely finished the job last night!
, comment by dublindeuce
dublindeuce Nice take! I thought the first set from Saturday was much better than Sunday
, comment by zhbarber
zhbarber Straight dance party all night! No stand alone jam that will make this show one of the greats imo....but that show was just raging phun.
, comment by chumsf
chumsf Great review. Really appreciate the willingness to offer an honest perspective instead of taking the far easier route. Now I'm looking forward to listening.
, comment by billy_croaker
billy_croaker It sounds like maybe YOU had an ok/good night. The band had a superb night and I’m glad that most of the community recognizes the greatness of what will be remembered as a very special show.
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 So...this is obv one of the two best shows of the tour. To each their own in which they pick. Can we leave it at that?

I do appreciate a zag review when I’m expecting a zig...I really do. So thanks. But big black furry was a great call.
, comment by TimeFlack
TimeFlack 3.0 really isn't very good. Any review in 3.0 is really not important. Honestly, last week, I saw one of the 2 worst phish showed I have seen in 30 years. Camden looks great on paper. Paper doesn't matter. Rather than pray & hope for one great jam, set or night (which is all they can bring these days) there WAS a time when they fucking brought it EVERY SECOND OF EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY NIGHT.

EVERY NIGHT.

That's when it mattered.

That's when it was fresh.

Now? It's okay, but it's a profession.

Enjoy chasing your first good 1.0 show....You will never get there again with this band!
, comment by Mattc3039
Mattc3039 Is this serious, or sarcasm?
, comment by nesta
nesta All i know is i kept turning to people around me and making eye contact, then exchanging HUGE ear-to-ear grins after and before nearly each song. It was like we were stealing something from the collective, numb, inconsiderate, ignorant society that only we knew existed, we saw the flow. Each tune that was played last night was a vesicle that was allowing us each to rise above our own petty existence, if just for a night. PHiSH reminds us to live and last night was not a subtle reminder but a Hose down, slap- up-side-your head.
The Tweezer hosed us down...
God Bless the PHiSH.
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 Last night was one of the best shows I’ve seen since the Baker’s Dozen.
, comment by Phrederick
Phrederick "Core-shaking brown notes." Bravo!
, comment by the_vultures
the_vultures Show was spectacular, this review is meh.
, comment by Nomidwestlove
Nomidwestlove Who doesn’t like the “with”? Noob!!!!!!!
, comment by JellyPA
JellyPA It isn't nearly fast enough for you
It isn't nearly fast enough for you
It's what I was afraid of
The band sang this song about you
But it isn't nearly fast enough for you
It isn't nearly fast enough for you

I'm unsure why so many people expect an entire show to be a dance party. Sunday was a balanced show, and an incredible one at that. In the constant dance party mentality, there never is a good place for ballads and anything with a slower pace. They always ruin the "flow."
, comment by unoclay
unoclay I really like when reviewers dont say the entire show was perfect. This was a good review for the honest assessment. Personally, i loved it, but i had a hometown (er Philly, anyway) bias going on, surrounded by friends. Less Ghosts of the Forrest content and more shows like this, please
, comment by nichobert
nichobert There might be some people who are disappointed when With starts because they can't cross a regular Curtain off a list.

Shun those people. Do not let them into your hearts or your homes.
, comment by Ninjatoon
Ninjatoon It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Sunday show shine like this one. The first set gave fun rarities to dance to, just like a first set should. The second set though...oh mai!

This was one of those shows where they could take no wrong turn, and just kept giving us what we wanted. Trey was playing with balls in that second set, which is something the Charlotte show lacked. Big peaks and dirty, crunchy guitar. Page was pushing jams all weekend, but he truly drove the machine during Completely and 20YL.

I left incredibly satisfied and dying to hear it again. When I got the chance to today, it took me right back to those moments of awe.

Reviewer must have had a bad headspace, because the only faces I saw were melted.
, comment by FunkDog
FunkDog Only an hour’s worth of the most high-intensity jamming? I get that you like the shows in Charlotte this year. Some songs have more significance to me, than others. I’m sure it’s that way with everybody.
, comment by ALCVT
ALCVT The fundamental point of this review seems to be “phish shows are subjective.” Yeah, we get that. What we don’t get is why you need to throw Shade on what is clearly a standout show in 2019 for fans and band alike. This is Phish trying their collective hardest to further that mystique of both Camden and Sundays in general. No big jams in first set because you have (count em’) FIVE very technical songs, two of which had to be soundchecked first! If you’re going to point out the mistakes (a copious task in 3.0), Mangos needs special mention for how clean a version this was. Don’t gloss over my Mangos! There are times to critique and times to bow down; Camden 3 is one of the latter.
Perfect setlist construction pales in comparison to thorough shredding and calculated risks, which this show has in spades. This review, while well-articulated and entertaining, smacks of the pervasive one-upmanship I see so much of these days. Here’s one golden rule: if there is that one jam you’ll be “ listening to for years to come” it’s a damn good show and it deserves decent, non-hipster-jaded treatment. Camden 3 has multiple great, original jams and bust outs. I just can’t for the life of me understand downplaying the many upsides here just to make the very tired and self-evident argument that concert experiences are subjective.
I wasn’t in Camden, sadly, but even the most condescending “I’ve seen better” review can’t alleviate the deep sense I have of missing out on something massive.
, comment by Spudster
Spudster Setlist looks fun as hell, but I'm also looking forward to hearing the other Camden nights.
, comment by GDF_fam
GDF_fam "I felt that the rest of the show was up and down in terms of energy, song selection, setlist construction, and technical playing"

ok, that's fine and all, but that's like 99% of 3.0 shows. were there some slow songs in the 1st set? sure, but i'll take fefy, driver, tela, pebbles and marbles, and mango song over literally every 1st set this tour. flubs? i think we've all realized they're here to stay and i honestly couldn't care less. slow? gimmie all the bomb ass slow songs in one show and i'll have a fuggin blast. toss in the mr. completely>20yl>bbfcfm>tweezer and this show is an obvious stand out for the year. as others have said, it's kinda weird to get such a contrarian review for an obvious heater.
, comment by JMart
JMart @ThinMan said:
@JMart said:
Isn’t the curtain with much rarer than a stand-alone curtain?
I’m with you. This show was pretty great, but not on Charlotte’s level.
Not since Creek '00. Since 7/12/2000 there has only been 3 stand alone Curtains
This is so, but I think I can be forgiven for this error, The Curtain having been played 119 times, to With's 39. I saw it three shows in a row in 98. And also The With bustout at the Creek you mentioned was after 1178 shows.
, comment by JMart
JMart 1. that's not what shade is.
2. why does it bother you and everyone else so much that someone says a show was good and not great? What on earth does that cost you?
3. Is groupthink ever a good thing? Would you be lining up to suck this show off if it had some GOFT or KV song deep in the second set you didn't like? Are we allowed to not like anything Phish does? If so, why isn't the reviewer allowed to be annoyed by flubbed songs?
4. I happen to think this show is bitchin' from top to bottom, but it's tiring reading these reductive comments shitting on reviewers for actually having an opinion other than "GREATEST SHOW EVARRRR!"

The fundamental point of this review seems to be “phish shows are subjective.” Yeah, we get that. What we don’t get is why you need to throw Shade on what is clearly a standout show in 2019 for fans and band alike. This is Phish trying their collective hardest to further that mystique of both Camden and Sundays in general. No big jams in first set because you have (count em’) FIVE very technical songs, two of which had to be soundchecked first! If you’re going to point out the mistakes (a copious task in 3.0), Mangos needs special mention for how clean a version this was. Don’t gloss over my Mangos! There are times to critique and times to bow down; Camden 3 is one of the latter.
Perfect setlist construction pales in comparison to thorough shredding and calculated risks, which this show has in spades. This review, while well-articulated and entertaining, smacks of the pervasive one-upmanship I see so much of these days. Here’s one golden rule: if there is that one jam you’ll be “ listening to for years to come” it’s a damn good show and it deserves decent, non-hipster-jaded treatment. Camden 3 has multiple great, original jams and bust outs. I just can’t for the life of me understand downplaying the many upsides here just to make the very tired and self-evident argument that concert experiences are subjective.
I wasn’t in Camden, sadly, but even the most condescending “I’ve seen better” review can’t alleviate the deep sense I have of missing out on something massive.
, comment by ReBar
ReBar @JMart said:
Isn’t the curtain with much rarer than a stand-alone curtain?

Well... no. The Curtain With has been played less times (40) than The Curtain (119), but The Curtain hasn't been played since
2012 and has only been played twice in 3.0. Subsequently, it's likely to be pretty high on any 3.0er's list.
, comment by StealingTom
StealingTom Can you let us know if there's a recent show that everyone thought was the best and you agreed?
, comment by Scissortail
Scissortail @StealingTom said:
Can you let us know if there's a recent show that everyone thought was the best and you agreed?
She mentions at the end that she prefers Charlotte as "show of the tour" ... which, somewhat hilariously based on the responses here, at least implies that she thought this was the *second best show of the tour* and everyone is acting like she totally blasted it. Which she certainly did not.

Would you rate Camden3 higher than the best shows of 2018? I loved this show, but for me it would probably be on a tier just below the best shows of 2018. Which makes it above-average. And it does contain some excellent jams that many of us will revisit for years to come. You know ... like the review says.
, comment by gingerphish
gingerphish Never satisfied fan base is right. I appreciate the level headedness of this review given the over the top show Phish put on. I personally crossed so many rarities off my list, some I wasn't even thinking about hearing (Driver) and some I've been chasing for a while (Pebbles & FEFY).

The first set had ballads and high energy songs mixed in but the rarity of the ballads made it 100% worth it for. Not to mention a beautiful Reba jam and a high energy Bowie? Let's be honest, when's the last time they nailed the Reba composed section without a few flubs. It's just not going to happen anymore.

Everyone clearly recognizes how good the second set was but I can't agree that the CDT and Suzy were giving energy too late? Did you miss that Tweezer or Most Events Aren't Planned? You have to have some cool downs. Anyway great show.
, comment by Ninjatoon
Ninjatoon I think the stink is that the writer started off with an almost stated contrarian mission.

Beyond that, it’s wtf else do you want out of a Phish show? Bust outs, big jams, huge peaks, risk taking, great energy, long encore, etc... as the one comments said “this just proves that Phishheads will never be happy”.

Honestly, if you took out his mission statement of being contrary and dinky complaints (“there were a few missed notes” and “Makisupa was awkwardly placed”), you would think it was a glowing review of a badass show. In other words, he’s reviewing the show in comparison with everyone else’s review and other shows, right off the bat. Which is naturally going to invite more of the same in the responses.
, comment by Guyute13
Guyute13 "the much-sought-after “Mr. Completely,”

it is?
, comment by Pheeshy
Pheeshy This review really sucks! @Dianna_2Ns Please help everyone out and stop reviewing shows!
, comment by KingofPhrance
KingofPhrance Wow, if this doesn't show why 3.0 n00bs shouldn't write reviews, I'm not sure what does.
, comment by FuckYerFace
FuckYerFace I was there and apparently enjoyed it more than the reviewer, but decent summary. Not everybody sees everything the same way, and hagiography is the worst.

However, I have to heartily disagree with one particular "point" that was used twice. It is NEVER "too late," "a little," or otherwise, EVER, in a set/show for high energy.

What does that even mean? Reviewer's credibility notably in question.
, comment by posterdan
posterdan lol at people wanting a stand alone Curtain just for stats purposes. It should always be With. Always.
, comment by phishydaze
phishydaze Great review. I really appreciate when a reviewer is honest about how the show felt for them. Especially when it goes against how many people feel. What kind of world would this be if everyone had the same thoughts and feelings? Screw all these negative comments. Look forward to reading another review from @Dianna_2Ns
, comment by Pheeshy
Pheeshy This reviewer has no business reviewing dog food let alone phish shows. Her opinion is stupid and so far off, it's maddening. I've been on this site for over 10 years and never had to put my number in to verify my account. Had to do it today. #stupidassreviews will never end but this one was beyond painful to read.
, comment by Pheeshy
Pheeshy @ALCVT said:
The fundamental point of this review seems to be “phish shows are subjective.” Yeah, we get that. What we don’t get is why you need to throw Shade on what is clearly a standout show in 2019 for fans and band alike. This is Phish trying their collective hardest to further that mystique of both Camden and Sundays in general. No big jams in first set because you have (count em’) FIVE very technical songs, two of which had to be soundchecked first! If you’re going to point out the mistakes (a copious task in 3.0), Mangos needs special mention for how clean a version this was. Don’t gloss over my Mangos! There are times to critique and times to bow down; Camden 3 is one of the latter.
Perfect setlist construction pales in comparison to thorough shredding and calculated risks, which this show has in spades. This review, while well-articulated and entertaining, smacks of the pervasive one-upmanship I see so much of these days. Here’s one golden rule: if there is that one jam you’ll be “ listening to for years to come” it’s a damn good show and it deserves decent, non-hipster-jaded treatment. Camden 3 has multiple great, original jams and bust outs. I just can’t for the life of me understand downplaying the many upsides here just to make the very tired and self-evident argument that concert experiences are subjective.
I wasn’t in Camden, sadly, but even the most condescending “I’ve seen better” review can’t alleviate the deep sense I have of missing out on something massive.
Dude you should have done the review for the show! That's it! Not 10,000 words of contradictory bs. I'll go back to not reading reviews again now. Thanks! I lasted one review. #WoooorstReviewEver!
, comment by solargarlick
solargarlick Please don't let haters stop you from sharing your take,
For it's one by one a string of pearls we make.
Two n's are in Dianna and they're also in manners,
Both are dope for positive phanners.

Honest and true
Is all you can do
So keep that shit up
Cuz you're the best you

The world is dark,
But you are bright,
Thank you for sharing
Don't stop the light!!!!

PS. You made me want to listen to that 20YL and I cued it up right away. You brought good reviews!
, comment by Lowspark5
Lowspark5 Can’t we all just get along?
, comment by phishydaze
phishydaze The comments on this prove that their are toxic fans in every fanbase
, comment by jenniferlapdances
jenniferlapdances It’s nice to finally find someone out there who is more bitter than me in the world, but I totally disagree with TimeFlack. Believe you me, when you’re in your 40’s--kids, career, and all the blah--you feel the intense nostalgia of what was, but to stay in that will simply cheat oneself of what’s right here. 3.0 has totally exceeded my expectations. To go from Coventry to what the last ten years has contained is beyond exemplary. I certainly miss the unabashed, relentless rage of 1.0, but the music of now--with the band and fan’s maturity and life experience--has brought a more contemplative, deep resonance to the sound. I fall short on this--and it seems like TimeFlack may be as well--but there just needs to be a bit more gratitude and reverence of what this community has done to shape our experience in the world.
, comment by floydwilkey
floydwilkey Aside from the quality of the jams in the second set (who wouldn't have been happy if they shut it down after Tweezer?!), the best part of this show was the nod to the Camden Chalkdust by way of the 20YL jam. Please take this as a reminder to fire that guy up again. And if you like the Camden Chalkdust, and who doesn't, check the Fee from 7-8-99 which foreshadows the madness two shows later.
, comment by JMart
JMart @phishydaze said:
The comments on this prove that their are toxic fans in every fanbase
Dude Phish has to have the *most* toxic fans of any band I've ever known, except maybe Deadheads bitching about Phish.
, comment by Phreebird
Phreebird @Lemuria said:
... Connoisseurship trumps hagiography any day - thank you!!
Thanks for the new word! Love it!
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