, attached to 2011-06-04

Review by gravitysrainbow

gravitysrainbow A really really good show. First set---as my friend texted me at mid-show--was "the perfect first set." The crowd was well aware that the boys could have blown the roof off at any minute, but they refrained and saved that moment for the second set.

Highlights: Guyute off course. Page was on his peak game through out the show and during this one he really shined. Ocelot--not a favorite of mine--but what an incredible type I jam. Very patient. Trey opened up a lot of nice runs going well beyond the 3.0 speed tricks into a clearer more complex mode of articulation. Back on the Train--consecrated the night as a night of old school funkiness. Once again, Page on the electric organ drove the band deeper and deeper into a steamy and crazy place. "Crazy" being the optimal word. Blossom fans were ecstatic by this point in the show and stayed there for the rest of night. The boys responded in kind. Papyrus is always a masterpiece, but Tube took things into a higher dimension. Page once again at the reins. Antelope as a closer was perfect. Really set the place on fire. Trey sounded at his best during this song. Very nimble finger work --- long organic riffs --- fused with an incredible playfulness that would define the second set.

At mid show, the fans gathered and wondered. We knew we were clearly dealing with the best start to at least a summer show in a very long time and so we traded speculations as always regarding things to come. Feathers-- although perhaps not in the same vein as the first set --- quickly moved into Possum ---which surely was in the same vein. During Possum, the band melted on a few occasions---- lowered all sound into these slow-mo pockets of time---where time literally froze for the instant---and then BAM!!!! the boys would be back without missing a beat. Steam overall is an incredible number and will be a great jam vehicle in the future if the boys choose to use it. A very Floyd-esque jam out by Trey. Piper then arrived and literally I anticipated at this point something of the magnitude of the SPAC Piper of yore---indicating the caliber of the night--- but unfortunately the boys didn't deliver. The beats per minutes seemed almost too much for Trey and he retreated into 3.0-style spacey jam. And yet this momentary disappointment was swept aside by Lizards---a rare and choice number suited to the incredible song selection of the nice. During Lizards, Page once again proved his all-too-incredible greatness leading the way into the murkiest funkiest Sneaking Sally I have had the privilege to see. Wow! Wow! Wow! A must hear. Great type-II style jam. No great Trey runs--- but extraordinary textures and flawless transitions. After yet another face meltdown--Hood emerged. A letdown if only because of its track record during 3.0 era. Hood and Slave---classics of yore---proved to be the greatest challenges for the band on this night. Trey skipped over the amorphous sections in both songs--where all things seem possible in the cool blue purple green lights---and jumped right into orchestrating the later slaying the dragon via guitar segments. In Hood, Trey attempted to re-rail Hood with a nice segue to Have Mercy, a truly beautiful number, but once back in Hood again---things just didn't feel right. Character Zero was at its best and here Trey touched the same level of connectivity and alertness he demonstrated in set I's Antelope--he just didn't want to stop the type I on this one--he was visibly ecstatic, but by the time Slave encored --- at least Trey was clearly tired. During this number, I was definitely playing over the highlights in my head from set I and in particular from Sneaking Sally.

Overall, an incredible show. Best 3.0 I have seen. I think it would be hard to make the case otherwise even for those phans who have seen all the 3.0 tours. Tonite for Cincy thing bodes well, but also the elements of tiredness Trey revealed in Hood and Slave seem to indicate an alternate fate.

Thanks Phish, once again! To fans out there on the fence, buy all the summer tour tickets you can! The boys are back in town!


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