, attached to 2011-06-17

Review by ajcmixer

ajcmixer Never been to this venue before, was told that it was both a bust by the local authorities and venue staff yet one of the mecca's of fine Phish shows. Well, none of the venues that I've been too so far have been a bust, maybe the band's staff had a back and forth with each individual venue? 'Cause for what was supposedly a bust last year all I saw was general pleasantness this year. And that was a good thing.

A great thing was our seats (Sec 2, Row T), the sound (best of the shows I've personally attended, I'm sure helped by the pristine location), and the performance. Though I had the best time@Sunday Merriweather, tonight was one of the shows that will be talked about at the end of the year as one of "those" shows, where the attack was relentless from first note to last. And where the improvisation was both passionate and inspired. Everything was sharp and crisp, I might have detected a slight flub in one of the songs and couldn't remember which song if I tried. Stonehedge was on the musical menu tonight and Trey and company gave the assembled masses a old-school gospel reading, traveling medicine show, The Gospel According to Phish.

It started with Trey asking for a sign that read Mike's House and that was answered by Mike's Song and the party was on. Things slowed up a bit with the dreamy I Am Hydrogen and then got funkalicious and groovy with Weekapaug then I happily ended up Bouncing Around the Room. NICU was happily frantic and led to a personal fave, Sample in a Jar. Then the show took on a different feel with the Colonel and the Mockingbird making a rare visit. Trey plus rock god aspirations = Axilla. Wolfman's Brother was a funky highlight, Scent of a Mule was frantically yet totally on point and Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan ALWAYS speaks to me, this one not being the exception.

Only question was: Would they repeat the excellence of Set 1. Well, didn't quite get much time to think about it as it definitely was the shortest set break of any of the shows I've attended. And then...

...it was one of the finest displays of music I've witnessed. BDtNL started it, my friends indeed. Rock and Roll displayed a very unlike R and R jam, it got very dark and spacy and was a thrill-ride. But the real thrill-ride was Ghost, I thought NYE's was damm good but this one was the beast totally unleashed, it was stunning in its execution and deep in its exploration. Free followed, freeing me to dance as hard as I could possibly dance. Reba was spot-on. Then Trey the Teacher reappeared with the story of Icculus. Read the damm book! A history lesson that apparently hasn't been taught enough over the years, making it all the more special when you just happen to be in the building when they're in a teaching mood.

Fishman plus vaccum = hilarity!

CDT = Wow!

YEM after CDT = double WOW!

YEM = a different approach, it got dark in many respects, it was beautiful in all respects.

Wilson>Loving Cup, could not have drawn it up any nicer. And Trey was as spunky on the Cup as he was in Mike's Song, perhaps even spunkier, he showed no sign of wear and tear, he mostly got stronger as the night wore on in what was a three hour plus extravaganza.

Fishman gets MVP, propulsive throughout. The rest of the band was excellent, Mike dropping bass-bombs at will, Paige wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Musician in a Progressive Jam Band. And Trey wins for Tastiest Funkiest Jammiest Rock God in a Progressive Jam Band. This was IMHO brilliance. 'Cause they really wanted us to be happy tonight. If you weren't there, you should get it and decide for yourself. But I give it a two thumbs up 'cause I don't think it has been or will get much better than this.

BTW, Trey thanked us at the end of the Cup. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around, LOL?!?!?!?!?!?



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