, attached to 2011-07-01

Review by XavierMudbottom

XavierMudbottom This show was the heat of the three. With seven of the first thirteen songs being covers (and some of those rarely played), and all played extremely well, this show was a treat.

Set I:

A high-energy Possum to kick off an exceptional weekend, followed by a punchy and impeccable Peaches, cleanly segued into Moma?...the crowd was loving every note. Torn and Frayed was a change of vibe, but was played well. NICU punched it up, and got things bouncing again.

Bathtub was smokin' hot in the jam section (I think Trey grew an extra finger). The crowd was eating up every note, and the banter before Life on Mars? broke the what-comes-next tension and set the tone for the marathon (it's not a sprint) weekend; the boys weren't in a hurry. Patience was the theme.

I remember when My Friend, My Friend was played more frequently, and to hear this clean, albeit concise, version was like a visit from an old friend. Wolfman's Bro wasn't a balls-to-the-wall jamfest, but as I said: patience. Please listen to the interplay around the six-minute mark. They aren't charging, leaving a trail of fire, and laying waste to the scorched earth they've traversed...they're playing...in the truest sense. No one was listening to them more closely than they were listening to each other.

I know that every time Roses starts everybody is hoping for another 4/3/98, but that's just not reality. In reality, they played it note perfect, and even if it isn't the jam to end all jams, it's a great tune from a great band as Phish continues to tip its hat to its varied influences.

Funky Bitch is so totally smoking, it's hard to withstand its full force as Trey tears apart the final solo, with Fish soloing just as feverishly behind him, Page banging away, and Mike holding it all together.

I saw the Quinn at Oswego in '99, and this was certainly tighter, and more energetic (maybe because it wasn't 100 degrees out) more Phish-like, with the builds and crescendos piling one atop the other as they wound the set to its conclusion.

Set II:

The evil ambiance of the jam that opened the second set drew the crowd in to the mental space that we would return to for the Storage Jam>Sleeping Monkey on Saturday before blowing the doors of perception wide open with a fast and tight Crosseyed and Painless. Again, a solid romp on the Heads' theme, even if it doesn't get as far out as the one from Coral Sky Amph '96.

*I feel this is an appropriate time for a side note: I know that 3.0 is often criticized for not spacing out for 20+ min on some favorite jam vehicles, but I feel that they boys have been getting out there as far, but more quickly, and snapping back more sharply in their current incarnation...allowing for more songs/show. I love the exploratory sessions as much as anyone (like the Undermind headphones jam), but if you revisit enough of the 20+ minute jams, you may find that there is a lot of lazy stuff in those. I would not use the word "lazy" to describe the playing in 3.0.

Like Zero, Chalkdust is not my favorite song (though it is better than Zero), but it is obviously one of Trey's favorites, and he never disappoints. And on this one, I think Mike's sound is a bit punchier than some versions.

I like this kind of relaxed Sand, with Mike and Fish keeping things moving while Trey noodles over the top, and Page backing it all up with some lovely melodic phrases. It's all a nice place from which to build for the final crescendo, which is done fluidly and as one.

I've got no problem with The Wedge, and I think that this one is close to note-perfect.

Mike's has always been a hit with me, even if I fell like I might be hearing it more often than I need (it feels less like a bust-out these days). I'm continuing to caution patience, here. A slow burn is still a fire.

This Simple seems to underscore the slow and steady approach to song-craft with its soft and ambient stretch. They take it down to the ground without every letting the air out completely.

Bug seemed a strange choice to come out of the vibration that had ensconced the past seven minutes, but I leave it to the boys to figure out what goes where. These reflective and more introspective songs have taken on new meaning with the personal and professional turmoil that has transpired since their compositions. I think this makes the strength of the final build ,and the release of the tensions built during the quiet vocals, all the more cathartic.

I've always loved the Horse>Silent combo and revel in its beauty and simplicity.

That said, it makes for a difficult springboard for Weekapaug. I compare every Weekapaug to the unbridled freakshow that was 7/17/99 at The Gorge...even if I know it won't be matched. This was still very good.

Joy continued the rollercoaster of emotion. I think that the crowd had the break they needed with Horse>SITM, and didn't need to be brought down after Weekapaug, but c'est la vie. Still, the playing is crisp and without error.

I've already covered my feelings about Zero. My heart always sinks when I hear the opening notes...but I usually change my tune by the end. I don't know why Trey loves it so much, but he certainly does!

E:

I heard Show of Life for the first time at Berkeley's Greek Theater (the only song that I hadn't seen before of all three nights at the Greek), and I liked it immediately. A great metaphor in a great song. Thanks, Dude of Life.

And Thank You PHISH!


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