This was the second night of Phish's first time at the Meadows, the closest thing to a "hometown" show for me since the New Haven Coliseum closed. The Meadows is known for a fun lot scene, and these shows definitely did not disappoint. These two nights were probably the most insane (read: fun) Phish lots I've ever experienced outside of at a festival. The party atmosphere was in full swing well before showtime, and as the masses entered the venue the energy was already through the roof.
Expectations were already high after an amazing first night, so when the boys opened with “Buried Alive” we were prepared for anything. Next was “Wolfman's”, and it was evident they weren't holding back anything. A standard run through “Axilla”, “Poor Heart”, and “Sample” got the band warmed up for the next song, the highlight of the set for me. “Tube” is a song that I'd be happy to hear at any show, and the longer the better! They brought the funk, giving the hyper crowd the perfect music to dance to. It's songs like this that keep me coming back. Some nice keyboard work by Page, and Mike's bombs, kept the funk rolling along. When Trey hopped on his little keyboard, I knew they had the crowd eating out of their hand. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and “Beauty of My Dreams” was next.
After a nice standard “Beauty” and then “Roggae”, I was thinking the set closer was coming. A rare appearance by “Vultures” got the crowd even more pumped, then “Dirt” gave us a quick breather. Fishman started his intro to “Split Open and Melt”, and the crowd roared in appreciation. “Melt” gave us the jam that the first set was noticeably missing. The first set was pretty ordinary, but you wouldn't know it by he mood of the crowd.
Setbreak gave all of us dancing fools a chance to rest up for the rest of the show. Trey's opening chords to “Jibboo” got us back on our feet in a hurry. This being the "Farmhouse Tour", I was surprised this was the first song from the album. The “Jibboo” jam was a super tight groove, with some nice work by Trey. Then came a rip-roaring “First Tube” that drove the crowd into a frenzy. As if we needed more, “Mike's Song” was next. If anyone had any doubts about the night, they were silenced at this point.
“Mike's” segued into the interesting “Swept Away”/”Steep” combo, and I was sure “Weekapaug” was next. Not so, as Trey started playing the beautiful notes to Hydrogen. The expected “Weekapaug Groove” followed, giving the crowd more to shake our booties to. Thinking they couldn't possibly play another song next, I was sure surprised when I heard the bluegrass coming out of “Weekapaug”. Another rare song, “Nellie Kane”.
When “Ghost” started up I thought I would explode. This is my kind of show! This “Ghost” raged, pure and simple. The theme of the second set seemed to be nice tight grooves, and this “Ghost” followed suit. Trey was wailing, playing like man possessed. It was fitting that the encore was “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, as Trey was on fire all night.
Although exhausted and drained both mentally and physically, my friends and I left the venue still in the mood for a party. It seemed we weren't alone, as about thirty of our closest friends showed up for our aftershow party. The debauchery raged on until morning, when we all got some much needed sleep. Camden was far from my mind, as were thoughts of the real world. Ah, those were the days...