down with disease kicks the tour off in style. it did not go "out there," but they showed that there was not a whole lot of rust to shake off and displayed some fine focus. they seemed very in sync already. they brought this one to its traditional ending, and from there, the boys jumped right into wolfman's brother. gordon and page locked into a tight funk groove right off the bat in this jam, but it seemed trey had a little trouble finding his place. by about midway through, trey gets in there, and this wolfman's ends in fine form. possum kicks the energy up another peg, and trey did not have any trouble finding his place in this one. after this possu, everyone knew phish meant business tonight. very no nonsense bluesy take of this phish staple. after a nod to the hawks, gordo starts up boogie on reggae woman. this was a nice tight version. it sounded like they were getting poised to take this one on a little ride, they bring it back home. no problem there, they jump right into reba. at this point, it is apparent that this set is going to be stacked. reba was played beautifully. trey was not only spot on, but he played with a ton of inspiration. very beautiful reba. they opted to skip the whistling section, but they slipped right into a nice jesus just left chicago. no one seemed to disapprove of their choice. page belted this one out, and trey wailed out some nice bluesy guitar licks. very good version of this nice rare treat. without skipping a beat, they keep pouring it on. divided sky worked beautifully in this slot. once again, trey was spot on and sounded quite inspired. i thought this nice golgi would close the set, but fishman kicks into the bowie high hat as this one closes down. page and trey worked very well as they built to the bowie climax. once again, the band seemed very in sync and focused as they drove this one home. this is easily one of the best first sets i've seen the boys play. every song was not only great, but it seemed to compliment the one before it oh so well. they showed little to no signs of rust in this first set of the tour.
i figured we might get a light at this show, and it worked well in the opener slot. this light jam seemed to be a bit more thoughtful and patient than most. you could tell they were driving toward something, but it did not seem they ever got there. don't get me wrong, this is an interesting listen, but i just don't think phish accomplished what they were going for here. keep an eye on this song though; there will be many more interesting versions to come. they spaced out the ending of this jam and worked it nicely into a very fiery maze. i thought this was one of the strongest songs of 2009, and this version showed that 2010 will be another good year for maze. page was all over this one, and then, him and trey just got dark and nasty. man, i have just loved this song since they have been back, not that it was a slouch before, but they seem to have stepped it up a notch since their return. sticking with the darker jamming, they crank up a very nice ghost. once again, this one seemed very focused and the boys were completely in sync here. gordon and fishman layed down a magnificient groove while page and trey really take everyone on a dark funky journey. phish just clamped their teeth around this one and did not let go. finally, they found their way into limb by limb. as was the theme for the night, they were just locked into this one. this was not the dark exploration that ghost was, but it was still played very well. i really hate caspian, but oh well, i needed a quick sit down. also, this did seem like a pretty strong version. the horse/silent brought me back in, and then phish continued kicking the crowd's ass with a monster antelope. i will say, while it was loaded with energy, this version was pretty straight forward, and then came fishman. as they built this one up, fishman just took over. right when you thought it was going to climax, he just went nuts and sent this climax up another peg or two before bringing it down to rye rye rocco land. this was not missed by trey. he replaced marcos esquandolis with "jOHN FISHMAN!" the man sounded great all night, but this antelope was all him. i thought this might close it down but they dropped into a slower song i did not recognize. of course, later i was informed that it was the show of life by trey and the dude of life. this one seemed pretty solid, and trey took a nice whack at the solo. it seemed some what "unphishy" to end the show on this note, but i really liked it. cavern>julius was played really well. julius is not my favorite, but they gave this one a wonderful working over using tension and release to perfection.
alright kids, be ready this summer. phish was good last year, but they are ready to kick it up another notch. i expect that by august, this band is going to be doing some really ground breaking shit. fuck august, i have no doubt that they will be laying some epic stuff down tonight at the blossum center and the next at hershey. if you think you can't make it to a show this summer, rethink!
possum, reba, jesus just left chicago, david bowie
maze, ghost>limb by limb, antelope, show of life (hey, it's a debut...)