Early on a standard version of Jim provided the perfect warmup for both the band and the crowd. Everyone was settling in and the band stayed within the song. The Wolfman's on the other hand displayed incredible patience and clean build up to a top notch jam session. Mike hit some funky notes early on with Fish provoking him with a quicker pace to let us taste a more bold flavor. Trey absolutely pulverizes the ending solo while Fishman would egg him on as well with quicker tempo. A noticeably louder roar came from the crowd after this one. Nellie Kane and Beauty of Broken Heart killed the momentum generated from Wolfman's jam fest. Ocelot provided some spacier improve and it had glimpses of Dead like jam weaving. Where Wolfman's left off Maze would pick right back up. A couple of minutes in all four members start hitting on all cylinders. Page rocks it out on the organ while Trey hits some screeching rhythmic chords. With Page's ascent to higher ground on organ Trey decides to take a prominent role in the faster paced middle portion crusade. His higher pitched blind siding attack on reaching unheard of levels of sound were in full effect. The band stops on a dime to reawaken with the cactus throwing down the hammer with the final close out reminiscent of the opening notes to the song. I didn't Know->46 days, Tube->When the Circus Comes provided the biggest head scratcher of the weekend. A nice cold beer and a bathroom break sounded damn good at this point. After being trapped in the dungeon bathroom line I made it back in time for Sugar Shack...not much to say here. The creative explosion of the set would come with SOAM. I honestly can't say I've witnessed an above average version during 3.0 but this bad boy should get some consideration. Half way through the song there is a noticeable shift to push each other to a more intense and dark platform. The collective level of sound this version displayed was impressive. Laser sounding effects come screaming out of Trey's guitar while one of the most intense light shows either keeps the crowds eyes fixated on stage or ducking for cover. A standard Cavern closes out the set.
Golden Age->Piper to open up a second set on paper looks phenomenal especially with recent 2012 versions. On this night neither version stood out. When I left the show I thought maybe I indulged too much during set break...which I probably did but after listening back to both of these versions it was confirmed there was no take off jam. GA was ended just as it was picking up to then segue into a jam less Piper. The meat of this set would soon follow with Mike's->Simple. This duo would finally provide the first forum for the band to let it rip on this night. Mike's saw Fish and Trey fire back and forth at each other with hard hitting guitar licks and rip roaring drum fills. As Fish continued with the last drum fill Trey hit the beginning notes of Simple. Clocking in just under 13 minutes there would be several layers to unfold here. Not wasting anytime once the lyrical portion ended the band dives into a sensual calming sound that momentarily freezes time and space and all enter a trance. Page along with Trey begin what I define as the whale call at about 9 minutes in. Sending shivers through my body this cerebral pilgrimage brought me into a heightened state of reflection on all things good in life. It was a moment to take it all in and appreciate the experience I was sharing with family, closest friends, and Phish. BDTNL got quickly into the chunk of jamming to keep things divine and I felt it was perfectly placed coming out of the TOP Simple of 3.0. Changing gears dramatically the band drops Carini->Wilson. Both versions keep it tight and to point with little extended jamming. Weekapaug would provide the exclamation point to a very quality Mike's Groove. After a much deserved breather The Horse->Silent came at a typical juncture of a second set. Coming out of this lull the band promptly delivers a funky 2001->a phantastic Fluffhead->lasting Loving Cup. All three closed out the set much stronger than the previous night.
To close out the night Show of Life->Zero provided a fitting ending to an up and down night.
I left this night with mixed emotions and knew if any band could come through in the clutch to close out the weekend it would be Vermont's phinest.