I finally got down to the floor to meet up with the rest of my crew on this night. 10 minutes to spare. A few pre-game party favorites and I was ready to go.
Right out of the gates the band demolishes an uncharacteristic First Tube opener. If this level of playing was any indication on how the night would shape up we were all in for a treat. Uncle Pen was a nice contrast to the opener with a nice bluegrass feel. The band would soon roll hard into Carini. First Tube & Carini early on gave me the sense this could shape up to be a very strong first set. This Carini would leave most people looking for their jaws on the floor. Holy shit...the band didn't waste anytime showing off their new found improvisational prowess on this weekend. I would put this Carini right up there with the leg 1 Worcester Carini hands down. The early spacey darker tone would smoothly transition into a more peaceful and steady arrangement. Big Red would showcase a multitude of hard rock licks to carry us all into the opening notes of Kill Devil. Only a few of us caught on at this point. Yes, all of the first letters of each song spelled out the word FUCK. The boys would continue their splendid playing as they roared through KDF. How would they close out the set was what I really wanted to know. When they dropped into a first set YEM next there was so much liveliness from the crowd. The "we all love dicks" vocal perfectly showed how much fun the band was already having so early on in this weekend. This YEM brought back the late 90's Phish Phunk we would hear most of the weekend. This would be the first glimpse into the time machine the band brought everyone on this labor day weekend. This YEM is a must listen for any era fan. Ocelot and Undermind would round out the set. FUCKYOU. As we were just dipped in 90's funk the band flips a switch and delights us all with some of the most heavenly tunes of the night. Ocelot delivered a very quality version which would soon be overshadowed by one of the best versions of Undermind to date. No 2012 version comes close and it might top last years UIC version. This would be one of many pieces the band turned to gold this weekend. From Fishman's rock steady rythym, to Trey's dazzling display of soothing sounds, to Page's orgasmic organ esque melody, to Mike's beautiful bass barrage. This bad boy had it all. Mmmmm so damn good!
During set break there was much talk about the FUCKYOU set and yes there was a lot of the guessing game going on. I was more impressed with how well they played despite the gimmick that followed in the footsteps of last years S show. There was plenty more heart and soul put into these first 7 songs then I felt in all of last years night 1 IMO.
I snagged two Sunshine wheat cans from the goofy looking beer guy walking around dripping sweat and I quickly lit up before the lights went.
Runaway Jim would start the second half with a monster slam dunk. The crowd roared as we got another uncharacteristic superstar to begin the set. There would be a multitude of layers to follow with this Jim. What would start with some tasty crunchy funk would soon turn into an ambient playground only later to explore never heard before Phunk electonica. WOW...how is this possible...with each minute passing the band is bringing new sights and sounds to the table and astonishing all in attendance. As the last brilliant notes of Jim faded out we trickled into Farmhouse. I truly didn't know if this would be a bad call or not. I can't remember in recent years a Farmhouse that took a hold of its placement in the set in such a way as this one did. Trey hits one of the most glorious and penetrating notes I've ever heard out of this jam. Once they finished the ending to the last verse of the song they decide to just let it peacefully prolong into sonic experimentation. Floydian esque loops from Trey take us to new levels. The band then chose to stop on a dime and head to Alaska. The gimmick continued FUCKYOURFA. We could see how this was shaping out. Chalkdust would follow and if you haven't heard this one yet...what the hell are you waiting for! Little did I know I would be the 13th man to walk on the moon after this one finished. If there was any improvisational climax to this night it would be this colossal Chalkdust. I couldn't say one member shined over the next. It was just sweet bliss and harmony amongst each of the boys. Emotional Rescue would soon complete FUCKYOURFACE and couldn't of been a more perfect bust out. I bet there wasn't a soul in the place who would of guessed this one. It had been nearly 12 years since they last played it and such a delight. I guess the only fitting end to the set would to play Fuck Your Face and it only solidified the overall creativity the band displayed on this night. One of those shows I will just never forget.
Grind and Meatstick finished off an already fun filled night and were both well played.
I left this night in such high spirits and was salivating for what was on the horizon for the next two nights. A couple of cold beers, a few balloons and a late night sesh closed out the night one fiesta.