Devastating show - arguably the year's best so far, certainly the 'jammiest' wall to wall show since the comeback. Maze, Wolfman's Brother, Ocelot, Reba, KDF - all superb versions. Tweezer > Caspian contained year's-best performances of both songs, and this year Tweezer has been no slouch! The Jibboo sandwich is better by far than the YEM > Wilson > YEM at Bonnaroo - a genuine segue into Wilson and a bold step back into the water from Trey. Jibboo > Heavy Things is messy but so exciting and carefree you won't care, and 2001 is its '09 vintage self. The band does more with six minutes of funk than they used to, heaven knows.
Mike Gordon again dropkicks the music into another dimension, and the rest of the band is there with him 100%. What a joy and a relief to be able to give a 2009 Phish show an unqualified front-to-back 'A' grade, damn!
First set is nothing special, but the second set is my favorite of the run. After a standard "KDF", we get arguably the best "Tweezer" of the year (6/7 and 7/31 are also in the discussion). Mike leads the band into a SICK "Manteca"-like groove that they stick with for awhile. Eventually, the grooviliciousness gives way to some a jam that would feel right at home on the Siket Disc. A very nice "Caspian" is next (seriously, Trey kills it), and then they start up "Jibboo." "Jibboo" is a great version, the best since, dare I say it, Coventry? At one point, they simply take the jam to another level with Trey and Page playing really nicely off each other before pulling off a cool transition into "Wilson." "The trip to Prussia is short, but worthwhile, if only for the even slicker segue back into "Jibboo." Next is a really nice "Heavy Things" (seriously, just like the "Caspian," don't let let your preconceptions ruin it for you....it's more interesting than any version of, say, "Halley's Comet" they played in 2009). "2001" > "Slave" is by the book, but the "Slave" is nailed. Add it all up and you have an easy top 5 set of 2009.