All the auguries are lookin' good. As far as I'm concerned, Phish's summer 2010 shows have left nearly all the band's 2009 work in the shade - and we're only halfway through the season! Can't wait to hear what comes out of the late summer shows.
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
Set 1: Walfredo, Mellow Mood, STFTFPStealing Time From the Faulty Plan > DividedDivided Sky, Tela, My Soul, GinsengGinseng Sullivan, SampleSample in a Jar, GinBathtub Gin, Brian and Robert, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope
 Lyrics changed to "Michael Esquandolas."
 Phish debut.
 Lyrics changed to "Let Jon Fishman take over."
· Brian and Robert and It Was a Very Good Year teases in Run Like an Antelope
· Saw It Again quote in Piper
· Saw It Again and San-Ho-Zay quotes in Ghost
· Saw It Again quote in Contact
· Saw It Again, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Meatstick, Surfin' Bird, and Daniel Saw the Stone quotes in You Enjoy Myself
· Saw It Again quote in Fire
Noteworthy Jams: Meatstick
Average Song Gap: 30.85
Notes: This show featured the first Walfredo since September 30, 2000 (131 shows). Antelope contained Brian and Robert teases, an It Was a Very Good year tease from Trey, and an alternate "Michael Esquandolas" lyric. Jumpin' Jack Flash was a Phish debut. Piper, Ghost, Contact, YEM and Fire all contained Saw it Again quotes. Trey teased San-Ho-Zay in Ghost. YEM also contained Jumpin' Jack Flash teases and, in the vocal jam, a Meatstick tease from Trey, quotes of Saw It Again and Surfin' Bird (The Trashmen), and a Daniel Saw the Stone quote from Mike. The lyrics to Fire were changed to "Let Jon Fishman take over."
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "2010 Early Summer Tour."
All the auguries are lookin' good. As far as I'm concerned, Phish's summer 2010 shows have left nearly all the band's 2009 work in the shade - and we're only halfway through the season! Can't wait to hear what comes out of the late summer shows.
Set one contained two shows which haven't been played in some time right off the bat. They were fun, up, and well-played. This theme was followed for much of the first set. Very fun, good song selection, and all four members shone in their respective roles.
Set two started off with a strong Wilson which segued into Meatstick. Meatstick is one of those songs which you either love or hate, and for those in the former category, I'll refrain from stating my real opinion. I will say that it was one of the more enjoyable versions of Meatstick I've heard, and that should suffice. Saw It Again took the jamming in a dark direction which has been lacking in quite a few shows this tour, and was a pleasant surprise and a stark contrast from the first set. Piper began to take the show on a more upbeat turn, but after segueing into Ghost, there were definitely dark and dramatic tones being adopted by the boys. Jumpin' Jack Flash was transitioned into beautifully, a cover which was both completely unexpected and well-executed. When it segued back into Saw It Again, the darker tones came back. Contact was well-played, and the YEM was quite enjoyable during this show, if I do say so myself. The encore of Fire wasn't the best the band has played, but it was a very nice end to a really killer show. 8/10.
Venue: Merriweather has a nice outdoor vibe to it. Had lawns for this show, but my buddies scored a killer spot below the big projector. We were on a slight hill, put vowed that gravity would never stop our dance moves. The HEAT was bad! Lot's of humidity, def. could have rained on us but it held back. This actually created a sweaty, half naked crowd that was just waiting to get down. Had a decent view of the band, great light shots, and killer sound. A good energetic crowd as well. Glow stick wars during Piper/Ghost/YEM got pretty heavy at points. Security inside was chill, or at least I didn't see any problems. From what I saw going in and out though they were busting up the lot scene pretty heavy, flying the whirly birds over head post-show. However, I got to walk along this wooded path to and from my friends place, which made for an easy no hassle way home. Lot traffic looked like hell as we cruised by them on foot. On another note, Clydes is a great place to go for a bite before and after the show. Phan friendly for sure, heard several phans raged the World Cup there on Saturday as well. Anyways, onto the real review.
Set I: Walfredo to start things off was a treat. I had only seen it on the Phish in Vegas DVD before, so it was amazing to see the guys switch it all up. MVP was def. Fish on bass. Too funny. They brought it back to normal form, and launched into a Mellow Mood. Ut oh, back to back bustouts. The crowd ate this one up and everyone got their dancing shoes warm for what was to come. STFTFP and Divided Sky were good, not standouts on a night like this though. Tela was a treat for sure, lots of people chase that one. Personally though, I thought the My Soul made you forget all about it cause it was blues rock at it's finest. Talk about a get down. Showcasing their ability to still nail bluegrass, the boys rip on Ginseng Sullivan. Sample is sample. Gin was good, but I thought the nTelos version I saw a few weeks ago was much better. Antelope was stellar! Mike hitting a mini-solo after a "Micheal Esquandolas" lyric change was cool, because I had noticed they had been having fun with that all tour. Crowd is ready to rock as the sun goes down on a terribly hot night.
Set II: Wilson and we are off. Real dark lighting effects here, as CK5 might be starting to paint a mood early. Then we get another request via a phan sign (rumored, but more the likely true), the Meatstick makes it place known in 2010 with a great funky sound. Lots of grooving here. The Japanese lyrics have had me laughing since Sunday night. So funny. Side note: the Meatstick dance seemed to be dead, I never got to see it when it was alive (however youtube teaches many things), but I can assure you people had no idea what to do. Next came the theme for the night, Saw It Again (Side Note: I can confirm a Saw It Again sign, as I ran into the guy leaving the venue. Tour Note: SIGNS ARE WORKING). The boys jammed right into it as my girl and I were gonna run to the bathroom, but decided we had to stay for this! Little to we know it would be in till Contact that we would have a chance to go. I had been hoping to hear this song this summer, and I was super stocked when it started. Little did I know, I was gonna see IT again. Super dark, funky, and really got people moving into what would become a MAJOR Piper. This may be the best Piper of 3.0. I mean it was that good. Jamming without a net, Phish slipped into the Ghost everyone had wanted to hear. The Glow stick wars were a raging, CK5 has the lights in a new dimension of darkness, and the band was hitting on every note, playing a delicate game of give and take. You have to give this a spin to understand. They tease Saw It Again lyrics throughout, then move seamlessly into Jumping Jack Flash. It was so smooth I had no clue they even did it. In fact, none of my crew did. The crowd is now a full peak I would say, if you weren't moving you weren't breathing. Bringing up back to where we all got lost in the first place, they land back into Saw It Again. Contact (not for me sorry), finally gave me and my girl the break to find our faces and make it to the bathroom. We step out and YEM kicks off. Killer version, trampolines, glow stick wars, great sound and a nice vocal jam. Again we get Saw It Again teases. Quick exit, and back on stage for the encore. Fire. My girl loves her some Jimi so it's a very fitting ending to a wonderful night.
Next stop Raleigh.
Great show, worth all of the time it will take you to listen to it, for as long as it remains on your 'favorites' playlist.
There were more "flubs" this night than at camden or hartford, but they were non-significant when placed in the context of the rest of what was being played and the consistent energy during the show.
Listen, and understand.
When we arrived at our seats we walked almost right into Chris Koroda. One of my friends didn't recognize him and since Chris was donning a Brandon Jacobs GIANTS t-shirt he addressed him "there's a Giants fan!"; Chris smiled. It turned out that our seats were directly behind CK, so the sights and sounds were perfect. When Fish came out and strapped on Mike's hulking bass we knew what we were in for. Great versions of Walfredo (which has quickly become a favorite) and Mellow Mood, which seemed appropriate for crunchy Sunday. Great line from Walfredo which my friend repeatedly sang "when Fish played the vacuum, he ruined your set".
I never tire of The Divided Sky and this was a strong one; hell they've all been pretty strong. Tela is one of my favorites and while this was not a perfect version it certainly put a smile on my face. Happy to see the now rarely played Ginseng and My Soul too. Sample always rocks. Gin was huge and Antelope was raging. Brian and Robert served as a nice bridge between the two.
The second set was fantastic and obviously will be remembered as the Saw it Again set. Ghost was over due and they played a dark, funky one that I really enjoyed.
When I returned to New York late Monday afternoon I was feeling totally fried after seeing: Camden, Camden, MPP, MPP. I spent some time with my wife and kids and after the kids went to bed we settled in for two hours of the Family Guy on TBS. All 4 episodes were great; however, the episode where Peter becomes obsessed with the song Surfing Bird really cracked us up the most. It wasn't till today when I checked the set lists that I remembered the band incorporated it into YEM. My wife and I have been singing "bird, bird, bird, bird is the word" for the past 3 days.
Sometimes you get shone the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
I woke up in my own bed still stunned by what I'd witnessed during that second set the night before. Made it back to Merriweather by mid-afternoon to find it even hotter than the day before when I stepped out onto the lot. Got a chance to meet and briefly chat with the This Week on Lot crew and enjoy an exemplary chicken burrito freshly prepared by some college-aged guys (possibly frat boys, possibly from the south(?)… but whoever they were, they made a fucking delicious burrito).
Shortly after dumping about half a bottle of water on my head, the gates opened and I had my choice of anywhere on the lawn for the second night running. I situated myself a just a couple feet back from the front, where the grass wasn't quite as eroded and the hillside wasn't quite so steep. Saw a lot of familiar faces from first night settle into the spots around me, and made the acquaintance of a very kind longtime phan named Heather, who was pregnant and therefore probably enjoying her last show for at least a little while to come.
I was just about in the perfect state of receptivity by the time the show started. I knew this would be my last show of the tour, and probably the summer (though I'm now thinking of trying to get to Jones Beach, but that's another story), so the feeling was somewhat bittersweet. But after the night before, I was just totally in awe of Phish, freed from all expectations and pre-conceived notions, and ready for whatever it was they had in store for us.
WALFREDO. I actually had totally forgotten about the Merriweather reference in the song, having heard it only a couple times prior, so I was likely even more surprised than the rest of the crowd when Phish came on and assumed the "wrong" instruments. ["Oops," you can hear Mike say on the LivePhish recording.] Suffice to say, I will never forget anything about this song again: it's exceptionally catchy, and the timing/location was, of course, perfect (the first line is "It's been ten years since I saw you"; the previous performance was Vegas in 2000). The vocals were a little weak (Page's harmonies were strained, and Fish's lines were inaudible at times), but Mike on guitar was great to hear (and see: his Trey-style Jedi business at the end cracked me up). Obviously, a special way to start the show for everyone there.
MELLOW MOOD. … and they kept the bust-outs coming! I don't think I'd heard this one at all before, but I could guess what it was pretty much as soon as it started. Again, the weak link was vocals, specifically Page's falsetto part, but it's a beautiful song that further instilled the feeling of a special night.
STEALING TIME. A fine choice of a "heavier rotation" number. Rocked hard as pretty much every version this summer has (though didn't have as much steam behind it as Portsmouth's did on the heels of that Gin).
DIVIDED. Fine placement for a feel-good anthem, with its typically soaring jam, which I recall getting more into than usual. Divided will never be my favorite of the composed epics, but I certainly enjoyed this one, and I definitely prefer it earlier rather than later in the first set.
TELA. I didn't think this would be the next rarity we'd see, as I'd assumed they'd make people wait a little bit longer than 14 shows following a 236-show gap. I wasn't at Miami, however, and I've really come to love this song in recent months, so I was delighted to catch it here. It wasn't executed quite as well as Miami's, but by this point I'm pretty sure most people were happy they'd decided to show up.
MY SOUL. I really love this song. I think it's always brought out some really great blues playing from the band, and, I confess, I'd almost always take this over Funky Bitch (another big-time jammed-out Bitch excepting). Anyhow, this is another one that was played at MIami but totally took me by surprise here. Everyone sounded at the top of their game, Trey and Page in particular—playing with the right mixture of control and abandon. Just a lot of fun.
GINSENG. Loved catching the last one in Cincinnati, and loved it again here! Probably my favorite number in the Phishgrass songbook, this got a very strong performance (a definite step up from Cincy's, I think), and kept me feeling great about the set.
SAMPLE. My first in seven shows. Seemed to me it was played with a little more vigor than usual; nice injection of some anthemic pop-rock.
BATHTUB. Although I wasn't as Gin-starved as I was by the time the song hit Portsmouth, I will always get a thrill whenever this song starts up—one of my indisputable favorites. Before the show I'd been telling someone just how much I'd enjoyed the Portsmouth Gin, and at set fbreak he would ask me how this one compared. Well, it certainly took a different approach. This one was much more chromatic and tension-release-driven; the jamming style was almost like that of an Antelope at times. On the whole, I probably enjoyed Portsmouth's more (the peak was just pure euphoria), but this one was hugely exhilarating.
BRIAN AND ROBERT. A breather was certainly welcome at this point in the set. I liked this song way more in its old, more depressive arrangement; it's got just a little bit too much heart somehow these days. That said, it's still a song I enjoy…
ANTELOPE. … particularly when it's teased all over the next song. Like pretty much every 3.0 Antelope (Red Rocks is the only exception I can think of), you wish they would let it get a little crazier before ending the jam, but they drew out the peak of the jam longer than usual, and the whole thing featured excellent playing.
SET ONE RECAP. A very strong first set, particularly if you're a fan of the rarities and bust-outs. Song by song, might have been the most consistently interesting/exciting first set I saw this tour, even though Hershey and Portsmouth's first sets both reached higher musical peaks. Highlights were My Soul, Bathtub, and the rarity factor (especially in the opening duo). Probably a 6.9 by my estimation.
[SET BREAK. I'd been telling people that Meatstick was probably the number one rarity I was looking for, that I couldn't get enough of the song and that I would just LOSE IT if it I saw it played. At set break, Heather and I tried to collectively recall the Meatstick dance, just in case it, uh, reared its meaty head. I'd only seen YouTube videos, and she of course hadn't seen the song with any regularity for ten years, but we were able to piece most of it together by the time the band took the stage again.]
WILSON. Wilson as an opener is something I enjoy just fine, but it never makes any kind of statement to me. It just feels like a prelude to the set to come. The evil king, however, stepped aside to reveal, to my unbelievable shock and delight…
MEATSTICK. As soon as they laid down the opening groove (in the right key again, too, after Jones Beach last year), I whooped with glee and hugged just about everyone around me. A big part of the Phish experience is where a song, any song, can take you, particularly when you're least expecting it, but there's something uniquely wonderful about catching the ONE that you're never sure you'll have a chance to and loving it just by virtue of it appearing. But on top of that, this was an excellent Meatstick, just perfectly delivered—dank, sticky basslines, rhythmic and melodic play from Trey, dizzy swirls of color from Page, and dead-solid groove propulsion from Fish. All that, and it even found its way into a type-II outro which warped its way into
SAW IT AGAIN. The transition was not as smooth as it could have been, and arguably premature, but very exciting to witness. The song itself (as a song) isn't one I have a strong opinion about, but it certainly kept the excitement level sky-high here. The jam out of Saw It Again was where the set started to get balls-out crazy. The last couple minutes were effectively a wall of noise live—just thunderous. Not as scary as the Tweezer the night before, but certainly awe-inspiring.
PIPER. At the opening notes of Piper, as the murk of Saw It Again began to lift, it honestly felt like a storm was clearing. Of course, sixteen minutes later, after the most adventurous (and best) Piper of 3.0, it became apparent that the storm hadn't gone anywhere. This one refused to stay grounded in routine, fast-paced, clattery funk. This night the worm soared through a couple passages reminiscent of one of the bigger, more aggressive '98 Pipers, hinted at Maze a couple times, and even when finding a more typical groove maintained a distinct aura of danger. As a standalone jam, probably not as strong as either R&R or Tweezer the night before, but this set wasn't about standalone jams, and this Piper made for a great improvisational centerpiece to a set which was already pretty damn amazing.
GHOST. Not played since the tour opener, everyone had been calling it for what felt like forever, so it was a welcome relief to see the apparition finally return to haunt us. The jam went for heavy as opposed to funky (one of these days, I'd love to catch a straight funk Ghost a la Red Rocks or Miami last year), sounding like a more adrenalized cousin of the previous night's Tweezer. All of a sudden, Martin next to me started getting excited. "They're teasing Satisfaction!" "They are?! No, wait! It's…"
JUMPIN' JACK FLASH. After the smoothest possible introduction of the central riff, Trey stepped up to the microphone before anyone had realized what was going on. "I was born in a crossfire hurricane…." The spontaneity of the moment was obvious, but hugely welcome for all that, and it didn't come off too sloppily either. For its just about seamless arrival in the midst of a heavy-hitting second set, I'd call it one of the most remarkable entries in the second summer of covers. But what happened next was breathtaking.
SAW IT AGAIN. Following the rocked-out ending of JJF came probably the coolest two minutes of the set. I remember listening live and thinking I wouldn't know what to label this segment on a setlist. LivePhish and phish.net both call it Saw It Again, but it lacked the song's chord progression. Instead, the band kept chanting "I saw it again" over an uneasy, driving jam that could just as easily be considered part of Jumpin' Jack Flash or even Ghost. Point is, this instantly memorable segment delved immediately, unhesitatingly over the edge into the dark essence that makes up this second set. Whether it was a Saw It Again reprise or not, it definitely brought a wonderful symmetry to the set and beautifully closed the very daring sequence that had begun with Meatstick.
CONTACT. It was certainly a fine time for some more easygoing fare, and I don't think many people were complaining about this particular selection. Fun and spirited as always, and who doesn't love that funked-out interlude (or, for that matter, watching thousands of adults wave their arms back and forth in unison to a song like Contact—just beautiful)?
YEM. At this point I was (very boldly) calling Llama and/or Walls as closer/encore, and, selfishly, would have preferred a Hood to this as I've yet to catch one, but this probably best fit the vibe of the set. The jam itself wasn't all that remarkable apart from some Jumpin' Jack Flashes teases—certainly it wasn't what Hershey's monster was—but it didn't feel too perfunctory either, and the vocal jam was another great example of the form from this tour, ending, of course, in more cries of "I saw it again!"
SET TWO RECAP. Well, quite obviously that second set was pretty damn remarkable. A couple sets played last year might have been better (i.e., slightly more refined efforts boasting more developed individual jams), but nothing else from 3.0 can match this set for craziness/adventurousness. I'm pretty sure it's the craziest second set they've pulled off since 7/15/03 II. Everything from Meatstick through the Saw It Again reprise was all one outrageous highlight (plus that Piper would be a highlight on its own, too). Individual jams the previous two nights were stronger, but this is the SET of tour. Hard set to rate, because it really is one of those whole-is-greater-than-sum-of-parts deals, but let's call it a 9.1.
Encore was Fire, which is always a good, efficient way to burn things up one more time. The two sets average out at 8.0, which is about accurate, I think. I definitely think it's the strongest overall effort of June-July 2010, and witnessing it live was just unbelievable, transcendent. I hardly knew what to do with myself after this one, and all I've figured out since is that I pretty much need to find my way to Jones Beach next month….
Fantastic vibes all around in the lot and on the way in. I actually called Walfredo in the lot, even though it wasn't rocket science with the MPP quote in the tune. It was fine. Mellow Mood sounded great. The crowd was engaged, chill, and digging the twilight hours. When Faulty Plan kicked in, I was pleased. Of the songs on the new album, this one is the standout for me (although as I write this I am starting to get a little nervous that this might turn into a Zero and become a predictable, indulgent excuse for Trey to end the set as a rock star). That night in MD, it was hot. Divided through Sample was well played, but pretty standard. That is to say, great. The set was flowing beautifully and felt natural and unforced. The crowd was comfortable with it despite the oppressive heat. This Gin should be sought out. Of the 3 shows I have seen in 3.0, I have gotten 3 Gins. Each have moved like this one. After the actual song, a 5-6 minute solid, confident, peaking jam ensues with Trey playing the damn guitar like we all know he can. Just a relentless wave of notes along the lines of Coltrane's Giant Steps. Gordon might say, "you played a lot of notes" and be annoyed, but these Gins are sweet and perfect examples of the fact that Trey has that ax mastered. Antelope closes the set in style.
Set Break: Met up with some friends on the lawn and all agreed that this show was really solid so far. We also thought that they were gonna pull out some serious shit for Set 2. We were right.
Set 2: Hands down, the best Phish set I have seen live since the 90's. Seriously, this set smoked. Wilson was fine and I was still making my way back to the seats, and Meatstick was fun. Now here we go. The jam coming out of Meatstick is soooo funky that I would have been content to hear it for another 30 minutes. They were letting loose and simply so tuned into each other. Give it a listen. I was slightly bummed when Trey forced the segue into Saw It Again, but I am glad it was that tune and not Number Line or something else that would have altered the momentum. Despite the slightly awkward transition, Saw It Again was intense. Heavy, heavy jamming led by Mike created a swirling, psychedelic sound that had my jaw on the floor (in fact, it wouldn't return to my upper lip until Contact!). Saw It Again devolved into pure chaos for a good 5 minutes at one point and there was no one in that venue that wasn't awed by the sound coming off the stage. The sound of Piper coming from a distance is so perfect when played amid a dirty jam. It is like an approaching object that you cannot stop from coming directly at you. Fantastic placement and good version. Ghost was the popular call in the lots that afternoon, and I agreed. Here it is coming out of a Piper Jam that seemed to be just a part of the ongoing theme that had been melting faces since Meatstick. This Ghost is right on. The funk was there and the band was sweaty, intense, and with purpose. I should also give credit to CK because I felt like from Meatstick, he was also right on with the band. The lights were reddish with a little odd yellow and went right with the heat of the night and the heavy sounds coming off the stage. All were locked in, including the fans. No one even saw Jumpin Jack Flash coming out of the funky Ghost, but the band crushed it much to the delight of us. After that, it was back to improve in A, which led to more chaos. Somewhere, each band member was yelling Saw It Again in what seemed like a disturbing tone. This foray into the abyss just naturally collapses after really going on for a while. This made me happy because, like I said. A Sunday night show at the end of a 4 night run takes the pressure off the band (Trey) to "get to the next song." It is here where the fans luck out. When Page starts to tinkle Contact, everyone exhales and takes a deep breath. Whoa. A good chunk head for the head, but I stay. This Contact is nice and fun. Always a good time and the Gordon solo sounds great. Smack into YEM. It's kind of a shame for me that i was so spent from the heat and the "heat" I had just witnessed, because this YEM was tight. If ever this song can be called "standard", this is that. A 20-minute musical feast without any flubs and peaking with a twisted vocal jam. "Boy man, I saw it again!" What a great ending to a special set. The Fire encore was icing on the cake much like Frankenstein used to be in the 90's.
Final Thoughts: I truly think that this second set deserves to be in the upper echelon of Phish sets. Certainly since Cypress, this second set has to be considered top stuff. Even taking into account the wacky and long career of these guys, I think this set stands up strong. It was well-paced, thoughtful, inspired, dark, lifting, and focused. They were on. Perfect placement of tunes and flawless execution. Seek it out.
The incredible second set then starts strong and never once slumps. From a short, punchy Wilson, the band bounces into a playful, funky Meatstick – I’ve never been crazy about this song, but it fits really well here – that evolves into the progressive riffs of a snarling, extended Saw It Again that spills over into a gorgeous, escalating Piper before eventually descending to scare up a soulful Ghost that effortlessly “discovers” Jumpin’ Jack Flash amidst the continuing improvisational momentum.
Jack rounds out with a brief Saw It Yet Again reprise before touching down into a vibrant and surprisingly funky Contact –best live version I’ve heard. The YEM that follows is fresh and full of delightful teases that complete this stunning second set suite as only Phish can. Boy, Man... I saw it again...
The Fire encore is pretty standard, but the continued teases and Fishman shout-out make it a fine cap to the evening. The entire show, especially Set II, is played with remarkable energy, inventiveness and vitality, proving indisputably that The Phish, oh yes, they’ve still got it…
The Mellow Mood that follows was equally suprising and just kept building on the excitement created by Walfredo. I had seen this in Vegas back in 2000 but those memories are hazey at best. Tela, My Soul, Ginsing Sullivan, Brian & Robert- all firsts of 2010. A nice first set. The Gin and Antelope are good, not Grate, but good. If those would've been rippers this would be a 5 star show easily imo.
Second set is one of the finer sets of Phish in the 3.0 era. A Wilson second set opener can go so many ways... And this one took us down a delightfully evil path. What came next is hands down the most musically inspired Meatstick I have ever heard, or witnessed. Page's funky keyboards gives this Meatstick some fat! Ya dig? 10 minutes long Trey and Page really take this jam down a hot type 1 highway.
This Meatstick molted into the first I Saw it Again(Mellow Mood also) since IT In 2003. From what I gather this bust-out was inspired by a sign down front that the band(Trey) honored as they are now, an "all request band!" Well this I Saw it Again would remain with the set for the rest of the evening, woven into other songs with novelty one-liners and what not.
The Piper that comes next has to be one of the best Pipers in recent history(3.0). 15 or so minutes of truely inspired and beautiful Phish music. Now a lot of people mention this Piper before the Ghost that follows but I must say, for me this Ghost was the highlight of the night.
Straight shooter type 1 rock and roll Ghost happening until you could feel something coming on. It was slow at first. I could catch faint hints at a familiar rythmn/tease. I remember looking across the lawn and trying to hum the song that was in my head. I wanted to be the first to recognize this tease. And then........ BAMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!
Jumpin Jack Flash is a gas gas gas!!!!!! I think Trey just broke into the lyrics because he couldn't wait any longer. Gawd i almost had it, but tey beat me to it. I yelled Jumpin Jack Flash at the top of my lungs and eveyone around me on the lawn was like "yeah!!" "That's it!" "It IS JJF!!!" We all high-fived and then Phish jammed that fucker. It was a little rough, but it was totally bad ass and I'll take it. Way good segue and so appropriate out of a rockin type 1 Ghost.
It's funny cuz I now listen to different Ghost's prior to this version and I can hear where they should/would go into JJF. Sweet, sweet Phish right here. It is a toss up for me really on whether I prefer this segue into JJF or the Ghost->Spooky later in the year at Boarwalk Hall(10/30). They are both as smooth as a pimp suit fresh out the dry-cleaners.
One small note: someone somewhere referred to the effect Trey is using on his guitar as a "whale call". In that moment, in that time, it wasn't so noticeable. As I listen back though, I hear it, and it is slightly annoying. Just slightly. And it definately doesn't keep me from revisiting this gem on occasion.
Really the rest of the set is... whatever. YEM is a standard 3.0 YEM- this song just aint what it used to be. Sorry. Fire encorwe usually means you witnessed just that- a FIRE Phish concert. It was
Grand scheme of things-4 stars
So far, this is arguably the greatest Phish tour ever...? A Consistant barrage of goodness from note #1. Just when you think It's safe to go back in the water... ( insert Jaws theme here ) Phish come out of nowhere to devour the night before... I said at the beginning of the tour... "We're gonna need a bigger boat" and, well... WE'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT !!!