PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
· Yakety Sax tease in You Enjoy Myself
Noteworthy Jams: After Midnight
Average Song Gap: 8.06
Notes: Trey dedicated Sand to "Max." YEM contained a Yakety Sax (It's Ice) tease from Mike. Fire contained alternate lyrics "move on over, let Cactus take over!"
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "2011 Early Summer Tour."
Tuesday's second set is where the band really shined and made up for their lack of exploratory music during Bethel's third night. For the fifth time in Phish's history, they covered J.J. Cale's 'After Midnight'. Instead of the short, token versions seen in the past year, a nearly 12 minute psychedelic journey ensued. Whereas New Year's Eve contained a powerful and staccato face melting guitar punch, this version ran along the same lines as 'Rock and Roll' and 'Sand' with Trey using his new effects liberally. Even songs that they have been playing relatively the same during 3.0, Phish's new sound this summer is definitely there. 'After Midnight' continued into a 'Tube'-like jam with bass heavy tones from Page on the keyboards. Again, the Chairman proves to be a contender for band MVP this tour as he plays with various scales and styles while Trey simply provides some standard noodling while Fishman and Gordon keep to Page's exploratory rhythm. While the transitioning into 'Possum' seemed harsh, it actually kept the crowd happy by bring the party back uptempo instead of drifting further into the cosmos. With an exceptionally long build up, 'Possum' again fit the tone of the Garden State Parkway as a crusin' tune for this summer and became the first repeated song of Phish's summer 2011 tour, first played during set two on May 27th. Phish then made their way into possibly the highlight of the night, a two part punch of The Who's 'Drowned' into 'Maze'. Here the band showcased their ability to switch tempos and rhythms and entered an ambient soundscape. Right before the opening drum beats of 'Maze' are heard, Trey plays some electric funk reminiscent of the one and only Riverport Gin. 'Maze' was also a particularly strong song for Page to showcase his talents once again, and after the slow 'Dirt' and 'Alaska' the band entered into the first 'You Enjoy Myself' of 2011. This very strong rendition capped the second set, but not before Gordon teased the bass line from 'It's Ice'. The encore, 'Fire' originally by Jimi Hendrix summed up the first New Jersey night well. Although many phans think of this show like politics and drastically love it or hate it, I firmly believe this show is in the running for a shot at the next DVD Phish will undoubtedly pump out of this summer and is wholeheartedly worth a listen.
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Rockin show. Kicked Maze's ass. Trey completely failed on the first d-sky solo, but recovered superbly. Only two breathers -- one per set -- in Roggae and Dirt and the rest of the show was an ass-shakin' good time. Moma was the deep-funk that gets you down. Mike was killin' it on bass.
A well-played, all-around good show.
Jersey Troopers were patrolling lot 3 like sharks - saw a few unlucky bastards cuffed by undercover DT's and carried off. They were pulling kids for selling anything from pins to beers to 'extracurricular' party favors. Which is nothing new for my dear Jersey. Watch out for each other out there.
The first set was grooving, and The Moma Dance > R&R was a definite highlight for me. They're playing really tight right now, especially considering this is only the fourth show of tour. If they haven't worked the rust out yet, I'm excited for even more awesome things to come later. I will say that there were a few Trey flubs in The Divided Sky and in You Enjoy Myself (most noticeably those two), but the rest of the show more than made up for it.
The second set overall was full of jaw-dropping goodness. The Drowned > Maze was completely nuts; for the longest time, I didn't even see Maze coming out of that jam - I thought they were going into Ghost for sure. But Maze was perfectly placed, exciting, and a lot of fun.
The You Enjoy Myself was remarkable to me in how very great Mike sounded. Not that ever really sounds bad, but I thought his You Enjoy Myself was a real standout for him at the show.
Page, as per usual on this tour, was definitely the man. Fish was on point. Big Red showed that he can still play fast and faces can still be melted.
Most importantly, you can really see that they're having fun, and that's what makes it all worth it.
Thanks guys for a killer show!
It going to be a hot summer...this show had all the experience, thought, improv, rock & roll, cosmic traveling, and fun & love it needed to be a great night of music.
This show proved once again that Phish is the best in all the earth.
Dirt really went low, very sweet.
the highlights have got to be from roggae to divided sky in the first set. Rock and Roll is abslolutely the best version i've ever seen... after midnight was surprising possum more so. but drowned-maze-dirt-alaska made all the sense in the world. YEM... i guess i want it to be a rarity at this point because i love the song i don't want to hear it at every other show. Fire was fire. had a great time with alot of good people and that's what it's all about. first show at pnc in eleven years i believe and it was worth the wait.
My buddy and I drove all the way to Holmdel from Ohio to see both nights at the PNC. After driving for 8 consecutive hours we finally arrived at our first show (it was his as well). After checkin out the lot scene for a bit we entered the venue and found our seats, which were in the back section of the pavilion. There we waited for the show to start.
When the boys came out and Trey began strumming the initial chords to Chalkdust, my buddy and I both about lost it. A standard opener for sure, but a stellar version I must say. This one killed. While really all of the first four numbers are standard first-set renditions, each one got me dancing harder and harder. RnR gave everyone their first improv venture of the night. A great and somewhat spacy rendition led to a solid Sand, which Trey dedicated to Max(?). Very kind regardless. The rest of the set was played standardly but well, except for some Trey flubs during Divided Sky (which he laughed off and gave to the audience to finish).
The second set started off on fire with After Midnight. The boys jammed this one out for a bit an got pretty spacey before moving on to Possum. Considering it was still the beginning of the tour, I was happy to hear the tune. However, we all know the extent to which the song has been played recently. Just a normal straight forward version like all the others.
While driving out to NJ my buddy and i were making predictions for the nights show. He predicted a Hood (which he and I both desperately wanted). I on the other hand predicted either a second set Drowned or RnR, two of my favorite covers. When Page struck up Drowned after the possum, I became estatic. This version is well played. THe jam starts off with no direction but eventually it finds one. It leads into Maze, another personal favorite. This Maze is easily the highlight of this second set and should be checked out. Great rendition.
After a chill Dirt and a (to my displeasure) Alaska, the boys wrapped up the second set with a more standard YEM. Overall solid and fun second set.
Fire as the encore was fine and left everyone waiting for the next night. So theres my (Way to long and over the top) review. Good first show experience.
Night one we cruised into the lot and set up the easy up. It started raining a bit, so we ended up with some comrades pre-show which was fun.
We grabbed a nice central lawn spot (tickets were basically free outside the venue which was awesome for us who were looking).
Set 1 opened with CDT, which was high octane and contained a bit more in the mustard department than previous openers I had seen. Spicy brown from the Trey-man.
Roggae was beautiful. Really really nice. I liked the studio version and didn't realize the live one would hit such heights. Nice.
Punch was awesome and to me feels like summer. I had been waiting to cross that off my list.
Moma was fun, but I didn't think particularly noteworthy. Nevertheless the opening run of songs was a lot of dancing.
Rock and Roll was a scorcher. Sort of illustrated to me that this song could slot in anywhere as either a rocker or an improv platform. Great set I style version.
Sand was awesome and actually threatened to open up. It didn't quite do that but this one was unique to my ears.
Tube kept it funky (although short). Trey made reference to Page's house...which brought back amazing memories from Bethel. Glad they kept the house thing going for a bit of this tour.
OK Divided Sky was a train-wreck unfortunately. Trey owned up to it and held out the microphone as he forgot this one. We're all human, but this one was botched badly.
Zero concluded the set in typical fashion.
Overall Set I: More killer songs, and a lot of energy. Everything was played with lots of mustard. D-Sky was a blemish on an otherwise fun, well executed set.
Highlights: Sand, R&R
Set II opened with After Midnight! I didn't see that coming. It rocked and then took an awesome turn towards jam street. The jam was sort of throbbing with Trey hitting a cool descending run. It was pretty cool and definitely noteworthy. Not sure it sort of found gold anywhere, but the intent was great and it popped into Possum smoothly.
Possum was fun in the two hole (summer of Possums had begun).
Drowned was back to the jams and a nod to our beautiful jersey shore perhaps. This one went into a pretty cosmic place, but sort of lacked direction. I thought it sort of reflected the first jam in that it never found its true footing, but was a pretty cool sonic exploration regardless.
>Maze was welcome and kicked up the energy. Rocking!
Dirt, Alaska were both ok. Dirt was a good cool-down, but following it up with Alaska was not the best in my opinion.
YEM was an awesome way to close. Fun version!
Encore: Fire. Great choice, always happy to catch Fire! Rockstar Trey.
Overall Set II: This was a good set generally. They gave a good effort to jamming in After Midnight and Drowned (even if they didn't completely click). Possum and Maze were both good energetic efforts. YEM was its awesome Phishy self.
Overall: This was a solid show. I don't think it was exceptional really. That being said, for me it's actually worth a spin (After Midnight & Drowned), even thought it was closer to Bethel III than I or II.
3/5 Good not great.