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Link Monday, 08/15/2011
UIC Pavilion, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

Set 1: BOTTBack on the Train > Rift > GuelahGuelah Papyrus, SOAMuleScent of a Mule, JJLCJesus Just Left Chicago, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother, Anything But Me, Babylon Baby[1], Reba, AlumniAlumni Blues > LTJPLetter to Jimmy Page > AlumniAlumni Blues

Set 2: Sand > Light > Dirt > Waves -> Undermind[2] -> Steam > Fire

Encore: Camel Walk, Guyute, HorseThe Horse > SilentSilent in the Morning, HoodHarry Hood

[1] Phish debut.
[2] Page on theremin.

Noteworthy Jams: Jesus Just Left Chicago, Wolfman's Brother, Sand, Waves (highly recommended), Undermind (highly recommended), Steam

Average Song Gap: 16.48

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: This show marked the Phish debut of Babylon Baby. At the start of Alumni Blues, Trey said "that green ball came up here just enough times" in reference to a fan's ball with "Alumni Blues" on it. Undermind featured Page on theremin. The second set deliberately featured many songs relating to the elements Earth, Wind, Fire and Water.

Links:
Photos Official Photos
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download
Video "Undermind" Video
Phish.net Blog Recap Phish.net Recap

Song Distribution:
3 Farmhouse
3 Rift
2 Round Room
2 Hoist
2 The White Tape
1 Joy
1 Undermind
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Stash
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy

Songs by Debut Year:

waxbanks , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
waxbanks Just wanna add one more voice to the chorus of praise for this stunning show. Unprecedented 'Undermind' jam, not just in the outro - with its slow-mo take on the 'Undermind' chords - but in Trey's moody, atmospheric solo (and Page's theremin work here is gorgeous); another stunning 2011 'Waves' outro jam, playing the role of the beloved second jam in 'Piper,' remember that?!; great blend of Trey's post-'Columbus' 'plinko' style with the clattering new-funk of 'Wolfman's Brother'; and of course the sheer can-they-top-this joy of the closing pentad.

Atop which, if they're gonna come out with just one damn song a year, I'm glad to have it be 'Steam,' a great addition to the songbook - given fine treatment here. Rich, textured, almost pre-millennial playing in this show, especially from Trey, whose inspiration and connectedness never falter in the second frame.

If this isn't the best show of 2011 I'm a monkey's uncle. Which wouldn't be so bad, really. Monkeys are lovely creatures, and many of them are good with tools.
Score: 27
TheArgus , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
TheArgus *couch tour review*

this show is ( . ) ( . )'s

download it immediately and take twice daily by ear
Score: 18
Trey4Prez , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
The Boys must have collectively downed a pre-show 5 Song Encore ENERGY drink last night. Just pure guitar shredding, keyboard pounding, bass bombing, drum kit pummeling stuff all night from Phish. I joined Couch Nation and the s(tr)eam at the conclusion of Wolfman's. So, bare in mind I'm reviewing a show that I listened to on a laptop, through a stream that had volume but some fuzz involved. If it was able to sound THAT GOOD in those conditions, I couldn't imagine what it was like being inside the arena. Aside - I'm requesting that someone who attended give an assessment of the venue - from some brief video, it looked like a small-ish, packed, loud, madhouse akin to Utica, or, where I caught my first Phish show in '94, the now defunct Philly Convention Center - we need Phish to play more of these types of places!!! How 'bout they even-split the Summer btwn outdoor/indoor? Anyone else into that?

The Second Set's "element" theme and the Encore set's "animal" theme will be much discussed, but how about the first person narrative thread throughout - beginning in Set 1 - "When I first jumped off..."/"I struggled with destiny"->"I rowed upstream"/"I lie in bed and dream of you"/"I'm alright!". Then the first person interaction with the elements in Set 2 - "I would not be able to equate my life with sand"->"I can see the light between me and my mind"->"I wanna live beneath (under) the dirt (which was followed by Undermind)->"and my name I think I hear, concealed within the theme"->"I have only one burning desire".

Set 1 also dropped a lot of characters on us - Guelah, Jesus, The Wolfman's Brother, Babylon Baby, Reba, Jimmy Page. The final character, Harry, showing up to close out the show. Similarly, the Mule showed up in the first set as harbinger of the animals in the encore set. The encore set brought all the threads together - the animals (camel/pig/horse), the first person narrative interacting with the animal theme (the Horse)->"if you are there with me", and then Harry. Now I realize this is nothing new or groundbreaking - Phish has always been the thinking phans group when it comes to thematic interplay in their sets - but last night's themes had an incredibly cool symmetry going in multiple directions.

On top of it all, was the energetic playing. All 4 guys emptied the tanks, and it'd almost be wrong to single any of 'em out on this night, but, man Fish? He was destroying his kit at points. As Trey once said, "If I were going to Phish shows, I'd go to see Fish." Incredible energy from Fishman - I still don't know how he does it. The ripping Alumni->Jimmy->Alumni to close out Set 1 left me with a thought - "the energy's so high right now, they gotta keep going", only to have the exact same thought at the close of Set II, "they gotta keep going", only to have a different thought during the epic encore, "man, are they gonna keep going? They can't keep going, right?" I think at some point (was it mid-Set II?) Trey summed it up cheekily, "You know, you can leave if you're bored" (or something to that effect). Reminiscent of Hendrix almost exactly 42 years ago at Woodstock, "Like you all can leave if you want to, we're just jammin' that's all."

Maybe I'm over-the-top for this one, and things just clicked with my listening experience last night - I'm sure Phans will find their moments of distaste, and start a lot of "well, this one isn't as good as this one" back-n-forth, and that's what we do - there's nothing wrong with it. I'm only providing one man's laptop listening opinion from last night. Been into Phish for about 18yrs. and this will stand among the favorites ever heard, no bout a doubt it.

As always, THANK YOU PHISH!
Score: 14
lostajibboo , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
I'll admit it. I was angry at this band for quite a while. I caught on to Phish late, attended my first show at Alpine 2000 (front row, BTW, thanks to some random luck and aggressive ticket purchasing by my boy D). I was hooked, saw them absolutely shred Allstate Arena a few months later (9/22/00), only to be heartbroken a week later hearing about the upcoming hiatus.

I supplemented my craving for great live music with TAB, some trips to the first two Bonnaroos, which were all nice, but NOT the same. When times got real dark, we went to a few string cheese shows. I had to admit I had a problem. I wanted my favorite band back.

I got what I asked for, sorta. I chatted with a lot of phans during this Chicago run who got hooked on Phish post-hiatus. All respect to them, but I went to a half-dozen post-hiatus shows, including Coventry, and musically, was left with a lot of sadness. It wasn't the same. You could sense the stress on the stage. While my friends and I always enjoyed the experience of going to a show, the music, to me, was always a disjointed, disorganized, dis-rehearsed, disappointing. The band seemed to be forcing the issue.

I had officially lost my Jibboo.

When they returned in '09, again, I hoped for the best and went with my guys to the Deer Creek-Alpine run. Had a great time and the band appeared to be enjoying themselves again. The energy on the stage and in the crowd (and at Deer Creek on Friday, the sky too) was all phenomenal. The only thing that confused me was that I was 10 years older than when I went to my first show. And the crowd was so young. As much as I enjoyed seeing some well-crafted, energetic performances, I thought the band had passed me by.

Then comes the three show run at UIC Pavilion.

OH.

MY.

GOD.

They didn't play PYITE (the first song i ever heard live, BTW), but that's exactly what the phab phour did in Chicago. I once again got my Jibboo back.

Let me list the things I found amazing about this three show run:

* The band's approach to jamming. Having many conversations with my friends D & J (who've been by my side at every Phish show I've attended), here's how we describe their jamming. Post hiatus, they jammed horizontally. Almost in the style of Bitches Brew, going in crazy places, and bailing on songs quickly to get to that crazy place. Today, they've adopted more of a bluesy, vertical style jam. They continue to explore, but they're more focused, their energy is higher, and their execution is top notch.

* Trey mentioned in an interview with RS recently that they upgraded their audio equipment. I think this has been a huge positive. There's so much more clarity in the sound. When I'm at a show, my ear likes to key in on one instrument for a while then step back and listen to the quartet. My ear found what it wanted a lot easier than any other shows I've attended.

* CK5 - ummm . . . . did they also like triple Kuroda's budget or something? The lights have entered a new stratosphere.

* CK5 pt II - it's like they're giving Chris solos now. I can't say enough positive things about the lights. They're just magical. No chemical enhancement required.

* Mike - I call him out separately only because he'll always be my favorite member of the band. It's Trey's band, but Mike's the glue. He's as great as he ever has been.

* Trey 3.0 - he's got his voice back, he's hitting his notes. There's a focus and energy to Trey that I have never seen until this run. I'm so proud of him.

* Page - it sounds like there are 4 Pages up on stage. He's so quick, so energetic. The keys are just exploding up on stage.

* Fishman - always great.

* The young phans - Going into these shows, I thought the age gap between my generation and the youngest generation of phans would be an annoyance. I was so wrong. I was pumped witnessing the teen and 20-something phans know every song, new and old. The youngins restored my faith in the phab phour.

* All phans - young or old, I've always been proud that Phish phans are always the most polite, kind and peaceful crew you'll ever find in a live music scene.

I've already written a lot, and I haven't even gotten to the 8/15 show yet. I hope that underscores just how much I loved the UIC run. I got re-hooked.

On to the show itself, which was an absolute gem:

Train > Rift > Guelah - so much energy. Trey seemed to lose his place in Guelah, but he closed strong. If there was ever a slip up in any song, the band's recovery was just massive. Huge kudos for that. It didn't used to be that way.

Mule - pretty nice, a bit dis-jointed, but always fun.

JJLC - absolutely brilliant. Well-executed, great energy. An essential song for a 3-show Chi-zilla run. Just terrific.

Babylon Baby - how can you not be excited to be in the room when they debut a song? I'll admit, I didn't appreciate it at the time. Listening to the download, I think this song has staying power. I encourage all phans to give it several listens. I think there's strong potential for this one.

Alumni Blues > Letter ... Page > Alumni Blues - HOLY. SCHNIKES. My first AB, which was cool enough, but the crowd during AB was what turned a great performance into a truly special moment. The digital download does not do justice to intensity of this crowd. You could see it on the band's faces. The applause, the cheering at the end of Set I which wouldn't end. It was the first of many goosebump moments in the UIC run. Truly a special performance of this song.

Set I was so explosive, I'm worried that I'm overlooking Set II. I truly enjoyed it, but the first set certainly overshadowed what I thought was a very nice Dirt (a sweet, underrated track, if you ask me), a real trippy Undermind (loved the variation of this) and a Fire that was, well, on fire.

Then came the encore, or was it a third set? I still don't know.

5. SONG. ENCORE.

My 1st Camel Walk was really nice. When they jumped into Guyute, everyone in my section looked at each other and acknowledged it was a great close to a great show. Then Horses > Silent began (always a treat), and we all looked at each other again. "It's not over?" When Hood started, we were all shaking our heads.

We felt real good about Hood. The crowd had once again, gone completely ballistic.

Words and digital downloads don't do justice to the feeling in that sweaty, nasty, too few restroom arena. It was pure bliss.

Thanks to the best phans in music, a new audio system, upgraded lights, and a band that's been touring for a quarter-century yet is performing with an energy and spark like they were just starting their careers.

8/15/11 was the beginning to a three-night epic run like nothing I've seen.

I've got my Jibboo back and I'm truly, truly happy.
Score: 13
Jephwa14 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
Incredible opening night for the 3 day run in Chicago. Back, Rift, Papyrus, Mule, Jesus were a really good starting course to the best Wolfman's in a while. It flat slayed.

They brought it back down for Anything But and Babylon before erupting into a really tight Reba and a frantic Alumni Blues. Those of us sitting together got the feeling the 2nd set was going to be very tripped out. It was.

I'll let those of you with a bit more technical chops explain the nuances of the Sand>Light>Dirt, Waves>Undermind. It was simply outstanding. Definitely as seamless as I've heard thus far in 011.

Steam, IMHO, is the best new song since Billy Breathes came out. This rendition continues to build on the framework of Cuyahoga. I'm stoked to hear this tune for years to come.

I don't think I need to even comment on how awesome the encore was. Just look at it.

Looking forward to some Rock and Roll tonight in the middle frame.
Score: 4
legba223 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
that 2nd set looks weird, like(aside from undrmnd) they are all like elements of nature. kind,veggie organic set?
Score: 3
HarryHerring , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
HarryHerring names elements animals. anyone that can summon this kind of dark magic on a Monday is all right by me.
Score: 3
GAMEHENDGEPHONICS , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
GAMEHENDGEPHONICS not to be biased..but I wouldnt doubt that this wonderful show would go down in phistory. the band was going full force, as if it were their last show to perform on this earth. Those who were there, including myself will with out a doubt forever remember this show and the rage it ensued, but for those who weren't BUY THIS SHOW..NOW!

in other words, phish f****ing killed it. I couldn't thank the boys enough.
Score: 3
Shukky , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
Maybe it wasn't an encore at all. Maybe the encore will come Wednesday night. Until then it is just set after set of FIRE! Amazing energy last night and amazing show even on the couch. Can't wait to be there on Wednesday night! Still mad I didn't go for the whole run but will take what I can get. You all save me something for Wednesday and I am envoking the No Lizards Rule until Wednesday night! I have been chasing that one for awhile now.
Score: 3
Guy_Incognito , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
Guy_Incognito Great show! I was honestly just happy to be inside. I waited in line day of and my friend and I scored the last two tickets that the box office had available! The show was all around good fun and had some really good song selection. The five song encore was definitely something to remember. Also a lot of whistling yesterday(dirt,reba,and guyute). So glad to be a part of that show last night, hope these next two nights will be just as great.
Score: 2
JordyBug , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
JordyBug SAND>monster. LIGHT>up. Dirt>y. Waves-> swelling. Undermind->who phish? Steam>yes please. Fire> as in, this 2nd set was....FIRE

I have yet to hear a set like this 3.0. TYPE 2 TYPE 2 TYPE 2 TYPE 2!!!!!!

TY P
Score: 2
lostajibboo , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
I forgot to echo the sentiments of the other reviews calling out the Wolfman. Easily the best version of WB I've ever heard. I ended up saying that about 10-15 different times in the UIC run.
Score: 2
TwiztAround , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
Lostajibboo, I totally get where you're coming from. I first saw this band as a wide-eyed, eager to try anything 15 year old boy in the summer of 1997. What happened to me that day at Star Lake Amphitheatre in Burgettstown, PA is something I will never forget. I remember being moved not only by the music, but also by the people we met and the entire scene that I had become a part of. The more shows I started going to, the more I grew to love them. Then came the 2000 tour, and the announcement that the boys were going to take a hiatus. OK, I thought. Nothing to worry about. As soon as they came back I was as excited as ever. This is where the story changes. I began to grow away from Phish, started branching my musical horizons until I got to a point where (gasp!) I didn't care if I'd ever listen to Phish again. Completely put them in the back of my mind. Then one blistering cold North Dakota winter morning, I got in my car and took a trip to the local record store. One of the albums I picked up was Joy. After listening to it once, I remember commenting on how overly happy the whole album was (not a bad thing!). The more and more I listened to it, the more and more I dug it. Pretty soon I was digging up old bootlegs and latching on to whatever remnants of Live Phishery I had left from my past. Then, the moment arrived. I was in Charlotte on 7/2/10 for my first Phish show in over a decade. From the first notes of "Buried Alive" to the last strum of "A Day in the Life" I was more captivated and enthralled by Phish than I ever imagined. The level of virtuosity exhibited by the boys left me in shock and awe. As a 29 year old college graduate, people still wonder why I still choose to go to Phish shows, and the reason is simple: "Despite all the complications, you know you could just dance to that rock and roll station...and it was allright!"
Score: 2
spencur6 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
spencur6 I have one story about this show. I wore my graduation outfit because i had graduated high school earlier in the summer. Wore it to Cincy...no alumni blues. But that night in Chicago They played it. I could not have been more jacked.
Score: 2
AstinFitrell , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
and by the way I just wanted to add that whenever i can afford it i support livephish and would love to go buy the show
Score: 1
outphishing , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
after hearing all about how the band lacked in tahoo, (didnt hear or watch) i was wondering what i'd see being my first show since merrieweather.
the first set was nice, i was listening to see it trey would end the jams but he didnt they took their time and while the first part of the set was very well played and fun their wasnt really any exploration and then they got in a rythem. a jam off the beeten path in wolfmans was a fantastic change in pace and started to set a tone. reba was fun yet ordinary but the best part of the first set was the alumni/jimmy/alumni. jamed out rocken and a great way to finnish a above par fist set.
now second set was its own beast. sand into light i really did enjoy. still listening to trey so see is he would rush into the next song but no, great transition. i really love light and the sound effects and abience were out in full force. i thought it would end then out of left field comes dirt. one of my favorit slow songs. very very well played completly smooth transition into yes waves. now i have already used my bar code and listened to the waves-undermind segment and WOW. their isnt a transition. waves just turns into undermins. completely seemless. i will go out and make a call u might hate me but waves/undermind in my oppinion is the best 2 song segment since they have been back. i've seen 7below/ghost, r&r/mango ect. but this is just... enfuego. much better than the waves in bethel. fire was excellent to.
encore (set three) wow is all i have to say camelwalk guyute horse silent hood... wow. superb way to end a superb night. if this is the best show i wont be dissapointed at all from this three night run. but im looking foward to tonight and tomorrow.

p.s i love the inspired playlist. i hate the plane always played stuff. phish, keep it fresh and interesting. looking for a twist-caspain tonight
Score: 1
Hubbs , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
Not so much a review as a comment, but with the exception of Undermind in the second set, the rest of the song titles are all found natural occurrences... With that in mind, I began to think of all the organic Phish song titles and noticed how many there are! Besides set 2, there was Rift, Scent of a Mule, Camel Walk, The Horse, and Silent in the Morning... It would be cool to see a show where the entire setlist followed a theme (from the bottom)... They could even do a contest to name the theme like they did in Memphis 99 where Trey asked what a few of the songs had in common... They were all in the key of D... Try to stump us fellas!!!
Score: 1
JayGator9 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
Ok so after attending this show I don't think I have gone a single day since without listening to at least one song from this show. Soooo many highlights. I do have a few tease requests though. I really feel that about 8 minutes into Waves it turns into an Undermind jam via Mike. He starts up a very undermindy bass line. Also as they are deciding what to play for the encore I swear Mike teases a quick line from My Problem Right There. Go listen!
Score: 1
RandomPhan , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
RandomPhan Fantastic "3.0" show. First set is all around solid, nothing crazy but good song choices and quality playing. Wolfman's even broke the "3.0" mold a bit, which was nice. The Alumni Blues segment was fantastic. What a rocking way to close the set.

Sand and Light are pretty standard, nothing crazy. But the Waves is where the great stuff begins. First of all, some of the licks that Trey is laying down in the song before the jam begins shows us that he still can play like he used to. The actual jam was great, nice to see Trey work some of his pedals like he used to. Segues perfectly into Undermind (even though it sounded like Timber for a while). The jam out of Undermind is spacey and melodic. Steam was a welcome song out of the jam, a great newer song. The set ended with another blazing song, fire.

I'm not sure if it's just me but I didn't even notice that it was a short 2nd set, because they were playing so well and everyone was soaking it up. There was a comment made at the start of the encore, that made it seem like they were breaking curfew and going to continue to play (a la 12/30/97) but really the 2nd set is pretty short. Either way, the long encore was a great time, felt like a nice little mini set. Fantastic kick off to the UIC run, a fantastic show to be at, and one that is highly regarded by many.
Score: 1
n00b100 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
n00b100 This is 1a (along with 9/4/11) for 2011 shows for me. The first set is very well-constructed and has some nice highlights - a sharp set-opening BOTT; a strong 3.0 Wolfman's with the song's funkier underpinnings leavened by Trey's "plinko" playing style and a more upbeat, soaring finale; a lovely Reba with a short jam that still hits a nice peak; and a scorching AB > LTJP > AB closer that's all the sweeter for not having been planned in advance.

The second set, of course, is already one of the beloved 3.0 sets, and it really does leap from strength to strength. The Sand is bouncy and funky, with Trey's guitar really adding to the grooviness (which is why it's so much better when he plays guitar on Sand - he can lead the groove to more open waters, instead of forcing the band to lock into one beat while he dicks around on a keyboard), before the jam winds down into darkness. Light doesn't reach the heights of any of 2012's great versions, but still gets good and weird (Mike's big alien-sounding notes leading the charge), which makes the following Dirt a welcome breather. Then comes the much-loved and increasingly rare Waves, and the actual Waves jam is fine if standard, but the post-song jam is a powerful and uplifting full band statement, and it leads wonderfully into Undermind. This Undermind is probably the set's highlight, boasting a tremendous solo from Trey and a lovely closing jam that strips itself to the barest essence, Trey and Page having a gorgeous duet, Page whipping out his trusty theremin to really add to the atmosphere. The jam segues well into Steam, and while I'm not in love with the lyrics, the song is very interesting musically (it has a heck of a mid-song peak), and I'd be all for it entering the rotation more often. Fire perfectly closes out a glorious set, with a great gimmick, amazing song selection (how many sets have an equal 2.0/3.0 to 1.0 song ratio???), and wonderful jams. Then, with a mischievous chuckle, Trey announces the UIC's lack of a curfew policy, and we get an extended encore 12/30/97 style, capped with (as it should be) Hood to send everyone home dancing on air.

I can honestly say that this is one of the shows that hooked me to this band when I first heard it. Everything you'd want in a Phish show - strong playing, deep jams, superb song selection, bustouts, and the band's big beating heart on display - can be found here. If you wanted to introduce a new Phish fan to 3.0, this might very well be the place to start.
Score: 1
OutFocus80 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
OutFocus80 Phish Knocked me out! TKO! Enough said.
Score: 0
NickSalv , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
NickSalv sorry not a full review, but is anyone else hearing a tease from Page in Wolfman's Brother at around the 7:50 mark (on the MP3 version)? sounds very familiar but i cant put my finger on it
Score: 0
antelopehood , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
antelopehood My first show was Deer Creek in 96. The 3 nights at UIC made it somewhere in the 50's of number of shows I've seen. This show, especially the 2nd set, was one of the best moments in Phistory I've had the pleasure of experiencing. Thank you Phish, for continuing to blow my freaking mind after all these years.
Score: 0
antelopehood , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
antelopehood My first show was Deer Creek in 96. The 3 nights at UIC made it somewhere in the 50's of number of shows I've seen. This show, especially the 2nd set, was one of the best moments in Phishtory I've had the pleasure of experiencing. Thank you Phish, for continuing to blow my freaking mind after all these years.
Score: 0
bobbyluv , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
I gotta admit, coming into this show I was underwhelmed with Phish's playing (outside of SuperBall and a few random shows) in '11. I traveled down to Alpharetta and it was meh-city.
This show (and entire run) completely changed that viewpoint!
When they pretty much nailed Rift, I knew it was game on. Rift has been a butcherfest for a long time now.
Wolfman's on was pure bliss!
2nd set has to be the best set of 3.0 that I've heard.
Score: 0
RenfroWeen , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
PHiSH
UiC Pavilion – 8.15 16 17.2011
Chicago, iL

8.15.11 Set 1– Back on the Train, I’m sure many called this as an opener due to the fact that half of the pholks took the train to get to the venue. A great opener at any show and this version didn’t disappoint anyone. Rift solidified the fact that the band wanted to come with aggression and nailed all of the changes and harmonies. The two day drive from San Fran to the heart of the Mid West must have rested the band and gave them time to structurally prepare for the three night UiC run. Guelah Papyrus is always a welcomed treat. The way that Trey leads this song and the other three follow is always impressing but I found this version superb. I felt like I was watching a snake with each one following and doing the exact same rhythm structure, one step behind, just slithering along. Great song. Scent of a Mule, I can’t remember the last time I heard this hoedown of a tune. This is a song the boys should play more often. The duel is always so much fun and this is probably the best bluegrass song the band has to offer. Mike throws out some super deep water effects that I thought were going to bring the roof of UiC down. Jesus Just Left Chicago, we all knew it was going to happen but I didn’t expect that in the first set of the first show. This Jesus was supper bluesy and had everyone bobbing their heads.
Page always shines and he didn’t let any one down this time around. Organastic… When they went into Wolfman’s it made me think of Germany ’97 (Slip Stitch & Pass). All of the boys on stage were solid and held a steady groove, with Mike and Fish holding the backbone solid. I still think Mike needs to be turned up, especially in a small pavilion like UiC, Trey is obviously louder than the others. The jam out of Wolfman’s is classic 3.1 This is what the band seems to be striving for and perfecting night after night in their Summer 2011 tour. Anything But Me… always a sleeper / pisser song. They do nail the harmonies and changes but they should save this song for outdoor venues. UiC is no place for Anything But Me. Babylon Baby, what can I say? Never heard of it before, didn’t like it, leave it at home Mike. I love you but keep that outta the phish repertoire. Reba will forever be one of the most complex and well written Phish songs. I’ve seen them fuck this up song up so bad and I’ve also seem them nail every section and had me drooling for more. Reba has interesting lyrics, intricate song structure, and the catchiest chorus. Phestival 8 was probably the biggest Reba fuck up I’ve seen. This was the best I’ve witnessed since then. ALUMNI BLUES!!! (Thanks to someone who had a green balloon with “Alumni Blues” on it that made it just enough times up on stage for Trey to recognize.) I haven’t seen this since Alpine 99! This was a much better version, especially with Letter to Jimmy Page, like they used to do. The set came to an end and everyone around me, except this dude that had slept through, thus far the entire first set, was beaming with energy and so pumped and happy for what they just witnessed for the first set of the first night at UiC. We knew it was only going to get better.

8.15.11 Set 2 – Energy was running so high after the extreme first set and into set break. We were all going nuts; and the Sand opener had everyone getting funky and swimming through the sound. Dude in my crew, Fog, wanted Sand since DTE and didn’t get one until tonight. We were psyched, especially with this drawn out version. They didn’t stop playing from this point until the end of the set… The crowd around us was good, experienced, and all feeling the funk throughout the entire set. Experiment, elongate, and groove was the theme of this set. We all knew it too. Light was a fantastic follow up tune. It has every aspect of Phish that lots of fans want; good lyrics, thick groove, ability to experiment, and the noobs know it so you know the crowd will go wild. Dirt is a song that I personally hold close to my heart. Trey had a prophetic look in his eye while singing this song. I almost feel like it to be a 2pac ballad about him pouring booze for his lost homies. There’s been a lot of Jerry emotions this second leg of the tour I think. Waves got the crowd back into it with the solidified groove that always seems to capture spines and twist them the way Trey wants. Page and Trey did a good job of harmonizing for most of the song with few flubs. Kuroda was amazing, as always, but I seem to remember this song to stand out where he really lit the place up. Trey also plays his, somewhat mellow (normally) solo, more like a Tela sprawl. All 4 of the guys lock in pretty solid and have a good few minutes together before Trey takes it back to the structured section. Undermind is not my favorite tune, though they had the vocals down, which previous times I’ve seen this live they have failed on. Kuroda once again shined amazingly during this tune, especially during the jam section. Trey and Page were hooked up since the start of this song and they just ran with the groove they were sharing. Page seems to tickle the ivory at the most important times of the show, being my vote for MVP of this particular night. Steam. What can I say? Obvious crowd favorite of 3.1 and has the sickest groove. This song has so much potential and the boys have toyed with it 4 times so far. Fog and I saw the debut at Blossom, which blew me away. This version was way more thought out, composed, and professionally executed. I didn’t expect this tune in Chicago at all because they played it in San Fran, their last show. There was a nice mama, front row, with a Steam sign that I imagine played some part in them playing it in back to back shows. I did hear people bitching about how they thought Kuroda shouldn’t use the fog machine during this tune because it’s “cheesy” or whatever… I disagree but I dig cheese ball shit. And fog machines smell like cotton candy and look cool. Steam is hot and will be a classic. I do agree that there are too many words in this song though. Fire, I will leave this with no comment. Ok, so this encore was amazing before it even started. Trey talks about how he always gets told how much time they have to play for their encore before they may get charged for curfew on his way to the stage. He mentioned that nobody told him anything on his way to the stage tonight. Trey talks to Page, Mike talks to Fish… this lasts about 2 minutes before Trey jumps on the mic and says “we can’t decide… sorry” Then busts right into Camel Walk ! Super funky, super awesome – as always. One of my favorites. After Camel Walk you can hear Trey strumming Guyute, and once again I was reminded of Alpine 99. (Such similar shows. Best encores I have seen live and probably top 5 encores of all time.) Horse > Silent is always a nice reminder of what we were doing last year and is a crowd favorite. Harry Hood, awesome! Unbelievable encore. Another crowd pleaser that sent us into the streets of downtown Chicago to have some late night fun and prepare for 2 more nights of the greatest pastime I can think of.
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AlumniBlues420 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
first off let me add, if you are saying a show is over rated that you did not attend you are hating...

secondly, UIC night one was breath taking amazing. From start to fifth encore every song was played perfectly with maybe a few minor mistakes (very minor) and if this isnt the best show of 3.0, then it is hands down top 5. So to say this show is over rated is purely hating that you didnt attend.

Can anyone that was inside the small UIC arena please come on here and say it was over rated. I'll be shocked. To me UIC night one is in the top 3. if not number 1...

the second set was 1hr and 6mins much like the show in 7-24-99. How else are you going to get a 5 song encore culminating in Harry Hood, if you arent at a festival lol.....

haters got to hate. UIC night 1 is gold!!!!
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AlumniBlues420 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
i think what makes UIC night 1 different from alot of shows is there wasnt a obvious climax because it all was prestine.

Alumni Blues > LTJP > Alumni Blues = trey absolutely destroys this and only played 4 times since my first show in 1999 when it was a 324 show bustout from '94

basically they have played alumni blues 5 times since 1994 and UIC's one is prestined.... hmmmm this would probably be the climax but again it is all prestined... and again those hating this show probably over look one of the best versions of alumni in over 20years lol pretty rare and perfect...

Waves>Undermind is unreal and really the whole show lol

again how is this over rated because they played an element set not YEM and other classics??

i dont get your logic sir... sounds like pure hating
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HappyWhip420 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
You know what they say "Haters got to Hate..."
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AlumniBlues420 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
sorry phish with all my hating. i just want to add, u step into chicago and changed my life. that will always be. and thank you 4 and ck5 and all of you so phucking much. it means the universe to me. bless u all and ill see you again. but this show is on my sleeve never to be forgotten.... i was in 102 behind fishman and it changed my whole life... so how can i thank u boys....

i love you!
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jcorn , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
jcorn Anyone know the song MOTR by Trans-AM? The outro is so similar!
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MySoula , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
MySoula First night of a three night run IN Chicago for the first time in a long time. Went solo, first solo show for me and I had a blast. Lot was lax and it seemed as if you couldn't walk 20 feet with out being asked for extras. Grabbed some BBQ on lot and went in early. Was a few rows from the rafters on fishman's side as far as you could go but I was just happy to be inside. The indoor conditions were similar to that of a sweat lodge...and purification is what we received.

Set I:

BOTT OPENER! and a great version at that! this really set the tone and you just felt in the first few minutes they were on point, really got the place rocking.

Rift > Guelah kept up the pace

Mule had some meatball action from Mike that literally made you feel the music and at this point the place was getting REALLY hot. near the roof the air was thick and we all knew we would just have to endure it because there was really no way anyone could avoid getting down with what they were throwing at us. Jesus Just Left Chicago followed, fitting slower song in the set that just emanated soul from Page.

Wolfmans gets dirty. Plinko funk version that tends to get overlooked due to the second set.

Anything but me slowed things down but with the heat and humidity in there, everyone needed a short break from the getdownery. Babylon Baby had many confused on whether it was a cover, new song, or side project song.

Reba followed to pick things back up. I should add the band was really feeling the crowd at this point. Lots of looking around by trey, it was around this time or before Trey absolutely boots a balloon/ball that came up on stage (think a kid swinging for the fences in kickball). It skyrocketed to the light structure and he was all smiles.

Alumni > Letter > Alumni just knocked the place down after the set they dropped on us. Things were flowing, it was a request of sorts (see show notes). People were beside themselves when setbreak hit. High fives, random conversations, and the halls during set were just covered in moisture due to the heat inside and cold outside, while everyone continued meander about, buzzing about set one and what is to come.

Set II:

Sand > Light is some seriously sick stuff. These may get overlooked because of Waves>Undermind. They go deep and you knew that something special is happening.

Dirt as the slow song in the second set? Perfect. Not too slow and really seemed to keep the flow going.

Waves is great. Goes into a classic rock feel near the end with some licks a la Stranglehold and you could feel it morphing into something more...timber? nope, a laid back intro into Undermind.

Undermind - just listen to it. if you haven't already...slap yourself.

Steam - perfect for the conditions, but it was so hot, humid, and smokey where I was sitting (above smoke machines) I both wanted this sickness to continue and stop because the air was getting SO thick. I decided my remedy was to get down even more, it worked

>Fire - even more fitting. smoke still lingering and a great close to a smoking set (albeit a somewhat short one that was not realized until well after).

Encore:

many were besides themselves at this point and when the band returned, trey mentioned no talks between building mgmt and the band regarding curfew. after deliberation between the band on what to play, things got going again.

The encore almost seemed like another set, started with some funk in Camel Walk. Guyute, is this the last song? Nope. They can't end on a horse>silent can they? Absolutely not, Hood! Once again, the place lost it.

One of the best shows I've been to with relation to flow (set I and II), it just seemed to unravel organically. Encore was memorably long and a perfect way to cap off the night. A must listen show from start to finish. Give as much attention to set I as set II. The second was type II territory from start to finish but the first set put us in a place to be blown over by the second and the encore put the nail in the coffin.

Great show and a great time all around...one of those that left you with a "what just happened?"
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AlumniBlues420 , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
Two Ironic and funny things at this show IMO....

Ok first I was mad this one person was flashing a green laser up in the ceiling from back on the train to guelah... I was getting mad about it kind of then they bust out Scent of a Mule (my first ever in 34 shows) and the person put their laser beam away for the rest of the show

then the people kept punching the green balloon on stage (at that time I didnt know it had Alumni Blues writing on it) I kept saying why are they messing with the band by punching it up there... then they played Alumni Blues by my name you can tell Its my fav bust out and got it at my first phish show 7-24-99)

so in short the 2 things that were bugging me at the show brought me so much enjoyment haha

life's weird thanks phish. Im behind fishman with my crew 5 rows deep and this is beyond my favorite show ever!!!! And we were pumping Fishman up. We were loving him and if you listen he is just nailing everything with authority!!!!!

thank you PHISH for blowing up chicago and UIC

thank you!!!!!
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MailOrderTicketStub , attached to 2011-08-15 Permalink
MailOrderTicketStub A few years after being at all three of the UIC shows I re-listened to what I thought then was an amazing 3 day run late in the summer on a few weeknights in Chicago.

This show kicked off a set of gems at a venue that may lack in acoustics, but man does it bring back memories of mid 1990's Phish. I for one was very happy about seeing the band and the Phans at this show. The audience and the band were sheer joy for this Phan.

The show was off to an energetic start with Back On the Train. Trey really goes off in the middle of this song and the band really finds that space together where they are just nailing it and knowing they are.

That launched into killer first set where the band just was clearly enjoying themselves and the audience really seemed to be feeding off them and vice versa. I mean, they looked happy while just tearing up a set with Rift followed up by Guelah Papyrus.

The band went nuclear by the time they did Scent. Jesus Left Chicago of course was appreciated by the native crowd as well. The Wolfman's Brother is simply the best WB I have heard. I can't get enough of it actually.

Alumni Blues to close that first set out pretty much blew the lid off of a very excited crowd. It was one of those sets where the crowd cheered for a solid 5-7 minutes and loudly at that in appreciation for the rocket fuel first set that had a fun Reba to boot.

The second set opening with Sand, Light, Dirt, Waves, Undermind Steam, Fire was strong and the band continued playing amazingly together through it. You just had a feeling with those choices that they were also letting you catch your breath for something special to close out with.

5 Song Encore Anyone?

Any show with a song debut and as far as I know the only 5 song encore ever is quite a way to kick off a 3 night run. I'll focus less on the song by song and just say that the band looking and seeming to be so happy playing as well as playing with energy was simply infectious.

The crowd was so appreciative with the number of deafening applauses the band got all night. They even stopped several times to smile at the crowd and each other. It was just one of those moments that made me feel good about sticking with this band and Phan base for so long.

It was also one of the nicest and just most fun shows I had been to band to fans to actual music and of course the great setlist with mega encore.

I got back on the train for sure after being a little doubtful of how I felt about the shows like Coventry and shows leading up to it as well as just after. The band really did stick out a tough time as a group and individuals to have a triumphant period in their history yet again.

For me... I guess it made me feel like it was never too late for me. I found it inspiring. I wonder if other phans felt that way too.

Thanks Phish!
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