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Link Phish, Sunday, 07/03/2011
Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY

Set 1: Soul Shakedown Party > AC/DC Bag > The Curtain > Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > Destiny Unbound > Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Wilson > Mound, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing[1], Time Loves a Hero, Reba -> David Bowie

Set 2: Big Balls[2] > Down with Disease[1] -> No Quarter > Party Time, Ghost > Gotta Jibboo > Light, Waves > What's the Use? > Meatstick > Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Star Spangled Banner

Encore: First Tube

[1] Unfinished.
[2] Phish debut

Notes: This show was the third of the three-show Super Ball IX festival. The Curtain was played for the first time since September 9, 2000 (202 shows). The first Mockingbird narration since September 30, 2000 (188 shows) referenced the previous night's fourth set Storage Jam and explained that all of SBIX was merely a mental projection of a reality that the band created in 1988 on their way to Colorado. Mike teased the theme from The Twilight Zone and the theme from Leave it to Beaver during BBFCFM, Wilson contained a Mind Left Body tease, and Reba contained Dave's Energy Guide teases. A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing and Disease were unfinished. The setbreak featured All-American themed music. This show featured the Phish debut of Big Balls. Before the encore, Trey thanked each of the crew, management and artists who helped make Super Ball IX happen. First Tube was accompanied by and followed by fireworks.

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

bigflopmoptop , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
bigflopmoptop I'm sure many reviews will be posted of this glorious show, with Set I being quite possibly the best Phish set ever. Pretend that this show happened in 1994. Without looking at the setlist, if I was to tell you I saw a Phish show & the highlights were Wilson and Mound, you'd think that it was either the lamest show ever or that I had no idea what I was talking about. Now look at the setlist, & if I told you WIlson & Mound were the highlights, you'd think I was totally insane. But it's true.

I listened to this whole festival from home, as I have a two-week old baby right now. Every song ranks up there with the best versions ever of each song (complications nailed, a fun story, Mike changing keys in Reba to give the jam the most distinctly different feel I may have ever heard in a Reba jam). Finally, I felt there was a break in the insanity of stuff I rarely hear when Wilson started. But no. Trey took the E chord metal hold before the "you got me back thinking" line & turned it into a descending 4-chord romp reminiscent of the jam that came out of left field in the 12/29/94 Bowie. This jam was UNREAL. Seriously impeccable. And looking at the setlist, to say that Wilson stood out? Really? Yes!

And then came Mound. I knew they were extending the jams a bit with what they did earlier in the tour. But the Page solo after the 1st verse was just stellar -- not just Page, but what Trey was doing behind it, how Mike was keeping it soaring, & Fish picking up on it. Then came the old 4-measure keyboard-centric noodle that precedes the ending of the song, & Trey became unleashed. The jam that ensued at the end of Mound may have been my favorite slice of Phish pie in the history of me listening to them. Sure it was no 1-hour Jim/Weekapaug thing, or a 40-minute Bowie -- maybe only 2 minutes or so, but the best two minutes of Phish I have ever heard.

Set II was a blast as well, featuring a Party Time that made me go, "hmmmm . . . so THIS is why they play this song." Each jam was delicate & gorgeous, then concluding with the hardest played "Stealing Time" ever. Of the many thousands of phans who listened to this show, I imagine you'd get about 40 different responses to the question, "what was your highlight," since everything played was so right on. But for me? As ridiculous as it sounds, Wilson Mound.
Score: 14
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
MiguelSanchez The boys closed super ball 9 in fine style. going into the festival, i never would have guessed that two of my favorite sets would be first sets, friday's and sunday's, but hey, that's how it panned out....

set 1:

soul shakedown party>: i was really feeling a makisupa opener, and for a second, when i heard the reggae, i though i was right. then, i knew i was gloriously wrong. great version. great start to the show.

ac/dc bag>: this got the crowd jumping. nice straight-forward version. high energy. as the jam unwound, trey popped right into....

the curtain>: having had played rift the night before, i thought they might go "with'less." indeed, they did. nice sharp version that fires right into...

forbins!> this was another one i got to knock off the list, and they really nailed this one. we got a nice narration about perception and being stuck in a storage container. just listen to it...

mockingbird: trey was really on top of this mockingbird. i wasn't sure how he would do, but like peaches on the first night, it was evident that trey put some work in and it paid off.

destiny unbound>: i actually called this right as mocking bird ended. right as the words left my mouth, trey cranked it up. gordo got going on some sub-sonic bass bombs in the middle section, and they boys really got loose here. as this one faded away, trey ripped into...

bbfcfm>: standard version, but sure as hell was fun...

wilson>: there are not too many songs that can keep the rocking momentum of a destiny>bbfcfm combo going, but wilson sure as hell did. once they hit the "heavy" section of wilson, they decided not to head back toward the lyrics. instead, trey began wailing on some very raucous "mind left body'esque" licks. the rest of the band jumped right on it. as smoothly as they jumped on this jam, they left it equally as smoothly. best wilson i've seen. one of the most interesting ever.

mound: this one changed the tempo of the set up a bit, but it still seemed to flow very well. they added a little extra in the middle section of this mound. they now appear to be very comfortable with this tune.

song i heard the ocean sing: yep, here we go! the song was played very well, with some very cosmic guitar licks from trey. instead of rocking all the way through, they traveled a dark, ambient journey toward...

time loves a hero: the darker drum beats of the time loves a hero intro worked very smoothly coming out of sihtos. very cool pairing. this tune was played great. nice work page!

reba>: once again, this song seemed to fit the song before it brilliantly. this is one of the best reba's since the return. trey and company exploded with creativity as they came into the more improvised section. oh yeah, did i mention, they finally whistled again. it was a bit rocky, due to some trey laughing, but hey, nice bonus.

bowie: well, this sure makes for a nice closing pair! bowie ain't what it used to be, but this one was certainly more on the winning side of things. trey dug fairly deep on this one before they climbed rampantly toward the bowie coda.

it was sure hard to follow up a MONSTER first set, but the boys gave it their best...

set 2:

big balls>: many had wanted to hear the ac/dc classic, and the boys delivered with a rocking/hilarious version. yeah, who else could have sung this but fishman. great job.

dwd>: a quick space jam leads the boys into this one. trey could not wait to sink his teeth into this one. as soon as the "lyrical phase" of the song ended, trey jumped straight into a completely different realm. exploring some rock/funk grooves, the boys eventually drift back toward the dwd theme. they move back away from going in more of an ambient section. the boys cover a hell of a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time. the ambience eventually allows trey and page to move into...

no quarter!: i was really hoping they'd bring this one back. as good as holmdel's was, this one was even better. page owns this tune, and not singing really allows trey to focus on some eerie page'esque guitar licks. anyone that says phish can't cover zeppelin needs to put their 10/30/10 tape away and grab this no quarter!

partytime: trey really flashed some muscle on this one. a song that i never really thought would do too much, opened up and allowed trey to fire. great version.

ghost>: following a great opening set, i was really thinking ghost was about to go bonkers. it was less than impressive. they quickly moved into an ambient jam, and for the first time this weekend, an ambient jam really seemed directionless. trey picked up on this and started strumming...

jibboo>: like twist the night before, i was not really wishing to hear jibboo, but once it got going, it ripped. where ghost had failed, jibboo was massively successful. they got a nice complete band effort, with trey clearing the path for all. good version.

light: i really don't like light, but i really love light jams. trey was, once again, in charge here, delivering a mind-bending solo. this one really climbed before making its way into a rare...

waves>: ah, this time the ambience worked. gordon had some very interesting playing on this jam, and trey just seemed to melt around him. it took me awhile to warm up to this one, but i'm coming around now...

wtu>: this transition is similar to the -7>wtu from woostah and the dwd>wtu from alpine last summer. they had a nice ambient groove going, and then placing the notes perfectly, trey lands brilliantly into wtu. standard version, but i've always liked this song.

side note: i will say, i was expecting a more rocking 4th of july type set, but they seemed to be more into the ambient/patient exploration mode, especially from light on. not what i expected, but it was very very good.

meatsticks>: i'm not a meatstick fan and this did little/nothing to change my mind. this set starts to loose me a bit...

faulty plan: hmm? this really turned the vibe on its head, and it didn't seem to fit at all. good version, i guess. very odd placement though...

ssb: yeah, fireworks time!!

enc:

first tube: here come the fireworks. we all wondered what song would welcome the explosions and this was a pretty damn good pick. nothing too unusual but a nice rocking festival closer.
Score: 8
46daze , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
46daze "disease and no quarter didn't pack a punch"? Read the fucking book or go to the show before you make a stupid comment like that it streches beyond an opinion and into the realm of stupidity to say that this DWD lacked anything
Score: 5
andrewrose , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
andrewrose This was a good show, and there's plenty to like about it beyond the obvious setlist bust-outs. While it's a longggg way away from being the "best first set ever" in my books (sorry man, have a hard time letting that kind of hyperbole slide here), the band did perform versions of Destiny, Wilson and Mound that all went beyond their typical respective constraints. Trey seemed hungry during the Mound. Was nice to see A Song I Heard the Ocean sing resurface, but the band didn't do as much with it as some folks might lead you to believe. Took it for a decent spacey ride. The highlight of the first set to me is the Reba->Bowie. While the segue was really just Bowie emerging out of space "storage" noodling they opted for as a kind of stop-gap for a botched (but returned!) whistling ending, the jams in Reba and Bowie proper were stellar. Both songs continue to impress with 94-95 like potential and execution.

Set two had a lot of promise, but neither the Disease->No Quarter (prefer the Tweezer->No Quarter from earlier this summer) nor the Ghost really packed huge punches. Nice stuff in Light, Waves.

All in all a nice show, and a lot of people obviously had fun, given it's current "rating," which seems a bit absurd and overblown to me. (It doesn't hold a candle, for example, to the last time the band played Soul Shakedown Party and Destiny during the same show...or to about 50 other shows of similar caliber.) But hey, that just me. Don't mean to burst anyone's, er, balls..
Score: 4
BurningShoreProphet , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
BurningShoreProphet I never knew I could have that much fun stayin home on the couch. Was left with major livestream withdrawals on 7.4 :) set 3 saturday was when they found "IT" and carried/built on that momentum into 7.3... set one sunday: simply the BEST set ive heard from this band since fall 97. set 2's only ding for me was the abbreviated ghost. whatever, sunday was pure insanity and now im scrambling for west coast tix!
Score: 3
Esquandolas76 , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
Esquandolas76 Awesome show! Hope they keep No Quarter in the rotation! I've been lucky enough to see both times played! Also nice to have a whistling Reba! Just wish Phish would have played their Encore for the whole duration of the fireworks! It was great seeing them while they were ripping up First Tube, keep it going!
Score: 2
phisherman , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
sunday was funday for sure. there was still a buzz going around the grounds from the spectacle that was "storage-jam" and from the overall groove and beauty of the setting that was superball IX! this all contributed to the events on sunday night. the soul shakedown party led me to believe we were in for a treat. the setlist speaks for itself. the narrative during forbin was awesome, especially as i am from colorado. i'm a huge little feat fan, and time loves a hero is one of their finest. big balls was a great opener, and i must say that party time is becoming my favorite new song from phish. perfectly placed in my opinion and i love that it usually means a meatstick at some point. first tube with fireworks was amazing as well. thanks for the good times phish. i will see you in denver.
Score: 2
phuckface , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
Certainly not the sickest show ever, or the sickest show of the tour, but if you were there and the hairs didn't stand up on the back of your neck (or the back of the worm) during ANY of these songs played then you might want to consult a doctor cuz you've got some nerve/s! This was the show to be at! After a proper and well-deserved SSP for all the Marley phans we were invited on a little trip back in time w/ Phish. The Bag was no Coventry Bag, but hell...that was the last time they were to ever play Bag! This set was not only philled with phavorites phrom Gamehenge, but the band truly took us back to a time in which they envisioned their phutures. Did they know that all of us would come along phor the ride? Maybe so maybe not, but one thing is phor sure...they threw us a gigantic Soul Shakedown Ball w/ THE MOST BEAUTIFUL Wilson I've ever had the pleasure to hear (maybe it was the signs) just after Cactus catapulted us into The Twilight Zone. Where better a place to be then there? The Zone!!! The Mike Zone!!! Some dude next to me was in The Zone so hard that he yelled Time Loves A Hero...and then...they phreaking played it...totally bizarre seeing as though I'm pretty sure the band couldn't hear him...and there was no signature or cue yet...must have been the Waves of energy...Dave's Energy! Reba>botched ending>beautiful Page>into Bowie...killed it! Setbreak WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT???
WOW...Back...Fish has the biggest balls of them all and he's proved it many times, but certainly sealed the deal with BB! To borrow a line this Disease was most Cunt>Ages and segued perfectly into a whole lotta LED! Whaaat? No Quarter again...again, again please! The rest of the show phlowed much like many other shows, but that doesn't take away phrom the beauty...the look of sheer JOY in Trey's eyes when he and Mike were Meatstick Dancing is enough to keep me coming back phor more. The blank spaces in our minds were philled with beautiphul phire works which left us all wondering how the phuck did those crazy people in China come up with these things and thank God they made it here!
Score: 2
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
MiguelSanchez man, how are you guys going to vote down andrew rose's review. it seems pretty spot on to me. sorry if you ponies can't accept an honest phish review, and no, just because you were there or it was your first festival does not mean it was the "sickest show ever." freaking noobs...
Score: 1
equatemylifewithsand , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
First off, ill start by saying the super ball was something or great importance. The band found themselves as soon as the first note of possum was played and all they way down to the very last note of First tube.

I want to keep this quick, So hears what i think. They're is no band in the History of Rock and Roll or even the history of music to be able to take a song like No quarter, and do something like that with it.

The mighty led Zeppelin might of wished it sounded like that, and trust me that takes alot to say.

Everything went right this weekend, everything! the only bad thing which wasnt even bad was the sun. But it gave us energy to groove.

Best song of the festival= Sand
Score: 1
captaincrunch , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
captaincrunch super-ball ix had it... you know that thing that you wished you had but a couple of years ago. that feeling. it was there. you didn't have to search for it. it found you. I must say i felt and feel lucky to have made it.
it was blissfully small and yet remarkably huge. it felt open. it felt free.
now this festival didn't have any huge "band significance".. ( first festy since... last festival ever... ) it didn't need it. maybe it was the weather... maybe it was song placement... but if you had any ANY really tough songs you'd been chasing .. chances are if you were there you checked a few off that list.
it felt good.. the whole vibe was this big phamily barbecue, complete with a healthy dose of americana. this night was spectacular.
watkins glen is a great venue and that's why it was so well protected.
twas such an honor for phish to have gotten the nod to play there in the first place, truly. glad i caught it... but i guess by the sounds of it, because it was soo chill; it may be the precursor to many more events like it at the track.
until next time i guess it's hotel's motel's and couches.... phish festivals are THE festivals.
Score: 1
benjedi420vt , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
This show is very good, I'm glad to see they are really coming together. Crazy amounts of energy!

HOWEVER, anyone that compares or even goes as far as to say Zeppelin wishes they could make No Quarter sound this way - ARE YOU KIDDING or are you CRAZY?

They happen to play No Quarter very well and it's very fun to hear them play tribute. BUT..that's as far as it goes. When Trey was at the top of his game, say 92-97, he might have been able to compare to JP a little bit...but give Zep's version of No Quarter a listen (www.grooveshark.com - Song Remains The Same) and there is no way Trey can compete with that...he just can't, he's not that guitarist, nor do I want him to be. He has his own amazing sound.

Fish is one of my favorite drummers ever, he is so versatile and can play almost any beat, but he can't quite get the hard sound that JHB makes and because of that (at least for me and I think most zep fans) Phish covers of zep tunes will never be as good as the zep versions. Some Phish cover's I like way more than the originals, Loving Cup and Roses Are Free are great examples. So I'm not hating on Phish, but you gotta leave the "better than...or as good as zep" stuff alone. I read it on these reviews frequently and its just not true. Great to listen to and fun with high energy, but not even close to as good as let alone better!
Score: 1
phrogman , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
sb9 was kind of the greatest experience of my life :) :) I've read that a lot of other people thought this 3rd night was the best...but I'm really impartial to 2nd night. DWD > No Quarter was pretty tight, but if you liked that you should hear the cosseyed > No Quarter from Chicago like a month later.

But seriously, gotta love soul shakedown as the opener, and the forbin/mockingbird plus narration. BBFCFM always makes me feel like I'm listening to Motorhead heh, but I do go to every show hoping for a Mound. The end of that 1st set was awesome: the trippyness of song i heard the ocean sing, the fun of time loves a hero, and the epic way reba can take you through every emotion you've ever felt. then bowie. love it.

2nd set? a lot of fun. party time, gotta jibboo, waves and meatstick just always give me that permanent smile. But whats the use? just drives that set into a different space that i didn't see coming.
Score: 1
headyburritos , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
headyburritos Probably my favorite set two of 2011..The DWD->No Quarter is just flawless and beautiful and Party Time is a great way to get the crowd amped up. The Ghost through What's The Use? is probably my favorite stretch of songs from all of Superball. I find the Waves>What's the Use to be especially wonderful..the music just flows so beautifully. Meatstick was fun as usual, but I think the highlight may be the fireworks show during First Tube. What a perfect song for a fireworks display. I remember thinkin' that the boys were just rippin' it. Here's to good memories and hoping I can make it to Fest-2013
Score: 1
Peezy , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
Peezy it fit the vibe soooo well. loved that day, with the blue sky and everyone being happy with the awesome weekend they just attended
Score: 1
TheStee , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
TheStee I wish I would take the time to write a serious review because I felt that this was a great Phish weekend. I traveled up and down the east coast, hung out with family and friends, did a shit load of driving, and caught 8 sets of Phish--7 of them live. To top it off, I didn't camp out at Watkins where Phish played and I didn't pay a dime to Phish (except I am downloading the sets from livephish.com). I had an amazing time!

I couldn't make it to NY. I tried to make it happen, but I couldn't. However, The Bunny on XM was brilliant. My highlights were the 'Simple' on night one. I thought the 'Quinn' was pretty nice as well. The entire Set I on Saturday was nice because I was lounging in a pool the whole time. But musical highlight from that set, I would have to say 'Monkey Man'. Set II that day I loved. 'Birds' and 'Stash' were completely ripping. Then, the extremely complicated 'Horn, Ice, Mango, Rift' section, especially Rift. Trey was fumbling a bit during 'Mango Song'. I could believe he blasted into 'Rift' right after. And they killed it. Plus, SASS and Antelope. Man.

Set III had a nice little descent into madness. They were really pushing it, yet not completely nailing it, until Tweezer. Then, I just felt this relaxed vibe where there were no worries. It sounded raw. It sounded new. Then, the 'Twist' I felt was one of the absolute best songs played all weekend. Everybody in sync, relaxed, playing what I think most of us like. Pure Phish music.

Day 3. I can agree with the other reviewer. The 'Wilson' and 'Mound' had amazing moments. For me the 'Mound' in particular. I can't wait to go back to it. Trey's stuff had a real familiar sound. Like a classical piece or an old rock legend solo. But, the Reba moment was nice too. Strange though. It was like things were unraveling. Ever since that 'Mango Song' but they were working their asses off to keep it together and make sure it was humorous when they were starting to lose it. SET II was the best set of all, in my opinion. They destroyed the whole time. In a more perfect world, they might have cut 'Meatstick' and 'Stealing Time' (if they had to cut anything) for a 'YEM' but 'Disease' thru 'WTU?' was IT. I was so tired from traveling and working that I should have been passed out, but it worked so well and kept me on.

Great work, Phish.

Now I gotta try to get my own jam on!!
Score: 0
glennw , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
Not a review but I thought I caught a "Georgy Girl" tease by Mike at the beginning of Bowie (0:28-0:45 of the LivePhish version). Sorry to post here but didn't know where to.
Score: 0
nickcarini , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
Although this show obviously wasn't the tightest show they ever played, and trey isn't what he use to be, for a phish show this was easily a 5/5. One thing you have to remember about phish, at least for me and many others i know, it isn't just about the music( although it is the most important and best part).
Theres always a spectacle to phish, the people, the glowsticks, the atmosphere, the trey banter and anything else i forgot. With the balls and costumes and all kinds of crazy stuff at superball this was one of the greatest shows in a long time, never forget about the things that come along with phish, if you look at it from that point of view and if you were there you can understand why people think this was such a great show.
Score: 0
AlumniBlues420 , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
The Nutz!!!

Not going to get a whole lot better than this. If not one of the best shows, it is diffenently up there with the top ones!!!!
Score: 0
AlumniBlues420 , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
first set legendary and second set awesome and encore first tube with 8min firework display!!!!!

most phun
Score: 0
KingDisco , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
KingDisco Sure there weren't any jams that I would say MUST LISTEN but the first set was pretty great, long and well thought out. I laughed out loud during this Forbin> Mockingbird.

Not a huge Mound fan but even I can admit this is a version alot of 2011 or 3.0 haters should turn to.

Dwd > No Quarter was excellent. No need to really dwell on the rest. When it comes to 2011 and 3.0 this is pretty darn good. The band was having a great time and it was evident that the crowd was really into what was trying to be accomplished. A solid 4 in my book. It would hit a 9 on a 10 star scale.

god save the king
Score: 0
pmc2kd , attached to 2011-07-03 Permalink
After a rocking first night, a long day 2, and some mind-blowing storage jam shenanigans everyone was ready to celebrate the final day of SBIX in style. So what was in store for us on Sunday?

Set I started with Soul Shakedown party. Great way to ease into the show. This tune has foreshadowed some amazing shows in the past and of course is a major rarity. Awesome start.

>AC/DC Bag was a nice call and this was a solid peppy version and it jumped right into >Curtain.

>Curtain following Bag had a super old-school feel. Great choice and they played it well.

Forbins! Woah, awesome. They played it well and I like to think everyone there was really appreciating this. When Trey took a step forward to tell the story I was just in shock. Great narration. This was just an unreal treat - go listen.

>Mockingbird completed the pairing and was great. They played it well and boy this set was just such a treat.

>Destiny Unbound! more rarities and inspired song choices. This one was great and the jam was way above average (Thank you Mike!). Killer bass.

BBFCFM was a nice bit of fun (per usual).

I must say this set was already unreal with an old school vibe. Well, they just continued to up the ante from here...

Wilson kicked in with it's typical energy, but this version contained a fantastic mind left body jam and the band was just all over it. Perfectly cohesive jam and they slid back into the end of Wilson with aplomb. This is a top version of the song.

Mound was up next and they played it really well, but something special happened at the end. Maybe it was the looseness of putting the Saturday marathon behind them or a nod to how special this set had been but Trey just took the reins and played a glorious solo at the end, which was just unbelievably perfect. Best Mound Ever.

ASIHTOS popped up perfectly and man did they keep this set going in fine fashion. After running through the standard tune they took a turn towards the psychedelic. It was the perfect time of evening for some deep type II space. They stretched this out really well with some awesome guitar work and then just melted into a blissful effects laden dream space. It's not the longest version, but boy does it go places. They melt beautifully into...

Time Loves a Hero! This was a great placement (really fun cover) and they just nail it.

Reba! Wow, perfect spot - and festival Reba is the best Reba. This one remains the best version of 3.0 for me. It's played well in composition and the jam is perfection. They drop into the jam section in perfectly satisfying fashion and navigate creatively to a key change and Trey finds himself strumming some chords, which gives this such a unique feel. It should be noted that Mike and Page are both just so cohesive with Mike really pushing the creative envelope. They come back into the Reba jam perfectly and peak this baby to perfection. Emotional playing from Trey. This is a must-hear version.

Oh and they go into the whistling ending (which they botch in hilarious fashion). They have a little effects laden bridge after the sloppy whistling which drops into Bowie.

Well this is how you play a set I! Bowie is well-played and they drop into the jam section and Trey turns on the little effects loop he had going during the Reba whistling transition which was pretty cool. They proceed to shred this one, and it actually has some unique moments with Trey trading some rhythmic chopping with Fish. It managed to get good and dark without being an overly exceptional version. Perfect ending to an amazing set.

Overall Set I: Oddly enough, as a set I, this one is the "keeper" set for the festival. Then again, look at that setlist and it's not a stretch. You're looking at best of 3.0 versions of Reba and ASIHTOS, All-Time versions of Mound & Wilson, a notable Destiny Unbound, A Forbin's > Mockingbird with narration, two great and rare covers, and some old school selections including a solid Bowie closer. Grab this one and relive the magic of the weekend.
Highlights: I'd say play it all the way through, but if you just want the real gems grab: Forbin's>Mockingbird, Destiny Unbound, Wilson, Mound, ASIHTOS & Reba ...OK just grab the whole set...

How would they follow that up?

Big Balls was a hilarious call with Fishman leading the vocal charge and giving us a nice Super Ball reference to scream and shout about. Perfect fun Phish.

Down With Disease offered us a chance to go deep. This one wasn't super long, but they moved in and out of a couple different spaces. Trey was definitely rocking at first and then they moved towards a rhythmic jam with Trey chopping as the band chugged away. Eventually they opened up the space and Page took us to No Quarter. This is a good version and is definitely interesting enough to warrant a listen. Really good jamming.

No Quarter was awesome, I venture to say the best version of the tune they have ever played (it's 5 years later - and I can't find a better one). They absolutely demolished this tune.

Partytime kept up a celebratory vibe. I am not a huge fan of this song, but holy hell this one smoked! Seriously, you might think I am fluffing here, but Trey let it rip on this version. I'd easily call this the best version ever.

Ghost was a song I had only managed to catch once before at PNC and that version was a hugely disappointing 7 minute ripcord victim. I was hoping they'd take this deep or at least give us a run to Hose-ville. Well this version was a bit odd, I actually kind of enjoyed it even though it never really found it's footing. It sort of took a dive to the spacey side and it was certainly atypical in comparison to the major key bliss jams that typically emerge. People would probably moan about them abandoning the tune but I thought it was a good choice as the ambient spacey jam wasn't really going anywhere and Trey found a nice spot to start strumming the opening chords of Jibboo. So definitely disappointed they didn't blow it out, but they recognized it was not to be and made it interesting.

Jibboo always has a fun jam (albeit typically in the box). This version fit the bill for how they had played in night 1, in that the jam stayed pretty anchored in the theme, but they really worked it out. This one ripped and the whole band was contributing immensely to the groove. I place this firmly in the win column.

Light was up next with it's rather abrasive intro. It's a harbinger of jams and this one did not disappoint. Trey showed off a fantastic solo out of the gates and they all navigated into some really cool jazzy territory. It was one of those jams where everyone was hitting different runs and each seemed to complete and flow into the next. This was a great version with intricate playing. Dexterous.

They found there way into Waves after a cool little start stop sort of ending in Light. Everyone figured they'd be jamming this one out after the Bethel Waves soundcheck they had treated us to via The Bunny. Well this Waves remains a favorite for me. They do an awesome job with the classic Waves jam and then just dive immediately into an ambient space. This one had legs (in comparison to the less successful Ghost jam) with Page playing some good chording on top allowing Trey to set up some beautiful backing effects. The hit a decision point where they could choose to go dark ambience (a la the IT Waves) or towards the light. Mike had his echoey effect on and the soundscape was just breathtaking as they took it to a happy place. Everything just sort of melted together creating this beautiful sonic place. They drifted perfectly into What's The Use?, which was not as common as it is today.

The instrumental was awesome (although not as powerful as Magnaball's version). It just dripped out of that ambient Waves jam.

At this point the set took an odd little turn with Meatstick and Stealing Time to close it out. I think most people were probably expecting some sort of classic Phish tune (YEM, Fluffhead, Slave) to close out the festival. I won't really complain, I'd just say slave would have fit really perfectly based on the patient playing they had been delivering to this point. Both Meatstick and STFTFP were fun.

Fireworks and the star spangled banner was fun.

Encore: First Tube was raging and a great send-off with more fireworks.

Overall set II: I thought this was a really strong set, even if it didn't quite hit the majesty of the first set. Lots of quality jamming (Light, Waves, DWD, Jibboo), some surprises (No Quarter, Big Balls, What's the Use?), and some atypical takes on tunes (Party Time!, Ghost - maybe not in the best way).
Highlights: Light>Waves (I'd include some more, but objectively those two are true standouts, with the others being more suggestions)

Overall Night III: I'd give this the edge over night I in terms of best of the Fest. The first set was untouchable and the second set was great, besting night I I think since it didn't have the Horse>Silent Joy Show of Life ending. I re-listen to this often as it's top to bottom quite a strong show. 5 years later and SBIX still holds a place in my rotation.

General thoughts since I figure it's worth a recap - overall it was a bit of an odd festival as it didn't deliver a sort of signature jamming moment (I am discounting Storage Jam). My favorite sets are the first set of night I and the first set of night III, which shows you a bit about the approach they took. Don't let that scare you away though, there are plenty of highlights to be had throughout - and as I mentioned in my night I review, this was a peak experience for me personally for sure. I was happy to come back to the Glenn in 2015.
Score: 0

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