, attached to 2010-10-30

Review by CreatureoftheNight

CreatureoftheNight This was the first time I flew across the country to see Phish. Living in Oregon now, where Phish hasn't played since 1999, it probably won't be the last (SBIX). AC was where I met most of my current west coast tour buddies and had my second peak experience in as many years (Gorge 09). The energy of the crowd and band were perfectly connected and this night was by far the best of the three nights in NJ. The boardwalk was packed with heads and it was righteous to stumble out on the beach after a show. Utica was the consensus vote for best show of the year, but my money goes with 10-30. I know I wasn't at Utica, but the number of ridiculous jams just doesn't measure up as well. I'll take soaring jams over funny antics every time.

The first set could be the best opening frame I've seen since 2003. KDF has become a pretty standard 3.0 opener, but this version had a little extra heat and we all need more Foam. Even before the Zeppelin was set loose, the Chalkdust jam build up huge tension. The Wolfman's funk was super thick right from the vocal jam and it carried over into a mesmerizing boogie that marked the first exploratory adventure of the night. Until UIC, this was the best version of Undermind that the band had ever played. Bathtub Gin gave us our first soaring jam that would show up again in Bowie and the superb Stash the following night. The band was hot, inspired and moving as a singular unit. The last three songs proved that this was the night, not Halloween.

The Tube and Possum won't get a lot of replay value from me, but the Zeppelin Tweezer sure will. Sure the vocals were rough, but we couldn't hear them very much as we all screamed along with the band. The crowd was SO loud and seemed to be right with the band around every curve. It was almost a mosh pit by the time Stairway blew the roof off. We did get 60 seconds of jamming out of Halley's before the highlight of the evening began: 2001 > Bowie. Pure funk boogieness followed by the most heart wrenching Bowie I've heard in a long time. This unique version could rage and bring a tear to your eye at the same time. Syncopation, hose, storytelling, it's all here in this jam. Pure bliss.

Unlike some phans with JVS, I loved the Show of Life placement. We all needed a breather and this was the first time this song really clicked with me. Along with Backwards, we all need reminders of how fortunate we are to be seeing the greatest band in the world. Number Line hadn't gotten formulaic yet, and this version has some inspired playing from the band. We all knew GTBT had to make an appearance and the Sleeping Monkey was a must for Tera Lee's jacket. This was the only show in AC that I wasn't on the floor, but Mike's bomb during T.Repise made it all the way up to the rafters. We waited forever before leaving the venue, but the crowd in the foyer was still cheering loudly as we made our way outside.

The shows in NJ gave me an entirely new outlook on Phish. They could not only do great things after reuniting, but now there was the possibility that they could surpass their old glory. As we found out in 2011, the Golden Age of Phish was upon us!


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