, attached to 2011-09-04

Review by JonnyRingo

JonnyRingo Personally, the 9/4, Sunday show was my favorite night of the run. For starters the song selection for the most part was superb, the jams had great direction and creativity, teases were everywhere and both sets included many of my favorite Phish songs. “Maze” opened the show (first “Maze” opener since 12/09/95) however the first real heat of the night came during “Bathtub Gin.” During the song’s jam segment the band quickly dropped into a funk groove that carried through the entire jam, basically setting the tone for a night of groove based jams. The following number was an unexpected surprise, the Phish debut of the Gillian Welch song, “The Way it Goes.” The song is a mid-tempo country number featuring Gordon on lead vocal and didn’t seem to do much for the crowd on-hand as most didn’t know what the song was. Perhaps the strongest aspect of Sunday’s first set was the unbelievable flow after the band got through the mid-set breather “Halfway to the Moon.” The set ending run of “Gumbo, Halley’s Comet > Tube > Timber (Jerry) > Roses Are Free > Chalk Dust Torture” was simply awesome. Great playing, great flow, great Phish.

Sunday’s second set gets my pick for set of the weekend—the band was firing on all cylinders, almost every jam had unique elements and chances were being taken by the band as a whole. The second set opener “Rock and Roll” was typically great and worked perfectly as a launching point which segued into “Come Together.” The musical segue itself was effortless and smooth, at least until the vocals came in. Sure, the band totally botched the vocals and chord changes to “Come Together,” which was the first since performance since 12/08/95, but it really didn’t matter; it seemed totally spontaneous and was great fun. “Twist” followed and the tune has actually become a 3.0 favorite of mine with its steroid funk jam. This one is especially notable and has a great series of “Low Rider” teases that flow through it and also segues nicely into a very unique “Piper.” “Piper” came out of its vocal refrain blazing before settling into a major key groove that featured a really cool “Roadrunner” tease that carried on for a few minutes. “Harry Hood” was simply wonderful and the band seemed to finally be getting their Hood-swagger back by slowly trying to include the much-missed jam peak near the end of the gorgeous segment before the vocal refrain—easily one of the more inspired versions I’ve heard in 3.0 and very refreshing to hear this song begin to finally show some life in 2011. “Roggae” was yet another highlight and this version differed greatly from the majestic Gorge version last month. Sunday’s version included a big build in the jam segment which then gave way to the quiet/loud segment which was missing from the Gorge version. “Ghost -> Guy Forget -> Ghost” (first “Guy Forget” since 10/01/00) continued the groove-based set and I was a little taken back by the “Walls of the Cave” set closer. I honestly thought they had another song or two in them. I was equally surprised by the single-song “Backwards Down the Number Line” encore but then again, I wasn’t that surprised; Phish is going to do whatever they feel like doing and I guess that’s the song that got Trey writing Phish songs again. Overall Sunday was a pretty stellar show and it provided a perfect coda to a weekend of Phish shows.


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