, attached to 2011-06-12

Review by MDosque

MDosque Well, during Phish 3.0, I am 3 for 3. The shows I was able to catch were all really solid in their own unique ways. The first Wachovia Center show on 11/24/09, MPP on 6/27/10 and this show. Again, I chose the second night at MPP, or should I say it chose me. The Sunday scene usually is much more enjoyable for me on a weekend run. Must be getting old. In any event, this is a really good show. I took my brother-in-law to his first show and was nursing a vicious hangover from a fellow phan's BMore wedding the night before. With that in mind, I sipped a few good ones in the lot and cruised into pavillion seats in the loge. I really wanted the band to shine, as we all do when we introduce our band to someone new. They met and exceeded expectations with ease.

Quick note: Either I am being Captain Obvious here or I have made a breakthrough. It seems like the past few nights have been tailor made setlists for personal band members. On the couch tour, I have noticed. 6/8 looks like Trey, 6/10 has Mike written all over it, and 6/11 focused on Page. Well it looks like we got Fishman. I didn't know what to expect.

Set 1:
Buried Alive is old school Phish and the sound just takes me back right away. Nicely played. Not a fan of Velvet Underground (I know, I am in the minority, but we all have our preferences) so the second tune was boring for me. Ha is silly, but cool and once Sample hit, I was a little worried. But I shouldn't have been. Sample is perfect for a new fan and he was digging it. Plus, it is a good song. Solid version. Divided is what it is...a classic tune that never gets old, but it has been following me around and I haven't really heard it stray enough. In the hopes of not sounding like a jaded fan, it's kind of predictable lately. Ok...throw all that out the window. Once Wolfman's kicks into high gear, this set shines right through Zero and leaves ears ringing during setbreak. The jam out of Wolfman's is pure funk, but when it turns to Boogie, watch out. Page is out front here, just killing it on the keys and the band is locked in. The phunk persists and Gumbo is strong as ever. Just amazing. I was feeling it and heads were grooving. Not to be outdone, the Halley's is especially strong and goes right into a stunning Jesus Left Chicago. Despite Page ripping the vocals, it is Trey's soloing here that stands out. Really nice work. When the kick into the cliche Zero, no one even groans a little. The earned the right to rock out hard and this edition seems right on this night. Ears ringing and happy fans.

Set Break: Some air up on the top of the lawn, a loo break, and back to the seats.

Set 2: Party Time starts up while I am still walking, but I settle in for the jam. First time I heard it live and frankly, only the second or third time I heard it ever. It's ok. Kind of cheesy, but a fun way to kick off a set. CandP. Now here we go, the funk returns. I read somewhere that this song is getting overplayed and is not deviating much, but who cares? This song thumps and the band is digging it. I will take this tune any show I see. The playing moves into a distinct riff and it turns out that it is a new song...Steam. I really liked it. Nice little sneaky melody, thick bassline, and cool stage effects. I will take it. When they go into Light, I am disappointed. I know there have been some tight monsters of this song and listening back, this is a really solid piece of music, but being there it was a different story. It felt like Trey had his mind set on playing this song even if it didn't make sense with the vibes in the place. Awkward move from the new song Steam and the crowd sags a little. The Wedge picks us up a bit, but I am more a fan of The Wedge in the first set. It's too short and predictable to be the centerpiece of the second set in my opinion. I pee during Alaska. Sorry to be negative here, but to me, that songs sucks. The come at us with another new one...Halfway to the Moon. It's better than Alaska, but I am not into it and neither is the crowd. More sagging. That song has potential if appropriately placed in a set, but this didn't seem right. Especially after the Saw It Again second set from MPP 2010, this set was petering out hard. Hood has the potential to rescue it, but again, here goes Trey cutting the jam part short. It was just starting to bliss out and engage me when I was jolted back to a Number Line. Good song. Terrible placement here. To me, I would have much preferred them to take Hood for another 10 minutes and just end the set. Oh well. Decent jamming, but uneventful. Loving Cup was extra strong as previously mentioned in the reviewing. I agree. Real good stuff. The encore is above average and a lot of fun. First Tube was insanely out there and peaked really hard. Just like the Zero that ended the first set, ears were ringing.

This is a nice, solid show and really gets by on the mid-late first set. Hard funk. I say seek it out and focus on Wolfman's-Zero and again from Crosseyed-Steam. Besides that, the encore is worth a listen, and that's about it. Still, I left pleased and felt like the band played their asses off. I am happy they are back and even this 6.5 out of 10 show is really great stuff.


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