Phish took the stage last night, opening up with a well played version of PYITE. A song flubbed in 3.0 (see Deer Creek 2010). I love Punch, but the ending segment just is not nearly as thrilling or tight anymore; it seems like Trey really struggles though it. Nevertheless, PYITE is a great opener that started off a night of setlist acrobatics for the pumped up audience.
After a solid Possum, the boys broke the Gin out early. The structure followed the blueprints of most 3.0 versions, and while every version tends to impress this particular one is quite explosive. Trey soars in it; if he would have kept going off, they would have certainly entered into hosing territory. Trey sounded magnificent.
Keeping the South (and, to a lesser extent, North) Carolina tradition alive, Page’s dad came onto stage to sing Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home? He even tapped for us. Shortly thereafter Phish launched into a short Boogie On to pick the energy of the crowd back up.
Destiny came next, one that featured Trey not butchering the guitar parts (see Jones Beach, Telluride). Number Line came next; it seems like they are unsure of what to do with this song. This song has the most inconsistent setlist placement and most inconsistent style of jam out of any song they currently have. That’s not a bad thing, either. You may see a Number Line open a show, in the middle of a first set, open a second set, middle of a second set, or even close a show. You may see one that is a quick 8 minute piece of soaring guitar soloing, one that dwindles into the end, or a psychedelic odyssey (like Blossom). Last night’s was full of soaring guitar; Trey was seeking to impress, and impress he did–he crushed the song.
Buffalo Bill and Dog Faced Boy were played; both awesome songs, and great to see. However, both were played as stand alone songs, back to back. These are both songs that are meant to come out of other songs. It was weird and awkward. The end of Buffalo was really awkward too, I thought. It seemed that they were trying to play as many possible songs as possible last night. They pulled this with Buffalo Bill at Deer Creek this year, too.
Antelope closed the first set; I felt that Trey was totally disconnected from the band for the jam. He sounded kinda ridiculous, the chaos didn’t sound good–it just sounded chaotic like he was trying too hard.
The second set opened with the expected Down with Disease. Clocking in at 12 minutes, it’s certainly not a huge jam, but the quality is great. It’s an intense rager that drops down into some punctuated grooving before going into Price Caspian. The Caspian sways with passion at the end before impressively and unexpectedly going into Twist.
Roses came out of Twist, Roses bled into an absolutely screamin’ My Friend. MFMF was one of the most impressive versions I have heard since the mid-90s. The band skips the “MIEF…..(giggling)” and goes into The Problem Right There. I am really starting to like this song. It’s fun and they are obviously willing to segue into it.
The three minute Tube acted like a bookmark, separating two different halves of the second set. The second half of the second half called for a Mike’s Groove. Mike’s Song went into the energy-killing Horse (Trey’s go-to song for that). After Silent in the Morning, a very brief (2 minutes) Mexican Cousin emerged before going into a five and a half minute long Weekapaug. Suzy > Slave closed out, before encoring with Character Zero.
This show had some breakneck guitar and good segues, however, it’s just another example of Trey trying to do too much in the given amount of time. Nearly 30 songs a show is a bit too much for Phish.