Like Friday night’s show, Saturday’s also featured many random songs. However, Saturday’s show was played far better and was far more fun. The entire show is dotted with highlights. The second set was an unreal amount of fun because of the great playing and creativity coming from Trey.
The night kicked off with the Kill Devil Falls everyone was expecting far earlier this tour. While I feel like a lot of KDFs are rather standard and through-the-motions playing, this opener was on fire. Trey slayed the faces of the whole crowd early on before the jam of this was over. Then, when the beginning of Curtain With bust out, the crowd went nuts; it was the first one of the year. After they had played the song somewhat regularly last year, people were beginning to wonder if they were cutting it from their rotation again.
Mango Song delicately came out of the end of the With; despite being excited for the first version since Deer Creek’s memorable version, Trey kinda ruins this one. Trey was having problems playing it, catching the rest of the band off guard. Oh well, it’s really one of the only things you can point out that wasn’t fun on this grand night of Phishiness.
A rare mid-first set Sand crept out of nowhere. For a first set song, it sprayed the rafters with a dense and sticky jam. Anytime we get improv in a first set, we should be gracious, and that I am. The band locked into a thick groove before Trey ended it. The direction Page and Mike were going before Trey went back to the chords of Sand had me wondering how much farther it could have went otherwise.
Looking back, the Limb by Limb that was in between Sand and Sneakin’ Sally should have probably just been removed. A first set Sand -> Sneakin’ could have been one of the year’s highlights. Unfortunately this Sneakin’ was just a short, stand-alone version. I sure hope they bring back the monster it’s able to be. The Uncle Pen that followed was certainly a treat, and even the lightning fast licks were played fairly well by Big Red.
So far this tour Phish was dropping songs in the most unexpected manner, and the next song wouldn’t be any different. Pebbles and Marbles came next, a song people have been dying for them to play again. It’s one of their best written songs and has some of the most room for improvisation out of the end. This version was quite short, but, as always, beautiful–thank you. I sure hope they play this again soon, hopefully as a second set opener.
Fooling everyone with a false closer, Phish dropped Cavern. However, when the wall of sound coming out of the end dyed down, Trey started lacing the arena with a web of loops while Fishman started up on his hi-hat. This would be the second David Bowie in a row that had an interesting opening. All 3.0 long I have been ragging on Trey for playing the most standard intros to the song; they used to be so psychedelic and fun. Now, the last two versions, have segued out of other songs and had fun intros and fun end-trilling segments. This song is starting to get back on its feet–let’s hope the progression continues!
After watching the Coral Sky DVD last week I was hoping they would play a fun version of Crosseyed and Painless soon. Every time they bust into the song I lose my mind–it’s one of the most fun live songs to see them play, and this would be the most fun since Red Rocks’ last year. Out of the gates and into the jam, Trey takes dangerously hot leads into the night–this is Fall Tour 2010 Trey, not the Trey that was having trouble keeping up with himself just months earlier. After the band stops at a lyrical oasis of “stiiiilll waiting…”, the band dives back into the fiery pit that Trey set ablaze just minutes earlier. The band starts losing radio communication with their intergalactic satellite, drifting away into musical space. Just when you think they are going into another song, the lyrics “stiiill waiting” pop up for a third time, and POP the drums go right back into the jam and so does the rest of the band. A truly memorable moment, place was breaking down left and right. They play for about four more minutes before drifting into Dirt.
Fluffhead, which I think they play way too much in 3.0, came next. It’s hard to complain over too many Fluffheads, though–especially when Trey just crushes the outro to the song as hardcore has he has done all year. Trey absolutely soars, even more so than Broomfields. Reprising the spacey music from the end of Crosseyed, the crowd finds themselves back into the murky waters they were in just 20 minutes before. Snap, 2001 comes out.
Last night’s 2001 was the best version since Camden’s, and the second best version of 3.0. Many fans have been waiting for Phish to start jamming this infectious dance-party groove out more. While it was only just under eight minutes, the groove was serious. Trey really stretched this one out with some funky playing. Page even expected Trey to go back into the final instrumental refrain of the song, you can hear Page start climbing back up into the song when Trey blows past him with his funky guitar. Great version.
Coming out of left field came a short and disturbed Tweezer. The composed section was on point with some serious swagger. The jam was an eerie ride, something one would expect out of a Carini. It’s not very long, but isn’t short on fun.
Everyone thought the set was going to end with an early Show of Life, the long overdue YEM did the real set-closing, though. This fun YEM’s jam started real quiet and low, like it used to. With the faint bass and drums setting the groove, Trey starts noodling atop. Eventually it busts out into all out rock, however, there was definitely more room for one more enormous peak from Trey before going into the long bass & drums/vocal section.
The second set was a blast; one great song after another and all being played well and with serious inspiration.
Trey comes back on stage for the encore and steps up to the mic, “Hey, Page. Where ya been?” I been Around made it’s third appearance ever, a short bluesy song that’s already a fan favorite. Quinn the Eskimo was the sing-along buffer between I been Around and the expected, high-energy Tweezer.
Hope you come back to South Carolina soon, Phish! Bust out the jams in Maine please!